Plastic not always fantastic: pros and cons of silicone
What does your skin cream or shampoo have in common with a baking pan? That's right, all three contain silicone. Silicone is a collective term for various compounds made from silicon and oxygen. Depending on the other chemical mixture in which this compound occurs, a wide variety of substances can be produced and silicone is used both as a joint filler in the bathroom and as an ingredient in skin creams. But its use in the cosmetics industry has recently come under increasing criticism. But why? In shampoos, it smoothes the surface of the hair and thus reduces the visible signs of split ends, makes the hair shiny and has an antistatic effect. In creams, silicone forms a film on the skin that protects the cells from moisture loss and acts as a wrinkle filler in anti-aging products. That all sounds great. So where does silicone get its bad reputation?
In the past, the cosmetics industry primarily used non-water-soluble silicones in shampoos, which left residues in the hair. As a result, the hair appears limp, stringy and can no longer be styled well. Water-soluble silicones are now used that specifically “dock” onto the damaged areas of the hair without weighing down the hair. Water-soluble silicones in shampoos are declared as Trideceth-12, Dimethicone Copolyo, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone copolyol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydroxypropyl, Polysiloxane or Lauryl methicone copolyol. If you want to be on the safe side, it's best to use a shampoo that is completely silicone-free.
Things look a little different with face creams and body lotions. They contain silicones so that the skin feels soft and supple after creaming. Silicone also acts as an optical wrinkle filler. So it's no wonder that it is contained in so many creams. But as already mentioned, silicone forms a protective film on the skin that prevents moisture loss. And underneath this film, the skin is prevented from functioning naturally. Sweat and sebum cannot drain away freely, which in the long term clogs the pores. The silicone film also blocks the absorption of vitamins and other nutrients that are also contained in the cream. It is therefore better if you use silicone-free products for creams and lotions or use natural cosmetics, which by definition must not contain any chemical substances. If you still don't want to do without care containing silicone, the silicone should be declared in the lower two thirds of the INCI list.