One Common Skincare Ingredient That Feels Good But Really Isn’t

Guest Contribution by Sandra La Scala

You have to admit we all love using skincare products that feel good….I’m talking about those creams, serums and gels that feel like a newborn’s silky soft head (that was the first thing that came to mind because my nephew Mason was born last week!). That sensation usually makes your skin feel just as amazing as it did on your finger, too.

The problem is, the main ingredient usually responsible for that silky soft ‘slip’ feel is derived from Silicone. Yep…’ve heard this word before. AT BUNNINGS!

Silicones are technically derived from a natural source – silica – but undergo extensive chemical processing to end up like rubber, used in sealants, adhesives, lubricants, medicine and cosmetics!

Silicones are added for their skin protectant properties, giving products a smooth texture. They slyly pop up in shampoos, conditioners, primers, moisturisers, foundations and hair oils.


TO check if your product contains a silicone derivative, you’ll have to keep an eye out for one of the following:

  • Dimethicone
  • Dimethicone Copolyol
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)

Why are Silicones bad for you? indicates “silicone emollients are occlusive…they coat the skin…and do not allow the skin to breathe (much like plastic wrap)… causing irritation… are known tumour promoters…and non-biodegradable, causing negative environmental impact”.

Cosmetic regulators have listed it as a ‘safe’ ingredient, but natural health experts, including Botani’s Founder and Naturopath Barbara Filokostas, are warning that using products with Silicone derivatives disrupt the body’s normal detoxifying processes, leading to short and long-term troubles. Skin is a living, breathing organ!


Effects of using Silicone-based skincare and cosmetic products:

  • Interrupts the skin’s normal functions such as sweating, oil secretion, temperature regulation and shedding of dead skin cells
  • Traps bacteria, oil and dirt under the skin (often a contributing factor to acne)
  • Can be irritating for some sensitive skin
  • Not environmentally sustainable – not biodegradable




What happens to my skin if I use products with silicone derivatives?

  • Excess dryness and irritation: the skin’s protective layer – the acid mantle – is disturbed and this could result in dry patches which may become irritated
  • Acne/Pimples: with bacteria trapped under the skin – inflammation can take place resulting in whiteheads, blackheads and pimples.
  • Dry hair: the same applies to hair as it does skin; hair loses its natural lustre with chemicals disrupting its natural functions.


Silicone free alternatives for skincare:

Look for natural, plant based oils that are skin-friendly. One of the best natural emollients is Crambe Abyssinica (Crambisol) which is an active lubricant and emollient that improves the skin’s barrier function (instead of suffocating it).

Facial Serum: We love the Botani Olive Skin Serum with 99.7% Olive Squalene, which is actually biocompatible with your skin! This means it actually mimics the natural squalene that your skin already produces. It’s a natural hydrating emollient that your skin loves to drink every day!

If you’re looking for an antioxidant serum, the Acai Berry Active Antioxidant Serum you can’t go past the sweet aroma of Acai Berry, Olive Squalene, Cranberry Seed and Blackberry Oils! It packs a powerful punch with over 50 protective vitamins and nutrients for your skin – and although tempted – don’t eat it!

Makeup primer: The Olive Skin Serum is a nourishing, non-greasy barrier that can be used as a stand-alone serum/moisturiser/primer. Your makeup will glide beautifully over the Olive Skin Serum, and will last all day long! You can also mix it with mineral foundation pigments to create your own liquid foundation that lasts all day!

Hair and body: Coconut Glow Hair & Body Oil is a non-greasy oil with non-greasy Crambe Abyssinica that provides moisturisation and lustre to the hair and body. With a subtle coconut aroma – this is the perfect all-in-one holiday companion!

Silicone derivatives in skincare and cosmetics might feel soft and smooth but can lead to skin problems due to skin suffocation and pore clogging. Do your skin a favour and audit the ingredients of the products you have – and ensure you look at those ingredient lists every time you’re shopping for a new product! Let that skin breathe – and embrace that natural beauty with a makeup-free day each week, perhaps?


x Sandra



SiliconesWritten By Sandra La Scala, Botani natural beauty writer, poodle lover, mum of two boys, advocate of natural skincare, sleep and surrounding yourself with happy people!




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