What is Silica?
Silica, also referred to as silicone dioxide and hydrated silica, are minerals--one of the most common on earth, in fact. It can be found in sandstone, granite, clay, plants, soil, and even animals--and you and me! Silica helps living organisms like us by aiding in joint flexibility and promoting strong bones and radiant skin. Also, it can be lab-created. The silica used in cosmetics and personal care products is amorphous silica, whereas crystalline silica is not used in cosmetics.
Hydrated silica (silicone dioxide) is just that: hydrated with additional water atoms. Silica and hydrated silica are utilized within makeup and skincare formulas including but certainly not limited to makeup, bath products, hair and nail care products, and even oral hygiene formulas.
Is silica safe in cosmetics?
Amorphous silica and hydrated silica are generally regarded as safe ('GRAS') ingredients of personal care products like makeup and sunscreen. The Environmental Working Group rates it in the 'green' zone with purported low toxicity concerns.
Is silica good for the skin? How does silica help skin?
Because silica is such a fundamental part of the earth and our very skeletal and muscular cores, it makes sense to hear that it, in the proper format, can purportedly benefit skin: Studies have shown that silica applied topically and ingested (i.e., in safe supplement form and via specific foods) significantly improves skin elasticity, hydration, and texture. Go, minerals!
What is silica used for in cosmetics?
Silica can benefit the skin for a slew of reasons:
Silica aids in oil absorption and helps with adherence, helping cosmetics and their formula components stay put.
Silica helps achieve an ideal consistency when it comes to makeup and skincare formulations. It also helps the formulas glide onto skin smoothly and blend beautifully.
Additionally, silica can improve the distribution of pigments in cosmetics, evening them and helping mitigate pigment settling. It often helps pigments and other cosmetic and skincare ingredients come together and form a lovely texture.
What type of silica is used in skincare?
Not crystalline silica; rather, amorphous silica or hydrated silica, the most popular being hydrated silica/silicone dioxide.
Who should avoid silica in skincare and makeup products?
Those with a propensity toward oil or combination-type skin can especially benefit from silica's natural oil-absorbing properties. Silica helps mattify skin and mitigate shine.
If your skin leans toward being dry, be sure the combination of ingredients in the formula with silica provide enough nurture and non-drying properties. Silica alone could be counter-active when you're lacking oil. However, again, do consider the entire synergy of the ingredients in the formula: how they perform together. Try sample sizes when available and ensure a friendly exchange/return policy would enable you to return the product if it didn't bode with your dry skin. Your skin never pumps out as much oil as it needs.
The Environmental Working Group rates it in the 'green' zone with purported low toxicity concerns.
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