Silicone For Skin: Benefits, How To Use, And Side Effects

Because these synthetic polymers have skin-healing and enhancing properties.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Nermeen Bedair, MD, PhD (Dermatology)
Written by Monomita Chakraborty, Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Anjali Sayee
Fact-checked by Swathi E, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 

Silicones are a controversial ingredient in the cosmetic industry, and many think twice before using silicone for skin. Most people believe that silicones may congest the pores and cause acne breakouts. However, they are non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. Silicones are used in many skin care and cosmetic products to help you attain smooth and silky skin. If you are still worried about their safety and confused about using silicones for your skin or hair, we can help. This article discusses why silicones are used in skin and hair products to help you make an informed decision. Read on.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Silicone

What Is It?
A colorless, rubber-like polymer commonly used in skin and hair care products.

What Are Its Benefits?
It aids wound healing, helps lock in moisture, and makes the skin soft and smooth.

Who Can Use It?
It can be used by anyone as they are generally non-irritating and hypoallergenic. However, people with sensitive or acne-prone skin should avoid it, as it might aggravate acne.

How Often?
It can be used a few days a week or every day, depending on your skin type. You should consult a medical professional before proceeding with the usage.

Some individuals might be allergic or sensitive to it. It can cause irritation, dryness, burning, inflammation, swelling, itching, and redness.

What Are Silicones?

Silicones are synthetic polymers that contain silicon, oxygen, and other elements, including carbon and hydrogen. From skin care to hair care, silicones are used in a wide range of cosmetic products. The most common types of silicones are:

  • Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Cyclohexasiloxane
  • Dimethicone
  • Cetearyl methicone

Wondering what silicone does in skin care products? Read the next section to find out!

Why Are Silicones Used In Skin Care Products?

Woman applying matte foundation that contains silicones
Image: IStock

Silicones improve the texture and feel of a product.  They are often used in beauty products to give them a non-sticky, matte, and non-oily finish and make them sweat and water-proof.

Silicones don’t penetrate the skin but form a barrier to prevent moisture loss and lock in the products. That is why they are widely used in primers and liquid foundations.

Silicones also fill in wrinkles and fine lines to make the skin appear smoother and are fantastic for leave-on skin care products.

Silicones have a variety of benefits for the skin that you may not be aware of. Keep scrolling to find out.

Benefits Of Silicone For The Skin

1. May Heal Wounds and Improve Scarring

Silicones may help reduce scars
Image: IStock

Topical silicone gel products promote wound healing and improve the appearance of scars (1). Products like silicone gel, sheets, and ointments are commonly used in hospitals to repair damaged skin tissues and promote collagen formation. They protect wounds against excessive moisture, dryness, and infections to prevent scarring. and minimize wound redness.

protip_icon Did You Know?

Silicone gels are widely used in treatment of severe burns medically. They heal and seal wounds while also letting them breathe.

2. May Improve The Skin Texture

Dimethicone, a type of silicone, is commonly used in cosmetics and skin care products like creams, lotions and serums to make the skin feel silky smooth, soft, and mattified. It also helps fill the pores and facial fine lines, efficiently smoothing the skin’s texture.

3. May Protect Your Skin

Silicones protect your skin
Image: IStock

As per the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), dimethicone is a safe skin care component that reduces irritation and redness and protects the skin from additional harm (2). It is also used as a moisturizer, preventing moisture loss, and improving skins health and appearance, giving it a hydrated and plump look.

If you are wondering about how to use silicones as an anti-aging remedy and for improving your skin wellness, here is the answer.

How To Use Silicone For Skin

Woman applying sunscreen containing silicones on the beach
Image: IStock

Prescription silicone products are available for use on scars. Silicone is also found in various skin care products like moisturizers, serums, primers, and sunscreens. You can buy products with silicones and use them as per the instructions.

In the next sections, we have answered some common queries that you may have regarding silicones.

protip_icon Quick Tip

Experts advise against using silicones with comedogenic products, as it may lead to pore clogging and breakouts.

Is Silicone Good Or Bad For Your Skin?

Silicones do not offer long-term improvement unless you are using them for wound healing. Topical silicones do not damage the skin and may offer temporary benefits by making it feel smoother and softer.

Does Silicone Cause Acne?

Silicones may cause acne in people with oily skin
Image: IStock

No. Silicones are classified as non-comedogenic, meaning they cannot clog the pores. However, people with acne-prone and oily skin types are advised to avoid silicone-based products. If you do not cleanse them properly, silicone residue may trap dirt and oil and aggravate acne.

Silicone may not cause acne on its own, but improper usage may trigger breakouts. Hence, it is important to remove your makeup and cleanse your skin twice a day to prevent this. Silicone may also trigger allergic reactions. The next section explores the side effects in detail.

Side Effects Of Silicone On The Skin

Silicone may trigger allergic reactions and cause side effects like:

  •  Irritation
  •  Dryness
  •  Inflammation
  •  Swelling
  •  Burning
  •  Itching
  •  Redness

If you notice these symptoms, discontinue using the product and consult a doctor.

Silicones are not easily welcomed as skin care ingredients, as most people believe they are not safe for the skin. However, using silicones for skin is not a bad idea as they are non-comedogenic and help you achieve soft and smooth skin. Silicones help lock in the moisture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin texture. You can find this ingredient in skin care products like serums, primers, moisturizers, and sunscreens. If you have not encountered any issues using silicone products, there is no need to discontinue them. However, consult a doctor if you experience any side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is glycerin the same as silicone?

No, there is a fundamental difference between silicone and glycerin. Silicone is a non-toxic synthetic compound made of silica, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Glycerin is a natural organic compound derived from animal fats or vegetable oils.

How long does silicone gel take to work?

A silicone gel may take between 2 to 3 weeks to heal the scars.

Can you reuse silicone sheets?

Yes, you can reuse silicone sheets. Ensure that you wash them every day before you apply them.

Key Takeaways

  • Silicones are added to improve the texture of skin care products and make them sweat-resistant and waterproof.
  • Many people believe that silicones clog the skin pores and cause acne breakouts, but these synthetic polymers have several skin benefits.
  • They may reduce scarring, protect the skin, and enhance the skin texture.
  • Try skincare products that contain silicone and use it in the proper way to avoid its side effects.

Know more about the amazing benefits of silicones in skin and hair care. Check out this video to learn how they can help protect, nourish, and improve the look and feel of your skin and hair.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Use of Silicone Adhesives for Scar Reduction
  2. Safety Assessment of Dimethicone Crosspolymers as Used in Cosmetics
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