The cosmetic and personal care industry is struggling with where, and how, to do without an embattled class of ingredients.
More than most chemical markets, the cosmetic and personal care ingredient industry is subject to the feelings and fancies of everyday consumers. People tend to be conscious of the safety and environmental impact of the chemicals they apply directly to their skin and hair. It’s usually a good thing: the personal care sector often leads the way on sustainability, exerting influence on supply chains, novel chemistry, and industry practices.
That responsiveness, though, also makes the industry susceptible to fads. Fashionable ingredients take flight far beyond what their actual performance merits, and a bit of bad press can imperil whole categories before rigorous science starts to speak.
Silicones are in the latter camp as they face broadening bans and diminishing popularity despite what many describe as strong safety profiles, excellent performance, and modest environmental impact. Though they’d mostly rather not, chemical suppliers and consumer product makers are figuring out where and how they can swap out silicones in personal care goods.
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