Written by Tenley Haraldson. Medically reviewed by Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson.
You’ve probably spotted some version of dimethicone on personal care product labels.
Since Puracy's committed to eco-friendly practices, we wanted to set the record straight about dimethicone skin care and hair care products – and why we'll never use it.
Is Dimethicone Natural?
Dimethicone is a silicone. Therefore, it's a synthetic ingredient.
What Is Dimethicone?
From diaper rash creams to moisturizers, hand lotions to liquid foundations, hundreds of products use dimethicone for easier application. It's also used to keep products from separating in their packaging.
Dimethicone skin care and hair care products help form a protective layer along skin while improving water retention.
For example, most makeup primers use some form of this ingredient (like polydimethylsiloxane) because the silicone-based polymer molecules are too large to be absorbed by skin. Instead, they leave behind a silky, slippery residue.
The same is true for shampoo with dimethicone and other hair products, which coat hair cuticles, improve detangling, and smooth tresses.
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Is Dimethicone Skin Care Safe?
According to the FDA and Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), dimethicone is a safe skincare ingredient that calms irritation, minimizes redness, and protects the skin from further damage.
Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Julie Jackson states that dimethicone “doesn't interact with the stratum corneum (the top layer of the skin). It works by forming a film that prevents the loss of water through the skin to help keep skin moisturized. It also works as an emollient, meaning that it fills the spaces between cracks in the skin.”
Though it’s a synthetic substance, dimethicone is a good chemically-inert moisturizer and is considered safe for skin. Dr. Jackson adds, “There's no evidence that dimethicone causes acne.”
Is It Safe to Use Dimethicone for Hair?
In hair products, dimethicone is known to leave tresses shinier and easier to detangle. However, the waxy buildup can prevent water from making contact with the hair cuticle – and that can lead to dryer and/or damaged locks. Curly and fine hair may also get weighed down. If you have these hair types, you’ll know this is the opposite of what you want.
Do I Really Need Dimethicone in Shampoo?
Listen, we know: There are very few eco-friendly, dimethicone-free hair products that provide the same results. That's why our PhD chemists spent years replicating the effects of dimethicone shampoo – with only biodegradable ingredients.
Puracy's proud to be one of the first companies to use Lexfeel N5 in our hair care products. This plant-sourced, 100% sustainable, and biodegradable texture enhancer seamlessly replicates the effects of dimethicone and other silicones. `
Safety of Dimethicone
But when it comes to dimethicone's environmental issues, we believe that concern is justified.
Is Dimethicone Bad for the Environment?
The short answer: Yes.
Depending on the route your water takes, when dimethicone (a hydrolyzed chemical) is washed down the drain, it can feed into aquatic environments and impact fish and plant life.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information also states that “the use of low molecular weight silicones should be reduced...and the purity of high molecular weight silicones should be monitored.”
Puracy: Biodegradable, Plant-Based, Incredibly Effective
Puracy Natural Shampoo and Conditioner are rare examples of dimethicone-free hair products that leave all hair types moisturized, bouncy, and shiny. We've even formulated these products to extend the length of time between washes (3+ days!).
If you're not absolutely thrilled with our hair care products, we'll refund your purchase. No questions asked.