A slippery form of silicone that hydrates and protects the skin; often found in oil-free moisturizers. Derived from silicon (a naturally occurring element), dimethicone is a moisturizing ingredient that locks water into skin. It is found in creams, lotions, and soaps. Silicone is derived from sand and is used in cosmetics to provide an aesthetically pleasing formula, especially in serums and moisturizers. There are different grades of silicone, and cosmetics-grade silicones create an elegant, silky, and spreadable texture in skincare products. Silicone is a desirable ingredient because it can deliver the active ingredients in the product and immediately smooth the look of imperfections. Silicones prevent moisture loss and their properties make them porous (allowing the skin to breathe) as well as resistant to air. Activated dimethicone, a mixture of polydimethylsiloxanes and silicon dioxide (sometimes called simethicone), is often used in over-the-counter drugs as an antifoaming agent and carminative. PDMS is used variously in the cosmetic and consumer product industry as well. For example, PDMS can be used in the treatment of head lice on the scalp and dimethicone is used widely in skin-moisturizing lotions where it is listed as an active ingredient whose purpose is "skin protection." Some cosmetic formulations use dimethicone and related siloxane polymers in concentrations of use up to 15%. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review's (CIR) Expert Panel, has concluded that dimethicone and related polymers are "safe as used in cosmetic formulations. PDMS compounds such as amodimethicone, are effective conditioners when formulated to consist of small particles and be soluble in water or alcohol/act as surfactants (especially for damaged hair), and are even more conditioning to the hair than common dimethicone and/or dimethicone copolyols.
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