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Is Silicone the Fountain of Youth?

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 6

“Today’s personal care products need to do more than just deliver on performance claims,” stated van Reeth. “Consumers expect skin care and color cosmetic products to provide them with a unique sensory experience before, during and after application. The concept formulations included in (Dow’s) Experience the Difference program provide customers with fully formulated products that use silicones to enhance the consumers’ experience—through the appearance, fragrance, texture and skin feel of a product.”

Silicone Selection

Silicones are a diverse class of compounds. Besides a general understanding of various silicones and their functions, it is important to understand that skin care formulas depend on a combination of silicones to achieve the product the market demands.

“One makes a mistake when classifying compounds as simply ‘silicone,’ ” said O’Lenick. “While the broad class exists, there are a wide range of compounds that provide specific formulation benefits to the cosmetic chemist. A broad brush approach limits the benefit one can get from silicone compounds. Proper selection is key.”

Employing one silicone to perform all the required functions is not possible, and this selection is dictated by structural considerations. Silicones are becoming increasingly specialized. Understanding the physical chemistry of silicone compounds in combination with other formulation ingredients produces cost-effective products that consumers demand. “Consumers have high expectations for both elegance and performance,” said De Blasi.

“Also, they want quick results and assurances that the environment is protected. Silicones have an important role in all of these expectations by providing essential benefits and by complementing and enhancing other key ingredients synergistically to provide a truly great feeling and skin beautifying product.”