Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


The Dirty Dozen - Part 2 Cyclomethicone

The Truth About Silicone

According to “The Dirty Dozen – Cosmetics Chemicals to Avoid” – cyclomethicone (silicone) “may interfere with hormone function and damage the liver.”

Quoting a 2008 joint study by Environment Canada and Health Canada the claims of toxicity are oversimplified.

According to the Environment/Health Canada Study:

1. Cyclomethicone can have harmful effects on “sensitive pelagic aquatic organisms” but “while [cyclomethicone] has the potential to accumulate in biota, it is not possible to conclude at this time that [cyclomethicone] meets the criterion for bioaccumulation” In plain English: it is inappropriate to extrapolate the findings as an interpretation of health risk for higher life forms.

2. After extensive research “it is concluded that [cyclomethicone] is not entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.”

3. All health risk analysis was based on absorption of 12% of the cyclomethicone applied and a 14 day, double blind human trial of oral dose cyclomethicone “did not show any immunotoxic effect”.

Simply put, according to the very study quoted to support the health risk claims, consumer cosmetics, containing cyclomethicone, pose no health risk. In fact the study clearly states:

1. “The critical effect level for repeated-dose toxicity is considered to be 100 mg/kg-bw/day”. For a 50kg person that would be 5000mg absorbed each day. The equivalent of 5 full of pressed powder per day.

2. “It is not possible to conclude that [cyclomethicone] meets the criterion for bioaccumulation”.  A human cannot absorb enough cyclomethicone through cosmetics to created the levels that can cause adverse health risks.

3. “Based on validated studies in human skin, the upper limit of dermal absorption is 0.94%”. Less than 8% of the dose where adverse health risks started occurring.

Lastly, according to The Journal of Wound Care, (July 2000 pages 319-24) cyclomethicone heals skin and reduces scar tissue.