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Silk Therapeutics Review

Written by Irina Webb

As you may know, the ingredients of the products we put on our skin go directly into our bloodstream.  They may cause irritation or even an allergic reaction.  This is especially true for anti-aging skincare products.  That’s why I’m thrilled to tell you about Silk Therapeutics, an anti-aging skincare line that one of my clients has recently asked about.


Silk Therapeutics claims that their skincare products are so safe that they even work for people who are undergoing oncology treatments.  (During those times, like all other organs, skin can be so affected that even products that have always worked may irritate it or even cause an allergic reaction.)  They also claim that their skincare is clinical grade.

Silk Therapeutics Review

While their claims sound great, and they are EWG-Verified, I looked up their ingredients as I always do.  They produced such a positive impression on me that I decided to try Silk Therapeutics for myself.


Ingredient correlation theory


Luckily, the ingredient list is relatively short, which is a big plus, and not just because it is less work for me to look up each ingredient.  In general, with skincare products, the fewer the ingredients, the smaller the chance one of them will not agree with you. This is because even the most benign ingredient, such as chamomile extract or avocado oil, may cause skin reactions in some people.  Every Silk Therapeutics skincare product use only 5-12 ingredients.


If you read my Superpower Cheat Sheet, you may remember that there is a quick and easy way to determine whether a product is likely to be harmful overall: look to see what preservative it uses.  Preservatives are often the ingredients that may either cause an allergic reaction or negatively impact our long-term health, or both.


Also, the company’s choice for their preservative is a good predictor as to whether the other ingredients are going to be safe.  In other words, if a formulator chooses harmful preservatives, most likely s/he will not care enough to make the best choices for other ingredients, and vice versa.


With this said, let’s look at the Silk Therapeutics preservatives.


Preservatives in the Silk Therapeutic non-toxic skincare line


There are four preservatives in Silk Therapeutics products (obviously, not all four in one product at a time).


Glyceryl Caprylate


Glyceryl Caprylate has a rating of 1 (on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the safest) with limited data in the EWG Skin Deep database.  According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review reports, it is non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and non-mutagenic.  It can also be a food additive.


Sodium Anisate


Sodium Anisate is rated 1.   However, like most ingredients in the products we apply to our skin, it has not been evaluated for safety, yet.


In the absence of safety data, I looked at its derivation process.  It seems to be plant-based, derived from fennel and anise.  In addition, there are no reports of allergic reactions, even though it is quite popular with many other natural skincare products besides Silk Therapeutics.  So, I’m willing to take my chances on it.


Sodium Levulinate


Sodium Levulinate has a rating of 1 with limited data in the Skin Deep database.  It also serves as a food-grade preservative, particularly in processed meat to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria (source).


Populus Tremoloides Bark Extract


Populus Tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract is rated 1 with limited data in the Skin Deep databaseStudies on rats have shown that dry aspen bark extract exhibits anti-ulcerogenic activity.  My thinking is that if it can heal ulcers, it should not be bad for our skin.


Conclusion about preservatives in the Silk Therapeutics skincare products


In conclusion, given the fact that the alternative preservatives are much worse or not perfect, these preservatives are some of the safest choices in skincare products.

Silk Therapeutics Review

Emulsifiers in this anti-aging skincare brand


Let’s test our theory that I mentioned earlier about the correlation of ingredients.  Since the preservatives in the Silk Therapeutics are some of the safest, the other ingredients, such as emulsifiers, should be among safest, too, and they are.  They include Glyceryl Stearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetearyl Olivate, Potassium Stearate, and Cetyl Alcohol.


Ethoxylated ingredients in cosmetics


There are no ethoxylated emulsifier or surfactants.  Ethoxylated ingredients are made with carcinogenic ethylene oxide and can have trace amounts left in the product.  They can also contaminate the product with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane, which will be a by-product and not listed in the list of ingredients (source).   You can detect them by looking for words beginning with PEG- or Polysorbate- or words ending in -eth.


