Euro Cosmetics Magazine - Elkay Silicones

Silicone chemicals in cosmetics applications and their implications to the environment,health and sustainability

By Dr. Anwar Sayyed, Corresponding author and Dr. Rahul Kulkarni, Elkay (Silicones) Chemicals Pvt. Ltd.,

October 2022


Silicone chemicals exhibit unique surface as well as bulk properties that make them highly desirable for cosmetic applications. These include chemical inertness, biocompatibility, lubricity, comfort feel, slippery feel, compatibility with various formulations, hydrophobicity,
hydrophilicity, broad synthetic molecular design options, and unique ability to combine several properties into one single molecule.
These properties are possible due to unique molecular characteristics such as low surface energy, flexible bonds, high bond energy; high thermally stability. In recent times, these characteristics are becoming more relevant when viewed from the standpoint of environmental
compatibility and overall sustainability. As an example, at equal grammage, silicones exhibit a 70% lower carbon footprint than their organic counterpart.
Most importantly, silicone molecules represent dual orgno-inorgano properties due to the presence of inorganic bond Si-O-Si and organic bond Si-C, offering mixed organic and inorganic properties. As a result, the chemist can design molecules to combine several unique properties into a single molecule and not possible through traditional organic chemistry synthesis. These molecules offer far better value when you view them from the point of view of sustainability, recycling and environmental compatibility.
Thus, it is possible to create a silicone molecule that would offer super hydrophobic surfaces or super-spreadable hydrophilic surfaces simply by modifying the synthetic route. Additionally, hydrolysation technology allows us to chemically combine organic moieties with Siloxane backbone (“Si–C” bond), offering unique hybrid properties and superior environmental compatibility and sustainability options.
Thus, there are immense possibilities to create hybrid molecules that would offer superior properties targeted for specific applications.
The present state of technology has barely scratched the surface concerning the type of molecules that have offered great promise to the cosmetics industry.
The present paper will discuss silicone molecular engineering along with its applicability in cosmetics formulation and its implication for sustainability and environmental compatibility.



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