Don’t Put This One Thing in Silicone Travel Tubes

A little lesson in chemistry while traveling!

The other night, I came home after an evening at an arts fair downtown Kelowna and found one of my silicone travel tubes on its side with the cap on the floor. Panicked, I checked for any spills on the dresser or, worse, on the carpet, but there was absolutely no mess.

When I took a closer look at the purple 50ml bottle itself, I noticed the cap no longer fit. I pulled out another identical bottle to compare and saw the purple one had significantly expanded in volume. These bottles used to be the same size.

FullSizeRender-1 FullSizeRender

I wanted to know what in the world would have made the bottle expand overnight, so I decided to check the ingredients of the product in it and the composition of the tube itself.

The website of the brand of silicone tube I’d purchased just said “made of silicone”, so I only had that to work with. The ingredients of the hair serum I’d put in it were: cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, mineral oil, hydrolyzed silk, algae extract, fragrance. Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicone-based cyclic compound and dimethiconol is a silicone-based polymer. So basically my product was mostly made up of…SILICONE. 

That’s right, silicone product in a silicone container equals chemical reaction.

To confirm my suspicions, I looked up whether this had happened to anyone else. Turns out the FAQ of the biggest brand of silicone travel containers, GoToobs by Human Gear has a disclaimer on their website. On their list of non-recommended items to put in the tubes, they list hair serums specifically.

“Hair serums and treatments (detanglers, relaxers, volumizers, polishers, smoothers, shine serums, etc.) including shampoos and conditioners designed to add shine or luster to hair as well as products with Argan Oil (like Moroccan hair oil).”

With prolonged exposure to air, the serum had hardened and was lining the walls of the tube, which is why nothing spilled. In general though, I’ve been less than impressed with the performance of silicone squeeze tubes. I’m still figuring out the best way to transport my liquids and gels that I have in larger sizes at home. So far, nothing has beat purchasing them in the travel sizes if available or replacing them with solid alternatives.

How about you? How do you transport your liquids and gels?

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2 Responses

  1. What leakproof container do you suggest for hair serums etc.?
    I’ve been scouring the internet and cannot find an answer. I use a particular brand that doesn’t offer a travel size, and I really don’t want to change brands for travel. Thanks!

    1. I’d suggest glass, believe it or not. A small vial with a cap lid or a tear drop lid, depending on how liquid the product is shouldn’t cause any problems.

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Hi, my name is Andrea and I'm a digital content creator. I'm obsessed with packing light without sacrificing an ounce of style. Follow my adventures as I share my tips for curating the perfect travel capsule wardrobe that fits in a carry-on!

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Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m a digital content creator who works in tech, loves fashion, and travels a lot. I’m obsessed with packing light without sacrificing an ounce of style. This blog was born from a desire to share my tips and tricks from years of business travel and travelling on a budget. Follow my adventures as I share advice for curating the perfect travel capsule wardrobe that fits in a carry-on, travelling comfortably without breaking the bank, and staying healthy along the way. 

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