Dimethicone, also known as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), is a type of silicone widely used in skincare and cosmetic products. It's a large molecule that stays on the skin's surface and does not get absorbed into it.
In skin care, dimethicone serves several functions:
- Moisturizer: It forms a barrier on the skin that helps keep moisture locked in, making it an effective moisturizing agent.
- Texture Enhancer: Dimethicone provides a smooth and silky texture, making products easier to spread and apply.
- Protective Barrier: By forming a barrier on the skin, dimethicone helps protect the skin from environmental damage.
- Primer: It's commonly used in makeup primers as it fills in fine lines and pores, creating a smoother surface for makeup application.
Dimethicone is generally considered safe for most people and is not a common allergen. However, some individuals, particularly those with sensitive or acne-prone skin, might experience irritation or breakouts. This could be because dimethicone's barrier can trap dirt, sebum, and bacteria, potentially leading to skin issues.
The types of products where dimethicone can be found include moisturizers, makeup primers, foundations, concealers, hair products, sunscreens, lip balms and lipsticks, anti-aging products, various creams and lotions, and some acne treatments.
Synonyms for dimethicone include polydimethylsiloxane, PDMS, E900, dimethylpolysiloxane, silicone oil, and simethicone. It may also be listed under specific names based on its viscosity, such as Dimethicone 350, 200, or 100.
As with any skincare ingredient, it's always a good idea to perform a patch test when trying a new product containing dimethicone, especially for those with sensitive skin or known allergies.