Silicone for Skin: Friend or Foe?

by BiE - Beauty in Everything
Silicone for Skin: Friend or Foe?



Silicone For Skin! A controversial skincare ingredient swirling around in the skincare industry since the birth of natural beauty. Any skincare product that has silicone at the back of their label is shunned away or frowned upon. What is the reason for its abandonment? Is silicone bad for skin? Or is silicone good for skin? Let’s delve into the science of it and see whether the hype created around silicones is worth it or not.

What is Silicone?

Silicone is a skincare ingredient derived from a natural compound known as silica. This natural compound undergoes a chemical process to become silicone, a skincare marvel touted for its ability to leave the skin feeling smooth and hydrated. Due to its conflicting properties, a lot of manufactures use different names for silicone at the back of the label. Some common ingredient names used in lieu of silicone for skin are:

  • Dimethicone
  • Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Cetearyl methicone

  • Silicone For Skin

    In the beauty industry, silicone is classified as a superstar ingredient for various reasons. It acts as a protective layer on the skin, gives the skin a smooth texture, locks in moisture and creates a pleasant, light-weight feel. However, due to the controversy swirling around this humectant, it's important to dig into the depth of it and decide for ourselves whether,

  • Is silicone good for skin?
  • Is silicone bad for skin?
  • The Benefits of Silicone for Skin

    Silicones are a popular ingredient in many skincare products, and for good reason! They offer a variety of benefits that can leave your skin feeling and looking its best.

  • Promotes hydration: Silicone for skin helps reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), basically it prevents water from evaporating from your skin. This keeps your skin hydrated and plump.
  • Creates a smooth, supple feel: Silicones have a silky texture that leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft to the touch. This can be especially beneficial for people with dry or rough skin.

  • Silicone For Skin

  • Permeability rate is good: Due to its inherent molecular structure, it easily allows water and air to permeate into the skin. This encourages other skin-benefitting products to work their magic and penetrate easily into your skin.
  • Fills in fine lines and wrinkles (temporary effect): Silicone for skin can temporarily fill in fine lines and wrinkles on the surface of the skin. This can give your skin a more youthful appearance. However, it's important to note that this effect is temporary and won't address the underlying causes of wrinkles.
  • Protects against environmental irritants (limited): Silicone for skin are occlusive, they form a protective barrier on the skin that helps shield it from environmental irritants like pollution and dust. However, this protection is limited and won't completely block out all irritants.
  • Potential Drawbacks of Silicone for Skin

    Silicone offers many benefits for the skin, but it has a conflicting side to it too. Here's what to consider:

  • Clogged Pores: Some types of silicone moisturiser can be occlusive, meaning they can trap oil and sweat on the skin's surface. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts, especially for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

  • Silicone For Skin

  • Skin Barrier Disruption: Frequent use of silicone moisturiser, silicone sunscreen might disrupt the skin's natural barrier function over time. This can leave the skin more vulnerable to irritation and dryness.
  • Not for Everyone: People with sensitive skin may experience irritation from certain types of silicone. It's always best to do a patch test before applying a new product liberally.
  • Who Should Avoid Silicone in Skincare?

    Silicones can be a great addition to a skincare routine, but they might not be for everyone. Here are some groups who might want to consider skipping or limiting silicone-based products:

  • Acne-Prone or Oily Skin: Silicones are occlusive which can thereby trap oil, dirt, sweat or other impurities to get trapped onto your skin. This confinement results in clogging pores leading to acne & further breakouts. Perhaps, people with acne and oily skin should refrain from using silicone moisturiser, silicone sunscreen gel, and silicone lotion.
  • Those Seeking Long-Term Skin Health Improvements: Some benefits of silicones can be deceptive. While they offer temporary benefits like smoothing and plumping, they don't address underlying skin concerns. If you're focused on long-term improvements like increased collagen production or reduced hyperpigmentation, other ingredients might be more effective.
  • Alternatives to Silicone-Based Skincare Products

    There are several other silicone-free moisturisers or products available that can mimic the ability of silicones on your skin. Below are some healthy alternatives to silicone-based skincare products.

  • Humectants: Hyaluronic acid can be classified as a magical elixir with a slew of benefits to offer. It can hold the weight of a 1,000 gallons of water that promotes its ability to penetrate the skin. It deeply hydrates the skin, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and gives the skin a youthful, healthy and moisturised glow. Highly recommended for people with dry, flaky skin.

  • silicone based moisturizer

    Glycerin, classified as a hydration hero, draws moisture from the deepest layers of the skin, leaving the skin feeling completely hydrated and plumped.

  • Occlusives: Shea butter is a rich humectant extracted from the nuts of the African-origin shea tree. Rich in Vitamin A and E, shea butter acts as a luxurious moisturizer that deeply nourishes dry, flaky and inflamed skin.

  • silicone based moisturizer

    Petroleum jelly is a mineral based jelly known for its effective occlusive properties. It prevents moisture loss and shields the skin from various external stressors. It is also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, making it an ideal option for people with acne-prone and sensitive skin.

  • Natural emollients: Jojoba oil, a luxurious elixir extracted from the seeds of jojoba shrub, is pretty unique. It resembles the natural sebum (oil) produced in the skin, which makes it extremely permeable, hydrating and non-greasy. This oil is suitable for all skin types, even people with oily skin. Squalane is a plant-powered humectant derived from plant sources like olives. It mimics the skin's natural emollients, leaving it feeling soft and supple. Unlike some heavier oils, squalane absorbs quickly and won't clog pores.
  • The Verdict: Is Silicone Good or Bad for Skin?

    Silicone for skin is classified as a double-edged sword in the beauty industry. It offers a variety of benefits like deep hydration and temporary wrinkle reduction but then it comes along with its own set of potential drawbacks as well. Clogged pores and inability to tackle deep underlying skin concerns are some of them. So is silicone really a friend or an enemy in disguise? It depends.

    ingredient list skincare

    Weigh the Benefits and Drawbacks

  • Benefits: Hydration boost, smoother texture, temporary wrinkle filling, protection from environmental irritants (limited).
  • Drawbacks: Clogged pores (for oily/acne-prone skin), potential disruption of skin barrier, not ideal for everyone (sensitive skin).
  • Consider Your Skin Type and Concerns

  • Oily/Acne-Prone Skin: Skincare ingredients like silicone might worsen breakouts. Opt for silicone-free products.
  • Dry Skin: Silicone for skin can be helpful for hydration. Look for lightweight options that won't clog pores.
  • Anti-Aging: Silicones offer temporary wrinkle filling, but consider other ingredients for long-term benefits.
  • Patch Test Before Committing:

    Always do a patch test on a small area of your skin before using a new product, especially if you have sensitive skin.

    what are active ingredients in skincare


    Just like with investing in mutual funds, wherein customers are always asked to read the documents carefully and study the market risks before investing. Similarly, in the realm of skincare and skincare ingredients doing thorough research is crucial. With countless options promising miracle results, it becomes quite baffling to choose the right products.

    what are active ingredients in skincare

    Silicone for skin is celebrated for its hydrating and smoothing prowess on one side, yet criticised for its chemical makeup, pore-clogging tendencies, and failure to address underlying concerns on the flip side. However, the key to healthy skin lies in informed decisions. Research the ingredient's effects, demystify its pros and cons, and then decide what's best for your skin's unique needs. Remember, every skin is unique. Embracing the changes, nurturing it with the right ingredients and listening to your skin’s needs will get you closer to your coveted skin. Till then, happy skin!

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