Written by Audrey Swanson. Medically reviewed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson.

When it comes to choosing personal care products for your family, it’s always smart to read labels carefully. But chemical names (like “polydimethylsiloxane”) can be difficult to decipher, and when you’re pressed for time, researching every ingredient is next-to-impossible. 

As an eco-friendly skincare brand, Puracy wants to set the record straight about what dimethicone is – and why we never use it in our products.   

What Is Dimethicone?

If you've ever used a makeup primer with a silky or slippery feel, it probably had some version of dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane) in it. Because molecules of this silicone-based polymer are too large for the skin and hair to absorb, these products leave behind a thin layer. As a result, you get shinier-looking and smoother-feeling skin and hair – a major reason for the popularity of dimethicone in cosmetics.

what is Dimethicone

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson states that dimethicone “does not 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, thus keeping the skin moisturized. It also works as an emollient, filling the spaces between cracks in the skin.”

What Is Dimethicone Used For?

There are hundreds of dimethicone uses in personal care products, with the most popular being diaper rash cream, moisturizer, hand lotion, and liquid foundation. This ingredient allows products to be applied seamlessly. In makeup primers, it prevents foundation from changing colors and cracking.

Is Dimethicone Bad for Hair?

is Dimethicone bad for hair

Most hair care companies use dimethicone and silicone to coat the hair cuticle and make detangling easier. A lot of this comes down to these ingredients’ affordability and effectiveness. There are simply very few eco-friendly, dimethicone-free products that can provide the same results.

After years of research and development with expert chemists and testers, Puracy Natural Shampoo and Conditioner are rare examples of dimethicone-free hair products that manage to leave all hair types moisturized, bouncy, and shiny.  

Introducing LexFeel N5: The Best Dimethicone Alternative for Hair

The Best Dimethicone Alternative for Hair

During our Puracy Shampoo and Conditioner reformulation process, the biggest change came in the form of an ingredient called Lexfeel N5. Puracy is proud to be one of the first companies to use this 100% sustainable and biodegradable emollient, which seamlessly replicates the effects of both dimethicone and silicone. 

Get the best tips from the cleaning obsessed.

Puracy crafts cleaning & care items that work really well. Our obsession with natural cleaning performance is our profession, and we're here to share it with you.

Pro tip: Like any natural hair care regimen, it may take between 2 and 4 weeks for follicle build-up to disappear. 

Is Dimethicone Bad for Skin?

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. We consulted with Dr. Jackson on this topic, and she agreed that dimethicone is indeed safe to use on skin.

When pressed on whether dimethicone can clog pores and lead to acne, Dr. Jackson concluded, “There is no evidence that dimethicone can cause acne.”

dimethicone bad for skin

Is Dimethicone Bad for the Environment?

The short answer: Yes. 

As a hydrolyzed chemical, dimethicone is essentially washed off with soap and water. Depending on the route your water takes, 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.”

Even though it’s an unnatural, man-made substance, Dr. Jackson agrees that dimethicone is a good chemically-inert moisturizer. But it isn’t biodegradable – and the current environmental research isn’t positive. As a result, we’ll never include it in any Puracy formulas.

Natural Dimethicone Alternatives

We know that the right natural skincare ingredients can perform similar functions to their synthetic counterparts. A prime example is Puracy Organic Hand & Body Lotion, which is formulated with natural, biodegradable, and renewable ingredients that soften and protect the skin (like aloe vera, sunflower oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil)

Puracy: Helping Your Family Live a Better, Healthier Life 

The first step to avoiding dimethicone is by carefully reading labels and looking for products that pledge to use biodegradable, renewable ingredients. Next, choose items that are dimethicone, silicone-, and sulfate-free – like every Puracy personal care product.

Our company’s goal is to help your family live a healthier lifestyle while helping the environment. And we’re doing that, one bottle (and eco-friendly refill) at a time.