Silk Peptide

Silk peptide is the hydrolyzed peptide from pure silk fibers. Hydrolyzed silk peptide has a lower molecular weight than hydrolyzed silk protein and can better penetrate the skin and hair. Silk Peptides Hydrolyzed is rich in glycine, alanine, and serine. Silk peptide hydrolyzed also possesses anti-aging and antioxidant properties. It also has a natural affinity to keratin because of its structure, which adds softness, smooth and a velvety touch.  In skincare and hair care, they can draw in moisture more profound into the skin and the hair cuticle and shaft, making it essential to dry hair and ethnic hair formulation, which have a greater predisposition to dryness. In skincare, the skin appears supple, soft with a smoother appearance. In haircare, flexibility and resilience are increased. Hair feels and seems more peaceful and healthier with a nice sheen. Manageability is also increased.

Silk Peptides are a highly purified grade of natural silk powder, processed in such a way as to retain the original physical structure and chemical composition of silk. This is a 100% raw silk protein in fine powder form for ease of use. It also has the unusual quality of holding and releasing moisture depending on the temperature and humidity of the surroundings. This product is easy to use, as it bonds well with essential oils, fragrant oils, colors, and base materials used in skin and hair care. It is also stable over a wide range of pH levels, again confirming the suitability of Silk Peptide for personal treatment products. Recommended usage rate is between 2-5% by weight.

Silk Additives – Which one is the right one?

Silk Powder, Silk Peptide, Silk Amino Acids; which one is best for your formulation? All of them contain 18 different amino acids; all come from the silkworm's cocoon. All have a chemical composition close to human skin and hair, making them a wonderful source of nourishment and maintenance. The real difference is the size of the particles, which impacts water solubility and how deeply each one can penetrate the hair and skin. The more deeply it penetrates, the greater the beneficial qualities, but you’ll lose some of the much-coveted looks and feel it provides on the surface.

Silk Peptide is the next size down from the powder and has better water solubility. Being a more refined product, its particle size allows it to penetrate the skin and hair, giving it a more value-added aspect to enhance appearance. The shine, elasticity, and smooth feel it provides to hair become apparent after it dries and turns into a protective crystalline film that is less sticky than collagen or keratin. Upon penetrating the skin, Silk Peptide helps retain moisture while providing an attractive sheen.

The Two Valuable Silk Proteins

1. Sericin

Sericin is a protein that enables strands of silk to be bound together into a cocoon as the outer coating. It has important applications in medicine, where it helps to coagulate and heal wounds and reduce the risk of infection. It appears that wounds recover faster with the application of sericin products – one study (though conducted on rats) showed that the topical use of a cream containing Sericin resulted in a much greater rate of wound reduction and reduced inflammation of said wounds.

Sericin is also common in hair products like hair shampoo, hair conditioner, and so on; in such products, silk proteins help to reduce hair damage, such as in colored or bleached hair.

2. Fibroin

Fibroin is the structural center of silk as the inner shaft, contributing to its rigid structure and tensile strength. It is therefore seen as a valuable material in biomedicine, textiles. Most products use Fibroin in skincare because this protein has a high percentage of glycine and alanine. Combining glycine and alanine gives silk a remarkable effect on the skin. To break down the benefits of these further:

Glycine is the simplest form of amino acid that the body can manufacture through the diet. This amino acid produces a protein that has a high concentration of collagen. Most of us have heard a lot about collagen and its wonders on the skin. Glycine can help repair skin damage and speed up the wound healing process.

Alanine is another amino acid that your body can also manufacture and derive through dietary nutrients. Common in formulations, it is a great skin-conditioning agent as well. Most masks contain alanine as a leave-on ingredient to penetrate the epidermal cells. This helps fill up lines and creases present, giving skin a smoother appearance.

