The Fourth Skin No-No: 5 Reasons Why You Should Drop Silicone

Occlusive seal on skin
Source: Byrdie

Silicone is a skincare ingredient that is still up for debate. On one hand, it can fill in the crevices in your skin to provide you with a flawless finish. On the other hand, silicones are still considered synthetics which can pose long-term health consequences to your skin.

Silicone is a substance derived from silica, a natural mineral of sand. But it is far from being all-natural. Silica has to undergo a chemical process, and combined with other elements, such as oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen to produce silicone. Sceptics even classify this potent ingredient as a synthetic.

They possess occlusive properties, which is a fancy term for a barrier-like coating to repel both water and air. This seal presents many supposed benefits to the skin. For one, it gives the illusion of a velvety, poreless-like canvas to your complexion. They can improve the performance of other ingredients as well, such as aid in skin penetration. Furthermore, silicones can retain the moisture in our skin and make your skin appear more radiant. But this same ingredient can be holding you back from having a toxin-free skin, especially in the long run.

Silicones congest your pores

Silicones are known to be non-comedogenic and are less likely to cause pore blockages. However, because of its occlusive seal, silicones can increase the penetration of other ingredients. In bad cases, they can increase the permeability of comedogenic ingredients. In turn, this can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.

While its film can lock in moisture, it can also trap impurities like sweat and bacteria. Prolonged exposure to these impurities can lead to breakouts, especially if your skin is acne-prone.

Silicones stick to your skin

Silicones will remain in your pores, even after a regular wash. Makeup wipes and facial cleansers are not enough to fully cleanse silicones from your skin. Moreover, silicones repel water and do not rinse away easily. A solution would be using the oil or double cleansing method, which can dislodge this ingredient from your pores.

Silicones cause dull and dehydrated skin

The breathable film that silicones provide can also halt moisture from entering the skin. As a result, this can throw off your skin’s pH level and moisture barrier. When your skin is dehydrated, it can cause fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.

Silicones disrupt skin cell renewal

Our skin renews itself about every month, where old cells at the top most layer of the skin are sloughed off and replaced with newer cells. These new cells travel from the bottom layer of the skin to the epidermis, or the uppermost layer.

Add silicone and it can slow down this natural process. Old skin cells are trapped underneath the occlusive seal, where they are unable to shed away. It also prevents the skin to create new skin cells. Eventually, it will cause a build-up of dead skin cells, and lead to clogged pores and dull skin.

Silicones and layering do not mix

If you love layering a mixture of skincare products on your skin, forget about silicones. This ingredient will just render anything you put after it useless. Silicones block pretty much any product from reaching the skin. They will be better as the last step of your skincare regimen though, as they seal up all your products and allow them to sink deeper into the skin.

Silicones are considered filler ingredients, which only provide short-term benefits to the skin. It smooths over any rough patches to give you blemish-free skin, but this is only temporary. They get washed away as soon as you cleanse your face. Furthermore, they pose long-term consequences, which can impact your skin health.

How to identify silicones in your skincare products?

If you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, you might want to purge silicones from your skincare regimen. Scan the labels of skincare products and look out for these common types of silicones:

  • dimethicone
  • cyclomethicone
  • cyclohexasiloxane
  • cetearyl methicone
  • cyclopentasiloxane

More brands are also more aware of the damaging consequences of silicone. They are beginning to exclude this ingredient from their formulations entirely. So, the next time you shop, keep your eyes peeled for labels that say “silicone-free”.

At IRÉN, we make clean beauty our priority and blacklist what we call our no-no ingredients. Silicones are one of them, and we ensure they come nowhere near any of our products. The Superfruit Booster Serums, which we have recently re-launched, are infused with more active ingredients and more volume, and sprinkled in with more style. Achieve healthy and happy skin without having to worry about checking your skincare labels twice!

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