A Hydrophilic Silicone Elastomer for Broader Formulating Flexibility

Silicone elastomers have claimed a strong position in the realm of skin care and color cosmetics as consumers continue to focus on luxurious aesthetics, distinctive textures and comfortable wear. First-generation silicone elastomers introduced a dry, powdery sensation that left a unique after-feel on the skin.1 As the technology advanced, these cross-linked silicone polymers expanded beyond carrier fluids such as dimethicone and cyclomethicone, to other organic volatile ingredients that extended their formulating possibilities2 and allowed broader capabilities with organic materials.

A recent development takes the versatility of silicone elastomers a step further by combining an alkyl methyl siloxane carrier fluid of moderate volatility with a high molecular weight polyglycol-modified silicone elastomer, referred to as a hydro elastomer blend. The result is a material that meets the difficult formulating challenge of combining organic compatibility with the ability to incorporate water and/or polar solvents with polar actives, as will be shown. Note that for ease of reading, in this article, the following nomenclature is used: silicone elastomer blend, where INCI = Dimethicone Crosspolymer; silicone organic elastomer blend, where INCI = Dimethicone/bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer; and hydro elastomer blend, where INCI = PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer.

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