Benefits of Fibroin

Fibroin is reputed to be an excellent water-binding and absorbing protein which is non-toxic and biocompatible. Therefore, skincare products with this silk protein can offer the following benefits:

1. Alleviates Skin Inflammation

Fibroin helps calm inflamed skin by increasing cell metabolism and promoting blood circulation. In turn, reducing inflammation can help promote an even skin tone and keep acne & wrinkles at bay.

2. Tighten Skin

It is helpful for those seeking to change the appearance of aging skin, improving its elasticity and rejuvenating its appearance.

3. Reduce The Appearance Of Wrinkles

Fibroin can help in ‘plumping up’ the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Some have touted it as an alternative to Botox in this regard.

4. Treat Scars

Fibroin increases blood circulation to scar tissue. It is also helpful for damaged skin, thus reducing the appearance of scars.

5. Alleviate Sun Damage

Though you may love to spend many a day basking in the rays of the sun, doing so without any sun protection can contribute to severe sun damage. It may also cause oxidative stress to your skin over time. Sun-damaged skin retains hydration comparatively poorly, often has a hyperpigmented appearance and reduced elasticity. This means that skin looks more mature than it is. However, antioxidant-containing products, such as silk protein, can help reverse the oxidative damage caused by free radicals and help repair/mitigate sun damage.

Silk and the beauty industry

The silk extracts are highly favored in the beauty industry because of these two proteins – Sericin and Fibroin (built from 18 amino acids).

These are easily absorbed into the skin and boast the following benefits:

Promotes cell repair

Promotes cell regeneration

Reduces transdermal water loss and helps maintain the skin’s hydration levels.

The silk cocoons are also popular, particularly in Asian skincare circles, for their beneficial properties. On skincare forums and articles across the internet, many swear by the use of silk cocoons as an exfoliant for washing the face, as it is claimed that it:

Has anti-aging properties (by smoothing out wrinkles and scars on your skin)

Is gentle and less abrasive than other types of exfoliants, and

Can protect against sun damage particularly that from UVB rays.

Ingredients derived from silk go by many different characters in the present market. How are we going to choose the right one for ourselves, to meet the needs of our skin?

Silk powder, silk peptides, silk protein, and silk amino acids are all names that you may have come across. These contain the 18 different amino acids originating from the silkworm's cocoon. These have a chemical composition somewhat similar to human skin and hair makeup. It’s why it’s a compatible product for our skin and hair maintenance.

Different between the silk protein

The difference lies in their particle sizes, which affect water solubility. It also affects their penetration power into the various layers of our skin and the cuticles of our hair. Silk proteins that can penetrate the skin more deeply are of more value for their therapeutic qualities. However, you may lose some of the desired skin feel upon applying the product. You may also notice a lack of superficial cosmetic effects (for example, the temporary filling in fine lines and wrinkles) that other products may initially provide.

Silk peptide powder, a.k.a. hydrolyzed silk protein, is the highly recommended ingredient because it effectively penetrates the skin’s many layers. Raw silk needs to undergo alkaline hydrolysis and de-alkylation to produce such powder. This leads to a more refined product with a smaller particle size (which penetrates more easily into our hair and skin). Hydrolyzed silk lends shine, elasticity, and a smooth feeling to our skin and hair. Even when dry, it forms a protective crystalline surface that is not sticky to the touch, meaning that it’s both practical and cosmetically elegant. When used in leave-on skin care products, hydrolyzed silk protein can help the skin’s water barrier to retain moisture. At the same time, it also provides an attractive sheen. It’s no wonder so many brands produce cosmetics, body, and skincare products with hydrolyzed silk in their formulations.

Benefits of Silk Peptide

1. Silk's Wound Healing Properties

Testing on non-human animals isn't something that I condone, but I just had to share this as it makes the point beautifully. In this study, mutant silk from a spider's web improved the healing times of traumatized rat skin so well that it is being looked at as an option for human burns victims. Now while that sounds like something from a horror show, it does demonstrate one of the key properties of silk. Silk is a natural protein fiber, and protein is made from amino acids. Our skin is rich in amino acids and so adding the correct type of silk to the right kind of product can help strengthen and re-build the skin or hair's structure. It’s a bit like that spray-on hair or skin only a little more rudimentary.

