What are Reactive Silicones and How are they Used in Cosmetics?
Reactive silicones, also known as functional silicones, are a class of silicones that have unique properties that make them ideal for use in cosmetics. They contain reactive functional groups, such as hydroxyl, amino, or methacryloxy groups, which allow them to form chemical bonds with other ingredients in a cosmetic formulation. This property makes them useful as conditioning agents and emollients, as they can help to improve the feel and performance of cosmetic products.
In cosmetics, reactive silicones are often used as a blend with other ingredients to improve the spreadability and texture of the product. For example, they can be used to increase the slip and spreadability of lotions, creams, and serums, making them easier to apply and providing a silky, smooth feel on the skin. Additionally, they can provide moisturizing benefits by forming a protective barrier on the skin, helping to prevent water loss and maintain skin hydration.
Types of Reactive Silicones
The most common types of reactive silicones used in cosmetics are silicones containing hydroxyl, amino, and epoxy functional groups. Hydroxyl-functional silicones, such as Silaplane FM-4421 , are the most widely used type of reactive silicone in cosmetics. They are hydrophobic (water-repellent) and provide a silky, smooth feel on the skin. They are also commonly used as a blending ingredient to improve the spreadability and texture of cosmetic products, and to provide moisturizing benefits. Hydroxy groups are better suited for Urethane resin and Polyester.
Amino-functional silicones, such as Silaplane FM-3325, are also widely used in cosmetics. They are known for their ability to provide excellent conditioning and detangling properties to hair, as well as to enhance the spreadability and texture of cosmetic products. They can be found in hair care products such as shampoos and conditioners, and are often used to improve the feel and manageability of hair, as well as to provide a smooth and shiny appearance. Amino groups are flexible and compatible with Polyamide, Polyimide, Epoxy and Urea resins.
Methacryloxy-functional silicones, such as Silaplane FM-7711, are less commonly used in cosmetics, but they have unique properties that make them useful in certain applications. For example, they can help to improve the adhesion of other ingredients in a formulation, such as pigments or particles, and can also improve the water resistance of sunscreens. Methacryloxies are almost exclusively compatible with Acrylics.
Physical Properties and Benefits of Reactive Silicones in Cosmetics
In addition to their physical properties, reactive silicones can also enhance the performance of other cosmetic ingredients. For example, they can help to improve the longevity and stability of cosmetic products by preventing oxidation and evaporation of volatile ingredients. They can also serve as a delivery system for active ingredients, helping to improve their efficacy and absorption into the skin.
Overall, reactive silicones play an important role in the formulation of many cosmetic products, contributing to their physical and performance properties. The specific type of reactive silicone used in a cosmetic formulation is typically chosen based on the desired properties and performance requirements of the final product. For example, hydroxyl-functional silicones may be preferred for their moisturizing benefits, while amino-functional silicones may be used for their conditioning and detangling properties.
Overall, reactive silicones are an essential ingredient in many cosmetic products, contributing to their physical properties and performance. Whether used as a blending ingredient to improve the spreadability and texture of products, as a conditioning agent for hair, or as a delivery system for active ingredients, reactive silicones have a wide range of applications in the cosmetics industry.
We support a wide product range with multiple molecular weights and viscosities and we can produce new grades after consultation with our RnD department. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.