Why You Need Silicone in Your Hand Cream

woman applying hand cream with silicone
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If you are submerged into the world of skincare, you have probably already noticed that from time to time a new notorious ingredient appears, to which people attach negative connotations. In addition to parabens, aluminum, alcohol, and other ingredients, silicones have been on this list for a long time. If that is so, you may be wondering, why you need silicone in hand creams? Why do hand cream brands still include this in their ingredients? What makes it an effective ingredient in a moisturizer for hands?

Like a true skincare geek, it’s not enough that you know about skincare ingredients that are good for your skin, like alpha hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids. You might also be well-versed when combining skincare products, like using hyaluronic acid and vitamin C together. But the seemingly shady skincare ingredients such as silicone can be quite of interest too!

So let’s get to know more about silicones, and maybe we’ll break down some prejudices along the way!

What are silicones?

When we think of silicones, we may assume that these are purely synthetic ingredients. But this is far from true. Silicone originates from silicon found in nature. From this natural material, a series of formulations create silicone that is used in skincare, which hand cream brands optimize for that purpose.

What is the role of silicone in skincare products?

Silicones have numerous roles in skin care products and this is one of their huge benefits. In a way, we can look at them as chameleon ingredients that adapt to the formulation of any skincare product, including a lot of hand cream brands.

There are several types of silicone (you’ve probably heard of dimethicone and Cyclopentasiloxane) and their main function depends on what type they are. We can divide the role of silicone into the role they have on skin and the role in skin care product formulations. What does this mean? Well, they can smooth the skin, help with hydration, and make the skin soft. But at the same time, they can be used to promote the spreadability of the product or so that other skincare ingredients can be layered evenly on the skin.

Why do hand cream brands have silicone in their ingredients list?

Silicone-containing hand creams are a favorite among skincare enthusiasts and for good reason. First of all, silicones like Cyclopentasiloxane in hand creams allow other ingredients to be applied evenly, and then the compound evaporates and all trace of it is lost. After it evaporates, the skin remains soft, smooth, and tender — making the product an effective moisturizer for hands.

Depending on the type of silicone used in the formulation, different product densities and skin sensations can be achieved for a hand cream. We all have our own preferences when it comes to our choice of moisturizer for hands. As such, hand cream brands have learned to tailor their products based on the needs and desires of their market. 

Hand cream brands understand that some customers may prefer that their hand cream is absorbed quickly and that only fine, the light film remains on the skin. But some others (particularly those with dry skin) need a thicker formulation that will richly nourish the skin on their hands. All this is made possible by including silicones that help achieve the particular desired consistency and feel on the skin.

In addition, silicones such as dimethicone (which is present in Cerave‘s Therapeutic Hand Cream) act as very gentle emollients and in combination with humectants (such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe, panthenol, and others) prevent TEWL and provide optimal skin hydration.

Silicone as Effective ingredient in a Moisturizer for Hands

Silicones may not be the darling ingredient in the skincare community, but the fact is that there is not enough scientific confirmation for the rumors going about this ingredient. As you can see, silicones have many good properties and they definitely deserve their place in formulations such as hand creams because of the many benefits they offer to the skin. Take your pick from trusted hand cream brands so that you’ll know you have an effective and safe moisturizer for hands.