2. Silk As a Moisturizer.

Silk proteins and their amino acids are great molecular sponges that soak up and deliver moisture into the skin. As our skin is over 70% water, adequate hydration is essential for its healthy functioning and so adding silk to a product is like giving your skin or hair a supercharged drink.

3. Silk As a Re-Builder.

By the time you get down to smaller silk peptides or amino acids, the molecules are small enough to get through the top layers of skin and into the dermis. Whether they will or not is up to the vehicle they travel in (the product base), but the potential is there. Once in the dermis, they have been known to boost collagen production, which improves the look and feel of the skin, making it plumper and younger-looking.

4. Silk As a Barrier

The larger molecular silk fibers moisturize the skin from within the top layers, but they also add to the skin's barrier function. This natural fiber makes a lightweight, breathable film on the skin's surface, affording it some protection from the elements.

5. Silk As An Anti-Inflammatory

While I haven't been able to find any evidence to say that silk has a specific anti-inflammatory action, the very fact that it moisturizes soothes, and protects dry skin makes it a secondary anti-inflammatory.

6. Silk To Make You Comply

This is my favorite property as it is all about the senses. We wouldn't be so excited about wearing our new anti-aging moisturizer if it felt like a stratchy bail of hay, would we? But how quickly would we rush to dive into a silky, smooth bath of skin goodness? The sensory properties of silk are crucial to its success in the skincare realm and should not be overlooked, especially if you are a maker of skincare products. People use more of something if they like it, so making it suitable and better compliance will equal a better chance of getting optimal results, and we all know that results keep your customers coming back for more.

Five  reasons to add Silk Protein in your skincare routine

If you’re not already using skincare products formulated with silk protein, these five reasons might convince you to start.

1. Silk protein is similar to human keratin and helps produce keratin protein. 

2. Silk protein consists of 18 amino acids. More than ten of these are similar to the amino acids already contained in the skin. When the nutrient elements of silk enter the body, they are organically bound to skin cells and absorbed.

3. Silk protein is beneficial for maintaining the normal function of the skin’s surface film. This film on the outermost layer of the epidermis prevents external factors from irritating it, prevents the evaporation of water, and protects the skin.  

4. Silk protein can maintain the skin's water content and has the function of a natural humidity-regulating factor. The peptide chain is loose and disordered because of silk’s molecular coil structure. This helps transfer water in the body to the skin. 

5. Silk has the function of preventing ultraviolet radiation. Silk inhibits the formation of excess melanin in the skin, avoiding the appearance of dark spots and freckles.

Silk Powders

Silk Powders impart a soft, smooth texture into mineral makeup, creams, powders, and a wide range of other cosmetic products.  Silk Powders are available in two varieties through Our Superfine Silk Powder is insoluble in water and is generally used to create mineral makeup. The fine particles of silk can help balance skin moisture while improving the texture and appearance of the skin. Superfine Silk Powder also makes an excellent additive in body powders and oil-based body butters. Our other variety of Silk Powder, Silk Peptide Powder, has an ultra-fine consistency and is water-soluble. The solubility of this powder makes it ideal for use in creams, lotions, and bath products. Silk Powders are often included in facial primers, designed to prep the face for liquid or powder foundations. 

Silk helps to even out the skin’s texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and add a smooth, silky surface for the makeup to be applied to. Silk is also used in many popular hair care products. Silk Powders can be incorporated into shampoos, hair creams, pomades, or conditioners. Try incorporating Silk Peptide Powder into a product's water phase at between 2 and 5% to begin experimenting with this unique ingredient. When making oil-based products, mineral makeups, or body powders

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