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Are Silicones “Natural”?

Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth – after oxygen – and the seventh most abundant element in the universe. Silicones are derived from natural silicon dioxide (common beach sand), the most abundant silicon compound in the earth’s crust making up 28 percent of its mass, and more than 90 percent of the earth’s crust are silicate minerals. The human body also requires silicone for the synthesis of elastin and collagen with the highest amount of silicon residing in the aorta.

Through a polymerization process and chemical substitutions to the natural silicon dioxide, an entire new class of ingredients is created. Silicone contains the basic (Si-O-Si) siloxane backbone which is simply built up with additional groups. Crosslinking these groups creates resins and elastomers widely used in the medical field.

Various building blocks of silicone can be natural but the process used to manufacture them renders the final ingredient synthetic. While most of the silicones used in ColorsperseTM dispersions for cosmetic production are synthetic, many can be considered natural.