We’re going to mention silicones in this review quite often, so let’s refresh on what this ingredient does and who may want to approach it with caution.
In a nutshell, silicones aren’t the first ingredient to reach for in terms of overall skin benefits, but they can contribute to better product performance—especially for makeup longevity and mattifying oily skin. “Dimethicone is a noncomedogenic ingredient that forms a film over pores to make skin appear smoother and help foundation glide on easily,” Rebecca Marcus, M.D., FAAD. says about the addition.
That being said, other skin experts have told me that this ingredient can cause an occlusive environment on the skin, which then in turn may cause breakouts.
There’s also an environmental concern here because many silicones do not break down easily in water. And we must remember, even if we are able to wash the molecule off our skin, it doesn’t just disappear. It goes down the drain and begins to bioaccumulate in our water supply.
On the flip side, there aren’t that many great natural alternatives as of right now, so many brands focused on performance continue utilizing them for long-lasting wear. At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. We’ve included products both with and without silicones, but we call it out when we see it so you can make that call.