Dimethiconol at a glance

  • Skin-conditioning emollient that helps preserve hydration
  • Enhances formulary texture for more elegant aesthetics
  • Also used in hair care products as a conditioning agent
  • Deemed a safe cosmetic ingredient by the CIR Expert Panel

Dimethiconol description

Dimethiconol is a silicone-based liquid polymer that works as a skin-conditioning agent (emollient) and antifoaming agent in cosmetic formulas. It multitasks by helping lubricate skin’s surface (without feeling greasy) to enhance hydration, while modifying the formula’s texture for a more pleasant consistency. It can also be used in hair care products as a conditioning agent and is sometimes included in hair dyes to help the colour resist wash out. Dimethiconol is often combined with other compounds and molecules to form derivatives such as dimethiconol arginine, dimethiconol beeswax, dimethiconol cysteine, and dimethiconol meadowfoamate—each with their own distinctive properties and functions. In 2017, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel analysed relevant data regarding dimethiconol and concluded it is a safe cosmetic ingredient. Their report looked at personal care products containing amounts between 0.004-36%.

Dimethiconol references

  • CosmeticsInfo.org, Accessed September 2021, ePublication
  • International Journal of Toxicology, November 2017, pages 31S-50S
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2005, page 139

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.