best silicone foundation

How to Find the Best Silicone Free Foundation

There’s nothing I love more than easy-to-apply makeup that makes me look flawless. In my quest to achieve a near-perfect, selfie-worthy face moment, I don’t want to cause harm to my skin. Silicones have been a mainstay in most of the beauty products we’ve all come to know, use, and love. But is it time to rethink the use of this ubiquitous ingredient?

What is Silicone and How It is Used in Makeup?

Silicone is a derivative of silica that comes from sand. When used in cosmetics, silicone is slick and slippery to the touch and is used as an emollient in makeup and skincare. An emollient is something that softens the surface of the skin and aids in the flow and spreadability of the product. 

Here are some of the benefits of silicone in makeup:

  • Allows products to be applied smoothly
  • Fills in lines and wrinkles
  • Makes skin and hair feel like silk

Silicones are mainly used in makeup because of their occlusive properties. This simply means that silicone creates a water-resistant barrier that helps to seal in and retain moisture. For this reason, silicones can be found in makeup primers, foundations, BB creams, and a variety of hair conditioning products. 

Since silicones create a water-resistant barrier on the skin which holds moisture, that also means it can retain dirt, oil, and bacteria. It is this reason why many consumers and skincare aficionados are seeking to incorporate silicone-free makeup and skincare products into their daily routines.

For those beauty babes who want to reduce their carbon footprint, being hyper-aware of what products contain silicones might mean some extra detective work on their part.

To ensure your beauty products are indeed silicone-free will mean reading the ingredients list on the back of the packaging with the same intention as reading the nutrition facts on our food’s packaging. Once washed down the sink, silicone build and accumulates in our waterways and oceans. If for no other reason, going silicone-free can not only decongest your pores, but also the environment.

Why Are Silicones Used in Beauty Products?

With so many brands offering silicone-free products, it’s only natural to wonder why it’s in the products we use in the first place. According to chemistcorner.com, here are some of the reasons silicones are incorporated into everyday products:

  • Barrier -Silicones create a barrier that locks in moisture and is water-resistant.
  • Improved Feel-Silicone is the ingredient that makes foundation apply easily and smoothly onto the skin. 
  • Increased Spreadability-Because of its low surface tension, silicones make products easy to spread. 
  • Increased Slip -Due to the low surface tension mentioned above, silicone is the main ingredient that we feel when we condition our hair and it’s silky smooth, and slippery. This allows hair to be combed and detangled easily.

Popular Silicones Found in Foundation

Most silicones either have -cone or -siloxane at the end of their names. Listed below are some of the most popular silicones found in foundations, primers, setting sprays, and skincare products. When purchasing your next silicone-free product, keep an eye out for these ingredients:

  • Dimethicone
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Cyclohexasiloxane
  • Cetearyl methicone
  • Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Trimethylsiloxysilicate
  •  Bis-Butyldimethicone Polyglyceryl-3

Benefits of Silicone-Free Foundation

With so much conflicting information online, it can be difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction when it comes to skincare and makeup. Here are some of the benefits of using a silicone-free foundation:

  • Greater absorption of beneficial ingredients found in the silicone-free foundation
  • A reduction in acne over time 
  • Contains more antioxidants and moisturizing agents
  • Reduced carbon footprint

Silicone-Free Foundation: How to Make the Switch?

So you might be curious about incorporating silicone-free makeup into your makeup routine, but how? The good news is that it’s easier than ever to find silicone-free products. You do not need to detox the skin or embark on any eccentric skincare regime to prep your skin for silicone-free foundation and products. 

Silicone-free foundations can be found in the same places you’ve come to love purchasing traditional foundations. One piece of advice I would offer when making the switch to a silicone-free foundation is to also use a primer and setting spray that is equally silicone-free. This way there is consistency in your products which will maintain the look and longevity of your flawless foundation look.

My Picks For Silicone-Free Foundation

Here are some of the most popular silicone-free foundations on the market today. I chose these products for their range of coverage, the positive customer reviews they’ve received, and the broad shade spectrum made available to women of all ethnicities.

1. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Healthy Foundation

  • Full coverage 
  • Matte finish
  • Available in 9 shades
  • Available in a 1 oz. (30ml) plastic bottle with pump
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty and Gluten-free
  • Made in the USA
  • Ingredients include Goji berries, açai, coffee cherry, elderberry, aloe vera juice, white tea, pomegranate oil, and mangosteen.
  • Available on Amazon

2. Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation

  • Winner of Allure’s 2020 Best of Beauty Award
  •  Light Coverage
  • Natural Finish
  • Features plant-based squalene, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid
  • Vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free
  • Oil-free
  • Available in 30 shades
  • Available in a 1oz. (30 ml) plastic bottle
  • Available on Amazon

3. Saie Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer

Saie Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer

  • Light Coverage
  • Sheer and dewy coverage
  • Contains SPH 35 Sunscreen
  • Available in 10 shades
  • Available in a 1.35 oz. (40ml) tube with pump
  • Gluten-free and Cruelty-free
  • Certified “Clean at Sephora”
  • Contains Licorice extract, jojoba esters, aloe vera juice extracts, and pansy flower extracts.
  • Available at sephora.com

4. Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

  • Medium coverage
  • Natural finish
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free
  • Contains vegetable-derived squalane
  • Contains berryflux vita and camellia seed oil for added skin protection
  • Available in a .31oz. (9g) portable stick
  • Contains no silicones, parabens, PEGs, talc, phthalates.
  • Available in 21 shades
  • Available on Amazon

5. Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint Clean SPH 30 Foundation

  • Light coverage
  • Natural finish
  • Refill available
  • Contains SPH 30
  • Contains rapeseed, avocado, mandarin, jojoba, and olive oils for added skin moisture
  • Contains olive-derived squalane
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free
  • Rollerball application
  • Certified “Clean at Sephora”
  • Available in 14 shades
  • Available in a .54 oz. (16ml) portable tube
  • Available on Amazon

6. LYS Beauty Triple Fix Serum Foundation

  • Buildable, light to medium coverage
  • Natural finish
  • Contains hyaluronic acid for intensive hydration
  • Contains Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)  to combat skin stress and fight signs of aging
  • Contains turmeric to visibly brighten and even skin tone
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free
  • Certified Clean at Sephora
  • Available in 35 shades
  • Available in 1oz. (30 ml) glass bottle
  • Available exclusively at sephora.com

7. Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick

  • Medium coverage
  • Natural Finish
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, and silicone
  • Contains caffeine
  • Great for dark spots and circles, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Available in 39 shades
  • Available in .5 oz. (15g) portable stick
  • $88
  • Available at sephora.com and tomford.com

Silicone-Free Foundation Primers and Setting Sprays

After you’ve washed your face and completed your skincare routine, it’s always a great idea to apply a primer before applying your foundation.

Just as you would prime a wall before painting, the same idea goes for your face. Adding any foundation without a primer will only accentuate your pores and cause the foundation to settle into the minute creases on your skin leading to a cakey and aged look. No thank you! 

Once your gorgeous foundation is applied, a setting spray “fixes” the final look into place and prevents makeup meltdown. As you opt for a silicone-free foundation, it makes sense to include a primer and setting spray that are also silicone-free. Here are my picks for silicone-free primers and setting sprays.

Silicone-Free Primers

1. Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

  • Radiant finish
  • Winner of Allure’s 2019 Best of Beauty Award
  • Contains blue agave extract for added hydration
  • Contains hemp-derived cannabis seed extract that grips makeup
  • 94% natural
  • Contains niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, aloe, sweet cherry to nourish skin for a healthy, glow
  • Free of silicones, sulfates, parabens, and oils
  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • Available in sizes: .33oz (10 ml ravel size) and 1.52 oz. (45ml)
  • Available on Amazon

2. REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Primer

REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Primer

  • Matte Finish
  • Lightweight Serum
  • Contains agave extract to smooth skin
  • Probiotic extract to support surface cell renewal
  • Alpha-glucans to support a healthy skin microbiome
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free
  • Best for oily, combo, or normal skin
  • Available on Amazon

