Dimethicone and cyclomethicone are useful and well-loved skin care ingredient derived from silicone.
Dimethicone works in skin care as both a partial occlusive and an emollient (moisturizing) ingredient.
What are the 5 key benefits of dimethicone in skin care?
- It is commonly used in oil-free moisturizers, and is a great ingredient for acne prone complexions
- It is noncomedogenic in spite of the concerns to the contrary that it blocks pores.
- Its presence gives products a silky feel without being greasy.
- It helps skin to retain moisture by reducing TEWL (transepidermal water loss).
- It is also hypoallergenic and great for sensitive skin..
Cyclomethicone is also used in skin care. It similar to dimethicone but thicker.
What are dimethicone, cyclomethicone and silicones used in skin care?
Silicone comes from silica, which is sand. It is formed into a polymer made of repeating molecules that are large and have large spaces between each molecule. Dimethicone and cyclomethicone are similar. This means that the layer of these ingredients on your skin breaths, and other active ingredients can move through it. These large molecules are too big to enter your skin or your pores. Their presence on your skin surface imparts an instant silky and smooth feel.
Silicone gels and sheets are applied to scars and have been found helpful in shrinking troublesome scars such as keloids. I’ve used them for years in my practice with excellent results to help people prone to keloids and hypertrophic scars.
What is the benefit of using silicone-derived ingredients such as cyclomethicone and dimethicone in moisturizing skin care products?
These ingredients decrease moisture loss from skin, called transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
Dimethicone is used as a skin protectant to help skin resist irritation due to minor contact irritants.
For this reason, I find dimethicone very helpful in hand care products, such as my Dry Skin Hand Cream, to help hand skin resist chapping. It is listed in an FDA monograph as a skin protectant for over-the-counter human use, such as in diaper rash products. It is also used in foams formulated to relieve irritation from rashes such as eczema.
Will silicone or dimethicone smother or suffocate your skin or clog pores?
No. There is no scientific evidence that this happens, despite questions and anecdotal stories to the contrary. In fact, dimethicone has been shown to be noncomedogenic. It also does not cling to skin or clog pores.
What are some of the best way to use dimethicone and cyclomethicone in your skin care routine?
Dimethicone and cyclomethicone are best formulated into skin care products by expert chemists. They mix nicely with many ingredients, including oils and humectants such as glycerin. In fact, dimethicone and glycerin are a common and highly effective combination in oil-free moisturizers loved by acne-prone complexions such as my Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Complexions. Overall, dimethicone is a great ingredient for skin care products to help keep them light textured yet hydrating and protective.
Find dimethicone and cyclomethicone in the products below. Some of the top products where these ingredients give you great protective and moisture retaining benefits include:
In my Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy where dimethicone is combined with the humectant hyaluronic acid and the powerful, pharmaceutical-grade green tea EGCG polyphenol antioxidants equivalent to those found in 500 cups of brewed green tea.
Retinol Intensive Night Cream where they are paired with high concentration pharmaceutical-grade retinol, the same green tea polyphenol antioxidants as in Green Tea Therapy, and hyaluronic acid. This is a must-have antiaging and anti-acne product.
Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum, where they are paired with stable L-ascorbic acid to create a key anti-aging and antioxidant product.
All three of my Sheer Strength Pure Physical SPF 50+ Sunscreens where they make these sunscreens perform exceptionally well while feeling light on your skin.
Dry Skin Hand Cream where dimethicone is paired with glycerin in a magic combination that soothes and protects overused hand skin. This is like no other hand care product! There is no greasy or slippery grip with this cream yet it is amazingly effective. I’ve carried this cream in my lab coat pocket for years and it sits by many of my sinks. I apply ot often during my busy day. This is the best hand cream to heal and prevent chapped hands.
One last geek note about glycerin and dimethicone: Glycerin is the most effective humectant available to increase stratum corneum hydration. But if the concentration is too high it will create a sticky feel on the skin. Oddly, if used alone, glycerin will increase TEWL as it pulls moisture out of skin to donate do dry air – so optimal formulation needs to be precise. In my Dry Skin Hand Cream and Daily Face Creams, it is perfectly combined with dimethicone to create magic - light textured moisturizers that are protective, silky and highly effective!
