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What Does Dimethicone Change in a Lotion?

What Does Dimethicone Change in a Lotion?

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:

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


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.


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.


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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