EWG-verified ingredients in the non-toxic skin products


Because Silk Therapeutics skincare has been EWG-verified, you can see all their ingredients are rated by the EWG.  The beauty of the EWG verification process is that they ask for ingredient documents and adjust the rating of the ingredient accordingly.  For example, here you’ll see some ingredients rated at 2 or even 3, but when you click on a Silk Therapeutics individual product verified by the EWG, you will see that everything goes down to 1.  There are a few ingredients like the ones we talked about that have no safety data, which, again, is pretty much unavoidable.


Another thing that I like about this skincare brand is that they make all their products themselves at their Massachusetts headquarters.  It signals that they have good control over their manufacturing.


Speaking of downsides, I wish their botanical extracts and plant oils were organic.  On the plus side, there are only 1 or 2 of the botanical ingredients.


Anti-aging ingredients in Silk Therapeutics


Now let’s talk about the fun stuff, about the ingredients that actually improve the skin’s condition and help reduce the signs of aging.


Soluble Fibroin in this toxic-free skincare line


Soluble Fibroin (aka Activated Silk) is an ingredient that I believe is unique to Silk Therapeutics skincare line.  The Cosmetic Ingredient Review published a report on it in 2015.  Produced by the Bombyx mori silkworm, it is one of the two major protein components of silk cocoons.  Besides cosmetic uses, silk fibers are used to make textiles and abdominal wall reinforcement in humans.


For the purpose of full disclosure, there is evidence of possible sensitization to silk.  However, the reports of sensitization are from occupational exposure.  So, I do not think that is very relevant to skincare.


The soluble fibroin helps to smooth out the skin by filling in the wrinkles.


Sodium Hyaluronate in Silk Therapeutics hydrating skincare products


Sodium Hyaluronate (aka Hyaluronic Acid) is a part of our bodies – a natural component of connective tissues such as cartilage.  In comparison to other skincare ingredients, it has the greatest capacity to hold water.  That’s why it makes the best ingredient for a truly hydrating face moisturizer.  It enhances the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness.  When skin is properly hydrated, it is more elastic and less wrinkly.


Scientific studies on Hyaluronic Acid safety


The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel reviewed acute, short-term and chronic toxicological studies and concluded that they did not demonstrate any cause for concern.  Hyaluronic Acid did not cause reproductive or developmental toxicity.  They did not find any genotoxicity in reverse mutation tests, micronucleus tests, and chromosomal aberration tests.  There were no skin reactions in humans.  In medicine, they also use Hyaluronic Acid to make body injections.


Hyaluronic Acid is by far my favorite skincare ingredient, and I am glad that Silk Therapeutics makes use of it.  Crunchi Daylight moisturizer, which I love, uses it, too.  While the anti-aging claims may be questionable, the hydrating benefit of Hyaluronic Acid is evident in medical studies (source).


Vitamins in this non-toxic skincare line


The line formulations contain Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) and vitamin C (Ascorbyl Glucoside).  Panthenol  acts as a lubricant on the skin surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance (source).  Ascorbyl Glucoside helps brighten the skin’s complexion.


Silk Therapeutics ingredient performance


I have tried a combination skin starter kit and have found the Purely Radiant serum, C Advance serum, and Nurture moisturizers to be hydrating and quickly absorbent.  They spread around so easily that one pump covers the whole face, neck and décolleté.


I especially love the texture of the serums.  They contribute to a fresh glow throughout the day.  There are kits and products for three types of skin.


Conclusion about the Silk Therapeutics anti-aging non-toxic skincare


In conclusion, I believe this is one of the safest and effective skincare lines I have tried so far.  I’m not going to lie, though, – these products are expensive.


That is why I negotiated a 25% discount for my blog readers!


You can also reduce the cost by buying the products on sale or in bundles (such as this one or this one) or in starter kits, or adding only their wonderful serums or their amazing peel to your beauty routine.


If you can’t afford their products, please do not think that this is the only skincare I recommend.  Look around on my website and/or book a consultation, so I can help you choose a skincare line that works for your skin and budget.


Where to buy Silk Therapeutics products


Silk Therapeutics website

You can get 25% off on the full-sized products with the discount code IRLFY25.

Value Bundles

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With this easy unprecendented method, you will be able to spot potentially harmful personal care or skincare products that may cause irritation, an allergic reaction, or increase the risk of endocrine disruption or cancer.

