Silica Dimethyl Silylate

What is it? Silica Dimethyl Silylate is an ultra-lightweight fumed silica—it’s really different from silica microspheres.
INCI Silica Dimethyl Silylate
Appearance Loose, white powder
Usage rate 0.1–30%
Texture Fluffy, lightweight powder. If you get any on your hands it is immediately so dry that your fingers will feel skiddy, like they’re covered in chalk.
Scent Nothing noticeable
Solubility Insoluble
Why do we use it in formulations? Silica Dimethyl Silylate is insanely absorbent. When combined with oils it creates transparent oil gels, which is very cool, and also reduces the oily feel. It also contributes viscosity to liquid cosmetics like liquid eyeliner and lipstick, and helps reduce pigment settling (very helpful for makeup applied to parts of the face that move/crease a lot). It is so dang absorbent that it also provides quite a lot of grip to things—I’ve used it in hair products and it is like a supercharged dry shampoo.
Do you need it? You only need Silica Dimethyl Silylate if you’re very passionate about making makeup.
Refined or unrefined? Silica Dimethyl Silylate only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Very cool multi-use ingredient that improves the performance of many cream and liquid cosmetics by offering thickening, oil control, and pigment settling/bleeding.
Weaknesses It’s pretty niche; if you don’t make makeup or hair products you likely won’t use it all that much.
Alternatives & Substitutions You’ll need to determine what the Silica Dimethyl Silylate is doing in a formulation. If it’s there mostly for oil absorption (in a hair product, for instance) something like silica microspheres or calcium carbonate might do the trick. For oil thickening, you could try a fatty thickener like stearic acid (though that will add quite a lot of richness that Silica Dimethyl Silylate wouldn’t add).
How to Work with It Wear a dust mask! Silica Dimethyl Silylate is insanely light and floaty—just opening the bag will send it floating around the room. It can be hot or cold processed; I like to add it to my oil phase.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Silica Dimethyl Silylate should last indefinitely.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks You can use Silica Dimethyl Silylate to make your own version of this product!
Recommended starter amount 30g (1.06oz) or less—an ounce of this stuff is a lot, volume-wise.
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use Silica Dimethyl Silylate


Posted on

February 10, 2020