Query regarding silicones, particularly Dimethicone

I have a question regarding silicones, dimethicone in particular. I want to buy a silicones specifically for skincare lotions. There are many different types of Dimethicones available and I was wondering what the differences were between them and which ones are the industry standard in cosmetic skincare. I wanted to buy Dimethicone 350 or 1000 but it seems like the global silicone shortage has affected supply.

·        DM350 Dimethicone

·        Dimethicone 1000

·        DM6 Dimethicone

·        Lotioncrafter EL40

·        Cyclomethicone (and) Dimethicone – to my understanding Cyclomethicone is mainly used in haircare as it’s better for rinse off products

Also, how do silicones compare to natural alternatives such as olive derived ester or something like Coco Caprylate/Caprate. As it’s naturally derived, will it eventually absorb into the skin?

Additional question: I have seen niacinamide supplements sold online for much cheaper. Is it okay to use this type of niacinamide in skincare products? My concern is that it may contain nicotinamide, which I don’t know how beneficial this is in skincare.


Comments

  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    This topic has been under discussion for decades now, but my opinion  - and the consensus - is that 350cst dimethicone will be the most versatile used for skin care applications, with 100cst the second runner-up. Nothing heavier or lighter such as DM6. Also my opinion here only: nothing matches the attributes of dimethicones. The light esters you note, and CCC is a good one, have a different sensorial outcome and most all of the commercial "silicone substitute" light esters are analogs for cyclomethicone, the least practical of all silicone emollients. D5 cyclics in antiperspirants and hair-care de-frizzers: another story altogether.  Indispensable there.
  • I have a question regarding silicones, dimethicone in particular. I want to buy a silicones specifically for skincare lotions. There are many different types of Dimethicones available and I was wondering what the differences were between them and which ones are the industry standard in cosmetic skincare. I wanted to buy Dimethicone 350 or 1000 but it seems like the global silicone shortage has affected supply.

    ·        DM350 Dimethicone

    ·        Dimethicone 1000

    ·        DM6 Dimethicone

    ·        Lotioncrafter EL40

    ·        Cyclomethicone (and) Dimethicone – to my understanding Cyclomethicone is mainly used in haircare as it’s better for rinse off products

    Also, how do silicones compare to natural alternatives such as olive derived ester or something like Coco Caprylate/Caprate. As it’s naturally derived, will it eventually absorb into the skin?

    Additional question: I have seen niacinamide supplements sold online for much cheaper. Is it okay to use this type of niacinamide in skincare products? My concern is that it may contain nicotinamide, which I don’t know how beneficial this is in skincare.


    It would have been helpful...had you stated the purpose of the dimethicone and possible alternatives.... So I'll try and read your mind...and take a stab at it.

    I will assume one of the main things you were trying to accomplish...was to alleviate soaping.  @chemicalmatt is of course spot on...with the Dimethicone 350 as being the ideal choice.  It can do at .3-.5%...what the alternatives will do less well with 5%.  I have gone down that route early on....and there are no true alternatives....just lesser poser's trying to unthrone the king.

    I have found on the ultra lite products I make...even the lite olive type esters...add an unwanted oiliness, and do not add half the haptics that something like Isoamyl Laurate would bring to the formula.

    IMHO...cyclomethicone is a beautiful beast unto itself... mix this with the proper polymerics, pentylene glycol...and cyclomethicone...and heaven awaits.  Texturally....feels nothing like dimethicones to me.
  • I have a question regarding silicones, dimethicone in particular. I want to buy a silicones specifically for skincare lotions. There are many different types of Dimethicones available and I was wondering what the differences were between them and which ones are the industry standard in cosmetic skincare. I wanted to buy Dimethicone 350 or 1000 but it seems like the global silicone shortage has affected supply.

    ·        DM350 Dimethicone

    ·        Dimethicone 1000

    ·        DM6 Dimethicone

    ·        Lotioncrafter EL40

    ·        Cyclomethicone (and) Dimethicone – to my understanding Cyclomethicone is mainly used in haircare as it’s better for rinse off products

    Also, how do silicones compare to natural alternatives such as olive derived ester or something like Coco Caprylate/Caprate. As it’s naturally derived, will it eventually absorb into the skin?

