What is Dimethicone?

If you read the ingredient list on some of the most popular cosmetic brands, one ingredient you’ll see often is dimethicone. But what is dimethicone and why is it used in cosmetics?

Dimethicone, also known as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), is a silicone oil, and is used in a number of health and beauty products. Those who don’t like skin care products with this ingredient sometimes don’t realize that this oil is also used as a food additive as well. Dimethicone is an emulsifier (which means it helps keep other ingredients from separating) and a moisturizer that makes it a highly effective additive to skin and hair care products. The ingredient is also used as an emollient to make the surface of the skin more elastic and help the skin retain moisture. 

It is also one of the most frequently used emollient ingredients in moisturizers due to its gentleness and great effectiveness. Dimethicone is considered an inert and non-toxic synthetic ingredient, even though it’s derived from natural silicon. There is no naturally occurring useable form even though some natural brands ignore that fact and use it anyway. It is also a very cheap ingredient in great supply. This is why it is typically found in drugstore brands. Look for it on your moisturizer’s ingredient list.

Dimethicone exhibits some very interesting properties, and it is an incredibly slick oil that feels like powder. On skin, it forms a permeable barrier that works to prevent moisture loss and impart a silky feel. Its lubricating properties are so amazing it gives cosmetics a powder-like all day finish. Unfortunately there is some negative information on the internet that is based on fear and pseudo science rather than facts. Though we do not use dimethicone in any of our products, we don’t have a problem with brands who do.

Dimethicone is also used in a number of cream-based makeup products, such as foundation and under eye concealer, adding a moisturizing element and allowing the product to spread over the skin with more ease. 

We hope this enhances your understanding of the ingredient so you can choose whether or not you want to try it. Knowledge is power, ladies.


xo, Jacci & Laura

Jacci Delaneau

Adventuress, animal activist and recovering cheese addict. Dreamer and doer. A patent holding serial entrepreneur, our founder Jacci, has traveled the world in search of bizarre beauty rituals, the planet’s most beautiful beaches, and the perfect pizza. She combines her background in Marine Biology and Organic Cosmetic Science to develop clean, high performance skin care using sustainable ocean based ingredients. Read more about Jacci.