Is silica good for skin?

Margot must know…I’m wondering if skin would benefit from topical silica, and if so, in what ways. I know its touted as being great for hair and nails, and I’ve even read claims that it can help heal acne and plump up skin (when ingested). A little poking around the internet also lead me to believe that maybe skin might see benefits from topical application, and I was wondering if you guys might be able to tell me whether or not that was true.

The Beauty Brains respond: 

What’s the scoop on silica?

Silica (aka silicon dioxide) is a trace mineral which is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. It plays an important role in maintaining healthy bones, teeth, skin, tendons, blood vessels, nails and hair. As with other trace minerals if your diet is deficient in the material then you may benefit from taking dietary supplements. But you don’t need much of it and if you get enough there’s no benefit to taking more.

What about topical application?

Rubbing silica on your hair, skin and nails won’t provide any benefit. That’s because silica is involved in the metabolism of collagen which occurs in the deep in the dermis. Silica will not work the same way when rubbed on your skin – the metabolic pathways just don’t work that way.   (It’s kind of like saying that calcium is important for strong bones so I’ll rub calcium on my legs to make my femur stronger.)

In fact, if anything, rubbing silica on your skin will make it WORSE. That’s because silica is a desiccant meaning it will pull moisture out of your skin. That’s the last thing you want to do!

The Beauty Brains bottom line

If you have any reason to believe that your diet is deficient in silica then you may benefit from taking supplements. But rubbing it on your skin is a waste of time and may do more harm than good.