Get the guide on how, when and why to opt for silicone free cosmetics, as well as some natural alternatives to silicone that will provide the same benefits and look but without the synthetic chemicals that can be harsh on your skin.
Why Opt for Silicone Free Cosmetics
The invention of silicone polymers in the 1950s changed the cosmetics industry, providing the end user with ‘instant gratification’ of soft and smooth skin. Used to hold colour and product in place on the skin, silicone particles literally sit on the surface of skin making it feel smooth and silky. They also provide some waterproofing qualities to cosmetics, which makes them popular for ensuring your colours stay put. However, this occlusive (air- and water-tight) quality may want to be avoided. Your skin is a living organ and layering on silicones over large areas of skin is often likened to wrapping it in cling film. This can trap debris in your pores and may lead to congestion and inflammation.
Products with Silicone We Don’t Mind
In natural cosmetics and skincare, silicones are still very prominent. While in a lot of cases they should be avoided if you want to stick with a green beauty routine, some products that use silicones are not such a big deal. Eye makeup is one area where you may see silicones popping up on ingredient listings of brands that are otherwise considered natural. Silicone is about the only ingredient that will actually help eliminate creasing. For those with hooded eyes (more prone to creasing) especially, it won’t be the end of the world when used in a small area. Try using Vapour Mesmerize Eye Shadow and Rms Beauty Cream Eye Polish, both cream eye shadows that also act as moisturisers so you won’t need to apply cream first. Waterproof mascara will also contain silicone and other synthetic chemicals to make it stay. If you want to avoid having to re-apply foundation throughout the day and into the night, longer-wear foundations will contain silicone.
Natural Silicone Alternative
If you can’t quite get used to going without silicone, look for silica as an alternative in your natural products. This fine-textured powder is derived from naturally occurring mineral silicon dioxide and is used in cosmetic powders to impart a smooth, shine-free finish. It gives a similar silky feeling to the skin as with silicone, but has much nicer effects. When opting for silicone free cosmetics, you may need a little extra help for colour and products to stay put on your skin for the duration of the day (and perhaps night). Before applying silicone free foundation onto dry skin, layer on a cream like Pai Avocado and Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream, or on oily or combination skin, use a gel or light lotion like Therapi Lemon Myrtle Honey Moisturiser. Try and let your moisturiser settle into the skin for 5-10 minutes before applying foundation. Without silicones (which also help colours glide on easily) you’ll find your foundation or tinted moisturiser goes on better when worked into the skin with warm fingers. This will also be the reason your concealer or blush might be hard in winter and soft in summer. It’s not a fault in the product, it’s just that botanical waxes by nature fluctuate in rigidity with the temperature. Remember, a light touch gives more than a heavy hand.