Alkyl Silicones vs. Multi-domain Alkyl Silicones

Industry expert Tony O'Lenick explores the difference between alkyl silicones and multi -domain alkyl silicones...

Alkyl dimethicone compounds have been around for many years. They are soluble in a variety of oils such as mineral oil, and esters. Alkyl dimethicone polymers are made from the reaction of an alpha olefin and a silanic hydrogen compound. The length of the alkyl chain determines the melting point of the alkyl dimethicone. Consequently, cetyl (C16) dimethicone is liquid and behenyl dimethicone (C22) is solid.

Cetyl dimethicone and behenyl dimethicone

When an alkyl dimethicone is made having two different alkyl groups on one molecule, one a solid (C22) and the other a liquid (C16), the resulting product is a multi-domain silicone.1 The presence of the liquid portion of the molecule inhibits the products from becoming hard solids. Instead a soft, thixotrophic gel forms. The resulting translucent gel liquefies under pressure and has a cushion effect, but a short playtime. This means the material rubs out rapidly.

Behenyl/cetyl dimethicone


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