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Dimethicone Allergy

Updated on January 28, 2013
If you are allergic to dimethicone don't despair, you will find many organic products and a few dimethicone-free products online.
If you are allergic to dimethicone don't despair, you will find many organic products and a few dimethicone-free products online. | Source

Allergic Reaction To Makeup?

What is dimethicone?

Dimethicone is an ingredient in a majority of beauty products and skincare on the market. It is used to smooth the skin and fill in fine lines. It is also used to smooth down the hair cuticle, so it is prevalent in conditioners and haircare products. The highest concentration of dimethicone is in silicone-based products such as defrizzing serums for hair and liquid foundation or foundation primers. Many foundations contain a high concentration of dimethicone since several kinds such as trimethicone or simethicone may be employed as well.

The long-term effects of inhaling or using dimethicone on a daily basis are still unknown, although irritation from this substance is becoming more common. When people use airbrush foundations, they are inhaling dimethicone, since most, if not all airbrush foundations contain dimethicone to create that 'flawless' finish that mimics the 'glow' of real skin.

Unfortunately, people are reporting acne breakouts and mild to severe allergic reactions also known as contact dermatitis or eczema.

The growth of educated consumers is forcing many cosmetic lines to re-evaluate their ingredients, so hopefully over the next decade, we will see a 'shift' to healthier more organic makeup and in turn, less of the fake stuff.

Yet another reason to resist those cravings; you might be eating foundation primer. A silicone derivative known as dimethylpolysiloxane is currently used as an 'anti-foaming agent' in some fast-food products.
Yet another reason to resist those cravings; you might be eating foundation primer. A silicone derivative known as dimethylpolysiloxane is currently used as an 'anti-foaming agent' in some fast-food products. | Source

Symptoms Of Allergic Reaction

Discontinue use of the possible culprit right away if you are having any of the following symptoms which likely signify contact dermatitis or contact urticaria.

  • reddened, itchy skin rash
  • tiny, inflamed bumps where the culprit may have come into skin contact
  • dry red patches, which resemble a severe burn
  • itchy skin reaction along with runny nose, sneezing or wheezing.

Pain and tenderness of the affected area frequently accompanies an allergic reaction. If the reaction is severe or you are losing sleep from itching, see an allergist or dermatologist right away. Don't delay--allergies are temperamental and could easily get much worse. Try not to mess with your face and avoid scratching which can make the product go even deeper into the skin. Contact dermatitis and eczema caused by this allergy may be relieved with creams the doctor can prescribe for you. If you cannot get to the doctor right away, wash the area thoroughly using cold water and use a dimethicone-free soap for sensitive skin. Dimethicone derivatives are very hard to wash off the skin, since they have a tendency to 'stick' within lines, pores and any drier crevices. I highly recommend California Baby Super-Sensitive body wash which is so gentle even people with most multiple allergies can use it.

Living with dimethicone allergy will show you just how many products are actually pure. You will have to learn to shop online or at health food stores for natural products which do not contain dimethicone or other chemicals.

Find Dimethicone-Free Products

As a makeup-artist for the past thirteen years, I suffered from dimethicone allergy and let me tell you, its no walk in the park. I noticed over the years while working with popular brands that my skin would break out in hives and rashes; frequently showing up on my face and hands. Relief came after a day or two of wearing no makeup, taking Benadryl and slathering my face in Vaseline after the shower.

I got out of the cosmetics industry for this reason and hope to help others learn which products are safe. I will list some of the favorite items and products I use and hopefully they will benefit you, too.

Remember, your skin "drinks" products, so the safety of what you use should be a concern. Luckily, there is a site that allows you to look up products by brand and find out the toxicity level on a scale of 1-10. Skin Deep is a website sponsored by Environmental Working Group which contains vital information for anyone who uses cosmetics, skincare and beauty products. Start by looking up your favorite perfume or hair product; you will be shocked at what some of your favorite products rate and what diseases they cause.

Dimethicone-Free Hair Products

The good news is, there seems to be a growing trend in the cosmetics industry to come up with formulations without dimethicone or silicone derivatives. I am guessing this is a response to a growing population of people who are sensitive to silicones and dimethicones.

Most products that do not contain dimethicone/silicones are in health food stores such as Whole Foods. My favorite shampoo and conditioner right now is by Ology, a natural line found at Walgreens. I bought the Ology White Pear and Cucumber Shampoo and the matching conditioner, which both smell just as yummy as those Herbal Essences shampoos, without the dimethicone/silicones. They are paraben-free, sulfate-free and color safe! They are also reasonably priced at about $5.49 each.

My favorite natural hair coloring product which is also dimethicone-free/silicone-free is below. It is called Surya Henna and is a bit different from chemical haircolors in that it does stain towels easily (so use a dark towel if you can) but covers grays beautifully!

Dimethicone-Free Makeup

Dimethicone-free and silicone-free makeup is not easy to find but is becoming more in demand. The 'slick' of dimethicone is considered useful for smoothing pores and fine lines as well as smoothing the cuticle in the hair shaft, so you will find it in many more products than you expected. It is added to everything, from concealers to eyeshadows and lipgloss. Here are a few brands I found contain NO dimethicone or silicone derivatives.

(FYI: Some products may contain silica, which is a mineral from sand, NOT a silicone derivative--so anything with silica is safe.)

Do you ever think about what you are breathing in and allowing your skin to "drink" (i.e. tanning sprays, perfumes and hairsprays)?

See results
 You can stop hiding now. Dimethicone-free products do exist.
You can stop hiding now. Dimethicone-free products do exist. | Source

Dimethicone-Free Products

SHANY Makeup Artists Must Have Pro Eyeshadow Palette, 96 Color
SHANY Makeup Artists Must Have Pro Eyeshadow Palette, 96 Color

This is the ultimate artist's palette for the ladies who are not afraid of color. Watch a few Kandee Johnson videos on YouTube and you will be using this palette (and many others) like a pro! This contains lanolin, but no dimethicones or silicones.



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    • profile image

      Pauline78 14 months ago

      So I have a really bad latex allergy, so does dimethicone contain latex because it is silicone based?

    • profile image

      am 3 years ago

      If you have dimethicone allergy, you may want to have a look at SKINTIFIQUE, a new dermatology scientific laboratory that develops and commercializes very innovative skincare and medical products. They just launched their first skincare line specifically designed for people with allergy or sensitive skin. All their products contain no dimethicone, no valiseline, no fragrance, no parabens etc. Some of their products even protect against Nickel and other common allergens. Have a look at their site

    • Anya_Marcot profile image

      Anya_Marcot 5 years ago from NY

      Gracie, yes Skin Deep is a truly useful site and yes, dimethicone is tough to wash off, since it seems to 'stick' to drier areas forming a pseudo-plastic 'barrier' from outside moisture.

      Yes Sal, it IS very frustrating but I will keep updating this page with my favorite dimethicone-free products so bookmark it and stay tuned!

    • profile image

      Gracie 5 years ago

      I've used transdemeral medications, so I'm very aware of how many substance go through skin to bloodstream. I never use products with fragrance on my skin & use the.Skin Deep database. Dislike how dimethicone is very hard yo wash off: can still feel it on skin after bathing. No wonder people develop allergies to it!

    • profile image

      Sal 5 years ago

      Check out Christopher Drummond beauty! Lots of products with NO Dimethicone! :D

    • profile image

      Sal 5 years ago

      It's so difficult to find products with no dimethicone! So frustrating!