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Silicones are polymers of synthetic origin derived from organic Silicon (specifically siliceous quartz, commonly known as sand), Oxygen and Carbon. They are widely used in cosmetic products owing to their many technical properties: they are, in fact, chemically inert substances, non-irritating, odourless, resistant to water, high temperatures and oxidation. In cosmetics, silicones improve the application and absorption of creams; remove greasiness and white residues; allow sunscreens and make-up to withstand water; make the texture of products soft and silky; allow shampoos and conditioners to have a polishing and protective action on hair.
If, on the one hand, these features offer advantages, on the other hand they are the main disadvantages as well. By only forming a protective, water-repellent barrier on the surface of the skin and hair, some types of silicones tend to limit physiological oxygenation and hydration, as well as promote the build-up of impurities within the pores and reduce the absorption of other nutritional ingredients. It ensues that, over time, cosmetic products with a high content of “heavy” silicones will tend to promote the appearance of spots and blackheads, while hair will get dirty more easily and will appear heavier.
Another con of silicones concerns their environmental impact. These polymers are scarcely biodegradable and tend to settle in the surrounding environment with unavoidable pollution risks for the ecosystem, especially aquatic.
The ability to combine the sensorial profile of silicones with environmental compatibility is one of the challenges that cosmetic formulators have had to deal with in recent years. To address this need, Natura-Tec offers a range of plant-based alternatives to silicones, able to assure the same technical and sensory performances in full respect of the ecosystem.
Natura-Tec Plantsil™ is a transparent, oil-based fluid, highly stable and odourless, with excellent emollient properties. When applied on the skin and hair it is rapidly absorbed, providing a long-lasting sensation of softness and a satin, non-greasy finish. Its light texture and excellent cutaneous penetration qualify Plantsil™ as a valid substitute for cyclomethicone, a volatile silicone derivative. Natura-Tec Plantsil™ is compatible with common surfactants and co-surfactants; in hair care products it can be used as a conditioning agent, while within make-up remover formulations it provides an ideal solution for cleansing and protecting the skin.
Natura-Tec Plantsil™ Xcite 100 and Plantsil™ Xcite 350 are two plant-based alternatives to dimethicone, a type of non volatile silicone oil. Natura-Tec Plantsil™ Xcite 100 is a low-viscosity transparent liquid that features good spreadability and generates a protective and gentle effect on the skin, with no residual greasy sensation; it is ideal for light textures that provide a silky touch. Natura-Tec Plantsil™ Xcite 350 is a medium-viscosity transparent oil that features excellent spreadability and longer absorption time. It is the best choice for premium formulations with a rich and velvety texture, as well as to take care of skin and hair while avoiding the heavy sensation created by conventional silicones.
For more information download the brochures of Natura-Tec Plantsil™, Natura-Tec Plantsil™ Xcite 100 and Plantsil™ Xcite 350.