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If you’re on the search for dimethicone free makeup, you could be looking for a while. 

That’s because they don’t make it easy to identify on a label!

But have no fear, we’ve rounded up the best of the best when it comes to pore-friendly makeup WITHOUT silicone

Plus, learn how dimethicone in cosmetics became the “norm” in the first place…it’s interesting!

What Is Dimethicone?

Dimethicone is a man-made silicone molecule that also goes by the name polydimethylsiloxane (or PDMS). It creates a subtle gloss when used on the skin that feels silky and smooth to touch.

You know those creams, foundations, and primers that leave a slightly mattified and smooth glossy finish? Yeah, that’s probably dimethicone or some other silicon at work.

Why Is Dimethicone Used in Cosmetics?

Companies use dimethicone in cosmetics because it provides a smooth application. It helps to fill in fine lines and wrinkles and uneven texture to create a flawless finish in products like lotions, foundations, and primers.

So beloved in the cosmetic industry as a non-comedogenic ingredient that covers the skin. It is also believed to perform some skincare functions like the treatment of contact hand dermatitis and as an anti-inflammatory agent. 

Dimethicone is also used to enhance the light retractability of other ingredients, which makes it great for sunscreen cosmetics.

Simply put, it is a laboratory-made silicone oil used in personal care products as a skin and hair conditioner, anti-foaming agent, and skin protectant.

But it’s also found in other beauty products like:

  • facial powder
  • eye cream
  • hair dye
  • body lotion
  • anti-aging serums

Why You Don’t Want Dimethicone In Makeup

Everything sounds pretty good so far, right? Think again. 

Let’s look at a few reasons why you might not want dimethicone in your cosmetics. You might be surprised!  

  1. It covers the skin

Yep, one of the main “selling points” of dimethicone is the exact reason you DON’T want it. Manufacturers see this covering as a protective layer to keep moisture in and keep the skin hydrated. 

However, I don’t agree with that. 

They can make it sound as pretty as they want, but in reality, dimethicone is like a thin, rubber-like covering on your face all.day.long. 

That doesn’t sound too good for skin health. 

Such a covering interferes with natural skin functions like temperature regulation, the sloughing of dead skin cells, and sweating.

Oh, and if you have sensitive skin, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have an allergic reaction to it.

  1. It can dry out skin and cause irritation

When you’re exposed to chemicals like dimethicone for too long, it can end up drying out your skin and lead to irritation. 

The thing is, dimethicone acts similarly to petroleum jelly by drying out your skin the longer it is used. This can then interfere with your skin’s natural hydrating processes, making wrinkles and fine lines more noticeable.

  1. It can worsen acne

Have you noticed your skin breaks out more when you use makeup with dimethicone? That is hardly surprising as the ‘protective’ cover dimethicone provides helps to cover and “lock in” not only moisture but also sebum, bacteria, and other impurities. 

This means if you have sensitive skin or you’re prone to acne, it will most likely exacerbate it and increase blackheads and breakouts.

Think about it:

Silicone is like a gel, and when it gets heated up, it transforms into a liquid form – just like candle wax. 

Imagine if you spread candle wax on your face then step outside on a hot summer day. It would heat up, melt, and jam into your pores. 

Then boom…you have a breakout. 

  1. It’s not good for the environment

Dimethicone is non-biodegradable, so there is some concern that it can pollute the environment both during the manufacturing process and the process of disposing.

Favorite Dimethicone Free Makeup Brands 

Best dimethicone free concealer: RMS Beauty 

This concealer and foundation combo by RMS Beauty is creamy, lightweight, and easy to use. If you don’t like that cakey feel (and really, who does??), or you don’t want to look overly made up, then you should try RMS’s “Un” Cover-Up. It is so lightweight and seems to melt into the skin, but not in a pore-clogging way.

The company provides a high level of transparency as it discloses the full ingredients used in the product. Not all beauty brands provide full transparency and list all their ingredients (yes, there are legal loopholes that allow that). 

A closer look at its ingredient list shows it is made with raw, food-grade ingredients, including cocoa seed butter, organic coconut oil, organic rosemary extract, organic jojoba seed oil, and organic beeswax.

Also, the healing properties, vitamins, and natural enzymes found within these ingredients are able to remain intact due to minimal heat used in the manufacturing process. 

So with it, you get a phthalate-free, sulfate-free, and gluten-free food grade product – a “must” when it comes to your face.

Best dimethicone free foundation: Blur Liquid Matte 

This thin, cushiony, full coverage liquid matte foundation by Blur has a serum-like texture different from a lot of foundations out there. It is made with pure pigments – that is, they use a limited range of colorants to make the shades. That way, they have the same base from a mix of four colors, resulting in a true-to-skin color for each shade.

Milk Makeup - Blur Liquid Matte Foundation (Medium Light)

One of its pros is that it is oil free and silicone free. So it doesn’t contain dimethicone or any other silicones, nor does it contain oils, sulfates, or parabens.

Instead, it contains natural ingredients like chamomile and glycerine. Even with a full coverage, the product has a weightless feel that’s highly breathable to provide a natural finish.

Best dimethicone free moisturizer: Herbivore Botanicals Face Mist

This rose hibiscus hydrating face mist is made up of a natural base of organic coconut water, infused with rose water, as well as hibiscus flower extract for enhancing moisture and hydrating the skin. 

Herbivore Botanicals - All Natural Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist (2 oz)

As a bonus, it can double as a makeup finishing spray. Its key ingredients include coconut water, rose water, hibiscus flower extracts, witch hazel flower extract water, and
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice. 

It is a truly natural, vegan, cruelty-free product with no synthetic dyes, fragrances, or preservatives.

Best dimethicone free CC cream: BareMinerals Complexion Rescue

This tinted moisturizer provides hydration, SPF protection, and medium color correction in one – all without silicones.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30, Natural 05, 1.18 Ounce

It has a thicker consistency – about two pumps is enough to get full face coverage. I think it has a natural looking finish that is just on the right side of matte.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dimethicone pore clogging?

Yes, it doesn’t just “lock in” moisture. It traps dirt and impurities, too. 

Is dimethicone natural?

No, dimethicone is a man-made silicone. A safer, more natural alternative to dimethicone would be something like broccoli seed oil.

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