If you’re wondering what ingredient makes makeup long-wearing and waterproof, you’ve come to the right place. This article is the second installment of the MasterGlam Explained series of posts where Joe from the Product Team discusses the ingredients we use at MasterGlam at length.
Silicates are everywhere- from your favorite waterproof mascara to the very ground beneath your feet. If you've ever coughed on the ground floor of a major home renovation project, chances are you accidentally inhaled a tiny amount of silicate. While bothersome when inhaled, silicates are essential minerals that make up 90% of our Earth’s mantle. It can be found in waterproof eye makeup and instant wrinkle fillers at the beauty counter, as well as in virtually all bridges, buildings, and roads.
What is Magnesium Aluminum Silicate?
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (MAS) is a naturally occurring mineral clay that helps ingredients with different viscosities play better together (called an emulsifier) and texturizing agent in leave-on eye makeup preparations and foundations. It provides stability and prevents ingredients from separating while allowing formulas to glide and spread on like butter.
It has a tetrahedral structure and can be linked to other silicates. It is made up of crosslinked Silica and Oxygen. When reacted with water, calcium silicates in cement undergo a process known as hydration to help the materials in concrete bind together and give it its strength and durability.
How does Magnesium Aluminum Silicate work?
It forms a complex 3D structure made up of that loosen temporarily when exposed to shear (stress). The drying time of MAS depends on the other ingredients in the formulation, but it gradually reassembles.
It's hydrophilic, meaning it has an affinity for water and is not soluble in oil. In Amaze Brow, it helps to thicken the water-based phase of the product (an oil-based phase consists of oil-loving ingredients). It can be used with or without pigments in tinted and untinted makeup.
Is Magnesium Aluminum Silicate safe in cosmetics?
Yes, silicates have been declared safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review board in the concentration and manner in which it is normally used in cosmetics.
RELATED READ: The Science Behind Long-wearing Waterproof Makeup
Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. (2022). Amended safety assessment of silicates as used in cosmetics.
Schaller, Chris. “Silicates and Silica.” In Structure and Reactivity in Organic, Biological and Inorganic Chemistry. LibreTexts, 2019.