Today we're taking a look back at a common hand cream ingredient: dimethicone. This is silicone. Let’s learn a bit more about this.
Dimethicone, in science speak, is a silicone-based polymer. It is a man-made in the lab ingredient. It is found in everything from makeup primers to anti-wrinkle creams because of how it can glide over the skin and spread with ease. It kind of acts like a silky form of putty, in some ways, because it can temporarily fill in lines and large pores and allow your foundation to glide over it with ease. That’s why it’s the backbone, so to speak, of so many firming creams. It tricks you into thinking it is firming your skin.
Silicones aren’t BAD necessarily–at least not in the way parabens and DMDM Hydantoin and other toxins in skin care may be. The FDA approves their use and the Skin Deep Database at the EWG doesn’t give it an alarmingly high score. That said, it is not a skin-benefiting ingredient in any way.
Over time, dimethicone usually makes your skin look worse. Dimethicone forms a barrier — it is a polymer. In other words, it forms an artificial coating over your skin. Now think about this. If you are, day in and day out, applying a product that leaves an artificial coating to your skin, it will eventually wreak havoc on your skin.
This happens because everyday dirt, bacteria, sweat, etc. gets trapped underneath that barrier. This creates the perfect opportunity for breakouts and skin irritation to occur. It also inhibits something vital: the natural process of dead skin cells shedding. If your skin cells aren’t shedding, they are collecting. The result? Patches of uneven texture and tone, dryness, skin congestion, and flaking. This creates a vicious cycle. Your skin starts looking dry and dull, so you apply MORE of the product causing the problem to begin with.
Over time, that cream you bought to give your skin a lift may actually AGE YOUR SKIN.