Silicone raw materials for making the products we use in personal care products are in short supply and have become very expensive. Their applications in personal care can be divided into two different classes. Those that provide a consumer benefit, for example the feel of elastomers, and those that function as solvents (D5 solvent for elastomers). There is a need to remove the solvent type and replace it with renewable sustainable solvents. In the next few pages we will learn how companies are implementing such a strategy and we will understand the future of D4 compounds. 

A clear sign of how badly the market is affected by the lack of availability of raw materials can be seen in the next few pages where we can find only two companies willing to display their thoughts. In the last year the industry has been hit with strikes, supply shortages, new regulations and dramatically increased prices.


Tony O’Lenick 
President, Siltech LLC

The use of silicone polymers in the personal care market has been increasing since the early 1990s. This includes both total volumes consumed, and the number of polymers being used. This increase relates to some key and important functionalities that are obtained by using these raw materials.

The earliest classes of compounds used in our industry was D4/D5 blends and dimethicone. Having minimal solubility in oils and waters the use of these materials was severely limited. These limitations were addressed in the synthesis of organo-functional polymers that have solubility in oil and in water. Organo-functional silicone polymers are surface active and provide unique properties including (1) surface tension lowering, (2) wetting (3) emulsification (4)  unique feel ( dry  or powdery) and ...