Silicone-free Setting Sprays

1. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray

  • Contains film-former polymers create a breathable film to hold makeup in place
  • Lasts up to 16 hours
  • Contains Japanese green tea to support the moisture barrier
  • Aromatic Resin helps to blur the appearance of pores
  • Available in sizes: 1.1 oz. (34ml travel size) and 3.3 oz. (100ml)
  • Available on Amazon

2. Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime and Set Mist

Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime and Set Mist

  • Light coverage
  • Radiant finish
  • Great for normal, oily, dry, and combination skin
  • Contains niacinamide to nourish the skin
  • Contains a botanical blend of lotus, gardenia, and white waterlily
  • Available in 2.87 oz. (85ml)
  • Available on Amazon

Alternatives to Silicone-Free Foundation

In today’s vast and diverse cosmetic marketplace, there are alternatives to silicone-free foundation. Consumers seeking silicone-free alternatives will want to look for the following ingredients in their products. The following list contains polymers and binding agents that mimic the properties of silicone:

  • Coco-Caprylate/Caprate
  • Butylene glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate
  • Coconut Alkanes
  • C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate Isopropyl Myristate
  • PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate

These chemicals and compounds are mixed to mimic the consistency and purpose of Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, and other commonly used silicones.

FAQs

Question: Is Silicone-Free Foundation Good for Oily Skin?

Answer: Yes, foundations that do not contain silicones are good for those who have oily skin. The formulas are often lightweight and contain fewer additives that can clog pores that lead to breakouts.

Question: Should I wear an SPH with a silicone-free foundation?

Answer: Yes, an SPH should always be worn with any foundation. There are silicone-free and traditional foundations available that contain SPH in their formula. Be sure to check out your specific foundation to see if it contains SPH. If not, it is encouraged to apply an SPH before you apply your foundation.

Question: How Does Silicone-Free Foundation Wear Compared to a Traditional Foundation?

Answer: Silicone-free foundations wear just as long as traditional foundations, especially when a primer and setting spray is applied. Traditional foundations often are available in light-full coverage, which will affect how long it stays intact on your face.

Question: Can I Wear a Setting Powder with a Silicone-Free Foundation?

Answer: Yes, a setting powder can be worn with a silicone-free foundation.

Question: Where Can I Purchase Silicone-Free Foundation?

Answer: Silicone-free foundations can be purchased anywhere traditional foundations are available. Check out Sephora, Ulta, and other cosmetic specialty retailers for silicone-free foundation.

Question: Is Silicone Really that Bad for your Skin?

Answer: There’s a healthy debate online amongst dermatologists, skincare enthusiasts, and consumers as to whether the use of silicone is truly detrimental to the skin and body. In essence, silicones are carrier compounds whose molecules are too big to physically clog your pores. Since they are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water, they form a water-repellant barrier that can seal in oil and impurities, thus causing skin irritation. The silicone itself is not harmful to your skin.

Question: I Found a Silicone-Free Foundation, but the Ingredients Contain Silica. What is Silica?

Answer: Silica, is the natural derivative of silicone. According to livescience.com, silica is silicon or otherwise known as hydrated silica or silicon dioxide which is essentially quartz. This readily occurs in nature and can be found in sand, jasper, opal, and other minerals. While silicon occurs naturally, silicone is a synthetic substance that is safe for cosmetic use.

Best Silicone Free Foundation: Final Thoughts

Silicone-free foundations offer an alternative to those seeking a clean makeup look. Silicones in cosmetics help to spread foundation supports a neat and flawless appearance. However, these same silicones can end up in our waterways and oceans and lead to increase pollution. 

Because of this, many consumers are looking for a silicone-free foundation and thanks to many leading brands, are able to find alternatives that a skin-beneficial. The next time you find yourself staring at an empty foundation bottle, consider giving the silicone-free foundation a try.

I suggest the Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation from Ilia. This foundation has skin-protecting SPF 40, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and squalene. All of these ingredients pack a skin-nourishing punch and I love that comes in 30 shades, so there’s bound to be a shade that’s right for you. Remember to add a silicone-free primer and setting spray and you’ll be on your way to a clean and fabulous face!

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