I recently took a journey into silicone free skin care products because I started breaking out suddenly and while searching for a solution I read on a blog that silicones in facial products can cause breakouts in very hot and humid weather. That made sense to me since my breakouts started in early July. I launched an epic search for silicone free replacements for my favorite creams and lotions and let me tell you, they were not easy to find.
Silicones are omni-present these days in personal care products. They’re in serums, moisturizers, sunscreens, primers, makeup, and even most shampoos and conditioners. It would be frightening if there were anything wrong with them. Fortunately, there’s not anything harmful about silicones. Silicones are naturally derived substances that come from silica or more commonly sand. They’re then combined into long-chain molecules to form different silicones for different purposes with names like cyclopentasiloxane or dimethicone.
My journey was simply to find out if I could cure my acne by stripping silicones out of my daily skincare routine. And to cut to the chase, I’ll tell you now that it did not cure my acne. But I tried all these products, so I figured I might as well review them for you just in case you’re on the hunt for silicone free products for any reason.
Coppertone Oil Free Faces SPF 50 Sunscreen
This is non-comedogenic, oil and silicone free so it should be great for breakout prone skin. The sun protection is from both chemical and physical sunscreens so it provides good broad spectrum coverage. This is a fairly thick, heavy cream that unfortunately goes on white and shiny but it stays shiny all day and felt tacky. It never dried down to a matte finish, so it can’t be worn without makeup over it to counteract the shine. This cost $7.99 for 3 oz. at drugstores.
Super Goop Everyday Face & Body Lotion SPF 30
I bought this on line and I had really high hopes for it based on the glowing reviews. It was developed by a doctor and is fragrance, oil, paraben and oxybenzone free. It’s not completely silicone free, but the one silicone it does contain is 6th on the inactive ingredients list. The sun protection is from both chemical and physical sunscreens so it provides good broad spectrum coverage. The tube is pretty small containing only 1.5 ounces for around $15. It’s not as thick or as shiny as the Coppertone, but like the Coppertone it stays tacky and became more shiny as the day wore on.
Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Daily Balancing Moisturizer
An all organic, paraben and silicone free moisturizer that I was also really excited about. It contains vitamin e and other antioxidants, lycopene to reduce blotchiness and watermelon and red tea to control oil and fight breakouts. So this should be very soothing and very moisturizing. I used it every day in place of my antioxidant serum and while I did find it soothing, it wasn’t very moisturizing. I do love the air-tight pump packaging so the antioxidants will stay fresh. But I didn’t like the smell or the feel of this one. It smells soooo good, it made me hungry all day. It’s like cotton candy, and a cake baking all rolled into one… delish! but not for my face. It feels sticky and gooey and I couldn’t wait to wash my hands after applying it. It also left a shiny finish. $14.99 for 1.7 oz. at CVS.
Aveeno Active Naturals Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer with SPF 30
This is not silicone free, but the silicones are 10th and 16th on the ingredients list. It contains vitamins A, C, and E in an air-tight pump container. I preferred this to the other products with sunscreen. It has a light citrus scent and is oil free, hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic. It’s a light weight cream that goes on non-greasy and spreads easily. It has no white residue and dries to a dewey finish, so again not matte, but not overly shiny either. $13.99 for 2.5 oz. at drugstores.
Pur Minerals CC Cream
Finally, one that I actually like a lot! This is a simple color correcting cream meaning it doesn’t contain any anti-aging ingredients, but it does contain broad spectrum all mineral sunblock and pigment. I got it in Light from Ulta for $39. Like many CC creams this goes on whitish/grayish at first and then adjusts to a normal skin-tone. It’s a lightweight cream that spreads and blends easily. It did a good job of evening out my skin tone and looks good with a light dusting of powder for a natural look.
Lorac “I’m So Sensitive” Soothing Face Primer
By far, my favorite of the silicone free products I tried! This is oil, silicone, paraben and fragrance free. It’s a water based formula that contains a healthy dose of antioxidants and moisturizers to smooth and sooth skin. The texture is like a cross between a gel and a cream that goes on smooth and spreads evenly. It’s not heavy or greasy and it dries down to a natural looking semi-matte finish that help makeup apply more smoothly. I can’t say it made my makeup last any longer, but it feels great and is super moisturizing so it’s great for dry or sensitive skin. $32 for 1.7 oz. at Ulta.
As you can tell, I wasn’t a fan of most of the silicone free products. The silicones really provide the matte, non-tacky dry down that I’ve come to love and expect in my products. So on the one hand, I’m glad that it wasn’t the silicones that were causing my breakouts so I could happily go back to using my silicone laden lotions and potions. On the other hand, the search for the cause and cure for adult acne continues…