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stay away from: silicones

Updated: Aug 27, 2018

No matter what your skin type, one of the ingredients you should absolutely stay clear of is silicone. Or silicones, we should say—because these slippery polymers go under dozens of different names, with new compounds being developed daily.

However, silicon (not silicone) is something you would probably want in your skincare. Read through the end of this article to find out why.

stay away from silicones in skincare and beauty products.
stay away from silicones in skincare and beauty products. \tim-les\ natural skincare

Because they show up on the list of ingredients under so many different names, they are hard to identify and even harder to avoid, as they've become the new normal in beauty formulations, from makeup to skincare to haircare. Most natural skincare enthusiasts and health conscious consumers prefer not to spread silicones over their face as they know this may not be the best idea for a great complexion. Even silicone-based hair products can be bad news for your skin.

Why do cosmetics and beauty brands love silicones? They are cheap, water resistant, and give the product a smooth, silky and luxurious feel. Silicones are used mainly to stabilize and add slip or thickness to the product. Hydrophobic silicones form a seal over the skin, which allows companies to claim longer-lasting (24- to 48-hour) "hydration" benefits.

The easiest way to identify silicones on the ingredients label is by looking for words that end with these:

  • Cone: Dimethicone, Methicone, Trimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Amodimethicone, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

  • Siloxane: Cyclopentasiloxane, Polydimethylsiloxane

  • Conol: Dimethiconol

  • Polymers: C10-30 Alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, VP / VA Copolymer, Polybutene, Polyisobutene

Silicones don't pose an immediate health risk (although the damage they create for the environment is almost unfixable). Why should I avoid them?

reasons to avoid silicones in your skincare:

Silicones trap debris in your pores.

Like plastic wrap, silicones form a barrier on top of your skin. That barrier can lock in moisture, yes, but it mainly traps dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells and other debris along with it. Struggling with breakouts.

Silicones can cause acne and congestion.

Prolonged exposure to oil, dead skin and bacteria underneath the semi-occlusive seal of silicones can lead to increased breakouts. If you are acne and blemishes-prone, avoid silicons altogether! Silicones can also be a culprit in under-the-skin clogs (a.k.a. congestion), even if you don't develop full-blown acne.

Silicones interfere with cell renewal.

Our skin renews itself every 28 days, whereby old cells are sloughed off and new cells make their way up to the surface. Silicones inhibit this process by slowing down the production of new cells and keeping dead cells stuck longer. Impaired cell renewal could decelerate the improvement of conditions such as pigmentation, redness, fine lines and scarring. As we grow older, skin renewal become less effective, so avoid silicones if you are in your 30s. Your skin will thank you in your 40s and 50s...

Silicones block other ingredients from absorbing.

If you are layering products (which most of us do), silicones can prevent them from doing their jobs properly. Even if you start your layering with silicone free products, any moisturizers or treatments you put on next could have a diminished ability to penetrate, rendering them less effective. Depending on the formula, even a small percentage of silicone based ingredients may prevent other 'healthy' ingredients from penetrating the skin and doing their job.

Silicones can be difficult to remove.

The most common silicone, dimethicone, is extremely heavy and leaves a coating on the skin unless it is carefully removed. This is often why people see such a difference from nightly double cleansing, because it's properly removing the silicones from your skin—a single pass with a regular face wash simply isn't enough.

Silicones can make your skin dull and dehydrated.

Looking for a healthy glow? Forget it. Silicones could also be clogging your pores, but manifesting as dryness and dullness instead of acne. Not only do silicones prevent additional moisture from getting in, but the impacted materials can dehydrate your pores and throw your skin's natural regulatory processes off-balance. The result? Your skin becomes less able to shed dead layers and hydrate itself.

Silicones deliver nothing beneficial to your skin.

As skincare consumers, we deserve higher-quality ingredients that support skin health. Silicones may give you a feel of smoothness and plump, but does nothing to nourish and repair your skin. It's a quick fix that costs you hundreds of dollars a year as you constantly seek for the better product. Look instead for natural ingredients like aloe vera and oils.

safe for your skin and the environment
natural and organic skincare without toxic and harmful ingredients. safe for your skin and the environment

Silicon (not silicone) is a natural trace mineral and the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust. It’s used to make computer chips (“Silicon Valley”), circuits, glass, and metal alloys.

When combined with oxygen, silicon forms “silica” (or silicon dioxide), which is essential in our bodies for flexible joints, glowing skin, and stronger nails, teeth, and bones. In fact, people who have a silica deficiency are at risk for poorly formed joints; skull deformities; and weakened cartilage, collagen, and elastin (which provides skin firmness).

silica has a number of benefits in skin care, including:

  • Helps strengthen and tighten: Since we need silica to perform optimally, products with silica can help to tone and tighten skin, reducing the appearance of sagging and bagging.

  • Absorbent: Silica naturally absorbs debris and bacteria, helping to cleanse the skin and reduce the occurrence of clogged pores.

  • Exfoliant: In its natural form, silica is a gentle abrasive, helping to exfoliate the top layers of skin, encouraging radiant, younger-looking skin.

  • Moisture-retaining: Silica naturally helps the skin retain moisture, keeping it looking supple and youthful.

\tim-les\ skincare products are 100% natural and organic and our strict formulation policies prevent us from even considering using silicone based ingredients. We work harder to create formulas that will not only feel great on your skin, but will deliver visible results - every day. Our standards for formulation are much higher, and our products are better! Because we care. Check out our products here.