Silk Protein in Skin Care

Posted by Emily van Oosterom on

Hydrolysed silk protein is a useful ingredient in functional skincare products, known for its ability to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. In this blog post, we will explore the constituents, processing and benefits of hydrolysed silk proteins in skincare.

What is Hydrolysed Silk Protein?

Hydrolysed silk protein is a natural protein that is derived from silk fibres, which are made by the silkworm during cocoon formation. The protein is extracted from the silk fibres through a process called hydrolysis, which involves breaking down the protein into smaller peptides and amino acids. The resulting hydrolysed silk protein is a water-soluble powder that is used in various skincare products.

Constituents of Hydrolysed Silk Protein

Hydrolysed silk protein is composed of various amino acids, including serine, glycine, alanine, and valine. These amino acids are essential building blocks for proteins, and they play a crucial role in maintaining the structure and function of the skin.

Processing of Hydrolysed Silk Protein

As mentioned above, the process of producing hydrolysed silk protein involves breaking down the silk fibres into smaller peptides and amino acids through hydrolysis. There are different methods of hydrolysis, including acid, enzymatic, and alkali hydrolysis. Each method produces a slightly different type of hydrolysed silk protein, with varying properties and benefits for the skin.

Uses & Benefits of Hydrolysed Silk Protein in Skincare

Hydrolysed silk protein is used in various skincare products, including creams, serums, and masks. Its small molecular weight enables it to penetrate the skin easily, providing deep hydration and nourishment. Some of the benefits of using hydrolysed silk protein in skincare include:

  1. Hydration: Hydrolysed silk protein can hold up to 10,000 times its weight in water, making it an excellent ingredient for hydrating the skin.
  2. Anti-aging: Hydrolysed silk protein helps to stimulate collagen production, which can improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  3. Brightening: Hydrolysed silk protein can help to brighten the skin and even out skin tone, thanks to its amino acid composition.
  4. Soothing: Hydrolysed silk protein has anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent ingredient for calming and soothing irritated or sensitive skin.
  5. Protection: Hydrolysed silk protein can protect the skin from environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV radiation, thanks to its antioxidant properties.



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  2. Kim, M. K., Lee, H. S., Kim, J. H., & Moon, Y. H. (2018). Effects of hydrolyzed silk on the hydration and mechanical properties of human stratum corneum. Journal of cosmetic science, 69(3), 219-226.
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  3. Silva, L. R., Gouvêa, D. R., Almeida, L. D., & Gomes, D. A. (2018). Silk fibroin and sericin hydrolysates as promising ingredients for cosmetic formulations. International journal of cosmetic science, 40(4), 332-340.
  4. Xu, Y., Yang, X., Wang, X., Zhang, L., & Lu, F. (2017). Silk fibroin hydrolysate exerts protective effects against UVB-induced skin damage in BALB/c mice. International journal of biological macromolecules, 95, 227-233.

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