What is silica
Silica is a mineral found naturally in the body’s processes for producing collagen and reducing inflammation. Silica is widely used in a wide variety of cosmetics as well Skin care Products because of its multifunctionality. In skin care and cosmetic formulations, silica is used as an abrasive ingredient and to improve the texture and function of the product.
Silica, also known as silicon dioxide, is a silicon oxide, the 14th element on the periodic table of the elements. Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen, but occurs very rarely in nature, as its pure form takes the form of silica for 90% of the earth’s silicon supply. You probably know silica best as quartz, which is the most common component of sand in many parts of the world. In addition, silica is abundant in sandstone, clay, and granite, as well as in parts of plants and animals. Silicic acid is generally colorless to white and insoluble in water.
There are many forms of silica in nature that are used for different functions.
Crystalline silica is the form used in grinding, sandblasting, masonry projects, etc., and is highly abrasive. Crystalline silica has also been linked to a variety of health risks, which we will discuss in the Safety section below. Therefore, crystalline silica is not used in cosmetics or skin care products.
Hydrated silica is another version that is a derivative of silica. The main use for hydrated silica is in toothpastes as they are slightly abrasive and help clean teeth. In addition, hydrated silica forms gels easily, which is why it does ingredient is sometimes used in liquid foundation products.
The most common form of silica used in cosmetics and skin care products is amorphous silica. For the following discussion of the functions of silicon dioxide, we will refer to amorphous silicon dioxide.
What are the best skin care products of 2020?
the good:Helps improve the texture and feel of a formulation. Silica also helps to evenly distribute the pigment, prevent shine, and help your foundation stick and stay on your skin.
not that good:Silica has been linked to lung problems, but this mostly affects ancient manufacturing processes. This risk is relatively small these days as the security protocols in place are far stricter. The risk to cosmetic or skin care users is negligible.
For whom is that?All skin types except those identified as having an allergy.
Synergetic ingredients:Works well with most ingredients
Keep an eye on:Remember that there are a number of forms of silica and this will determine their use. There are also dietary supplements made from silica, which is a whole different conversation.
What is silica used for?
Silica has various functions in cosmetic and skin care products including as an abrasive in exfoliants, an absorbent powder, an anti-caking agent, a filler, an opacifying agent, and a suspending agent. It is most commonly used as an absorbent because it can absorb excess moisture and oil from the surface of the skin. It is noteworthy that some people find that silica can absorb too much moisture and / or oil and the skin feels dry to the touch.
Silica is a gentle abrasive that is commonly used to exfoliate skin care products such as body and face scrubs. After President Obama signed a bill banning the manufacture and sale of products containing plastic microspheres, manufacturers turned to silica as an alternative. Some companies have even found a way to make synthetic silica. Products that contain silica as an abrasive help exfoliate the topmost layers of skin and remove makeup, excess oil, dirt, and other contaminants that may have built up over the course of the day.
Texture and function
Silica is commonly used in cosmetic formulations because its spherical particles not only absorb sweat and oil, but also prevent light reflections and improve spreadability. Silica is also used as an ingredient in powder perfume because the porous spheres allow this ingredient to give off fragrances over a long period of time.
Silica vs Silicones
It’s important to tell the difference between silica and silicone, both of which are found in skin care products. In contrast to silicon dioxide, silicones are a group of synthetically produced polymers consisting of repeating units of siloxane, elemental silicon and oxygen combined with other elements, typically carbon and hydrogen. Silicones have completely different functions than silica.
Is Silica Safe?
As mentioned above, the safety of silica is shape dependent. Crystalline silica has been linked to a variety of health risks, including cancer, allergies, and toxicity of the organ system. Crystalline silica is a well-known poison for the respiratory tract, the musculoskeletal system and the immune system. There is strong evidence of cancer caused by products that may be aerosolized. These potential health risks have been mitigated through the implementation of a strict safety protocol to protect those involved in the manufacturing process. It is important to note, however, that crystalline silica is not the same as the amorphous and hydrated silica that is used in skin care.
Amorphous silicon dioxide and hydrated silicon dioxide do not have the same health risks. The FDA has recognized the distinction between the types of silica and finds both amorphous and hydrated silica safe for use in cosmetics and skin care products.
Silica has widespread industrial uses including use as a food additive, as an agent to clarify beverages, to control viscosity, as an antifoam agent, and as a filler in medicines and vitamins.
The best skin care lines
Check out the Best Skin Care Products of 2020:
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skin care instead of covering up imperfections. The comprehensive range of products treats everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and fragrances, Formulyst focuses on ingredients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that produce results.
The Advanced Dermatology Skin Care Program addresses the most pressing aging problems. It can be used by both men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond
References:Ryu, H, et al., 2014. ‘Assessment of the toxicity of silica nanoparticles after 90 days of topical exposure’, International Journal of Nanomedicine, 9 Suppl 2, 127-136.
Nafisi, S., Schäfer-Korting, M & Maibach, H., 2017. “Measurement of silica nanoparticles in the skin”, Agaches measurement of the skin, pp. 1141-1164.