Silicone vs Foam latex?

Hello everyone! I'm currently gathering information on my dissertation (the evolution of materials and techniques over the last 100 years) and wondered if anyone would answer my questions for the field research portion? 
Thanks in advance!

Which material do you prefer and why? 
Out of the two materials which has the upper hand within the SFX industry? Why do you think this is?


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    edited May 2019
    Hi Summer,

    Both materials have pros and cons, and both are still widely used in the effects industry.  Here are some pros and cons for each material.  Please keep in mind these are just the ones I can think of, and other artists may have more feedback.

    In the case of these examples, I'll be talking about the materials as used for makeup prosthetics.

    Foam Latex

    • Lightweight
    • Breathable
    • Highly Flexible
    • Easy to paint
    • Not translucent
    • Not as durable a silicone
    • Harder to reuse
    • Latex allergy concern


    • Translucent
    • You can control the elasticity and other material properties with additives
    • Durable
    • Can sometimes be reused 
    • No concern for latex allergies
    • Can have internal pigmentation (like flocking) to add depth
    • Heavy
    • Does not breath
    • Can be more difficult to paint if not encapsulated

    There are a lot more pros and cons for each, this is just a quick pass off the top of my head, I'm sure I left out some obvious stuff! :smile:

    So to summarize, neither material has the upper hand since both have different properties that allow them to work better than their counterpart in different situations.


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