Silicones: Myths and Facts

Silicones: Myths and Facts

Since silicones are chemically inert, safe ingredients, they are used in the most demanding markets, such as in pharmaceutics, medical devices, personal lubricants and the food industry, with no evidence of toxicity or unsafety. However, there are a number of myths about its use, possibly because of their popularity.

Silicones gained significant popularity since they were first introduced in personal care formulations in the 70’s, and today they are widely used in different formulations.

Due to their improved performance, high compatibility with other ingredients and unique feel, silicones are highly valued by formulators and consumers when obtaining innovative, high-performance formulations.

Here are a few myths and facts about this raw material:

ORIGEN They are petroleum derivatives They are quartz derivatives, composed of two of the most abundant elements on Earth: oxygen and silicon.
OCCLUSIVENESS They are occlusive and prevent the skin from breathing adequately. Silicones create a barrier on the skin that offers water resistance. They allow the skin to breathe – a permeable barrier.
BUILD-UP They build up on the skin and hair and cannot be rinsed. Silicones may build up, but not permanently, since they are easily washable with common surfactant systems (soaps, shampoos, etc.).
ENVIRONMENT They do not degrade and build up on the environment and living organisms. They chemically break up into silicon and carbon dioxide in the soil and air; additionally, their molecules are too large to be absorbed by any biological membrane.
SAFETY They are toxic to the skin. They are inert and pose no risk due to their chemical composition. In-vitro tests have been performed yielding non-cytotoxic results. Silicones have been dermatologically tested with no allergic reactions, they can be hypoallergenic. They do not cause skin sensitivity through repeated use and are safe for use even in sensitive areas or mucosae.

It is important to remember that silicones (dimethicone) are recognized by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as skin protectant drugs for OTC (over-the-counter) products for human consumption at a concentration of 1-30%.

At Mathiesen you can find a wide range of silicones for different personal care applications, suggestions of formulations using this ingredient and the expertise to assist you in your developments, offering solutions under high quality standards.

Contact us for more information.