Dimethicone is a silicon-based polymer and a widely used ingredient in skin care products. Dimethicone forms a barrier on the skin which can help reduce water loss across the skin surface, but also help protect the skin from external factors.
A few studies have shown that dimethicone can benefit people with eczema. One study showed that the daily application of a foam containing dimethicone and glycerin in people with hand eczema (occupational-related) for a period of four weeks, reduced the disease severity (redness, scaling, cracking and itching)1. The study participants were able to continue their regular occupation and around half of them reported a reduction in the use of topical corticosteroids.
In another study, the protective effect of a lotion with dimethicone compared with one without was investigated in healthy test persons2. In this study the lotions were applied to the forearms of the test persons before sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) was applied to irritate the skin, and the reactions were assessed on four skin parameters. The results showed that the dimethicone containing emollient reduced the water loss across the skin compared to the control.
The concentration of an ingredient is important for its efficacy, and therefore products containing the same ingredient may not necessarily have the same effect as in the studies mentioned above.
Updated: July 2017