Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dimethicone in body care products (part 1)

Dimethicone is an awesome additive to your body care products at up to 5% (although I like it around 2%). What does it offer? Dimethicone in body lotions and other creations is a...
  • good emollient and lubricant
  • skin feel modifier (more glide, feels silkier)
  • water barrier protectant
  • protectant against the elements
  • conditioner
  • film former
  • anti-whitening and spreading agent
Because dimethicone allows your skin to "breathe" - that is, allows diffusion of molecules through a film - you can use in body care products to trap in moisture and protect your skin from the harsh elements around us. But it offers protection against the elements, making it a great choice for hand and body products because it is one of only three approved barrier ingredients.

Dimethicone will reduce the white soapiness you get with some heavy lotions and creams, and increases the spreadability of your lotions, which is always a good thing (I hate drag!). It acts as another emollient and lubricant, so your lotion is going to spread very nicely, and it will leave a silky feeling behind.

I love dimethicone in my body butter - I include it as a film former (because I need all the protection from the elements I can get), an emollient (because it feels really lovely), and as a spreading agent (with all those butters, it gets a little hard to spread it without drag).

Again, because dimethicone is oil soluble, it's not suitable for toners or sprays, but you can include it in lotions and fragrance sprays and other oil soluble creations. It's great in a lotion bar, so here's a tweak of my favourite bar...

I'm including the dimethicone in this creation because I want protection from the elements, glidi-ness, and emolliency.

MY FAVOURITE LOTION BAR RECIPE (original recipe found here)
28% beeswax - to harden the bar
10% fractionated coconut oil - this is a very light oil, very emollient
25% sunflower oil - conditioning for the skin
3% rice bran oil - high in Vitamin E
28% mango butter - creamy and emollient (reduced from 30%)
2% IPM - (an ester) IPM helps greasy things feel less greasy and sinks in quickly
2% cyclomethicone - this silicone helps with the glide
2% dimethicone - see above for why this is included
2% vitamin E - to prevent rancidity and good for my skin
1% essential or fragrance oil

Melt all but the cyclomethicone, dimethicone, and essential or fragrance oil in a heat proof container in your double boiler. When all the ingredients have melted, add the cyclomethicone, dimethicone, and fragrance oil, then pour into a mold or twist up deodorant container. Let set. Use!

Join me Thursday for fun with dimethicone in lotions!


Cissy said...

Thanks for all these wonderful blogs of info!! I dont know how you do all this while planning a wedding. I guess I will get to formulating during your break and put to use what I have been reading.
Thanks again and enjoy your day!!!!

Aesthete said...

Hi Susan,
Are there any other ingredients besides dimethicone that can reduce the "soaping" effect?

Thank you!!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I've written a post on this topic because you're the second person to ask this week! Click here to see the post on the soaping effect.

Robin said...

Susan again thank you. My last batch which was from a previous recipe I have is so soft it nearly melts just while holding it. I am planning to re melt and tweak a bit. Your recipe here is it a bit harder. With summer upon us would be nice to have a recipe that could be carried in a piurse/bag without melting.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Robin. I'm not sure to what you are referring? Can you bring me up to speed?