The promise of instant smooth skin and shiny hair is so alluring; but the lush, velvety feeling is momentary, not long lasting, and definitely not beneficial for your skin and hair at all. This instant transformation happens because of this one ingredient – a slippery ingredient – called silicone.
Silicones go by different names and different compound formulations, but the effect is the same. With first few uses skin feels like silk to the touch and hair looks shiny and glam, but in the long run it forms a layer on the skin and build-up on your scalp making them dull and lifeless.
While nature-based products with real botanical extracts do take a little longer, but these help to transform your skin and hair in the right way – adding nourishment and nutrition – making them healthy and strong. These ensure long lasting beauty.
Know this; all those products that promise this instant transformation have silicones in them. Now let us tell you more about why silicones may not be the best additive in your skin and hair care products.
Truth about silicones
Let’s get one thing straight first. Silicones are not natural emollient. Silicone is a substance derived from silica – sand is a form of silica. It has a unique fluid property that gives silicone its slippery, emollient quality. It is a synthetic sealant that has temporary effect – giving the appearance of smooth skin and shiny hair. However, there are two properties of silicones that make them popular additive in skin and hair care products.
- Silicones are smoothing. They give a spreadable, luxurious texture that makes the skin and hair feel silky to the touch. Silicones work by filling in the crevices in the skin and hair shaft giving the illusion of smoothness, which is really a temporary effect.
- Silicones are hydrophobic. This means that silicones form a barrier over the skin which not only blocks moisture from drying off from skin, but also repels external moisture to settle on the skin. This does keep the skin feeling smooth, but suffocates the skin.
Typically, silicone is used for healing wounds and in post-operative care. In medical practice it is used for healing scar. This is because silicones work by forming a water-binding layer on the skin surface. It helps heal wound by filling in the skin crevices. While this might be good for medical purposes, where there is limited and short term use; in long term use silicones can cause more harm than good to your skin and hair.
7 ways silicones harm your skin
1. Silicones form a layer on your skin and hair shaft
It sits on the skin and fills in the crevices for a smooth feel. Silicones form a seal over the skin that can suffocate the skin.
2. Silicones can trap dirt and grime in your skin
Since silicones form a layer on the epidermis, it can trap dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells and other impurities, which can cause different skin issues.
3. It can clog pores and cause acne
Since the layer of silicones can make it difficult for you to remove excess oil, dead skin cells and other impurities from skin, you pores can get clogged. Further, bacteria can infect the clogged pores and lead to acne and painful pimples. Silicones-based product is not a good idea for those with acne prone skin.
4. Silicones cause build-up on the scalp and cause hair fall
When you are using silicones based hair care or styling products on your hair and scalp on a regular basis, it can cause a build-up which can clog the roots, cut off circulation leading to hair loss, and hair thinning.
5. It can dull skin and hair
Once the novelty of smooth skin and hair wears off, the layer of silicones can actually make your skin and hair look dull since natural oils and moisture is cut off. Hair can fall limp, looking greasy without any movement.
6. It can dehydrate skin and hair
Due to its hydrophobic quality, silicones can dry out your skin and hair with long term use. This is because it repels moisture, and prevents skin to absorb hydration and nourishment from other active, thus drying it out.
7. It is tough to remove silicone build-up
If you are using products with heavier versions of silicones, it is tough to remove the layer from your skin in just one sweep of your cleanser, face wash or body wash. You may have to use a scrub often to remove the impurities. Similarly, when you do not wash off the silicon conditioner properly, it can lead to back and hairline acne.
Natural nourishing alternatives to silicones
Silicones are not the only things or the healthy additives that can smooth out your skin and hair. There are natural and healthier versions of bioactives and ingredients that not only soften your skin but also give your skin and hair nourishment. These nature-based ingredients actually help repair, restore and revive your skin’s and the hair’s natural structure. These offer protection from damage caused by sun, pollution, natural aging process etc.
Botanicals like aloe vera, fruit butters such as shea, cocoa, coconut, and cold-pressed oils like olive, coconut, argan and jojoba deliver many benefits and help improve the appearance and health of your skin and hair with long term use.
So, next time when you are buying
Botanicals-based skin and hair smoothing products to try
For your hair
For your skin
WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Foaming Face Wash with Built-in Brush for Deep Cleansing, WOW Skin Science Aloe Vera Hydrating After Sun Soothing Gel, WOW Skin Science 10 in1 Active Miracle Day Cream SPF 15 PA+++