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Skincare FAQ

Ingredient Explained: Dimethicone

Understanding dimethicone in skincare in less than one minute.

Dimethicone may be a stranger skincare ingredient to you, but you’re likely using it daily. Up ahead, we take a closer look at what dimethicone is and the whole package of skin benefits it comes with.

What is dimethicone?

Dimethicone is a silicone derivative often used in skincare to enhance the product’s texture, lock in moisture and protect the skin. It’s found in all sorts of products ranging from primers and foundations to shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and cleansers, working as an anti-irritant, skin-protector, and hydrator. 

First, dimethicone is an occlusive that creates a protective barrier on the skin to trap in moisture, helping prevent and block transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Dimethicone also has emollient properties, meaning it smoothens and softens the skin, keeping it plumped and hydrated.[1]

The moisturizing properties of dimethicone lead to a consolidated protective barrier, aka the skin will be more protected from external aggressors and irritants and less likely to get irritated. As it both hydrates and protects, dimethicone is a great ally for dry skin as well as for people with problematic, easily reactive skin. For reference, a Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology study particularly found that products containing dimethicone were less irritating than those without dimethicone.[2]

Last but not least, dimethicone is non-comedogenic, doesn’t feel greasy nor make the product do, and spreads and absorbs quickly. Since dimethicone is known not to cause breakouts, it’s a great moisturizer treatment for acne-prone skin.

In terms of safety concerns, dimethicone is an ingredient suitable for all skin types when it’s applied topically. Dimethicone can also be used with most skincare actives, including the more aggressive ones like retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C.

References
  1. Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, Kulthanan K, Pongparit K. Moisturizers for Acne: What are their Constituents?J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(5):36-44.
  2. Dimethicone as a protective ingredient in topical medications, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2006.10.320.
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