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Veterinarian Reviewed on January 9, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
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Dimethicone is classified as a silicone based polymer and is used mainly in cosmetics and in skin care products. These polymers were manufactured with silicon as the main element combining it with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon creating a chemical compound.

Dimethicone can also be called Amodimethicone, Stearoxy Dimethicone and Behenoxy Dimethicone. This chemical has many qualities that benefit the skin care industry; it is an effective anti-foaming agent, skin protectant and a hair conditioning agent as well.

History and Origin

Dimethicone is just one of the polymers derived from its mother element, silicon or silica. Silicon dioxide occurs naturally and scientists have made great breakthrough in combining silica with other natural elements like carbon, oxygen and hydrogen to form a polymer. Dimethicone is based on silicone. There are also more polymers made based on Dimethicone that are also used in many industries all around the world.

Ancient Uses

The use of Dimethicone was nonexistent during ancient times and the discovery of Silicon was made in 1824 by Jons Jacob Berzelius, a Swedish chemist. There were other noteworthy elements used during ancient times however such as gold, silver, copper, iron and lead.

Modern Uses

In modern times, Dimethicone was discovered as an effective polymer in personal care products. Hair care is just one of the many uses of Dimethicone and it is also an active ingredient in lice treatment shampoos. It is great in bringing back the shine, volume and life to tangled and dry hair. Many shampoos for dull hair also contain Dimethicone.

Moisturizing lotions also have Dimethicone as a main ingredient. It increases skin moisture and relives common skin conditions such as itching and dryness effectively. There are also mild creams for infants that contain Dimethicone and which are used to relive diaper rash, sores and ease itching. In the cosmetics industry, Dimethicone is also used in eye makeup, blush, concealers, foundation and many other kinds of makeup.

Side Effects

Although found to be safe under certain conditions, Dimethicone is classified as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration. It is however advised for pregnant and breastfeeding women to consult their doctors in the use of skin care products and make up with Dimethicone as active ingredient.

There are several cases where consumers who have used makeup and skin care products with Dimethicone suffered from mild side effects like itching and stinging on the applied area. It is best therefore to do a patch skin test for any make up or skin care product with Dimethicone before use. Apply a small sample of the product on the inner sides of your forearm and watch for any redness, itchiness or swelling that may occur.

In case any untoward skin reactions occur upon use, discontinue product immediately and seek medical help at once.
There are also severe cases of allergic reaction with Dimethicone that causes respiratory problems, the appearance of hives on skin and face swelling. Consult medical help at once for these symptoms.
Never use makeup and skin care products with Dimethicone on skin with open wounds and on highly irritated skin.

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Read also: Ledebouriella Divaricata Root

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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