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Dimethicone

What is it?

Dimethicone and Methicone are silicone based polymers. The only difference between these two polymers is that the repeating unit of Dimethicone contains two methyl groups, while the repeating unit of Methicone contains one methyl group. Other Dimethicone and Methicone based polymers that may be used in cosmetics include Amino Bispropyl Dimethicone, Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Amodimethicone Hydroxystearate, Behenoxy Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone, C24-28 Alkyl Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone, Cetearyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethoxysilyl Ethylenediaminopropyl Dimethicone, Hexyl Methicone, Hydroxypropyldimethicone, Stearamidopropyl Dimethicone, Stearoxy Dimethicone, Stearyl Methicone, Stearyl Dimethicone and Vinyl Dimethicone.

In cosmetics and personal care products Dimethicone and related ingredients are used in the formulation of a wide range of cosmetic and personal care products including cosmetic creams and lotions, bath soaps, shampoo and hair care products. The most widely used ingredient in this group is Dimethicone.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of Dimethicone and approved its use as a skin protectant active ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC)drug products.

The safety of Dimethicone, Methicone Amino Bispropyl Dimethicone, Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Amodimethicone Hydroxystearate, Behenoxy Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone, C24-28 Alkyl Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone, Cetearyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethoxysilyl Ethylenediaminopropyl Dimethicone, Hexyl Methicone, Hydroxypropyldimethicone, Stearamidopropyl Dimethicone, Stearoxy Dimethicone, Stearyl Methicone, Stearyl Dimethicone and Vinyl Dimethicone has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that these ingredients were safe for use in cosmetics.
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Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

The following functions have been reported for these ingredients.

Antifoaming agent - Dimethicone, Cetyl Dimethicone
Corrosion inhibitor - Stearamidopropyl Dimethicone
Film former - Stearamidopropyl Dimethicone
Hair conditioning agent - Amino Bispropyl Dimethicone, Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Amodimethicone Hydroxystearate, Dimethoxysilyl Ethylenediaminopropyl Dimethicone, Hydroxypropyldimethicone
Skin conditioning agent - emollient - Behenoxy Dimethicone, C24-28 Alkyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Hexyl Methicone, Stearoxy Dimethicone
Skin conditioning agent - miscellaneous - Hydroxypropyldimethicone
Skin conditioning agent - occlusive - Methicone, Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone, Cetearyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Stearyl Dimethicone, Stearyl Methicone
Skin protectant - Dimethicone
Surface modifier - Methicone
Viscosity increasing agent - nonaqueous - C24-28 Alkyl Methicone, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone

Scientific facts:

Silicon is ubiquitous in the earth and silicon dioxide is common sand. Silicon, like carbon, can form polymers. Dimethicone is a fluid mixture of siloxane polymers sometimes referred to as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). It is optically clear, and is generally considered to be inert, non-toxic and non-flammable. Dimethicone is the most widely used silicone polymer, and is particularly known for its unusual rheological (or flow) properties.

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