    Additional question: I have seen niacinamide supplements sold online for much cheaper. Is it okay to use this type of niacinamide in skincare products? My concern is that it may contain nicotinamide, which I don’t know how beneficial this is in skincare.


    It would have been helpful...had you stated the purpose of the dimethicone and possible alternatives.... So I'll try and read your mind...and take a stab at it.

    I will assume one of the main things you were trying to accomplish...was to alleviate soaping.  @chemicalmatt is of course spot on...with the Dimethicone 350 as being the ideal choice.  It can do at .3-.5%...what the alternatives will do less well with 5%.  I have gone down that route early on....and there are no true alternatives....just lesser poser's trying to unthrone the king.

    I have found on the ultra lite products I make...even the lite olive type esters...add an unwanted oiliness, and do not add half the haptics that something like Isoamyl Laurate would bring to the formula.

    IMHO...cyclomethicone is a beautiful beast unto itself... mix this with the proper polymerics, pentylene glycol...and cyclomethicone...and heaven awaits.  Texturally....feels nothing like dimethicones to me.
    Sorry, I should clarify. I am trying to use Dimethicone for its emolliency and slight occlusive benefits in a lotion.
  • mikeylamarmikeylamar Member
    edited November 21
    This topic has been under discussion for decades now, but my opinion  - and the consensus - is that 350cst dimethicone will be the most versatile used for skin care applications, with 100cst the second runner-up. Nothing heavier or lighter such as DM6. Also my opinion here only: nothing matches the attributes of dimethicones. The light esters you note, and CCC is a good one, have a different sensorial outcome and most all of the commercial "silicone substitute" light esters are analogs for cyclomethicone, the least practical of all silicone emollients. D5 cyclics in antiperspirants and hair-care de-frizzers: another story altogether.  Indispensable there.
    In my case, I can only shop from lotioncrafter or formulasampleshop. Since I can't buy 350cst, should I buy CCC instead? If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that the olive oil ester is just a cyclomethicone analog, so it's not worth buying?


  • I have a question regarding silicones, dimethicone in particular. I want to buy a silicones specifically for skincare lotions. There are many different types of Dimethicones available and I was wondering what the differences were between them and which ones are the industry standard in cosmetic skincare. I wanted to buy Dimethicone 350 or 1000 but it seems like the global silicone shortage has affected supply.

    ·        DM350 Dimethicone

    ·        Dimethicone 1000

    ·        DM6 Dimethicone

    ·        Lotioncrafter EL40

    ·        Cyclomethicone (and) Dimethicone – to my understanding Cyclomethicone is mainly used in haircare as it’s better for rinse off products

    Also, how do silicones compare to natural alternatives such as olive derived ester or something like Coco Caprylate/Caprate. As it’s naturally derived, will it eventually absorb into the skin?

    Additional question: I have seen niacinamide supplements sold online for much cheaper. Is it okay to use this type of niacinamide in skincare products? My concern is that it may contain nicotinamide, which I don’t know how beneficial this is in skincare.


    It would have been helpful...had you stated the purpose of the dimethicone and possible alternatives.... So I'll try and read your mind...and take a stab at it.

    I will assume one of the main things you were trying to accomplish...was to alleviate soaping.  @chemicalmatt is of course spot on...with the Dimethicone 350 as being the ideal choice.  It can do at .3-.5%...what the alternatives will do less well with 5%.  I have gone down that route early on....and there are no true alternatives....just lesser poser's trying to unthrone the king.

    I have found on the ultra lite products I make...even the lite olive type esters...add an unwanted oiliness, and do not add half the haptics that something like Isoamyl Laurate would bring to the formula.

    IMHO...cyclomethicone is a beautiful beast unto itself... mix this with the proper polymerics, pentylene glycol...and cyclomethicone...and heaven awaits.  Texturally....feels nothing like dimethicones to me.
    Do you have any experience with Coco Caprylate/Caprate and would you recommend this over olive oil type esters or the DM6?
  • I have a question regarding silicones, dimethicone in particular. I want to buy a silicones specifically for skincare lotions. There are many different types of Dimethicones available and I was wondering what the differences were between them and which ones are the industry standard in cosmetic skincare. I wanted to buy Dimethicone 350 or 1000 but it seems like the global silicone shortage has affected supply.

