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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.

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When the benefits are defined and the advantages of various silicones are understood, the better the chance for a cost-effective concentration of silicone.

“Most formulations need several silicone compounds present at low concentrations to provide a cosmetically elegant product,” said O’Lenick. “Comparing formulations to gourmet meals, silicones most likely will not be the meat or potatoes, but rather the spice that adds the desired flavor. Optimization is key; picking the most cost-effective silicone, which is directly dictated by structure.”

Evolution: The Silicone Solution

De Blasi pointed out that the Society of Cosmetic Chemists course on silicones notes that evolution in silicones has taken formulators from construction (emollients) to functionalization (polymeric delivery systems) and finally to derivatization (silicones as actives).

“Formulators embraced the first class in the 1980s. Delivery systems was a favorite buzz word of the 1990s, and that included silicones,” says De Blasi. “Today, we are seeing the emergence of skin care treatment formulations and dermatological actives for skin protection and rejuvenation based on silicone technology. These hydroxyl functional silicones are used to bind exotic ingredients that beneficially stimulate skin metabolism and improve skin appearance by working below the stratum corneum.”

Possibly inspired by marketers’ and consumers’ continual push for new, improved and better skin care products, manufacturers of silicone seem energized about what tomorrow may bring for their star ingredient. They speak of a thriving entrepreneurial environment, unique opportunities and proactive solutions.