Dimethicone Usage in Skin Care
When it comes to cosmetic and skin care ingredients, there are a few that we constantly hear about and we’re fully aware of what they are and what they do. Vitamin C, retinol and hyaluronic acid are a few that come to mind, but there are also a handful of elusive ingredients that make their way into products we use daily that most aren’t familiar with.
Dimethicone is at the top of that list of ingredients — it’s in practically every skin care and hair care product, but you may not know why.
What Is Dimethicone?
Dimethicone is a man-made, silicone molecule that’s often found in cosmetic and personal care products due to its excellent emollient (smoothing) properties. According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel, it works as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant, skin conditioning agent and hair conditioning agent.
While there are many different forms of dimethicone, it’s often used as a spreading aid in many of your favorite creams and lotions. Topical application of dimethicone can form a protective barrier that can help to improve moisture retention, thus increasing skin hydration. That’s what gives the skin a smooth, silky feel and can help to plump fine lines and wrinkles.
What Does Dimethicone Do for Skin?
Certain forms of dimethicone, such as dimethicone PEG or PPG, are used as emulsifiers to provide skin care products with a uniformly smooth texture. When paired with certain slip agents, dimethicone can serve as a viable solution stabilizer — in other words, it’s needed to make your products perform as intended so that you can reap their benefits. Dimethicone in skin care has benefits that may also include skin-soothing and astringent properties, according to the Journal of Wound Ostomy & Continence Nursing.