    ·        DM350 Dimethicone

    ·        Dimethicone 1000

    ·        DM6 Dimethicone

    ·        Lotioncrafter EL40

    ·        Cyclomethicone (and) Dimethicone – to my understanding Cyclomethicone is mainly used in haircare as it’s better for rinse off products

    Also, how do silicones compare to natural alternatives such as olive derived ester or something like Coco Caprylate/Caprate. As it’s naturally derived, will it eventually absorb into the skin?

    Additional question: I have seen niacinamide supplements sold online for much cheaper. Is it okay to use this type of niacinamide in skincare products? My concern is that it may contain nicotinamide, which I don’t know how beneficial this is in skincare.


    It would have been helpful...had you stated the purpose of the dimethicone and possible alternatives.... So I'll try and read your mind...and take a stab at it.

    I will assume one of the main things you were trying to accomplish...was to alleviate soaping.  @chemicalmatt is of course spot on...with the Dimethicone 350 as being the ideal choice.  It can do at .3-.5%...what the alternatives will do less well with 5%.  I have gone down that route early on....and there are no true alternatives....just lesser poser's trying to unthrone the king.

    I have found on the ultra lite products I make...even the lite olive type esters...add an unwanted oiliness, and do not add half the haptics that something like Isoamyl Laurate would bring to the formula.

    IMHO...cyclomethicone is a beautiful beast unto itself... mix this with the proper polymerics, pentylene glycol...and cyclomethicone...and heaven awaits.  Texturally....feels nothing like dimethicones to me.
    Sorry, I should clarify. I am trying to use Dimethicone for its emolliency and slight occlusive benefits in a lotion.
    For this reason buy 350 sct or above. 

    What is CCC?

    You can use anything but nothing is like dimethicone. It will function as skin protectant at 1%. Petroleum at 30% and other emollients at even higher percentage. 
  • Abdullah said:

    for its emolliency and slight occlusive benefits in a lotion.
    For this reason buy 350 sct or above. 

    What is CCC?

    You can use anything but nothing is like dimethicone. It will function as skin protectant at 1%. Petroleum at 30% and other emollients at even higher percentage. 
    I was referring to the Coco Caprylate/Caprate
  • For skincare, I'd say 350cSt is the most popular. Silicones are known for their spreadability because of their low surface tension, and in general, the lower the viscosity, the better the spreadability. But you also want to balance that with emolliency, so 350 cSt is a good balance of the two.

    Cyclomethicones tend to be used more often in leave-on products due to their volatile nature. They can be incorporated into skincare to give the impression that the formulation is being absorbed quicker, speed up drying time, or improve spreadability. They may even add a slight cooling effect on evaporation.
    In haircare, they are used for spreadability and as a vehicle for other ingredients. They are very widely used in hair serums because they allow the spreading of conditioning ingredients, but then evaporate to leave evenly distributed product, reducing residual heaviness/greasiness.

    6cSt and below can be used to improve spreadability dramatically, and 1-2 cSt can mimic cyclomethicones as they are volatile, but due to the way they are synthesised, they are in much shorter supply. Generally, the higher the viscosity, and the longer the chain, the more widely available, as the constituents required to make the length of the chain are in higher abundance than the ends.

    Much higher viscosities such as 500,000 cSt and 1 million cSt can be used in haircare for conditioning. They would be very heavy alone, but when emulsified by the supplier, the particle size and deposition can be controlled to provide really nice conditioning to the hair.

    Lotioncrafter EL40 belongs to a group called elastomers. These can be sourced as powders for you to swell in silicone fluids, but are often supplied as gels like this. If applied directly to the skin, they offer a blurring, soft focus effect and matte finish, so are really useful in skincare/colour cosmetics for creating a uniform base, such as under makeup. You could add to other skincare products for this blurring effect, and they also impact rheology for a smoother, more velvety feel during and after application.

    In general, I would only incorporate any silicones into wash-off products where they are used with a deposition agent, such as polyquaternium-10 or a guar, in order to attach to the hair for conditioning purposes. Otherwise, they will unfortunately just be washed away.

    I agree with other comments here that a heavier, greasy after-feel from silicone alternatives is very common. Unfortunately, no material will provide the exact same benefits because they are chemically different. A 

    Wow, that was long... sorry! I hope that helps someone out with a bit of silicone background!
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