Monday, July 8, 2013

Silicone in skincare - is it good or bad for your skin?

I've been using several products which I know contain silicone and all of a sudden after so many years and seeing different outcomes to the condition of my skin from using those different products, I am now seriously questioning if this particular ingredient is good for my skin.

These were some of the products I've been using which I have mixed feelings about. Sometimes I feel they work excellent yet other times I could swear that they make my skin thicker almost feeling as if my skin was gasping for oxygen!

Based on what I read online, silicone in beauty products is listed as Dimethicone, Polydumethylsiloxane or Cyclomethicone. It is commonly found in skincare and hair products. To easily know if a product has silicone in it, it will give you the feeling of silky smooth skin and almost always make open pores non-existent. It is usually contained in liquid foundations, primers, sunscreens, serums and moisturisers. Actually recently I was a little shocked to know that even a toner I've been using on and off since a decade ago contains Dimethicone. So yeah, it can even be present in toners, okay... 

There are two school of thoughts on the presence of silicone in skincare - good and bad. The good school of thought would say that silicone aids spreading, is transfer resistant and imparts remarkable smoothness and creaminess to the overall product. It apparently improves coverage without adding heaviness (which I thoroughly disagree), is non-comedogenic (which I also disagree completely) and highly water repellant. Hence, it keeps the skin healthy and hydrated. The minute molecule also fills up any creases making skin look smooth, flawless and youthful. The bad school of thought, however, would use these points and say that because it sits on the skin surface and is highly water repellant, it coats the skin, trapping anything beneath it and don't allow skin to breathe (exactly how I'd describe the feeling). It is also non-biodegradable.

I know a lot of women would complain that silicone clogs their pores. But since I've been using sunscreen and foundations with silicone, I initially thought there shouldn't be any issue with me. However, I am suddenly considering this belief seriously because I've been using the products on and off, and have been observing the outcome on my skin at closer scrutiny.

The funny part is, I'm totally ok with using sunscreen and liquid foundations with silicone but totally not ok with it in toners, serums, moisturisers and primers where my skin will feel thick the next day, almost dull-like and I'd feel the need to exfoliate constantly. Worse still, oil seeds would appear and it is tough to remove.

Why is that??

Well, my only explanation is that it is probably because with foundations and sunscreen, the silicone effect is minimal since I'd already have the layer of serum and moisturiser on my skin. There may also be that possibility of it being differing degrees of percentage in its content or the size of its molecules in the various products. After all, different chemical percentage and content would react differently to each other... our chemical properties on our skin are also different.

With this deep realisation, I have concluded that silicone is not ok with me and if I can avoid using it, I will definitely do just that.

Are you part of the silicone is good or bad school of thought?


Kahani said...

Well you know what camp I'm in. I can tolerate a tiny tiny amount in my products (currently, only H2O plus Face Oasis and nothing else) but more than that breaks me out. My theory is also that if you use Silicone in Foundies and sunscreen, more underneath is too much and you may need the astrigent properties of a non silicone toner to clear them out. Plus, skincare is on your face 24/7.

toughcookie said...

Hey... I like your theory. That's true. Now that I've eliminated another trouble ingredient, I am left with such small options. When I checked in my current stash, too many of reputable products in the market contain silicone. Sigh...