Technological developments in the manufacturing of silicones have meant that they can now be specified in an increasing range of personal care and cosmetics ingredients, bringing about greater formulation flexibility and efficacy.
“Silicones offer personal care formulators unique properties, like quick drying in deodorants or optimal effects like wrinkle masking which are difficult to replicate with other substances,” said Michel De Poortere, secretary general, CES.
“Silicones are cost-effective which is particularly sought after in everyday products like antiperspirants and deodorants,” De Poortere added.
Big impact on hair care solutions
Although silicones are used in a variety of industries, the cosmetics and personal care is one of the most important categories, with an estimated 18 per cent of all silicones production being devoted to this area.
Silicones can be found in a wide range of cosmetic, skin care and sun care products, but it is particularly in hair care products that they have been making an increasingly big impact in recent years.
De Poortere explained that contrary to the myth that silicones coat the hair and and weigh it, silicones can actually help improve the condition of limp hair.
“Silicones are often recommended for hair care products for limp and damaged hair as they strengthen and improve the condition of hair as well as protecting it from heat and styling damage,” said de Poortere.
“This is not limited to weakened hair as most conditioners contain silicones of some kind. Indeed, silicones are used in hair care products for all ethnicities.”
High-tech solutions to tackle increased competition
Although the silicones industry has been hit by stiff competition in recent years – including a number of ingredients launched as silicone alternatives - De Poortere believes that high-tech silicone ingredients will insure the future.
“In personal care, developments like organomodified or hybrid silicones – a substance which is part silicone, part natural – are opening up new markets,” said De Poortere.
By looking ahead, working closely with the market and regulators, De Poortere believes that the silicones industry is in a strong position to maintain and further build on its position within the cosmetics personal care industry, even in the face of greater competition.