Recently there has been some "discussion" pertaining to whether or not silicone based ingredients are harmful when used in beard care products. In this article, we are going to talk about one specific ingredient that is part of the silicone family called "Amodimethicone". It's difficult to say...so it has to be bad for you...right? Let's find out together, in an informed manner with actual documented facts! (Amodimethicone can be found in our Beard Conditioner, which was recently released)
What Is Amodimethicone?
Amodimethicone is a silicon-based polymer that is sometimes misunderstood. It is silicon-based, which means it has its origins in one of the most abundant naturally-occurring elements, yet is a man-made synthetic molecule. Amodimethicone is widely used in personal care products, including beard products, so let's take a deeper dive into this ingredient and see if the criticism holds up.
Amodimethicone is made out of repeating units that are called monomers. A bunch of monomers creates a polymer like this one. This polymer was birthed out of silicon. This is the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust (the first one is oxygen).
According to the Food and Drug Administration's Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program, amodimethicone and dimethicone are ingredients in nearly 13,000 products. Even products used near sensitive areas, such as the eyes, were approved by the FDA when they contained them. Shampoos, conditioners, bath oils, skincare products, and even baby products all contain them.
Why It's In Skincare and Hair Care Products
Amodimethicone is an exceptionally great skin protectant and conditioning agent. It is able to prevent moisture loss thanks to its ability to create a barrier on the surface of hair and skin. Silicone materials have a special kind of fluidity that allows it to easily spread throughout an area it has been applied to. The end result is smooth skin and silky hair.
This is something that can stay as a protective coating through multiple washes, which is considered a really nice advantage for most people. Also, the coating will stay just one-ply. It will never build up, which is something we'll get into in more depth in a little bit. The way amodimethocone seals moisture within hair shafts ensures that you can comb it without it having knots, whether it's wet or dry. The high refractive index of this ingredient also provides a nice degree of glossiness and shine that many enjoy.
Is It Safe?
The non-profit Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database is an incredibly massive repository of information on all the ingredients found in personal care products. Their staff scientists use 60 toxicity and regulatory databases to verify the toxicity levels of ingredients. Scores between 1 and 10 are given out, with more detailed metrics provided on each ingredient's individual page. When an ingredient is given a 1, it is the least toxic and the safest. When it's given a 10, it's the most toxic and incredibly dangerous.
Amodimethicone is one of the 70,000 ingredients listed in the Skin Deep database. It gets a 1 on the Skin Deep database. The three main categories the database has, namely cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, and allergies & immunotoxicity, all indicate that there is no risk at all.
So, we've established that it is not dangerous to your health. However, does it damage your hair or make it look dull and faded?
This polymer is an amine-functionalized silicone. Let's take a look at scenario to explain why this is important. When you apply something acidic like a hair conditioner, amine groups become protonated when and positive ions attach to them, obtaining a positive charge. We'll explain why this is important in a moment.
When your hair is healthy, it is covered with a fatty acid called methyleicosanoic acid, or 18-MEA for short. This protects your hair and repels water. It's chemically-bound to your hair but will come off when chemical processes are applied to it. Then, the proteins under 18-MEA get exposed and attract water. When they come into contact with water, they become negatively charged. This is the point you should remember what we said earlier how amodimethicone gets positively charged.
Opposites attract, so when positively-charged amodimethicone comes into contact with hair that's been stripped from its naturally-occurring protective coating, it will stick to the damaged hairs and protect them.
Unlike other silicones, the amine groups of amodimethicone are positively charged and repel one another. Whenever this ingredient is already stuck to your hair, any more of it will get repelled if it tries to attach itself to your hair. This ensures that the silicone coating will never get too thick. That means you won't have buildup that leads to dull and lifeless hair like other silicones end up doing to your hair.
Thanks to amodimethicone being quite different from other silicones, it works as a leave-in conditioner, given how well it sticks to hair, without excess build-up.
Wrapping It Up
While it can be tempting to make a blanket statement about how all silicones are the same, amodimethicone has been designed to work differently than its cousins. It does provide protective coatings of your hair, but do so in a way that avoids the excess build-up of it. This means your hair will be both protected and look great. It will be soft, smooth, and shiny, while also being easier to comb and becoming stronger.
With amodimethicone being considered safe by the FDA and EWG's Skin Deep database, you can confidently buy and use products with this man-made silicon-based polymer.
From the very beginning, Beard Octane has been nothing but brutally honest when it comes to keeping customers informed of the high quality ingredients that go into each and every single product which we produce. I/Beard Octane would NEVER include an ingredient in any product that could potentially harm one of our customers. That is not us as a company, and that is not me as an individual. Every single ingredient that is used in each of our products is clearly printed on both the Beard Octane website product page, and on the product label itself.
Here's a challenge, check other popular brands and see if they do. I think you'll be surprised in your findings as some do, and some don't. But why?
On our product labels, the ingredients are listed in order of predominance, with the ingredients used in the greatest amount first, followed in descending order by those in smaller amounts. It is your right to know, and you should know what you are putting on your face, let alone your beard.
This is why I felt it was extremely important to address this topic/ingredient in a professional manner and address it head on...by actually providing documented facts & scientific findings by the highest level regulatory agencies. Beard Octane is 100% Transparent and will always be Honest with you.
So, what did you think about this article? Hopefully you feel a little bit more informed, and confident that Beard Octane will always have your safety as our #1 priority. Leave a comment or thoughts below!
Most importantly, stay healthy & stay safe! ~joe