Health

Is Dimethicone Bad for Your Skin?

Have you ever read the ingredients list on the back of your favorite moisturizer and wondered what dimethicone is? As a responsible citizen, you should be aware of what type of ingredients you apply to your skin. Dimethicone is a silicon polymer that is widely used in the cosmetics industry.

Dimethicone skincare products
By Vya Naturals / Unsplash Copyrights 2019

1. What is Dimethicone?

Dimethicone, also known as Dimethylpolysiloxane or Polydimethylsiloxane, is a silicone polymer that is commonly used in makeup and hair care products. It acts as a skin protectant and has several impressive skin-enhancing properties which are craved by skincare enthusiasts.

From improving skin texture to protecting skin against environmental damage and treating scars, dimethicone has always been dedicated to catering to different skin conditions. Dimethicone is non-toxic and non-comedogenic making it a great pick for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

2. What is Dimethicone Used for?

Dimethicone is commonly used in personal care and makeup products because of its exceptional qualities.

2.1. Skin Protection

Moisturizers and body lotions nowadays incorporate dimethicone which protects the skin from environmental damage. It eliminates water loss and keeps the skin hydrated. The skin looks thoroughly moisturized after just a single coat of moisturizer.

2.2. Reducing Irritation

Dimethicone is also used in soothing sensitive areas. A diaper rash cream with dimethicone would be the perfect solution for irritation. It acts as a great tool to fight against irritants. Hence, dimethicone is a loyal partner of people with sensitive skin.

2.3. Hair Care

Dimethicone is not just used in skincare formulations but it is also used to prepare hair products. Dimethicone is also used in haircare products like hair serums, shampoos, and conditioners. It controls frizz and gives your hair a silky-smooth texture. It also shields the hair from environmental pollution.

2.4. Makeup Primer

Because of its smoothening properties, dimethicone is widely used in cosmetic products, especially in makeup primers. Primer is used to smooth out the rough skin, cover up wrinkles and blemishes, and fill in pores so that your makeup doesn’t budge and sits on your skin longer.

2.5. Emollient

Moisturizer with dimethicone gives the skin a temporary smoothness. Silky-smooth skin can be possible if you regularly apply your moisturizing cream with the goodness of dimethicone.

2.6. Medical Ointment

Dimethicone is also used to make medical ointments that form skin barriers and promote healing of the skin. Dimethicone creates a moist environment for the wound which quickens the body’s natural healing process. Dimethicone also has an easy-to-apply texture, so that the ointment is evenly distributed over the affected skin.

2.7. Scar Treatment

Dimethicone is especially used to treat scars on the skin. It makes the area super smooth and also lightens the scar. You can see visible differences on your skin just after a few dimethicone coats.

2.8. Sunscreen

Nothing is more stressful in the skincare industry than wearing sunscreen in your day-to-day life. Dimethicone is an active ingredient in sunscreens as it smooths the skin while giving it a non-greasy matt look. Dimethicone promotes spread-ability and is water-resistant which is a necessary element for ideal sunscreen.

Dimethicone-infused sunscreen is lightweight and non-sticky. Hence, you can conveniently apply and reapply the sunscreen several times a day because it is so lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin.

3. Benefits of Dimethicone on Skin

Dimethicone-based cosmetic products
By Gabrielle Henderson / Unsplash Copyrights 2018

Dimethicone is a key ingredient in the cosmetic industry. From skin smoothening to moisture retention and skin protection, dimethicone is a necessity in any girl’s make-up. Here is a list of all the benefits dimethicone possesses:

3.1. Skin Smoothing

Dimethicone smoothens rough skin. The velvety texture works best on dry skin and your skin becomes healthy-looking and soft in just a single application. Reapply after a fixed period as dimethicone temporarily softens the skin.

3.2. Skin Protection

Dimethicone forms a healthy skin barrier that protects the skin from unwanted pollutants entering the skin. Dimethicone works as a protective shield and your skin also gets protected by harsh weather conditions and irritants trying to harm the skin. People with highly sensitive or constantly irritated skin are surely going to see the difference after applying dimethicone-infused moisturizer.

3.3. Retaining Moisture

Dimethicone makes a protective layer on skin which helps in locking moisture and improving the texture of your skin. This ingredient is effective for people with dry and flaky skin as it eliminates dehydration and makes the surface smoother.

3.4. Non-greasy

There are some skincare products available in the market that make your skin greasy and have a sticky texture. Meanwhile, products with dimethicone are so lightweight and non-greasy that you can wear them for the whole day without even realizing it. Dimethicone is a game changer to your skincare routine as it smoothens the oily skin without making it sticky.

