Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Silicone Molecule Example

Image of a dimethicone molecule, commonly found in skincare, and makeup.

Silicones, what you need to know

Silicones have many different forms and are used widely in the medical field for wound healing, burn healing, and bandage material) for cosmetics(in liquid foundation), and hair products(leave in shine products). 

I'm finding my clients, and estheticians don't have a lot of information on silicone based ingredients  so I'm here to provide you with a little back information.

Silicone is derived from Silica, a type of sand, commonly used as a physical bead exfoliant in skincare.  Forms are also in more of a soft gel/clear light weight cream texture in foundation, acne treatments, and barrier creams. It's most common forms in skincare and cosmetics are listed in the ingredients as phenyltrimethicone, cylohexasiloxane, cyclopensiloxane, and dimethicone.

Silicones are large molecules that cannot penetrate the skin due to its size, however, in make-up this is a positive.  Silicones are often used in a liquid/gel form in liquid foundations to help foundation to smooth over the skin evenly, and because it doesn't penetrate the skin and its hydrous properties evaporate quickly, foundation stays put on the skin longer and doesn't travel around your complexion.

In skincare silicones are used in BB creams so product goes on thicker for more tint coverage but feels very light, and is also used in barrier creams for sensitive skin, or in acne treatments.  Its benefits in barrier products are that its light to the touch, softens the skin, doesn't penetrate skin so it will provideall day physical protection for skin.  This way wind won't come into direct contact with a compromised lipid barrier of skin(skin can become very dehydrated when exposed to cold winds).  Silicones are very porous as well, so skin can still function normally under it, without blocking pores, or ostia.

In acne skincare silicones are widely used.  The light texture, the skin softening benefits, and porous tendencies allow deep penetrating small molecules of active ingredients to penetrate and treat acne, while protecting and keeping irritants off the skin helping greatly with clients suffering from acne.  Silicones also have a mattifying effect on the skin.

 There is controversy surrounding silicones worsen acne. I've researched this extensively and have come to the conclusion that silicones are used in the medical field as wound dressing, burn healing and wound healing because silicones have less irritation risk than other options.  Burns need oxygen exposure to heal, and acne bacteria (propionibacterium acnes)  dies when coming into contact with oxygen, demonstrating that silicones are "breatheable". Making it an excellent ingredient for acne products. Also because silicones are so porous and are too large to block or penetrate ostia  and skin functions so well through it, its highly unlikely they cause worsening of acne conditions, but there are few studies done on this topic, for me to source as a reference. 

To read more on silicones in the beauty industry, and in the medical field check out the following links:

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Dr. Yves Bolduc, Health Minister, has officially ban tanning for minors in Quebec! Canadian Dermatologist Association is pushing this for the rest of Canada, their campaign video has been viewed by 41,000 people.
[Indoor Tanning Isn't Pretty]
 Also see for more information on indoor tanning ban in Quebec:
CBC News Health:

Monday, 16 July 2012

Toners: Whats the Point?!

In the past we were taught toners are meant to be used after cleansing the skin to restore pH balance, and remove cleanser reminence.  Over the years this has changed, here are a few new facts regarding the purpose of toning the skin.

Point 1:
NOT ALL TONERS ARE TREATED EQUALLY. You don't always need to tone the skin. professional cleansers are already pH balanced to the skin it is meant to treat so restoring pH balance with your toner is not necissary. 

Point 2:
If you rinse your skin properly you will not need to use your toner to remove reminence

So why do we tone our skin?

I avoid saying 'depends' as much as possible, buuut, it depends on the skincare line your using and what skin condition is being treated. Mist toners are meant to hydrate the skin(and usually have a few more gentle benefits) so mist toning a few times a day even over your makeup(depending on what make up you use) refreshes and protects the skin.

Many toners for acneic skin conditions or oily skin types are not in mist form, and often contain ingredients that aid in cell turn over and oil absorption(like salicylic acid, or benzyl peroxide for instance). These types of toners should be applied similar to a serum, and are a stronger treatment for more severe skin conditions.  As a skin therapist it is your job to stay up to date with the skincare line you use, and KNOW the ingredients in your acne/oily line.

In conclusion:  toners are now being treated as a hydrating product, or as a serum. They aren't the essential step everyone needs, like it used to be taught. It all depends on the skin type but cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize are definately the first steps....

Thursday, 3 May 2012

I work with a few different skincare lines and one of them has recently launched a new anti aging product loaded with different types of peptides. Peptides do quite the array of repairing, inspiring me to break it down a little. Keep in mind, there are many many types of peptides, these are just a few.

The main components of aging in the skin:

A.G.E(Advanced Glycation End-product)-When collgen protein and sugars found naturally in the skin link together its called glycation. This process causes loss of elasticity in the skin.

M.M.P's- mmp's are enzymes naturally occurring  in the skin. When your young they are balanced with the amount of collagen and elastin in the skin, but as you age you produce collagen and elastin at a slower rate, resulting in mmp's breaking down too much collagen and elastin.

R.O.S.(Reactive Oxygen Species)- are a byproduct of oxygen in the skin. Also known as free radical damage) (Free radical damage is treated with powerful anti oxidants, not peptides, however ROS's are a major contributor to signs of aging, and should not be skipped)

Addressing the problem with Peptides:

AGE's- Argenine/lysine polypeptide- These peptides act as a sugar trap so sugars cannot cross link with                                   collagen causing glycation.

MMP's-Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 stimulates collagen synthesis, overrides MMP's.  This peptide is essential for TGF(tissue growth factor).

These peptides will be labelled on skincare packaging so read your ingredients!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

FDA(Food and Drug Association in the U.S.) is changing sunscreen regulations, and Health Canada is soon to follow. Check out the link below, an article by the Globe and Mail for for information: