Dimethicone :: What it is & My Opinion
Dimethicone is a silicone oils used in cosmetics. Silicones are man-made rubberlike compounds that add glide and smoothness to cosmetics. Dimethicone is used at levels as high as 15% in cosmetic formulas. Your skin is unable to breathe as nature intended under the smothering properties of dimethicone. By smother, I mean that dimethicone conceals and envelopes the skin, not that the skin is completely deprived of oxygen. Dimethicone is designed to stay on the top of the skin and create a barrier your finger tips can feel, making it seem that the texture of your skin is soft and smooth. In reality it is only the large molecules of the unpenetrated dimethicone that your fingers feel and not your skin at all.
Dimethicone literally does not allow the skin to do 4 of its 7 functions. Dimethicone is to vegetable oil what processed cheese is to cheddar cheese. Dimethicone and processed cheese come up empty while the vegetable oil and cheddar cheese feed the body. Vegetable oils are nutrient packed and work to improve the skins function. Dimethicone smoothers the skin and leaves it dependant on the product long term. Vegetable oils feed the skin while dimethicone coats the skin in a layer of silicone.
I once had a salesperson try to convince me the value of adding his dimethicone product to a formula because it would literally not wash off the face for up to five days. This was supposed to be a selling point, but to this natural loving girl it was a definite no thanks.
My opinion is that dimethicone is great in the hair but does not have a place in natural skincare. The best natural alternatives to dimethicone that are on the market today are Broccoli Seed Oil and Meadowfoam oil. Dimethicone won’t literally kill skin cells or do extreme damage to your skin, but why use it when there are natural alternatives that work synergistically with your body.
More about the author: Kayla Fioravanti is the Vice President, Chief Formulator, ARC Registered & Certified Aromatherapist for Essential Wholesale and its lab division Essential Labs. Read more from this author