Silicones in skin and hair care; bad or not?

Many skin and hair care products contain silicone. They ensure that your cream is nice and spreadable, your skin feels soft, fine wrinkles are filled and your hair does not fluff and shine. Most pure cosmetics brands stay far away from the use of silicones. Is this right? More in this blog.

What are Silicones?
A synthetic ingredient that is created by processing silicon - which you can find in sand and granite, among other things. Common silicones in cosmetic products are the water-insoluble dimethicone and dimethiconol. Or derivatives thereof. I will therefore discuss this type of silicone in more detail.

Dimethicones in skin care

Why Dimethicones in Skin Care?
Dimethicone (and other silicones) is a cheap ingredient, which, like mineral oils (petrolatum, parrafinum liquidum), is often used as a base for skin care products due to its low price.

Do dimethicones interfere with skin function?
Unlike mineral oils, it closes the skin less - it lies on the skin like a kind of gauze - so that the natural skin functions are less disrupted. - Experts do not entirely agree whether the natural skin function is disturbed at all or less - . Dimethicones do ensure that moisture leaves the skin less easily and that other ingredients that you put on your skin or elements from outside enter your skin less easily. In my opinion, this means that the natural skin function seems to be somewhat disrupted. In the longer term, you could therefore have the same effects as with mineral oils: your skin loses its natural function, making it feel dry and tight when you stop using products with dimethicones. And fine lines and wrinkles become more visible.

No skin benefits
But silicone does not offer any benefit to the skin either. They do not contain minerals, vitamins or other caring and nourishing substances for your skin. The Cosmetics Database of the Environmental Working Group (a reputable and very extensive database with an analysis of thousands of ingredients) also indicates that dimethicones can be harmful to your organs. And that they are environmentally unfriendly. High-quality vegetable oils do contain skin care ingredients and are not harmful to the environment. Pure skin care brands therefore prefer this.

Meaningful use of silicones in skin care
According to Dr Baumann, the only sensible reason to use silicones is to weaken the effect of a high-quality product with vegetable oils. A small number of people have hypersensitive skin, for which the active substances in pure vegetable oils are temporarily or permanently too much. By diluting a product with some silicone oil, the skin can recover at a slower pace. Compare it to someone with a weak stomach or intestinal complaints. By temporarily eating less fat or going on a diet, the stomach / intestines are relieved.

Can silicones in skin care cause breakouts?
Well, if you don't cleanse your skin properly. The layer of silicone on your skin ensures that dirt and grease (sebum) remain on the skin more easily. If you don't clean your skin properly, it can clog your pores and cause pimples.

Dimethicones in hair care

Have you ever done a head lice treatment from Prioderm? Which contains no toxic substances to kill the lice, but a very high percentage of dimethicones? Which puts a layer around the hair, which ensures that lice and eggs suffocate. And have you noticed that the hair still looks sleek and greasy days afterwards? Then you have an idea of ​​the effect of dimethicones on your hair. However, the lice products contain a very high percentage of dimethicones!

The 'built up' effect of dimethicones in hair care products
These place a water-repellent film around the hair, making it look smooth and soft and less frizzy. Because dimethicones are not water soluble, it is difficult to wash them all out of your hair. As a result, the layer of silicone around your hair builds up. This suffocates your hair. And ensures that nourishing ingredients of hair care products can no longer reach your hair. In the long term, this causes 'heavy', dry, lifeless and fragile hair. That becomes more difficult to comb through. And curly hair gives less chance to curl.

As already indicated in skin care, dimethicones do not contain any nurturing or constructive elements for your skin. This also applies to your hair.

Adverse effect on your scalp
The dimethicones in hair care products can also form a film on your scalp. Which disrupt the natural skin function and can cause scalp problems such as itching, eczema, redness and dandruff.

Withdrawal from dimethicones

If you stop using skin or hair care products containing dimethicones (after long use), you may first experience some withdrawal symptoms such as pimples, very dry and frizzy hair. In fact, the dimethicones mask the actual condition of your skin or hair. Your skin and hair need to find a new balance. That takes a while. Especially with your hair, it can also take a while before you have washed out all the dimethicones. There are special clarifying or detox shampoos . Most regular ones are not really pure ;-). In my opinion - who wants to test? - the dr Alkaitis Herbal Shampoo detoxed too. And otherwise a clay mask such as Logona Lavaerde or LaVieSage Cleanse & Mask

Sources : drBaumann, blog Jitske Ultee,,, Cosmetic Database (EWG),