DIMETHICONE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT
Dimethicone, is a commonly used silicone-based polymer found in cosmetic products and has been a go-to ingredient for enhancing skin softness and flexibility. While considered safe for the skin, and non-comedogenic, contrary to what early information has led us to believe, dimethicone presents several environmental and health concerns that have prompted SAPPHO to not use it.
Let’s break down these concerns:
a) Contamination and Toxicity:
Since 2008, dimethicone/silicones have been controversial ingredient. Studies have shown that dimethicone can easily become contaminated with toxins during its production process.in the process of production "Environment Canada assessments concluded that cyclotetrasiloxane and cylcopentasiloxane — also known as D4 and D5 — are toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms i,ii . Also, the European Union classifies D4 as a endocrine disruptor, based on evidence that it interferes with human hormone function iii, and a possible reproductive toxicant that may impair human fertility iv. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) silicone polymers are produced from D4 and contain residual amounts of D4 and D5. Dimethicone’s common presence in cosmetics makes it a key player in this issue.
For more information on Siloxanes, check out The Dirty Dozen - Siloxanes David Suzuki Foundation https://davidsuzuki.org/living-green/dirty-dozen-siloxanes/
b) Non-Biodegradability and can Bioaccumulate.
"Dimethicone can bioaccumulate, particularly in aquatic organisms.
Bioaccumulation occurs when an organism absorbs a substance at a faster rate than it can eliminate, leading to a buildup of the substance in the organism's tissues. Over time, this accumulation can adversely affect the health of the organism and the overall ecosystem.
PFAS are also bio - accumulative and so if found in the dimethicone, further compound these environmental concerns.
c) Potential Irritant to Acne and Skin Health can be an irritant to acne and skin health
Studies have suggested that dimethicone can exacerbate acne and potentially harm skin health. Dimethicone creates a thin, barrier on the skin’s surface, which can help to lock in moisture and make the skin appear smoother. However, this barrier can also trap oil, dead skin cells, and other impurities within the pores.
c) Result of i a Llong History of Animal Testing.
Dimethicone’s historical use is intertwined with a legacy of animal testing. The beauty and cosmetics industry has a complex history of testing products and ingredients on animals to assess safety and efficacy (here is an example). Countless animals are subjected to laboratory experiments to determine the effects of substances like dimethicone.
Sustainability is not possible if we continue to contaminate our world with non- biodegradable substances that wash or leach into our water and land – embracing this ingredient has always broken my heart – clean beauty was imagined to save lives and that includes our fish and wildlife.
SAPPHO has been able to create products that perform exceptionally work perfectly well without the inclusion of dimethicone. For instance, Our brow pomades are water resistant without the use of intentional PFAS or using dimethicone and they are packaged in recyclable glass. This commitment to sustainability and product quality comes at a slightly higher cost. Unfortunately, the pursuit of lower production costs is a driving force in the market often with the result being environmental degradation.
You can make a difference with every choice you make. How can you become a part of the solution? Choose products that align with your values and support brands that prioritize clean, conscious, and cruelty-free beauty. Together, we can create a world where beauty doesn't come at the expense of our planet or its inhabitants.
In our search for PFAS free makeup we came across this list below of cosmetic ingredients linked to products that Clearya has found to be correlated with PFAS.