Dimethicone is a silicone oil that is scientifically known as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and is commonly found in a number of skin care and beauty products that you probably have in your medicine cabinet. While you may find it in your bathroom, it is also probably in your kitchen as it is used as a food additive as well.
This ingredient is an emulsifier, meaning that it is used for the product’s consistency, keeping the other ingredients together as well as a moisturizer. These two properties make it a great addition to any anti aging skin care product. In addition, it also has emollient effects which means it helps makes the surface of the skin more flexible.
Use of Dimethicone in Skin Care and Hair Products
You will often find this is an ingredient in many hair products primarily, such as shampoo, conditioner and detangling products. It helps keep the other components of the formula mix better, which helps in applying the product more evenly to the hair without any clumps. After using a product with this ingredient you will find that it is easier to comb through the hair without any tangles or knots. This ingredient is generally safe for use though it is noted that those who have oily hair may want to use it sparingly as it can make the hair greasy and weighed down.
Besides hair products it also has much utility in skin care products that are used to moisturize the skin on the face to solve issues such as rashes, eczema and other skin irritations. It helps the product coat the skin and create a barrier that locks moisture in to allow damaged skin to heal faster. It also is found in many cosmetic products such as foundation and concealers to enable the product to be applied more easily.
Is Dimethicone Safe?
With all the common products you can find it in, it is generally safe to use products with this ingredient otherwise it wouldn’t be used so prevalently. Not all skin is created equal, however, and there are some reported cases of those who have seen issues. It is mostly caused by these products mixing with chemicals from other skin and hair care products, though some have sensitivity to this ingredient itself. If you experience any adverse reactions to a product containing this, discontinue use and search for a product made with a different formulation.
Those who have experienced side effects, typically those with thin or extremely sensitive skin, have reported that these products with dimethicone dry their skin out. This runs contrary to what this ingredient is intended to do, which is moisturize. This is the result of having a sensitivity or possible allergic reaction to this chemical. When beginning to use a new product that contains dimethicone, it is best to apply it to a small area at first to see how your skin reacts. As always, consult your dermatologist before using a new product or to help diagnose what ingredients may be causing you issues.