Chularojanamontri Leana, Moisturizers for Acne, What are their constituents? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol., 2014 May; 7(5): 36-44 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4025519/
Carter BN, Sherman RT., Dimethicone (silicone) skin protection in surgical patients. AMA Arch Surg., 1957;75: 116-7
Eberting Cheryl L, et. al., Pathophysiologic Treatment Approact to Irritant Contact Dermatitis, Current Treatment Options in Allergy Dec. 2014, 1 (4) 317-328 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40521-014-0030-0
Van Reeth Isabelle,The Beauty of Silicone in Skin Care Applications https://consumer.dow.com/content/dam/dcc/documents/en-us/tech-art/27/27-16/27-1624-01-beauty-silicone-skin-care-applications.pdf?iframe=true&v=82d32f87b89f
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Gentle, oil free hydration for facial skin. This light glycerin moisturizer is perfect for acne prone skin and to use in combination with all of our therapeutic facial products.
Regular Price: $26.00
Special Price $23.40
Richly moisturizing, non-greasy technology with just a hint of hydrating oils to balance dry facial skin. Fortified with antioxidants, vitamin E and CoQ10.
Regular Price: $28.00
Special Price $25.20
Hot dry climates or cozy winter weather don’t have to mean dehydrated and dull skin. Change your skin care with the season.$125.55
Enjoy a new, winter escape and get rid of dull and dehydrated skin. Ring in the New Year with dewy, refined skin-texture and luminously-hydrated tone.$148.50
Get smoother, softer cleaner looking skin with a more luminous appearance with this magic combination of physical exfoliation and thermal clay deep pore cleansing.$55.00
State of the art antioxidant skin care powerhouse and my absolute favorite facial product. If you were going to pick just one antioxidant for your skin care, the best would be green tea - it helps calm skin redness and fights sun damage.$151.20
State of the art antioxidant skin care powerhouse and my absolute favorite facial product. If you were going to pick just one antioxidant for your skin care, the best would be green tea - it helps calm skin redness and fights sun damage.
Regular Price: $86.00
Special Price $77.40
This near-magical product combination is indispensable in my dermatology practice for calming facial redness.$88.20
The right complete skin care routine is really important to healing your rosacea. My kit offers products to keep your complexion clear, healthy, and comfortable. >$319.05
6-in-1 technology to fight all eye-area problems in one cream! Advanced pharmaceutical-quality active ingredients in the correct balance to help fight aging and to improve the appearance of your eye area.$89.00
Retinol is one of the best non-prescription skin care ingredients you can use to reverse the signs of skin aging. Every serious anti-aging skin care routine should include a retinoid product to improve your skin complexion quickly.
Regular Price: $83.00
Special Price $74.70
Ultra-high concentration retinol is one of the best non-prescription skin care ingredients to fight skin aging. A serious anti-aging skin care routine should include a retinoid product, and all-trans- retinol is the best non-prescription retinoid for the job.
Regular Price: $94.50
Special Price $85.05
I think this is the best vitamin C skin care product made! Dermatologists and skin care experts agree that vitamin C is one of the most important products in a serious anti-wrinkle treatment for sun-damaged skin.
Regular Price: $132.00
Special Price $118.80
Dr. Bailey’s Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit offers the best skin care products made today to help brighten your complexion and reduce wrinkles and age spots. It also protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and everyday stresses.$288.00
Antioxidants play a huge role in protecting your skin from free radicals that damage precious, nucleic acids (DNA) and skin structures (lipid cell membranes, to name a few).$278.10
At last, an ultra-light sunscreen spray that’s pure mineral protection with micro (not nano) zinc oxide for the best anti-aging broad spectrum protection.
Regular Price: $44.00
Special Price $39.60
Enjoy an oil free, non-whitening and “light as air” feel on your skin. Pure mineral zinc-oxide protection that’s perfect for even the most sensitive skin.
