There is a lot of debate within the green beauty world about the use of dimethicone in skincare and cosmetic products and I wanted to share my thoughts on the matter and why I don’t mind it being in my products. I encourage you to educate yourself about the ingredients in your personal care products and decide which ingredients you deem important to avoid and those that you feel comfortable with.
What is Dimethicone?
Dimethicone is a silicone-based ingredients also known as polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS. It makes your product feel smooth and silky when applied. It is often included in products to help fill in lines and smooth the texture of your skin.
Dimethicone has been known to help prevent skin irritation and dermatitis caused by ingredients that can aggravate the skin by creating a barrier on the skin. There is also evidence that including a product containing dimethicone in your skincare/makeup routine can reduce redness in rosacea and also prevent skin infections by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface.
In addition to forming a barrier on the skin and providing a smooth base for makeup application, dimethicone is used in makeup formulas to improve performance, pigmentation and consistency.
Why I am ok with dimethicone in certain products:
I, personally, am fine with dimethicone in makeup products and sunscreen but prefer to avoid it in other skincare products. I am ok with it in makeup products because of how it enhances performance. I am also ok with it in sunscreen because it creates a barrier and makes regular sunscreen use more comfortable, meaning, I am more likely to use it every day.
While I am ok with dimethicone in makeup products and sunscreen, I tend to avoid it in my skincare products. There are some exceptional skincare products and brands out there that perform great and don’t require dimethicone.
Myths and Misinformation about Dimethicone:
Many people erroneously believe that dimethicone clogs the pores and prevents the skin from breathing. Well, there actually aren’t any scientific journals indicating that dimethicone clogs the pores and your skin does not have any respiratory actions. Dimethicone is actually non-comedogenic (it has a rating of 1 out of 5 in the Science of Cosmetic Chemists journal). This means that it is unlikely to lead to breakouts so long as it is thoroughly cleansed off the skin at the end of the day (like everything else).
Another common piece of misinformation that I have heard about silicone-based ingredients is that they trap bacteria on the surface of the skin leading to breakouts. Well, this may or may not be true (there is a lack of scientific evidence). The truth is that we need bacteria on our skin; the skin’s microbiome is critical for the health of the skin. There is no evidence that dimethicone promotes the growth of pathogenic or harmful bacteria on the skin. Again, even if it did, it shouldn’t be a problem so long as you thoroughly cleanse your skin at the end of the day and avoid products that strip the skin of beneficial bacteria.
To me green beauty without compromising your health sits on a foundation of informed choice. I think each person should investigate ingredients using reliable information and create their own list of what they personally think is important to avoid.
Here are the ingredients that I actively avoid in my personal care products but again this is a personal choice:
- BHA/Butylated Hydroxyanisole
- Ceteareth Glycol
- PEG/Polyethylene Glycol
- Cocamide Dea
- Diazolidinyl Urea and Imidazolidinyl Urea
- Dibutyl Phthalate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- DMDM Hydantoin
- Mineral Oil
When I assess ingredients I look for safety, toxicity, comedogenicity, odor, effectiveness, stability, and sustainability of the sources.
Have a beautiful day!