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Super versatile ingredients used very commonly in skin and hair care products. They are actually nothing new: ancient Egyptians already converted sand (sand is a silica and silicones come from silica) into glass using essentially "silicone technology" in 3000 BCE.

As for skincare, silicones are used mainly because they are incredibly slippery. Even a small amount of them can take an average formula to a completely new luxurious level.

As for hair care, silicones provide slip and shine and make the hair smooth like nothing else.

The problem with silicones is that... well, there isn't really a problem with them. Yes, for some people, they do not seem to work that great, but they are way more bad-mouthed by the natural personal care industry than deserved or proved. Let's have a look at the three most common negative claims:

  • Silicones suffocate skin: Skin does not breathe so this is hard to understand in the first place. But even if skin breathed, it could with silicones on top of it. As they have large molecules with plenty of space in-between them, putting a plastic bag all over your face is not the right metaphor but putting a fish-net all over your face is a better one.
  • Silicones cause or worsen acne: That one is not true either, what's more, research shows that silicones can help to make drying and irritating anti-acne ingredients more tolerable.
  • Silicones build up on your hair and ruin it: While it's true that some silicones cling onto the hair more than others do, but there are many very light, volatile types that do not build up at all. The heaviest one used in hair care is dimethicone, which smoothes the hair very well but can be a bit more difficult to wash out. If you feel you have a "build-up" problem, avoiding silicones altogether is still overkill. Choosing products without dimethicone will probably solve your problem.

Well, that's pretty much the gist of silicones in general. If you want to read about the specific types, click the list below.

Lauryl Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone Drometrizole Trisiloxane Polysilicone-2 PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone Lauryl Dimethicone Dimethicone Crosspolymer Behenoxy Dimethicone PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone Polysilicone-13 Bis-PEG-12 Dimethicone Pca Dimethicone Dimethicone PEG-8 Laurate PEG-8 Dimethicone Perfluorononylethyl Stearyl Dimethicone Phage-10 Dimethicone C30-45 Alkyl Methicone Perfluorononyl Dimethicone Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone PEG-3 Dimethicone Cetyl Dimethicone Diphenyl Dimethicone/Vinyl Diphenyl Dimethicone/Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer Lauryl PEG-8 Dimethicone Trimethylsiloxysilicate Cetearyl Methicone Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone Hydroxypropyl Dimethicone Behenate Cyclotetrasiloxane PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone Methyl Trimethicone Disiloxane Cyclohexasiloxane PEG-6 Methyl Ether Dimethicone PEG-12 Dimethicone C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer Bis-PEG-15 Methyl Ether Dimethicone PEG-10 Dimethicone Dimethicone PEG-7 Phosphate PEG-40/PPG-8 Methylaminopropyl/Hydroxypropyl Dimethicone Copolymer Trisiloxane Ethyl Methicone Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Cyclopentasiloxane Bis-Butyldimethicone Polyglyceryl-3 Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer Dimethicone/Phenyl Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer Dimethiconol Simethicone Acrylate / Ethylhexyl Acrylate / Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer Caprylyl Methicone Cetyl Dimethicone/Bis-Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer Diphenyl Dimethicone Hexyl Dimethicone Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3 Bis-PEG-15 Dimethicone/Ipdi Copolymer Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer Caprylyl Trimethicone Laurylpyrid-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyldimethicone Phenyl Trimethicone Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone Bis-Aminopropyl Dimethicone Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone Dimethicone Silylate PEG/PPG-14/4 Dimethicone Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone Stearyl Dimethicone Bis-Vinyldimethicone/PEG-10 Dimethicone Crosspolymer Phenethyl Dimethicone PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone Bis-PEG/PPG-20/5 PEG/PPG-20/5 Dimethicone Aminopropyl Dimethicone PEG/PPG-20/20 Dimethicone Amodimethicone Trimethylated Silica/Dimethicone Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane Hydrogen Dimethicone Cetyl Diglyceryl Tris(Trimethylsiloxy)Silylethyl Dimethicone Stearoxy Dimethicone Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Crosspolymer Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone Lauryl PEG-10 Tris[Trimethylsiloxy]Silylethyl Dimethicone Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer Dimethicone/Divinyldimethicone/Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer Polypropylsilsesquioxane PEG/PPG-20/22 Butyl Ether Dimethicone Disodium PEG-12 Dimethicone Sulfosuccinate Cyclomethicone Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer Piperidine-10,1 Dimethicone Dimethicone Polysilicone-15 Polysilicone-14 Bis-Stearyl Dimethicone PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone Neopentyldimethicone Phenyl Methicone Laurylpyridyl-9 Polydimethylsiloxy Ethyl Dimethicone Methoxy PEG/PPG-25/4 Dimethicone Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone Polymethylsilsesquioxane Polysilicone-11 Bis-Phenylpropyl Dimethicone Methicone Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer Poly(Glycol Adipate)/Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone Copolymer PEG-10 Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone Dimethicone PEG-7 Isostearate Silicone Elastomers Blend C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone PEG-12 Dimethicone Crosspolymer Polysilicone-9 Dimethicone Propyl Pg-Betaine Vinyl Dimethicone PEG/PPG-20/6 Dimethicone PEG/PPG-20/23 Dimethicone Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer