Ask Osmosis: Why do you use dimethicone and titanium dioxide in some of your products?

7/20/2012 Osmosis Skincare 0 Comments

Some of our products do contain Dimethicone and Titanium Dioxide.  Read on for information from Alejandro Falcon, our Artistic Director, on each ingredient and why we use it in our Osmosis Colour line.


There are many products on the market today using Dimethicone.  Some examples include hair conditioners and shampoos in which is it used to facilitate the combing of tangled hair, as well as to give hair a brighter shine.   Dimethicone also appears as an ingredient in many lotions, skin creams, and some make-up products because it acts as a protectant and emollient.  Dimethicone can even be found in many diaper rash creams to soothe irritated skin.

Dimethicone is a siloxane polymer with properties that can vary depending on polymer chain length and the degree of cross-linking between chains, so the polymer can be a viscous fluid, a wax, an elastomer (something elastic), or even a solid resin. It is important to note that Dimethicone is also non-toxic which is why it has been used in so many diverse products.

Dimethicone, a silicone oil, is an excellent ingredient for use in skin care products. Silicone oils, in general, add glide and smoothing properties to skin care products. Dimethicones are unmodified silicone oils which stay on the surface of the skin as the molecules are too large to penetrate deeply into the skin. 

Because it stays on the surface of the skin, Dimethicone acts a barrier and a protectant. This is an excellent ingredient for someone whose skin barrier has been disrupted by a laser treatment or whose skin barrier is seriously compromised, such as someone with rosacea in which the epidermis is thin and needs added protection. Dimethicone will help take over some of the normal functions of the skin barrier, such as preventing transdermal water loss. For this reason, it is also a great product to use in dry, hot climates.

Dimethicone is used in our Sheer Tint Primers, Age Defying Treatment Concealers and Brow Gels to give these products better application and lubricating properties when applied.

Titanium Dioxide:
Titanium Dioxide is listed as a safe mineral pigment, with no known adverse effects. According to the FDA and other regulatory bodies, Titanium Dioxide is not considered a carcinogen, mutagen, teratogen, comedogen, toxin or as a trigger for contact dermatitis. It is reasonable to conclude then, that Titanium Dioxide is not a cancer-causing substance and is generally safe for use in foods, drugs, paints and cosmetics.

Since Titanium Dioxide has high UV light reflecting properties, in its powdered mineral form, it is often used as an active ingredient in mineral make-up. It also helps to bind the minerals onto the skin to function as a make-up foundation. Sunscreens designed for infants or people with sensitive skin often use Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide, as these mineral UV blockers are believed to cause less skin irritation than chemical UV absorber ingredients.

The one form of mineral or mineral extract, that we should be concerned about is ultra-fine or nano particles which can clog the pores and penetrate slightly into the skin. As technology has advanced, so has its ability to take normal sized particles of minerals and reduce them to sizes never before imagined.

We triple mill our minerals, so their particle size will never penetrate or clog the skin but will offer full coverage as a foundation when applied evenly. We do not use nano particle sizes in Osmosis Colour so the minerals lay on the skin without penetrating or causing any irritating reaction.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of Dimethicone and Titanium Dioxide and our choice to use them in some of our products.

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