Silicones | versatile, multi-talented cosmetics star

White-silica-crystals-silicones

Silicones play an important role in cosmetics

Silicones have many functions and uses in formulating.  Essentially, silicones are a number of polymers containing silicon and oxygen atoms in chains, which can be manipulated into different lengths with the aid of a catalyst. This results in various viscosities and textures of the silicones we use today.

When used in a product, this translates into a softer silky feel, depending on the chain length of the silicone used.

Another few benefits of silicones are that they are odourless, colourless, water resistant and are stable at high temperatures. One of the most important features of silicone is that they are unreactive and are therefore safely able to be used in products made for babies and sensitive skin.

silica-sand-feet

Silicones are made from Silica (Silicon Dioxide) which is what beach sand is made from.

So how does beach sand get turned into the silicone we use in industry and cosmetics?

First the silica is put into a huge Silicon Furnace, where the high temperatures drive the oxygen out of the silica. The oxygen then combines with carbon to form carbon dioxide and leaves behind silicon metal.  The metal is than powdered and mixed with a copper catalyst and methylene chloride, in a special reactor which mixes the fluid and solid ingredients at such a high speed that they completely suspended.

Silicone-metal

Looking to purchase silicones to use in your formulation. We have a wide variety of brands on offer at Trulux. Click here.

Content and images courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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