What is Dimethicone?
Dimethicone is an ingredient used in widely commercialized skin and hair care products. Shampoos are one of the many hair care products containing dimethicone. Dimethicone is actually a silicon oil that is, when mixed with shampoos, will make your hair shiny and slippery. Knowing if the skin care of hair care product you are using contains dimethicone is simple. Just look at the label and see if it contains the type of silicon oil.
The use of dimethicone on skin and hair products is a straightforward outcome of scientific research. The result is that dimethicone is an anti-foaming agent and can be used for skin protection and hair conditioner. It is also an important ingredient in lotions to make skin soft and smooth. Creams used on babies are also using dimethicone as one of its most significant component.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the polymer is safe to use in cosmetics that are commercially sold as skin emollients. However, FDA also warns women who are expecting to have a child and breast-feeding mothers to keep away from using creams. They should consult a doctor prior to using such creams.
Although, dimethicone is proven safe, side effects can never be avoided. Some people are allergic to dimethicone and are advised not to use creams with this ingredient. Dimethicone creams may cause mild itching, stinging or burning. In some worst cases, severe allergic reactions such as hives, rash, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, mouth, lips or tongue and worsening skin dryness may be experienced.
Dimethicone is not only used in skin and hair care products. The polymerized siloxane is also used in a wide variety of applications. It is also present in contact lenses, caulking, heat-resistant materials, medical devices, elastomers, and lubricating oil. The polymer is also an important part of putties, which is known to bear viscoelastic properties.
Dimethicone is also used as filler fluid in breast implants. However, its safety becomes an issue and therefore had a decline on its practice. Although there is evidence that silicone may be protect a woman from breast cancer.
The food industry also uses this polymer in several applications. The polymerized siloxane can be used as food additive. Carrying the E number E900, dimethicone is approved to be used as anti-caking and anti-foaming agent. Processed foods and several fast-food chains use this agent for food production. McDonald’s uses dimethicone on its Chicken McNuggets.
In the printing industry, dimethicone is also an important ingredient for in stamp resin. This is used in the process or procedure of soft lithography. Soft lithography enables the transfer of patterns in surfaces like glass, and other polymer surfaces.
Dimethicone are also used in water-repelling coatings, as well as an herbicidal penetrant.
In analytical chemistry, dimethicone is used as component for some types of SPME fibers.
Aerospace industry has also been using dimethicone as heat resistant tile on reentry vehicles.
Further studies are being done to develop and maximize the use of dimethicone in some other applications. In the future, many applications will continue utilize the importance of dimethicone.