Substance information

"Alkyl" describes a mixture of alkanols. Alkanols are alcohols which are derived from saturated hydrocarbons. The preceding numbers "C x-y" specify the range of the alkyl (hydrocarbon) chain lengths. Ingredient on the basis of poly(di)methyl siloxane ("dimethicone").

Function(s) of this ingredient in cosmetic products


Maintains the skin in good condition



Background information on use in cosmetics

Silicones, chemically more precisely poly(organo)siloxanes, is a designation for a group of synthetic polymers in which silicone atoms are connected through oxygen atoms. The volatility and viscosity are determined by the chain length. The silicones include various compounds which contain as a characteristic functional group a polyorganosiloxane. Important classes are: dimethylpolysiloxanes, phenylmethyl polysiloxanes, cyclic methylsiloxanes and siloxanes modified with alkyl groups or PEG (polyethylene glycol). Silicones are water insoluble and have a low surface tension. The low surface tension is the reason for their good spreading quality; they constitute protective films on the skin which are vapor-permeable. They have no comedogenic effect and are particularly well tolerated on skin. Because of their favourable technological and cosmetic properties they are used rather frequently in cosmetics and serve for the improvement of care properties in skin and haircare products.

Belongs to the following substance groups

Understanding your cosmetics

How are cosmetics kept safe in Europe?

Strict laws make sure that cosmetics and personal care products sold in the European Union are safe for people to use. Companies, national and European regulatory authorities share the responsibility of keeping cosmetic products safe.

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What should I know about endocrine disruptors?

Some ingredients used in cosmetic products have been claimed to be ‘endocrine disruptors’ because they have the potential to mimic some of the properties of our hormones. Just because something has the potential to mimic a hormone does not mean it will disrupt our endocrine system. Many substances, including natural ones, mimic hormones but very few, and these are mostly potent medicines, have ever been shown to cause disruption of the endocrine system. The rigorous product safety assessments by qualified, scientific experts that companies are legally obliged to carry out cover all potential risks, including potential endocrine disruption.

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Are cosmetics tested on animals? No!

In the European Union, testing cosmetics on animals has been fully banned since 2013. Over the last 30 years, long before a ban was in place, the cosmetics and personal care industry has invested in research and development to pioneer alternatives to animal testing tools to assess the safety of cosmetics ingredients and products.

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What about allergens in cosmetics?

Many substances, natural or man-made, have the potential to cause an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances that are harmless to most people. A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen. Cosmetics and personal care products may contain ingredients that can be allergenic for some people. This does not mean that the product is not safe for others to use.

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Cosmetics matter to people and play an important role in our everyday life. On average European consumers use over seven different cosmetics daily. You too? It’s only natural that you want to know more about the ingredients in those products.

In the digital world we live in, there’s a deluge of information on cosmetics. However, it can be difficult to know which sources are reliable. COSMILE Europe is a European cosmetic ingredient database that offers reliable, verified and scientifically supported information on almost 30,000 ingredients used in cosmetics.

This database will help you understand why certain ingredients are in your cosmetic products; which properties they have and much more. The database is currently available in fourteen languages with more to come.

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