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Conscious Beauty Choices: Breaking Free from Silicones – and Plastic

While the spotlight rightfully shines on the ban on single-use plastics in Canada, the environmental impact of silicones remains largely unspoken. From lotions and hair conditioners to makeup, nail polish, and even baby lotions, silicones have become ubiquitous in the cosmetics industry. It's time to unravel the intricacies of silicone's eco-toxicity, exploring its biodegradability concerns and shedding light on sustainable alternatives.

Although silicones may be naturally derived from sand, their process to synthesize them is incredibly eco-toxic. For this reason, none of our OBLOOM hair products contain them.

One of the paramount concerns surrounding silicones is their biodegradability – or lack thereof. While recent efforts have been made to filter out microplastics generated by the manufacturing and degradation of plastics, tackling the environmental footprint of silicones presents a unique challenge: Unlike plastics, silicones resist filtration and persist in our soil, water, and eventually, within our bodies.

The insidious nature of silicones raises questions about their long-term impact on 
ecosystems and human health.

A quick scan of your product's ingredient list might reveal the presence of silicones, often concealed behind names ending in "cone," "siloxane," or "conol." Dimethicone, cyclomethicone, dimethiconol, cyclopentasiloxane – these are the silent culprits contributing to the eco-toxicity conundrum. As consumers, being informed about these sneaky additives empowers us to make conscious choices that align with both personal well-being and environmental sustainability.


Here's a list of some of the most commonly used silicone ingredients in your cosmetics. Although cosmetic companies often reformulate their products to align with the latest trends, scientific advancements, and consumer demands, many have continued to use these silicones due to their cost-effectiveness. You can find some or many of these listed in your product's ingredient list:

  • Aminopropyl Dimethicone

  • Cetearyl Methicone

  • Cyclomethicone

  • Behenoxy Dimethicone

  • C24-28 Alkyl Dimethicone

  • C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone

  • C30-45 Alkyl Methicone

  • Dimethicone

  • Nylon-12 and nylon-66

  • Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

  • Dimethiconol

  • Bis-PEG-18 methyl ether dimethyl silane

  • Triethoxycaprylylsilane

  • Triethoxycaprylylsilane crosspolymer

  • Cyclopentasiloxane

  • Polydimethylsiloxane

  • Siloxane

  • Polyvinylpyrrolidone

  • Dimethicone copolyol

  • Cyclohexasiloxane

  • Stearoxy Dimethicone

  • Stearyl Dimethicone 

  • Phenyl Trimethicone

  • Lauryl Methicone Copolyol

Thankfully, the beauty industry is not without alternatives to silicones and plastics! The growing awareness of eco-friendly alternatives is paving the way for change. Take, for instance, the remarkable shift towards nature-derived products.

A shining example is our own gorgeous hair oil: a luxurious blend of plant-derived ingredients that leave your hair silky smooth, sans-silicones. To top it off, it comes packaged in an amber glass bottle, reflecting our commitment to a plastic-free future! (Plus, amber glass protects oil's volatility) It's certainly more costly for us to produce and package in such a way, but these small changes matter to us – and they should matter to you as well.

Silicone alternatives for hair and skincare:

The cosmetics industry has seen a growing demand for nature-derived and sustainable alternatives to traditional silicones. Some of these alternatives aim to provide similar benefits without the potential environmental concerns associated with certain silicones. Here are a few nature-derived silicone alternatives commonly used in the cosmetics industry:

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: Derived from coconut oil and glycerin, it serves as a natural alternative to dimethicone, offering emollient properties.

  • Jojoba: Known for its moisturizing benefits, jojoba (which is often called an oil but it's really a liquid wax) can act as a natural alternative to silicones in certain formulations. It has a slightly heavier afterfeel than some of the lighter emollients mentioned here, but it's closest to the body's own sebum (oil) and for that, often used in baby products and skincare in general.

  • Squalane: Derived from olive oil or sugarcane, squalane is an excellent emollient with hydrating properties. Often also called olive squalane.

  • Isoamyl Laurate: This natural alternative is derived from sugar beets and offers a lightweight and non-greasy feel, making it suitable for various cosmetic products. We use this one in our Hair Oil – it's gorgeous!

  • Sunflower Seed Oil: A natural oil that provides similar conditioning effects to dimethiconol.

  • Cellulose: Derived from plant sources, cellulose can be used as a natural thickener and film-forming agent in cosmetics.

  • Silica: A natural mineral that can be used to provide a smooth, silky feel in formulations.

  • Broccoli seed oil: valued for its lightweight and non-greasy texture, making it suitable for various skincare and haircare formulations. Broccoli seed oil is rich in fatty acids, particularly erucic acid, which gives it conditioning and emollient properties.

  • Hemisqualane: A very light emollient derived from sustainably-sourced sugarcane and bio-fermented, it's a very light (and even pours like water!), gorgeous alternative to silicones for use on skin and hair products. You'll notice it in your product's ingredient name as "C13-15 Alkane", although it is naturally accepted.

  • Lexfeel: Cosmetic ingredient manufacturer Inolex® has taken the silicone-alternative industry by storm and created a line of gorgeous natural-derived emollients to replace silicones. Their Lexfeel line of non-silicone technologies doesn't sacrifice performance. These emollients can be used in products from skincare, to haircare, to sunscreens.

Choosing sustainable options isn't merely a trend; it's a responsibility. The call to action echoes through the aisles of some key beauty stores – shop wisely, learn about your products, and make informed decisions. The power to drive change is in the hands of consumers who demand transparency and accountability from the cosmetic industry.

In an era where eco-consciousness is gaining momentum, it's essential to recognize that the choices we make as consumers ripple through the beauty industry. 


We're eager to bid farewell to plastic packaging in cosmetics! Simply labelling something as "recyclable" doesn't cut it anymore, given the overwhelming amount of plastic in use today, surpassing the capacity of recycling plants. It's time for more substantial action. Small packaging containers pose an additional challenge, as their size often renders them unrecyclable. Notably, items like nail polish containers with leftover contents become impossible to recycle.

plastic garbage in nature
Plastic litter is everywhere – even at your local parks. Plastic pollution continues to be an issue in Canada – we're working to make a difference.

To address this, we've made a conscious effort to minimize our use of plastics. Opting for aluminum whenever possible, as seen with our Powdered Shampoo, is one step we've taken. We've gone a step further by introducing plastic-free alternatives, exemplified by our Shampoo Bars. By making these choices, we are actively contributing to a beauty industry that prioritizes environmental responsibility and mindful consumption.

So, here's the bottom line: while single-use plastics are rightfully on their way out, let's not forget the unspoken villains lurking in our beauty cabinets. Educate yourself, ask questions, and explore eco-friendly alternatives. Together, we can redefine beauty standards and champion a cosmetic industry that prioritizes both our well-being and the health of our planet. It's time to unveil the true beauty that lies in sustainability and conscious choices.

What do you feel when you visit the market or drugstore and see all those hair and skin products in plastic bottles? Do you look at your product's ingredients to learn how they're made? Comment and let us know your opinion:


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