science of watery make-up
“A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of them is not understanding.” Isaac Newton
My newest discovery is a watery make-up from L’oreal called ‘Eau de Teint Nude Magique’ which promises following: “A feather light foundation, feels as light and fresh as water. A new sensation with a lighter than water formula for non greasy zero make up feel. Instantly fuses with the skin blending seamlessly to leave a silky, second skin effect.” The runny texture reminds me alot of other coeval foundations: Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion, Carita Voile de Beaute and the classic MAC face and body makeup. But what makes these foundations so silky, fluid and easy to apply? Where does the perfectly matte finish come from when it feels more like an oil? Let’s check the labels:
If you take a closer look on the back of the products you find out there is one predominant compound family in all products mentioned above: silicone elastomers and other silicone-based compounds. Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Acrylates/Polytrimethyl Siloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Dimethyl-vinyl crosspolymer and many, many more. There is an interesting and persistent myth about silicone-based ingredients clogging your pores and ‘not-letting-skin-breath’ and when I was younger I was told to believe it acts like a ‘plastic bag on your skin’ by a saleslady of a natural cosmetics company. Silicones are rather a smart, non-irritant, very small ‘architecture’ that does not sink into skin since the molecules are too big and the mixture only sits on your skin like a very porous framework (source).
Silicone-based ingredients not only keep water inside your skin but absorb your sebum, too, so your skin stays matte (see here). Every time a brand advertises its makeup to ‘act like a sponge’ you don’t even have to take a look at the labels to know silicones are involved. With silicones and silicone elastomers it is all about emolliency and spreading (read more). They cover both. Silicone elastomers swollen by solvents such as cyclomethicone are the thing for manufacturers of contemporary foundations (see here). Acutally it is the only instant solution so far for a younger but still matte skin appearance. I chose the word appearance on purpose because it is only a temporary effect and will probably not change your skin condition permanently; neither better nor worse. So it is up to you if you decide to have silicones in your skincare. Hope you didn’t stop reading halfway and understand your futuristic foundation a little more, Ea Birkkam