Silicone Elastomer (Dimethyl Siloxane Elastomer, Fumed Silica)

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What is it? Silicone elastomer is a super fine, slippy, gorgeous powder ingredient that improves all kinds of colour cosmetics. It helps with oil control, improves skin feel, and helps disguise imperfections.

If you’ve used Silica Dimethyl Silylate and Silica Microspheres, I’d say silicone elastomer exists somewhere between them. It’s slippy like silica microspheres, but thickens a bit more like Silica Dimethyl Silylate (SDS).

INCI Dimethyl Siloxane Elastomer, Fumed Silica (generic)
Appearance Ultrafine white powder
Usage rate Up to 20%
Texture Ultra-smooth and rich
Scent None
Solubility Insoluble, but so fine that it is indistinguishable.
Why do we use it in formulations? Basically, it makes everything better! It blurs fine lines, improves slip, and can improve wear time by helping control sebum. It improves colour/pigment payoff and makes our cosmetics feel more expensive/luxurious. TKB lists the usage rate as up to 20%, but I’ve noticed big differences including it at less than 1%!
Do you need it? No, but if you love making high-end colour cosmetics I definitely recommend it.
Refined or unrefined? Silicone Elastomer only exists as a refined product.
Strengths It’s a potent and highly effective way to level up your cosmetic formulations.
Weaknesses  I have only found silicone elastomer for sale from TKB Trading in the USA.  They ship internationally, but I know that can get expensive.
Alternatives & Substitutions Silica Microspheres would be my first suggestion. Keep in mind that when you’re making substitutions in cosmetics even very small changes can dramatically impact the performance, wear time, and consistency of the cosmetic. I worked on a formulation that included 0.25% Silica Dimethyl Silylate (SDS), which didn’t work—I switched that 0.25% to silicone elastomer and it was perfect.
How to Work with It Avoid inhaling silicone elastomer; I find it is far less floaty/inhalation prone than Silica Dimethyl Silylate and Silica Microspheres.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, silicone elastomer should last three years or more.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Read the reviews for this product on TKB Trading to get some fun ideas for using it!
Recommended starter amount 30g (1.06oz) will last a long time!
Where to Buy it  I have only found silicone elastomer for sale from TKB Trading.

Some Formulations that Use Silicone Elastomer


Posted on

July 15, 2021