Regular Price: $47.00
Special Price $42.30
Oil-free and oil control ultra-light and tinted matte technology in a hypoallergenic sunscreen – it’s the holy grail for oily and sensitive skin AND it’s elegant for all skin types too! Contains iron oxide too making it the best sunscreen for melasma.$47.00
A popular dermatologist-recommended hypoallergenic lip balm and sunscreen - all together in one product.$8.00
The perfect AHA face cream for normal and combination skin. Available in 10%, 15% and 20% strength for all skin types$31.00
Professional glycolic acid skin care products are among the best, non-prescription anti-wrinkle face creams that also fight sun spots. Glycolic acid rejuvenates and reverses so many of the signs of skin aging including: dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles, crepey skin, sun spots, and crusty age spots.$64.80
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Fade an uneven complexion almost instantly with the best pigment lightening products. Reverse fine lines and wrinkles and return your appearance to younger days. This kit has everything proven to do the job!$365.85
My Complete Skin Care Kit for Men fights facial redness and premature skin aging all at the same time.$159.30
Dermatologist recommended to have an enviable beard free of beardruff, itching and dryness.$112.50
Non-drying, soap-free and pH balanced foaming skin cleansing for thorough removal of excess oil, dirt, debris and product residue. Gentle enough for all but the most intolerant and sensitive complexions.
Regular Price: $37.00
Special Price $33.30
My Pityrosporum folliculitis is essential if you have that odd type of acne that both itches and hurts, has bright red pustules and tiny flesh-colored bumps studding your skin and that represent clogged pores.$109.35
No active ingredient beats glycolic acid for fast results when it comes to smoothing skin texture, creating a youthful and dewy skin luster, and lightening age spots.$39.00
Complete professional-strength treatment for fast results! This combination skin treatment is proven to improve body skin problems including keratosis pilaris (chicken skin), seborrheic keratosis (age barnacles), and solar lentigines (liver spots).$81.90
Complete professional-strength treatment for fast results! This combination skin treatment is proven to improve body skin problems including keratosis pilaris (chicken skin), seborrheic keratosis (age barnacles), and solar lentigines (liver spots).
Regular Price: $91.00
Special Price $81.90
Dermatologist−recommended skin treatment for dry, busy hands.$27.00
Dermatologist-recommended skin treatment for dry, chapped, painful hands and cracked fingertips.$42.30
This is the skin care routine I used while undergoing chemo treatments myself. I designed these kits to help chemo patients simplify one aspect of their chemotherapy self-care. Be confident that you are taking good care of your body’s largest organ while you undergo chemo. These are also the perfect gift to send to a friend or family member who is undergoing cancer treatment. 50% of the profits donated to cancer research.$69.30
My SunSavvy Around Town Bundle is complete sun protection that’s perfect for everyday use. Whether you’re at work, school, a weekend outing, or special celebration, you’ll be covered.$113.85
Soaking up all the sunny-fun summer has to offer means extreme, sun-protection tools need to be close at hand. Yep. You're you’re going to be outside at BBQs, concerts, lounging by the pool, having fun in the river or on the lake, and more. You’ve been waiting all year for this! And, I’ve got your skin covered so that you get all the bliss without the sun damage.$172.35
This luscious and all natural face cream is my absolute new favorite face sunscreen! Natural, broad-spectrum mineral zinc oxide protection that feels and looks so good on your skin that you'll want to wear it 24/7.$45.00
Non-greasy natural non-nano zinc oxide mineral sunscreen for every day sun protection. This is a lovely natural mineral sunscreen made with organic ingredients - and it's not just for babies!
Regular Price: $24.00
Special Price $21.60
Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection in a lovely moisturizing lotion that's sheer and elegant of the skin. Perfect for normal to dry skin with it's hyaluronic acid and just a little light oil to moisturize your skin without leaving a heavy feel.$26.50
My favorite sunscreen for sports, swimming and sweaty activities. Solbar Zinc provides protection for up to 80 minutes in the water with its hefty 7.5% mineral zinc oxide combined with other chemical sunscreen agents. Oil free and shouldn't aggravate acne.$13.00
My favorite every day sunscreen! I wear it every day on my face, neck and chest! It gives a great matte finish that's SPF 40 and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.$35.00
The best dermatologist recommended mineral sunscreen products for everyday protection. This kit includes Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40 for the face, ears, and neck, along with Solbar Zinc Sunscreen SPF 38 for the chest, hands, and other areas that need sun protection.$43.20
The Ultimate Sun Protection Kit provides everything you'll need to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.This kit includes Sun Guard Laundry Treatment, UV Ray Detecto Ring, Vanicream Lip Protectant, Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen and Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40 and a mesh travel bag for your products.$56.25
This is the ultimate in 'nonchemical', mineral, physical sun protection. It is perfect for people with extremely sensitive skin.
Regular Price: $38.00
Special Price $30.40
An extremely hydrating glycolic acid cream. It's a perfect starting point for beginning AHA therapy for dry skin types.$50.00