Honestly, all of that sounds pretty great. So, uh, why don’t people like silicones? There are a few reasons.

The argument: The benefits of silicones are only superficial

The verdict: Unless you’re dealing with an open wound on your face, silicones don’t provide any tangible benefits to the skin. “In cosmetic products, they mostly deliver a pleasant-feeling carrier base,” Mraz Robinson says. Think thick, blendable serums and moisturizers.

Silicones smooth over any rough patches and lock in moisture. So, while silicone-filled serums and moisturizers might make your face look and feel nice in the moment, they don’t contribute to the long-term health and improvement of your skin.

As soon as you wash the product off, you wash away the benefits.

The argument: These ingredients are harder to wash off and get stuck in pores

The verdict: “Silicones are hydrophobic,” Mraz Robinson says. In layman’s terms: They repel water.

For this reason, silicone-based products don’t rinse away easily.

So, if you do slather on the silicones every once in a while, oil cleanse or double cleanse before bed to keep your complexion free and clear.

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The argument: They cause breakouts

The verdict: It turns out there’s a downside to silicone’s occlusive abilities. Sure, they keep environmental aggressors out, but they also lock in some not-so-great substances.

“For acne-prone patients, silicones can act as a ‘barrier’ and trap oil, dirt, and dead skin cells, making acne worse,” Mraz Robinson says.

Dermatologists maintain that if you’re not typically prone to breakouts, you shouldn’t have an issue. In general, silicone isn’t pore-clogging in and of itself but can create a barrier that traps other comedogenic substances, thereby increasing the chance of an acne flare.

The argument: Silicones mess with product layering

The verdict: Fans of 10-step routines or even three-step routines for that matter: Put down the silicone serum and slowly back away. Silicones may block subsequent ingredients from reaching the skin, rendering anything applied after a silicone product pretty much useless.

“They sit on the surface of the skin and allow the ingredients [underneath] to sink in while simultaneously creating a protective barrier on the skin’s surface,” Mraz Robinson explains.

This could, theoretically, be great as the last step in your routine, but using silicones any earlier in your routine could present a problem.

The argument: They’re basically just filler

The verdict: While the majority of silicones have been shown to be safe for topical application, they’ve also been shown to be… a lot of fluff.

“Overall, I like to avoid inactive ingredients, or ‘filler’ ingredients,” says Mraz Robinson. “For everyday use, I would say avoid them when you can, but for condition-specific use, like topical wound healing, don’t be afraid.”

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The argument: Silicones aren’t eco-friendly

The verdict: Even if all the above arguments aren’t enough to make you say buh-bye to silicones, this one might be:

Silicones are bioaccumulative. Once they’re rinsed down the drain, they contribute to the buildup of sludge pollution in oceans and waterways and may not break down for hundreds of years.

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