Beauty Ingredients 101: What's the Deal With Dimethicone?
It’s hard to keep up with what’s in and what’s out in beauty ingredients. And once something makes the no-no list, does that apply to all variations of that ingredient, and does that mean it’s off-limits for all skin types? Silicones definitely fall into this mystery product category, with dimethicone in particular being the subject of much debate. So we decided to get answers. We asked dermatologist Dr. Carl Thornfeldt and celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau to break down everything we need to know about dimethicone.
Scroll down to hear what they had to say!
“Silicones have far more benefits than risks, but it also depends on the product formula and the type of skin you have,” Rouleau says. “Silicones are hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic and are not known to sensitize the skin, making them ideal for easily irritated complexions. They are also excellent at offsetting dryness from topical acne products such as benzoyl peroxide and topical antibiotics that typically cause flakiness. Those with eczema and psoriasis may find them helpful in managing flakiness and cracking of the skin.” Dr. Thornfeldt agrees, noting, “It is particularly effective for people who suffer from acne conditions, and scaly skin conditions by making the scales softer and easier to slough off.” He also noted that it’s great for ageing complexions. “The skin becomes visually softer and more supple because dimethicone will congregate in the sites of the skin’s defects—‘filling in’ those areas, i.e. fine lines and wrinkles,” he says. The other point they both stress is that dimethicone helps keep moisture in the skin without being greasy. “It also helps prevent trans-epidermal water loss, so it can keep the skin feeling moist—even in dry climates like aeroplanes,” Rouleau says. The bottom line? They both agree that dimethicone, despite being a synthetically created silicone, has a place in your products. Find it in Ole Henriksen’s Nuture Me ($40) and Erno Laszlo’s Phelityl Night Cream ($110).
What other ingredients do you have questions about? Tell us below, and we’ll investigate for you!