What are silicones?
Silicones are synthetic compounds based on silicon and oxygen. Their combination, through various chemical and synthetic processes, forms polymers with large molecular structures.
Depending on the nature of the organic group and the polymerisation conditions, silicones can be of various structures and textures, ranging from the most fluid (oils) to the most rigid, passing through viscous, resinous, pasty or waxy states.
Indeed, the molecular weight of silicones influence their viscosity and thus their form:
- a low molecular weight implies that the silicone has a low number of repetitions of the monomer. These are the most liquid type of silicone, which take an oily consistence.
- a high molecular weight implies that the silicone has a high number of repetitions of the monomer. This type of silicone is closer to a rubbery texture, such as pasty materials or waxes.
The term “silicone” does not apply to a specific ingredient, but rather to a large family of compounds with specific properties which are very popular in cosmetics. Silicones are therefore very common in a large number of cosmetic products. The most commonly used silicone in cosmetics is dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane), that also has applications in medical devices or food as an antifoaming agent.
Silicones are the champions of versatility, providing the flexibility, softness and elasticity that characterise them. Silicones bring a hint of undeniable sensoriality to the care, with a very velvety feel and non-greasy touch when applied to the skin or hair. Their degree of volatility determines the sensation of thickness they provide to the touch, which can be a light after-feel, during and after using the product. Silicones are also very widely used in styling products. They are indeed able to plasticise lacquer resin, coat the hair fibre, set the hairstyle effectively, bring softness, ease disentangling, and bestow silkiness and brightness to the hair.
Silicones have very good sensorial properties but do not guarantee the naturality of your formulations. Alternatives exist to preserve it.
Synthetic silicone or natural silicone alternative?
Consumer defiance towards silicone
Consumers are more and more conscious about their care products consumption. They demonstrated defiance towards synthetic silicone because of the major constraint of non-biodegradability of a few forms of silicones, which represent a pollution for aquatic environments and the marine life.
This is why more and more formulators are willing to replace them with natural alternatives. SOPHIM offers a greener material with close sensory properties, which could easily be integrated into formulas dedicated to skin or hair care.
Natural silicone alternatives
SOPHIM, manufacturer of natural emollients, offers a natural alternative to silicone, Biophytosebum, of Olive plant origin, which will be particularly suitable for substituting a volatile silicone in your face, body and hair care applications.
Our Biophytosebum is manufactured through a safe, solvent-free process from olive oil. In its organic version, the olive oil is obtained by mechanical pressure at ambient temperature of organic olives cultivated on organic agricultures standards.
Those treatments allow Sophim to offer you a natural ingredient, with an environment-friendly production.
Besides being a natural ingredient, sourced from a renewable and ethical raw material, Biophytosebum offer various benefits for products dedicated to skin care or hair care, and offers sensoriality assets.
It is a clear liquid presenting a non-greasy feel and easily spreadable. Its cushion effect after application reinforce the comfort at use.