Sunday, March 21, 2010

What's that Ingredient: Silicones

What's that ingredient?
#2: Silicone
Hair and Skin

If you haven't seen my video on parabens, please watch it here:

Phenyl Trimethicone

PEG-modified dimethicone
Dimethicone copolyol

When it is humid outside, your hair picks up moisture. It loses moisture when it is dry outside. Silicones will prevent this from happening. Silicones are almost like a type of plastic for your hair. They coat the hair shaft and prevent anything from getting in or out. While Silicones do make your hair feel shiny, silky, detangle, and prevent UV rays from effecting hair, they build up over time and can cause breaking, drying, and tangling.
Silicones are not water-soluble, meaning they do not dissolve in water, and for this reason, they will not come out unless one uses a shampoo with a surfactant in it. Unfortunately for me, I have given up Sulfate shampoos, and have Dimethicone in my hair due to a poor choice on my part (lack of research beforehand). So what did I do? Coco-betaine, another mild surfactant, has been said to do the job of removing a silicone but less harshly. It is found in the Burt's Bees line of shampoos. However, I have used the shampoo once, and I can still feel the effects of the silicone on my hair. Now I have to use a sulfate to get it all the way out (hopefully)

For information on types of sulfates, if they are water-soluble, and how to remove them, please refer to this chart:

(Please refer to the chart on this site to see which silicones are water-soluble and what will remove them from your hair).

Dimethicone is the most common silicone found in facial products. Lots of moisturizers have Dimethicone, as well as makeup primers. Just like silicones do to hair, they make your face silky and smooth. I used to tell my boyfriend 'Hey, feel how smooth my face is!' Yeah...that's because of Dimethicone.
Silicones in makeup still act as a barrier. They allow makeup to go on smoothly and increase the staying power of the makeup. It creates a "hydrating barrier" by preventing water from entering or exiting. Products with silicone in them will not allow your skin to BREATHE. Can you imagine going for a run with a silicone-based moisturizer or makeup primer on? Your sweat is getting trapped in your pores! And silicone ITSELF clogs pores! It makes pores look smaller by clogging them up and causing breakouts (for some people - myself included). Products with silicone will also fill in wrinkles and reduce the appearance of fine lines, therefore being popular in (non-natural) anti-aging products.

While I am in no way telling you what products to use and not use, I hope that you make the healthiest and most natural choice for your skin and body.

If you have any questions, please email me at:

1 comment:

  1. So what are good shampoos/conditioners without sls or silicones?