What Is Dimethicone? The Essential Skincare Alphabet

This is just my opinion, but I feel like dimethicone is not spoken about enough. It’s strange because it’s controversial and used often.

If you work in the beauty industry, you aren’t likely to agree with the above sentiment however, ask someone who doesn’t pay attention to beauty. I reckon they’d know nothing of this polarising ingredient.

Well, lets take a look at what it is.

What is dimethicone?

It is a silicon based polymer that is used in beauty and haircare products to give them a super smooth formula.

There are lots of different kinds of silicons in beauty, dimethicone is just one.

There has been some controversy about silicones in general. Most of this was not based on published research but on anecdotal evidence suggesting silicone are irritating and suffocating on the skin.

There is even a study from 2014 (while slightly old in terms of research, I think it is still useful) that assessed the safety of 62 dimethicone crosspolymer ingredients as used in cosmetics.

It found that all of the dimethicone crosspolymer ingredients are safe in the practices of use and concentration found in cosmetics.

What are dimethicone’s sources?

These tend to be made in a lab.

Is it vegan?

Yes, because they are made in labs. It does not contain any animal products.

What are it’s uses and potential side effects?

In beauty products it’s very much about changing the texture of the product. It provides a silky, smooth feel that few other ingredients can replicate.

It’s also used as an emollient and has properties that can lock moisture into the skin’s barrier.

This study concluded it functions mainly in skincare and haircare as an:

  • absorbents
  • bulking agents
  • film former
  • hair-conditioning agent
  • emollient skin-conditioning agent
  • slip modifier
  • surface modifier
  • nonaqueous viscosity-increasing agent

It’s side effects can vary from person to person and none are guaranteed. The most common complaints about this ingredient, are that it irritates, stings and causes redness to the skin.

Today, there are no product recommendations because it’s mostly texture and this ingredient is found in SO many things. In fact, unless the product states that it is silicone-free, it probably has this in it.

For a look at other product recommendations, for other ingredients click here. If not please subscribe to my mailing list below!

References

Becker LC, Bergfeld WF, Belsito DV, et al. Safety Assessment of Dimethicone Crosspolymers as Used in Cosmetics. International Journal of Toxicology. 2014;33(2_suppl):65S-115S. doi:10.1177/1091581814524963

  • AXIS Y Skincare, Korean Skincare Review
    It has been far too long since I last posted. And even longer since a review was posted on Science and Skincare. However, six months since my last article and I’m ready to share some thoughts on the Korean Skincare brand AXIS Y. AXIS Y is a climate inspired, community focused skincare brand hailing from…
  • SkinStore Latest Skincare Deals
    SkinStore, apart of the Look Fantastic group, is growing in prominence and has been over the past 10 years. I was shocked to discover they’d been around for 24 years! You may be wondering why one online beauty retailer decided to diverge? What is SkinStore’s USP? Well, apparently it’s the number one destination for premium beauty,…
  • 20 Of The Most Popular Perfumes, According To TikTok 
    To many, perfume is the most intimate way of expressing your inner self and truest personality. Although scent is subjective to taste, there are several fragrances that have gone viral due to their unique scents. So, here are the most popular perfumes ever (this is highly subjective and is based on a small data set). Interested…
  • Best Christmas Skincare Gifts 2021
    On Science and Skincare, this time of year only means one thing, Christmas Skincare Gift guide. This years is really good, even if I do say so myself. I have been speaking, testing, investigating brands and products for the whole of November. Now I’m confident in the fact that I’ve created a unique skincare guide,…
  • In Conversation With Brook Harvey Taylor, Founder Of Pacifica
    Brook Harvey Taylor has been in the beauty game for quite some time. She launched a beauty brand in 1996, with the ethos that it had to be good for the planet, good for animals and good for the customer. Hence, her brand is cruelty free, vegan and clean. Who can argue with these noble…

Leave a Reply