What Does Dimethicone Change in a Lotion? 2


I was looking at lotion labels the other day, and I noticed that all of my favorite lotions contain dimethicone. I wondered how much this ingredient impacted my preference for those lotions. Come along while I try an experiment as I’ll make two lotions using a simple recipe. One lotion will contain dimethicone, and the other will not.

You can see by this image that there isn’t much difference in the viscosity and texture of the two lotions.

My experience with lotions containing dimethicone is that they leave my skin feeling moisturized longer than lotions that do not contain it. I had to find out if dimethicone made that much difference!

Just what is dimethicone, and why would one want it in a lotion? Our catalog describes it this way:

“Dimethicone is also known as polydimethylsiloxane, or silicone oil. Silicone oils are derived from silica. (Quartz is a well known silica.)

You are probably wondering what dimethicone can do for you. Check this list out! 

  • adds slip and glide
  • allows normal skin transpiration
  • reduces stickiness
  • imparts velvety skin feel
  • conditions the skin and hair
  • skin protectant (this means over-the-counter drug, so be careful about the claims you make on the label and in literature)”

I chose to use only Apricot Kernel Oil because it is a light, non-greasy oil. The color is pale, and it does not have a strong aroma to compete with any fragrance you may choose to use. Glycerin as a humectant is not the longest-lasting, which is suitable for my purposes. I opted to use Berries & Twigs Fragrance at a light amount. I really like the berry smell that isn’t overly sweet in this fragrance.

Here’s what we’ll need to make this lotion:

Ingredients
Distilled Water
Emulsifying Wax
Stearic Acid
Apricot Kernel Oil
Glycerin
Dimethicone
Liquid Germall Plus
Berries & Twigs Fragrance
Equipment
Scale
Microwave-safe container
Transfer Pipettes
Stick Blender

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams (170 gr)
127.5 gr Distilled Water
25.5 gr Apricot Kernel Oil
5.1 gr Emulsifying Wax
5.1 gr Stearic Acid
5.1 gr Glycerin
0.85 gr Liquid Germall Plus
0.85 gr FragranceFor Dimethicone version:
20.4 gr Apricot Kernel Oil
5.1 gr Dimethicone
Recipe in Ounces (16 oz)
12 oz Distilled Water
2.4 oz Apricot Kernel Oil
0.48 oz Emulsifying Wax
0.48 oz Stearic Acid
0.48 oz Glycerin
0.08 oz Liquid Germall Plus
0.08 oz FragranceFor Dimethicone version:
1.92 oz Apricot Kernel Oil
0.08 oz Dimethicone
Recipe in Percentages
75% Distilled Water
15% Apricot Kernel Oil
3% Emulsifying Wax
3% Stearic Acid
3% Glycerin
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
0.5% Fragrance or Essential OilFor the version with Dimethicone, we’ll use 3%
and subtract that amount from the Apricot Kernel Oil.

Instructions:

Weigh all the ingredients but the preservative and fragrance into a microwave-safe container, and heat in short bursts until the ingredients have melted. Stir well to combine, then set aside the mixture until it cools to below 120º F. At that time, add the preservative and fragrance.

NOTES:

I made my two batches and bottled each, making sure I didn’t get mixed up. I’ve been testing them for a couple of days, using one lotion or the other several times a day and noting how my skin felt. I’ve used both lotions after hand-washing dishes, after washing my hands, before bed, and numerous times when my hands just felt dry. I also used each on my whole body after showering.

The lotion with dimethicone definitely outlasted the version without it. Both lotions are very light feeling, which I expected with the Apricot Kernel Oil. In applying both lotions, the version without dimethicone seems to take a bit longer to rub in, and it leaves more of an oily sheen on my skin. I noted that the dimethicone version did seem to have more glide as I rubbed it in. But most of all, it seems to me that the dimethicone really helps the staying power of the moisturizer.

I was surprised by the results of my little experiment. I never thought one ingredient could make such a difference.

Have you ever tried an experiment like this? What did you discover?

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About Denise

I'm a crazy goat lady who got into making my own soap with goat milk, found MMS to order supplies, and now I get to combine my love of creating skin care products with a job to pay the feed bill. I live in Alaska and greatly enjoy the unique aspects of my northern home - summer days when it never gets dark and the Northern Lights dancing above in winter. Favorite scents include Wild Mint and Ivy, Rhubarb & Sugar Cane, and Eucalyptus Spearmint.

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2 thoughts on “What Does Dimethicone Change in a Lotion?

  • Eleanor T

    Hi Denise!

    Thanks for the recipe and review! I regularly use dimethicone in my lotion, but only at 1.5%. Now you’ve got me wondering if I would like it even better at a little higher concentration. I’m going to try it at 3% next time–and try your recipe, too. 🙂

    (On a tangent, you mention in your “About” blurb that Spicy Lime FO is one of your favorites. Mine, too! I recently used it in CP soap, and it behaved well and smells fabulous!)

    Have a great day!

    Eleanor

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    • Denise Post author

      Hi Eleanor! Typical usage rates for dimethicone are up to 10%, so 3% is not outrageous. I hope you like the difference the extra 1.5% makes in your formulation, and I hope you enjoy the blog recipe! Glad to meet another Spicy Lime lover. 🙂 It’s the fragrance oil I used in my first batch of CP soap, and it’s remained a favorite through the years of soaping. Enjoy your day! -Denise

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