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What is Dimethicone (Is it Safe for Hair and Skin?)

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

Hey there, beauty enthusiasts and hair aficionados! 

Today, we’re diving into Dimethicone – that mystical ingredient you’ve probably encountered in your favorite cosmetic and hair care products. 

What is Dimethicone?

Although polydimethylsiloxane, another term for Dimethicone, may sound like something from a lab coat dream, don’t worry! Our top skincare, hair care, and cosmetic products frequently include this safe silicone-based polymer.

Dimethicone originates from the natural element silicon, which may be found in the Earth’s crust. It’s not only the outcome of some mad scientist’s experiment that much is true.

What does it do, though? Imagine that after using your preferred moisturizer, your skin is as silky and delicate as a baby’s bottom. 

For that, thank Dimethicone! It’s the secret behind that luxurious, velvety feeling on your skin. So, wave goodbye to dry, flaky patches and say hello to skin that’s as supple as a ripe peach.

But wait, there’s more! Dimethicone also loves to give your hair some extra love. When you use that fabulous shampoo, conditioner, or hairstyling product, it’s Dimethicone that lends a helping hand in making your locks look oh-so-gorgeous. Smooth, shiny hair, here we come!

What is it used for?

Brace yourself because this friendly little silicone buddy is quite the socialite! Generally, Dimethicone is contained in creams, moisturizers, and cosmetics. It provides your skin with a silky-smooth feel. Say goodbye to rough patches and hello to velvety goodness!

But wait, there’s more! Dimethicone loves making hair look oh-so-gorgeous too! So, when you run your fingers through your luscious locks after using shampoo, conditioner, or hairstyling products, you can thank this silicone wizard for its part in the enchantment.

And if that’s not enough, Dimethicone is also invited to the party in anti-itch products. It swoops in to soothe irritated skin like a true hero – the type that shows up just when you need them the most.

Is Dimethicone Safe for Your Skin or Hair?

The million-dollar question! Some folks have wondered if Dimethicone is a trickster, causing harm to our precious skin and hair. But fear not! We’ve got the facts and are here to ease your worries.

Let’s start with myth-busting. There’s been chatter that Dimethicone isn’t safe because it’s not “natural.” Well, guess what? Not all good things come directly from Mother Nature’s basket, and that’s okay!

According to a comprehensive study, Dimethicone is safe to use at the quantities found in most formulations.

“But wait!” you might say. “Doesn’t it form a barrier that traps oil, sweat, dirt, and all the gunk in my pores, causing acne to party on my face?” Hold on tight because the research squad has got your back!

A review by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel in 2019 gave Dimethicone a green light, stating that it’s safe for use in cosmetic products.

What Research Says?

Let’s dive deeper into the study and add a few references.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel in 2019 gave the nod to Dimethicone, highlighting that most over-the-counter products contain less than 15 percent of this silicone superstar. So, no need to stress about it being present in your beloved products.

Dr. Peterson Pierre, a wise dermatologist and founder of the Pierre Skin Care Institute, assures us that Dimethicone is unlikely to be absorbed by the skin due to its considerable molecular weight. 

Remember that occasional murmur about Dimethicone building up in your hair and blocking the goodness of moisturizing ingredients? Swap in a clarifying shampoo now and then to hit the reset button, and your hair will be ready to receive all the love and care it deserves!

Fast facts

DefinitionSilicone-based polymer used in cosmetics for its smoothing and emollient properties.
Cosmetic UseDimethicone is used in skincare products to create a protective barrier, improve texture, and reduce tackiness.
Impact on Skin TypesSuitable for most skin types, but may be especially beneficial for dry and sensitive skin due to its emollient nature.
Potential BenefitsSmoothes skin, fills in fine lines, provides a velvety feel, and locks in moisture.
DrawbacksSome individuals may experience clogged pores or skin sensitivity.
Recommended UsageUse as needed in products like primers, moisturizers, and makeup.
CompatibilityGenerally compatible with many ingredients, but may reduce the absorption of water-based actives.
PrecautionsPatch test if prone to breakouts. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.
Who Should Use ItSuitable for most individuals unless sensitive to silicones.
Frequency of UseApply as needed based on product usage instructions.
Works Well WithMakeup products, silicones, and occlusive agents.
Don’t Use WithWater-based products without proper formulation.


Is Dimethicone good or bad for the skin?

Generally, Dimethicone is considered good for the skin. It acts as a layer of protection that supports to keep up the moisture and lets the skin feel smooth. However, some people with very acne-prone skin may want to use it cautiously as it could potentially trap oil and lead to breakouts.

Is Dimethicone safe to use?

Yes, Dimethicone is safe to use in cosmetics, and personal care products is safe. It has undergone extensive testing, and regulatory authorities have approved its use at safe levels. Dimethicone is unlikely to affect you unless you have specific allergies or sensitivities.

What is the use of Dimethicone for skin?

A skin conditioner and emollient, Dimethicone is a component in skincare products. The skin feels smoother, and moisture loss is prevented by the protective barrier it creates on the skin’s surface. It is frequently present in moisturizers, lotions, primers, and cosmetics.

Is Dimethicone safe for hair?

Yes, Dimethicone is safe for hair when used in hair care products. It imparts a silky, shiny appearance to the hair strands and helps to reduce frizz and flyaways. However, using products with Dimethicone regularly without clarifying can lead to product buildup, so it’s a good idea to use a clarifying shampoo occasionally to remove any residue.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, Dimethicone is your skin and hair’s friendly companion, not the troublemaker some might make it out to be. Scientific research and expert opinions back its safety, making it a trusted ingredient in your go-to beauty products. 

So, embrace the silky-smooth feeling it provides and enjoy your skin and hair’s happy dance!


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