The latest controversy in Youtube-land is the whole debacle over Silica speheres powder which has been lauded by some popular Youtubers to be a much cheaper dupe of the Makeup Forver HD powder (100% silica powder). The silica powder is sold on Coastal Scents' website, as well as other online retailers such as TKB Trading, etc.
However, there has been some controversy surrounding this powder! Here is one video talking about the questionable nature of using silica powder for makeup purposes.
In addition, this thread on Model Mayhem, a makeup forum frequented by professional makeup artists, also discusses the topic. Makeup Artist David Klasfeld writes in conjunction to the silica powder sold on Coastal Scents:
What is sold to be used in formulation as is the case with this site, is often done so in presumptive accordance with appropriate manufacturing regulations (i.e. amount, concentration, method of application). This does not speak to its safety if applied directly or undiluted. For example, pure pigments that are used in formulating eyeshadows, can cause irritation, allergic reaction or dermatitis if applied directly to the skin. In this case, through continued use, you may be risking something more serious: Silicosis
I'm going to assume that Make Up For Ever has found some way to regulate particle size, etc. to prevent this from occuring with the continued use of their powder, but I would never, ever use something that wasn't designed with this as its intended use, like the way the HD Powder evidently was.
He then goes on to write:
What's important to note about this product in particular is that it's being sold as an ingredient, and not as a finished product. If you read the recommendations on the page it's all geared towards being part of a larger formulation (ex: "This can be used for slip in small amounts , oil control formulations of mineral makeup."). They aren't recommending that it be applied directly as a face powder.Kathy, the propriertor of Coastal Scents, goes on to call a loyal customer ignorant for spreading "lack of knowledge" on Youtube, and then posts this in response on the comany's website:
Given what I know from the manufacturing side of the cosmetics, I personally wouldn't use any silica product with the potential to become airborne, and I definitely wouldn't recommend using the raw ingredient as a finished product.
As far as silica products that are sold for direct use, there's no reason to assume they're unsafe. Especially if a major company is marketing one, I would presume they took every necessary precaution currently known to ensure its safe use. If there's little or no potential for inhalation (i.e. liquid and creme formulations, pressed powders), then there's probably no cause for concern at all. But again, if you want to err on the safe side, then avoid it.
1. No, you will not contract silicosis by using cosmetic grade, fda approved silica powder by itself or mixed with other products.
2. Yes, the silica we sell, and the silica others sell, including companies selling it as a finished product are the same product.
3. Yes, all cosmetic silica has gone through special processing, just as the silica used by finished makeup companies, the same exact process.
4. No, Coastal scents silica is not any different than any other silica being sold on the market, we are not special nor should we be singled out.
You can read the entire stance of Coastal Scents here and I leave it up to you to decide if you want to use silica powder or not. I personally can only add that Coastal Scent's business practices leave much to be desired, to say the least! I feel they could have handled the situation much more professionally. You can read some more discussion on this controversy here, or share your thoughts in the comments!