Well, it’s hard to say. We need more research to make the call, but all three experts agree that dimethicone is (generally) nothing to worry about, so long as you make sure you’re properly cleansing your hair and skin to avoid buildup. “The amount of dimethicone in your beauty products is often very minimal and not harmful to the body,” Engelman says. “Although an excess of this ingredient is not recommended, you don’t need to be alarmed if you see it in your products.”
Fu and Lu add, from a formulator perspective, dimethicone is a great ingredient to include for its silky texture: “It can help create a beautiful moisturizer suitable for oily skin types as well as create fantastic conditioners that really help to protect the hair.” Again, just be mindful that it can be difficult to remove and cause buildup over time, since it does create a film over the skin and hair.
And if you do find that you’re experiencing an allergic reaction or breakouts from this ingredient, it’s probably best to avoid it and talk to your dermatologist or hairstylist.
There’s also the argument that the sort of things you put on your skin should be beneficial—instead of filler or sensorial additives. This is an argument we can certainly get behind, as there are many products out there formulated without silicones that use occlusive materials with additional skin-supporting properties (things like natural oils and butters). Ultimately, the choice is yours—and we just want you to be informed about the things you put on your skin.