3.5. Reducing Irritation

Sensitive skin
By Barbara Krysztofiak / Unsplash Copyrights 2022

Skincare products that are specifically designed for sensitive skin have dimethicone as an active ingredient. It not only calms the irritating skin but also eliminates redness.

3.6. Hypoallergenic

Dimethicone is hypoallergenic, which means it is less likely for dimethicone to cause an allergic reaction. That’s why it is completely safe to use by people who have hyperactive allergies or people with sensitive skin.

3.7. Improving Skin Texture

Dimethicone works effectively on your fine lines and creases, giving your skin a temporary smoothness. If you wish to get baby-soft skin, then use a dimethicone-infused skincare product. Nowadays primers and makeup products are all incorporated with dimethicone because of its skin-smoothing properties.

Dimethicone also promotes the even distribution of active ingredients in the skin so that the goodness of skincare formulation uniformly benefits the skin.

4. Side Effects of Dimethicone on Your Skin

Smooth skin - is dimethicone bad for skin?
By Sayo Garcia / Unsplash Copyrights 2018

As per the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel, dimethicone is completely safe to use on the skin. Dimethicone is less likely to clog pores as it is non-comedogenic and non-toxic. Hence, dimethicone works amazingly well on acne-prone and sensitive skin.

Board-certified dermatologists often recommend dimethicone-based products for acne-prone and sensitive skin due to their non-comedogenic and non-toxic nature, as affirmed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel’s safety assessment.

However, it is important to consider that everyone has different skin types. Hence, the effects of dimethicone on individuals may vary. Dimethicone may help some people in reducing acne while it may cause irritation and breakout to some people.

Here are some potential side effects of dimethicone on the skin:

4.1. Acne

If you are in your teenage years and you constantly have acne problems, then you should be careful about what skincare formulations you apply to your skin. Dimethicone may have an irritating effect on your skin even though it is non-comedogenic. It may lead to some serious acne problems. People with reactive skin should stay away from putting too many chemicals on their skin.

4.2. Silicon Deposition

If you are using dimethicone daily on your skin, then there might be a heavy buildup of silicon on your skin. Consider using a gentle exfoliator to get rid of the silicon deposit.

4.3. Skin Irritation

In rare cases, dimethicone usage can lead to redness and irritation on the skin, hinting that the skin is allergic to dimethicone. It’s advisable to discontinue the usage and seek the help of a skincare professional if you witness any of these symptoms.

4.4. Natural Moisture Reduction

Dimethicone may eliminate the skin’s natural capacity to create moisture in some individuals. However, this concern doesn’t affect everyone as the main job of dimethicone is to lock in moisture. Regular usage of dimethicone leads to healthy-looking and moisturized skin.

Note: If you worry that regular application of dimethicone might have serious effects on your skin, then you should consult a dermatologist or skin care professional about the usage and application and explore various other alternatives as per your skin type. A board-certified dermatologist will give you insightful feedback on your skin and also help you pick the right skincare product.

5. Side Effects of Dimethicone on Your Hair

Smooth and silky hair
By Element5 Digital / Unsplash Copyrights 2018

While dimethicone gives hair a smooth and silky texture, protects the hair from damage, and prevents frizz, this active ingredient might not suit everyone’s hair type. Reckless use of dimethicone may strip hair’s natural oils harming the hair cuticle.

If you find that your hair has lost its natural shine and has become dull, dimethicone may have accumulated on your hair. It’s advisable to limit the usage of dimethicone-infused hair care products. Use a clarifying shampoo to eliminate the dimethicone residue.

6.  Final Words

Dimethicone not only smoothens the skin but also improves the texture. Dimethicone is non-toxic and offers your skin a non-greasy finished look. It retains moisture and also gives your skin a moisturized feel. If you are tired of using skincare products that constantly give your skin a sticky texture, then dimethicone might be one ingredient missing in your skincare products. Hyaluronic acid is another powerful ingredient that helps in reducing acne problems.

However, it’s better to consult a dermatologist before putting anything on your skin. Everyone has a different skin type and individual reactions caused by dimethicone may vary. Dimethicone works wonders on some skin types while others develop rashes immediately after first application. Dimethicone doesn’t suit everyone and you should check in with a skincare professional if you have concerns regarding the usage of dimethicone.

Seemi is a committed content writer who is passionate about embracing a healthier lifestyle. She has an expertise in developing health-related content to cater to the reader's queries. She is here to weave inspiring stories and fitness articles to…

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