Silicone in My Skincare?!

If you’re anything like me, you crave moisture for your skin. I’m obsessed with making sure my skin is always as moisturized as possible. Not only because it looks better overall but also because it feels better. When I was younger, I didn’t really have a skin care routine. Well, lets be very honest, I had no skin care routine. I used soap and water and thought that my Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion from Bath and Body Works was the best. Little did I know how wrong I was and how my skin was not getting the moisture and antioxidants it needed to be healthy. As I have gotten older, I have learned so much more about my skin and how it reacts to certain products. I made a conscious decision to invest more in my skin and to keep it healthy and glowing. I mean your skin is your largest organ, why not protect and nourish it? 

What I have come to learn is that most skin care products contain dimethicone and silicones which on the surface seem to be magic. Dimethicone is the second most common ingredient in moisturizers, behind petroleum, because it is perceived to help condition the skin for softness and flexibility. It can create a protective barrier on the skin that blocks external agents. However, it can create a film over the skin which can accumulate overtime and create quite the buildup. The best way I can picture this in my mind is by using an example my hair stylist once told me about. While she was in cosmetology school, they teach the budding stylists all about the different types of shampoos on the market. There is one shampoo in particular that contains dimethicone and while on the outside the hair looks shiny and feels soft, when you take a closer look under a microscope you can see the build up and you can actually shave the buildup off the strands of hair. So, while the hair seems to look healthy and shiny and feels soft, it’s really being suffocated because of the build-up this creating more underlying damage.

Similar things happen with the skin. Dimethicone and silicones can lock moisture in, which for people with drier skin can be a god send in the moment, but for people who are acne prone, it creates the perfect environment for breakouts because the silicone builds up and traps bacteria and clogs the pores.  And who wants silicone on their skin?  Another reason big companies use this ingredient so shamelessly (just look at the all the personal care products in your bathroom or local drugstore - they are riddled with dimethicone) is due to it's inexpensive nature. It's a filler ingredient that feels nice to the touch and provides the solution with immediacy, but not over the long haul. Is it nourishing? No. Does it provide vitamins and antioxidants? Nope.

Similar to dimethicone, natural oils can help to lock in moisture, but they can also feed the skin antioxidants, fatty acids and amino acids simultaneously. Feeding my skin sounds a whole lot better than coating it in silicone, right?

Are you someone who struggles with break outs? And, I mean more than the occasional pimple. Do you ever put on lotion after your shower and still not feel like your skin is really quenched? I encourage you to take a look at your skin care products and see if they contain dimethicone and silicone.  

Look for products that are not loaded with gimmicks and fillers - your skin deserves a healthy diet!

~Shannon Sellens

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