What is dimethicone in cosmetics?  What dangers?

What is dimethicone in cosmetics? What dangers?

Does your cream make your skin soft? It probably contains dimethicone. We tell you everything you need to know about this component, with Christine Lafforgue, biologist and chemist, specializing in the formulation, design of cosmetic products and product-skin interactions.

What is dimethicone?

the dimethicone is a silicone polymer frequently used in cosmetics. Along with petroleum jelly, it is also one of the most widely used ingredients in beauty products.

“There are many different silicones. Dimethicone is mainly found in cosmetics because it is very easy to use for manufacturers. It has very good chemical stability and is pleasant to the touch. You can also add what you want in terms of ingredients, because it does not present any major risks”, explains the expert. Before adding: “Dimethicone also allows the product to have good substantivity. That is to say, it clings well to keratin molecules and to the horny layer of the epidermis.”

Dimethicone is most commonly found in ointments, creams, lip balms, and sunscreens. But it can also be found in hair products.

What is dimethicone used for in our cosmetics?

Knowing that our cosmetics are full of dimethicone can be scary, because silicones do not have a good reputation.

However, this component is inert. It has no antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or antibacterial action, like certain ingredients present in our beauty products. It is mainly used to make the texture of the cosmetic more pleasant.

“Dimethicone helps tospread the product more easily. It doesn’t clump and it also rinses off very well”, indicates the biologist and chemist, “It leaves a light film on the surface of the skin which helps maintain hydration and it provides a soft touch, on the skin as well as on the hair.”

This component also helps make-up stay on the skin better throughout the day, if you use a make-up base that includes it. Finally, it allowsimprove the appearance of the skintemporarily filling in fine lines and wrinkles on the face, leaving a smooth finish.

Is dimethicone dangerous for our skin?

No, dimethicone is not dangerous for the skin, according to specialists. It is not subject to any European restrictions to date. It is also judged as “acceptable” by theUFC What To Choose.

“It is completely harmless. The allergic risk is extremely rare,” says Christine Lafforgue. Dimethicone has a high molecular weight, which means that it cannot easily penetrate the epidermis. It stays on the surface.

Contrary to popular belief, it does not clog the pores of the skin. It’s not heavy or greasy, and it even helps mattify the skin. It is also found in many products for oily or acne-prone skin, because it would act as a soothing and protective barrier. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to speak directly with your dermatologist.

Is dimethicone bad for our hair?

We told you, dimethicone is present in many hair products. In particular because it makes the hair smooth, shiny and soft.

However, the daily use of a shampoo or treatment containing dimethicone is not recommended. Indeed, if it rinses easily on the skin, it is more difficult to eliminate on the hair. The component can then accumulate on the hair fiber and prevent water from penetrating the hair cuticle. As a result, your mane is drier and damaged.

If you are a fan of products with dimethicone, be sure to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo once every two weeks. This will help relieve your hair of product deposits or dirt that accumulate and suffocate the hair fiber.

In truth, the only danger of dimethicone is its environmental impact”, warns the expert.

The environmental impact of dimethicone

“In truth, the only danger of dimethicone is its environmental impact”, warns the expert.

It is a component which is not biodegradable and which is harmful to the health of the planet. “The European REACH regulations try to prioritize the use of dimethicone, to see if we can limit its production for certain products. We must think about the interest of the product in relation to its impact on the environment. When using dimethicone for hospital dressings, yes, there is real interest. But if it’s just to make the makeup last longer, you have to think about it,” she explains. Before continuing: “The problem is that today, manufacturers are struggling to find a biodegradable equivalent to replace dimethicone. There are tests in progress but it is difficult to find the same touch. This is a real concern for the formulator.”

In 2019, the ECHA (European Chemical Agency), submitted a restriction proposal falling within the framework of the REACH regulation. The goal? Prohibit the marketing of products containing microplastics (mixture of polymers and remember, dimethicone is a polymer) intentionally added by manufacturers, if they have a risk of release into the environment. This project should be examined in 2022 by the European Commission.

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