Dimethicone: Is It Safe for Skin & Hair?

You've probably spotted dimethicone in shampoo or body products. If dimethicone is safe, why does Puracy pledge never to use it? 

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 and sustainability, we wanted to set the record straight about dimethicone in skincare and hair products – and why we'll never use it.

Is Dimethicone Natural?

Dimethicone is a silicone. Therefore, it's synthetic and absolutely not natural.

What Is Dimethicone?

what is dimethicone

From diaper rash creams to moisturizers to liquid foundations, hundreds of products use dimethicone for easier application. It's also used to keep products from separating in their packaging.

Dimethicone Uses

dimethicone in shampoo

Dimethicone in skin care and hair care products help form a protective layer along skin, improving water retention.

For example, most makeup primers use some form of dimethicone (like polydimethylsiloxane) because the silicone-based polymer molecules are too large to be absorbed by skin. They instead leave a silky, slippery residue behind.

Shampoo with dimethicone and other hair products also coat hair cuticles, improve detangling, and smooth tresses.

In Skincare, Is Dimethicone 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.

dimethicone in skincare

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson states that dimethicone “doesn't interact with the stratum corneum (the top layer of the skin). It forms a film that prevents the loss of water through the skin to help keep skin moisturized. As an emollient, it also fills the spaces between cracks in the skin.”

Though dimethicone is synthetic, it's a good chemically-inert moisturizer and considered safe for skin. Dr. Jackson adds, “There's no evidence that it causes acne.”

Is Dimethicone for Hair Safe?

is dimethicone safe for hair

Dimethicone in shampoo and other hair products typically leaves tresses shinier and easier to detangle. However, waxy buildup can prevent water from making contact with the hair cuticle, leading to dryer and/or damaged locks. And that buildup can also weigh down curly and/or fine hair – the opposite of what you want!

Do I Really Need Dimethicone in Shampoo?

dimethicone for hair

Listen, we know: There are very few eco-friendly, dimethicone-free hair products that provide great results. That's why we tasked our biochemists to replicate the effects of dimethicone in shampoo – but only using biodegradable ingredients.

Puracy's proud to be one of the first companies to use Lexfeel N5 in our hair care products. Not only is this texture enhancer plant-sourced, 100% sustainable, and biodegradable, but it also replicates the effects of dimethicone and other silicones. Shiny, bouncy hair? You've got it! `

Is Dimethicone Safe?

Dimethicone is widely regarded as chemically and physically inert. It's also not known as a skin irritant or sensitizer – even when applied at a 100% concentration. But we believe that concerns regarding its environmental impact are justified.

Is Dimethicone Safe for the Environment?

is dimethicone safe

The short answer: No.

Depending on your water's route, 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.”

Say "Goodbye" to Dimethicone in Hair Products

is dimethicone bad for your hair

Puracy Natural Shampoo and Conditioner are rare examples of silicone-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!).

Give your hair 2-4 weeks to readjust to a silicone-free regime. If you're not absolutely thrilled with our hair care products, we'll refund your purchase. No questions asked.