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* A silicone. See Truth In Aging’s article on silicone safety.


In beauty products, cyclopentasiloxane is mainly used as a conditioner, delivery agent, lubricant and solvent. Like all other silicones, this ingredient has a unique fluidity that makes it easily spreadable. When applied to the skin and hair, it gives a silky and slippery feeling to the touch and acts a mild water repellent by forming a protective barrier on the skin. It can also fill in fine lines and wrinkles, giving the face a temporary “plump” look.

Its ability to impart a wet and silky look makes it an ideal candidate in hair products, both rinse-off and leave-on ones. It’s particularly useful in hair conditioners because it provides a silky feel without weighing the hair down with greasy residue. Because of its water-thin consistency, it helps deliver heavier silicones also contained in a product; for this reason, is often used in conjunction with dimethicone. In fact, as a volatile silicone it quickly evaporates into the air after delivering nutrients to the skin and hair. You can mostly find this ingredient in products such as foundation, facial moisturizer/lotion, hair dye, shampoo/conditioner, styling gel, anti-frizz treatment, sunscreen, anti-aging treatment and deodorant/antiperspirant.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

While silicones such as cyclopentasiloxane do not appear to have adverse effects on the human body, there are many concerns regarding the harmful effects it may have on the environment (i.e. marine life). For this reason, many countries like Canada have requested the silicone industry to provide more information and scientific data regarding its safety. Cyclopentasiloxane may cause mild skin and eye irritation, according to the ingredient’s material safety data sheet, and a small percentage of it reaches systemic circulation through dermal absorption, as found in a study by the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences.

All in all, there seems to be a great debate regarding both efficacy and safety of this ingredient.

Recommended Products With Cyclopentasiloxane:

Chella Master Protocol 7 Cellular Defense Serum ($135), Skin Nutrition Cell CPR ($170 in the shop), Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop), Medik8 Red Alert ($60 in the shop), M.A.D Youth Transformation Retinol Complex Serum 1% ($79 in the shop), Lumavera Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($80), Astara Radiance Renewal Intense Moisturizer

As much as possible, products in the Truth In Aging shop are chosen for their safety profile as well as effectiveness.

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