According to the latest report from the Freedonia Group, the total US market for silicones is likely to increase by 5.6 percent to $4.1bn in the period up to 2016, with overall volume growing 4.9 percent to 890 million pounds in the same period.
The study, entitled Silicones, points to the fact that renewed economic growth over the next four years is likely to reactivate demand for silicones, especially as the construction industry gets back into full gear.
Innovation in silicone fluids leads the way for cosmetics
In the US market, fluids, which is the category that mainly concerns silicone materials used in cosmetics and toiletries, is likely to grow by 5.0 percent in the four year period, to reach a total value of $1.7bn.
Demand for silicones specifically used in the cosmetics industry is predicted to grow by 6.3 percent to reach $570m by 2016, adding to a sustained period of growth during the period 2006 – 2011, despite other silicone categories being significantly impacted by the economic downturn.
An abstract from the report points to the fact that “silicone’s ability to significantly enhance the performance of cosmetic and toiletry products by cost effectively providing qualities such as water resistance, increased emolliency, and protection from ultraviolet rays will further promote advances.”
Safety concerns over certain silicones
However, there is one point that could curtail future growth within the cosmetics segment, the report also points out, and that is concerns over the silicone-based ingredient methylsioxanes (D4 and D5).
Concerns over potential health risks means that companies offering natural-based non-silicones alternatives to these types of ingredients the chance to make gains in this area, at the cost of the cost of silicone suppliers, though overall growth will continue for those players supplying to the cosmetics category.
Silicone manufacturers continue to defend the safety of their products, but likewise they are also offering alternatives or replacements. They include organofunctional silicones, polydimethylsiloxane-based fluids and silicones hybrids that incorporate natural ingredients.
Silicones boosted by the addition of polymers
Likewise, silicones are also being boosted by the addition of polymers, to enhance the deposition of silicones, while also reducing the volume requirments.
In Particular Evonik has led the way in offering more natural alternatives, underlined by the launch of its Tegosoft AC ingredient, which is a natural emollient for skin care applications that is based on low-energy enzymatic technology.
In the second part of this article, Cosmetics Design will cover the different applications for silicones, as well as taking a more detailed look at the break-down of market value by silicone type.