What Is Dimethylamine? - The Dermatology Review

What Is Dimethylamine?

ARTICLE

03.08.21 AD DISCLOSURE

You’d be forgiven for never having heard of this ingredient. Dimethylamine is not an ingredient you would likely be familiar with. This is in part due to the fact that it is a precursor to other ingredients rather than used in skincare and hair care products itself. 

Dimethylamine is commonly used to create ingredients such as lauryl dimethylamine oxide which is a commonly used ingredient in soap. It is also used to produce hair care ingredients such as stearamidopropyl dimethylamine used to condition the hair,  behenamidopropyl dimethylamine behenate which is used as an antistatic ingredient and oleamidopropyl dimethylamine which is used as an emulsifier. 

Dimethylamine can be used to create ingredients such as solvents which help dissolve key ingredients in a formulation or surfactants which help to lift oil and dirt from the skin, allowing it to be washed away. These ingredient types tend to be used in hair care products such as shampoo and conditioner.

Dimethylamine

the good: Dimethylamine is mainly used as a precursor ingredient. This means that it is used to create other ingredients. Dimethylamine and the ingredients that it is used to make are usually used in hair care products to condition or cleanse the hair.

the not so good:Dimethylamine itself can be irritating to the eye and skin in high concentrations, however this is not a big concern as it isn’t used in products.

Who is it for? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.

Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients

Keep an eye on: There are restrictions on the use of dimethylamine as it may be harmful in high concentrations. This tends to be in a manufacturing setting and safety protocols greatly minimise this risk.

Why Is Dimethylamine Used?

Dimethylamine is mainly used as a precursor to other ingredients. Some of the ingredients that it is used to create include stearamidopropyl dimethylamine used to condition the hair,  behenamidopropyl dimethylamine behenate which is used as an antistatic ingredient and oleamidopropyl dimethylamine which is used as an emulsifier. 

Is Dimethylamine A Silicone?

Dimethylamine isn’t a silicone. While it shares the beginning part of its name with a commonly used silicone, dimethicone, they are different ingredients. Some of the ingredients that are produced from dimethylamine are used as silicone replacements such as stearamidopropyl dimethylamine.  

Is Dimethylamine Vegan?

Dimethylamine is a vegan ingredient as it is synthetically produced without the use of animal or animal byproduct ingredients. If you are looking for a vegan product, always check the other ingredients in the product and ensure that the company doesn’t test their products on animals. 

What Products Contain Dimethylamine?

Dimethylamine isn’t usually directly used in products, however, the ingredients that it is used to create are found mostly in hair care products. 

Is Dimethylamine Safe?

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, a group responsible for independently evaluating the safety and efficacy of skincare and cosmetic ingredients. The Expert Panel has evaluated dimethylamine and dimethylamine-related ingredients. The ingredients have been found safe for use in their current concentrations and indications. There is a risk of irritation to the eyes and skin in high concentrations, however, this is usually outside the scope of its use in personal care products. 

References:
CIR, 2019. ‘Safety Assessment of Fatty Acid Amidopropyl Dimethylamines as Used in Cosmetics’, International Journal of Toxicology.

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