Reducing grabby feel of silicone human skin

Hi all, first post here but I've been lurking in the threads for some time, very informative and helpful community! I'm working on creating realistic human busts,the process is going well for the most part, but I'm struggling greatly with making the skin feel more human-like. Specifically, the "grab" of the silicone.

If you run your finger across the back of your hand (or any of your skin), your finger will gently glide along the surface. With silicone, being the rubber that it is, there's a great deal of friction and grab, and you have to really apply a bit of extra force to slide your finger across a patch of silicone. I've tried Ecoflex OO-30, DragonSkin FX Pro (2A shore hardness), and a long time back, Platsil Gel 10. All seem to have that grab on the surface, really detracting from feeling like skin, instead feeling more like rubber (which would make sense I suppose :expressionless: )

Smooth-On manufactures something specifically for this purpose (, but not being able to paint the silicone afterwards, and also not being able to adhere new silicone to the STD-mixed silicone, wouldn't work in my process. 

I read something awhile back about applying baby powder/talcum powder to silicone, not sure if that's relevant? So, if anyone has any advice on some method for reducing the friction/grab on silicone to make it feel more like human skin, or any alternative silicones I could purchase that might exhibit these properties, I'm all ears! Thanks!


  • Micah J.Micah J. ✭✭✭
    I have used this powder before and it works well in cutting the surface tack of silicone, better than talc, in my opinion. It is also a little more permanent than talc. It is expensive but, a little goes a long way. 
    If you can find it, Shin Etsu makes a silicone powder called KMP 600, you can mix this in with your airbrush silicone paint base and it will permanently cut the tack and add a soft feel to the surface. 
  • Wow, thanks so much Micah - this sounds exactly like what I'm looking for! Unfortunately it seems like BITY is sold out of the 8 and 20 oz. sizes of Silicone Finishing Powder, I was going to order a small amount to experiment with but I might just have to bite the bullet and buy the 70 gram one (maybe I'll send them an e-mail and see when it'll be back in stock).

    KMP 600 sounds very promising, especially with the permanence. I did some searching and seems to be quite a tricky product to find online. Do you have any experience with KMP 600, and any recommendations of where I might be able to order some (I'm in the US, but I usually don't mind ordering internationally)? I also stumbled upon this 3M silicone lubricant spray (, though I'm suspecting it's more for just a general lubricant and not really for silicone. 

    Thanks again!
  • Worst case I'd try talc or translucent makeup setting powder.  Those should help.  Talc can make your piece look a bit lighter, but there are makeup setting powders in various tones as a good option. 

    I've not use the powder that Jon Micah linked out to, but I bet it would work great. (BITY sells good stuff) I'd be curious to know what's in it.

  • Micah J.Micah J. ✭✭✭
    You can contact Tom from Silicone Art Materials directly from his Facebook (Silicone Art Materials) to purchase the powders (even in small sample sachets). He also sells the ingredients to the finishing powder as individual materials. The silicone powder is going to be similar to the KMP 600.
    For the KMP, I was able to contact a salesperson from Shin Etsu and request a small sample of several of their materials. 
  • Chris - I purchased some baby powder last night (one talc-based, the other cornstarch-based), as well as some pure cornstarch from the grocery store. I was blown away at the difference applying cornstarch makes - it takes away all of the glossiness/shine as well as the grab and tackiness, resulting in an incredibly smooth surface! It seems perfect - only drawback is that it would occasionally have to be reapplied.

    Micah - I just checked out his Silicone Art Materials Facebook page and I'll certainly get in touch with him. I'll get some ordered soon and try it out.

    Thanks again for the great advice Chris and Micah!  I'm attempting to create silicone heads, incorporating 3D printing in the process, will have to share my work with community when I have something to share!

  • Glad that worked for you!

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