Silicones are derived from the silicon–oxygen backbone structure found in sand, chemically modified with carbon and hydrogen to enhance compatibility.
The ingredient’s ability to increase colour uniformity and help to disperse pigments in low viscosity systems seen its’ popularity rise with the onset of the global alphabet cream craze.
Netherlands-based silicones player BRB is one firm consistently catering to this trend and has just introduced a fluid blend, ‘BRB PB 152’, designed to achieve a high refractive and a pleasant and soft sensorial feel in skin and hair care products.
High glossiness and improved texture
Featuring Trimethyl Pentaphenyl Trisiloxane, Diphenylsiloxyl Phenyl Trimethicone and Caprylyl Methicone, the company claims the product brings high glossiness to formulation due to its high refractive index.
According to the global player, used with a good suspending agent, ‘BRB PB 152’ can be used to formulate oil-in-lotion toner products or enhance the appearance and feel of hair by providing body and glossiness and to improve the texture of damaged hair.
“It can be formulated into water based hair spray with suspended oil droplets of BRB PB 152 in formulation and can also be used in hair conditioners, serums and treatments,” said representatives in a press release.
Concerns from environmentalists
Despite the increase of silicone use in personal care products, there has been an equal rise in demand for naturals and organics which has seen the ingredient come under consumer scrutiny.
Accusations over the environmental impact of the ingredient have circulated the internet, concentrating on the man-made polymer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which many environmental and lobby groups erroneously assumed would never degrade in the environment.
However, when present in the environment, silicones ultimately degrade into water, CO2 and silica and/or silicates.
In fact, silica and silicates are some of the most abundant natural materials in the form of sand, quartz, flint and many other materials.
Nevertheless, developments like organomodified or hybrid silicones – a substance which is part silicone, part natural are opening up new markets.