Thursday, April 03, 2014

bad word: Dimethicone

Dimethicone  also known as polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS

Hazard Score: (EWG Risk Score)

Hazard score key:

Low hazardModerate hazardHigh hazard
What is it?
Anti-foaming agent, Skin Conditioning Agent, Emollient, Skin conditioning, Skin protecting  

Dimethicone (also known as polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS) is technically called a silicone-based polymer. What companies really like about this ingredient is that it provides a smooth application. For skin care products, it fills in uneven texture and fine lines, which helps create a smooth and flawless look in products like primers, foundations, and lotions. It also provides a protective cover on skin, which is supposed to help keep moisture in, leaving skin hydrated for longer.

In hair care products, dimethicone is used to provide smoothness, particularly in conditioners and detanglers, where the ingredient helps smooth hair and provide better comb-through. Because dimethicone leaves a sort of covering on the hair strands, it can also make hair appear shinier.

Where is it found?
It is used in sunscreen, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, makeup.

The Risk:
Like petroleum products, silicone oils can actually make dry skin worse over time. Instead of sinking into your skin and nourishing it from the inside out, like healthy ingredients do, it forms a sort of plastic-like barrier on the outside of skin.

That artificial coating on the outside of skin causes several issues:
  • It traps everything under it—including bacteria, sebum, and impurities—which could lead to increased breakouts and blackheads
  • The coating action actually prevents the skin from performing its normal activities—like sweating, temperature regulating, sloughing off dead skin cells, etc.
  • Prolonged exposure to dimethicone can actually increase skin irritation, due to the coating property and because dimethicone is listed as a possible skin and eye irritant
  • Those with sensitive or reactive skin are at risk of an allergic reaction to dimethicone
  • On top of all this, dimethicone is a non-biodegradable chemical—bad for the environment
A few companies using this ingredient:

  • Jason Naturals
  • Avalon Organics
  • EO
  • Aveeno
  • Almay
My Opinion:
While this ingredient may not have studies showing it is a cancer causing agent but just because it doesn't, does that mean you should be using products with this ingredient on a daily basis? Absolutely not. 

If you are applying this on your skin, it's basically like placing a coat of plastic  all over yourself. Non-breathable plastic. Gross! Many people will also notice an increase in breakouts. This is simply because your skin is being sealed and is no longer breathing, no longer being allowed to shed dead skin cells, no longer able to sweat, trapping bacteria..need I go on?

It's also non biodegradable. Harming the environment during production and after use. 

Lastly, this says it all, "May be harmful if absorbed through the skin" according to the msds sheet

"First Aid measures:

Skin contact:  Rinse skin with water/shower. Get medical attention if irritation develops and persists."

I don't know about you, but if the chemical data sheet is saying if it comes in contact with your skin to rinse immediately and possibly seek medical treatment..umm..I wouldn't be willingly lathering this garbage onto my person.