Question and Answer: What’s the Problem with Dimethicone?

Question: I’ve seen ads for make-up that claim its dimethicone free.  What is dimethicone and why should I care if  its in my skin care products?  Can  it damage my  skin or cause environmental  problems?

Answer:  Dimethicone is a type of silicone. It is an especially large molecule that stays on the surface of the skin and  form a protective barrier.  Dimethicone is used in practically every type of toiletry including  moisturizers, sunscreens, eye cream, eye make-up shampoo and  diaper ointment.

The FDA has approved dimethicone  as safe and effective for personal care products.  Dimehticone is not on lists of chemicals which are suspected to cause health problems.  In addition, its not been found in human cells  or urine, indicating that it stays on the skin’s surface. Even the Environmental Working Group (EWG) which finds a problem with practically everything, have nothing bad to say about dimethicone- no info on cancer risk, reproductive toxicity,  allrgies,  or contamination to the environment.

Dimethicone seems  to be helpful  for seriously unhappy skin.  Its a frequent ingredient in diaper ointments  and creams for psoriasis and eczema.  Its inherent safety  makes it a popular ingredient in  eye  make-up and  toiletries for babies. The only red flag may be  for acne troubled skin. Its ability to form a water tight shield that  may, in some people block  pores and  increase breakouts.  But this is pretty hypothetical and not based on  published studies or even anecdotal  repots. 

There are definately problem ingredients in  some personal care  products.  Mineral oil, alcohol, steroids  and menthol can provoke different  issues  in different skin  profiles.  But dimethicone is not on that list.  It can be a dangerous world  today, but dimethicone is not  part of the problem.

2 thoughts on “Question and Answer: What’s the Problem with Dimethicone?

  1. I may have to get that book of cosmetic ingredients and prep for your posts. Even
    when I am overwhelmed by the multi-syllablic names, I am grateful to be getting my
    info from an investigative reporter like you, who can translate the science for beauty
    consumers like me.

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