Is dimethicone good for your skin?

Dimethicone is an excellent skin care product but whether it is right for you depends on what you are looking for. It is a type of silicone oil. Silicone oils in general add glide and smooth properties to skin care products. Dimethicones are unmodified silicone oils. Unmodified silicone oils stay on the surface of the skin as the molecules are too large to penetrate deeply into the skin. Because it stays on the surface of the skin, dimethicone provides a skin barrier. This is an excellent ingredient for someone whose skin barrier has been disrupted by a laser treatment (apply immediately after treatment and daily for at least one week afterwards) or whose skin barrier is seriously compromised, such as someone with rosacea whose epidermis is thin and needs added protection. Dimethicone will help take over some of the normal functions of the skin barrier, such as preventing transdermal water loss. It is a good product to use in dry, hot climates. Dimethicone used in hair products coats the hair.

To use a dimethicone product, use it as the last part of your skin care routine. Wash, tone, moisturize, or whatever your skin care regime is. Let the moisturizer dry. Then apply the dimethicone. If you wear makeup, do not apply it until the dimethicone is completely dry (10-15 minutes) because dimethicone does not mix well with other ingredients.

A product with enough dimethicone in it to be theraputic will feel greasy until it dries. This is the nature of dimethicone--if it isn't slightly greasy, there is not enough dimethicone in your product to protect your skin. However, this "greasy" feeling does not mean that it is an oily unhealthy product. You only need a small amount of a good dimethicone product.

Dimethicone is a difficult ingredient to work with when making your own skin care products because it is resistant to blending with other ingredients.

Diana Steinmetz

Dimethicone is listed as an "unacceptable" ingredient in Whole Foods Organic Body Care products standards, presumaby because it is not organic. This may or may not have any relevance for whether or not it is actually good for skin.