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“Boo hiss Silicone! You evil skincare ingredient causing silicosis, cancer & probably killing kittens to. How dare you be in my product!”

Poor old Silicone dioxide.

It’s been around for years, has been hugely researched & shown to be safe but it has a really bad rap. The thing is, it has an evil twin, Crystalline silica. That twin caused SD’s reputation to slide.

The evil twin – Crystalline silica

A study by the WHO (the health organisation, not the band) in 2000 found inhalation of Crystalline silica led to silicosis and other bad things. Unfortunately that study mentioned the word ‘cosmetics’ & prompted by some very unscrupulous environmental groups, the world decided Silicone in cosmetics=cancer.

No one thought – is it the same silicon in my moistuirser? or, who inhales moisturiser anyway??

The fact is the good twin, silicone dioxide, found in cosmetics are safe.

“Ah, silicone irritate, cause allergic reactions & clogs pores” say the naysayers.

Nope. Silicones are so hypoallergenic, non-irritating & nonreactive they are frequently used in medicine. They are also non-comedogenic. Silicones also have low comedogenicity according to standard tests (which aren’t something wholly reliable, see our earlier posts) but if comedogenic scales are your bag, dimethicone has a rating of 1, while cyclomethicone has a rating of 0.

“Silicones form an occlusive, solid film on the skin like a layer of rubber which traps dirt & germs in your pores. Your skin can’t breathe”

Nope again. The layer Silicones actually form on your skin is breathable layer on your skin, oxygen and water vapour can pass across it. In fact, studies have shown that this layer aids skin rather than hurts it. This layer doesn’t last long – your skin is shedding underneath & it falls away.

Silicones provide a lot of benefits for skin in formulation. What Silicone did wrong was to be synthetic & not natural – this is what made the natural lobby hate up.

Poor old Silicone.


Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 24

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