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18 thoughts on “Silk Therapeutics Review”

  1. Hi! Can you comment on the ‘activated silk’ which is one of their ingredients? It’s uncommon, is it not?
    Also – I’ve read that L-ascorbic , or even better, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate are the better, more effective forms of Vitamin C. Is it true?

    1. Thank you for your questions, Julia. I was away on mini-vacation so I could not answer earlier. Yes, you are right that activated silk is an uncommon ingredient. Activated silk, also known as soluble fibroin, a liquefied form of natural silk protein, which can bond with other molecules and ingredients. As for vitamin C, from what I have read is that L-Ascorbic Acid (L-Ascorbate) is not stable and it oxidizes significantly before it comes in contact with our skin. That’s why skincare manufacturers combine it with something else to make stable and preserve its anti-aging properties. There are so many forms of vitamin C such as Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, or Ascorbyl Glucoside. For example, this article (I have read a full text because I have subscription) states that the penetration of L-Ascorbate in human skin was 15% that of Ascorbyl Palmitate.” Ascorbyl Glucoside used in the Silk Therapeutics is combined with glucose. This article (you can read a full text) also states that L-Ascorbic Acid is unstable and that Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is the most stable and preferred ascorbyl ester. However, it is not clear which forms of vitamin C they have reviewed. Could you let me know the sources of your information about vitamin C? I’d love to review it. By the way, Silk Therapeutics now offers 25% off to my readers. I added the discount code to the post. Thank you, Julia. ~Irina

  2. Joanne Ward-Iaccino

    Well done, Irina! Appreciate you looking into this and taking the extra step to try it yourself! One note I wanted to mention – the eye cream is excellent – but the foil sample sizes in the starter kit don’t necessarily give you the best indication of how it works. I have ordered it previously in the full sized container, and it works better than anything else I’ve used. No, it doesn’t make dark circles and puffiness magically and completely disappear (I don’t think such a thing exists), but in comparison the results are much better than others I’ve tried AND it makes an excellent base for concealer. I find the product in the foil pouches that come in the starter pack seems to separate, and the moisture tends to be in the bottom – a bit awkward to try to remix once you’ve cut an opening in the top. Just a minor complaint – I wouldn’t want you or anyone else who purchased it to think that the consistency wasn’t good in the regular sized version based on the foil pouches. I purchased the starter kit for dry skin and it’s a great way to try before you buy. Great value for the money, and I have loved everything I have tried. I must say something about the Renewing Peel – it’s affects are truly amazing! Even though most skin care companies make claims about noticing an immediate difference with their products – and I have never found that to be the case – I definitely did experience this with the peel. I held off ordering more until just recently because it is pricey. However, after a good friend of mine had gained no appreciable change after paying for an expensive procedure I was saving for myself, I realized I’d be further ahead to just save myself the cost of the procedure and invest in quality skin care instead. Just received my order for full sizes in my favourite products:)

    1. Hi Liliana: thank you for asking this important question. Unfortunately, the packaging is plastic. How do you feel about that? I do whatever I can to minimize plastic in many other areas. Would you be interested in knowing what those areas are? ~Irina

      1. Not sure if the question was asked from health perspective or environmental concern, but the packaging disappointed me. Not only it is double-walled plastic, but there is totally unnecessary caps, heavyweight paper info sheets, box, and padding. As a marketer, I do understand the desire to give the product premium look to support the price range they charge, but I hope they prioritize impact on environment and offer the products in plain Jane alternative, maybe as an option. Not only better for the planet but more attractive for those who cannot afford their line. The products themselves are amazing, by the way.Thanks, Irina for the promotion.

        1. Hi, Sasha: They seem to realize the issue. Most of their packaging is glass for their new products. Their Complete gel facial cleanser bottle uses sugarcane-based biopolymer materials, which is made from renewable sources. Biopolymer is different from conventional plastic because it is produced from the waste product of sugarcane, eliminating the use of fossil-based raw materials that are so harmful to the environment. ~Irina

  3. Thanks so much for all this information. I really appreciate all the research you do. I am wondering what you think of the silk product compared to Anne Marie and Laurel.

    1. Hi, Amanda: thank you for asking! They are all non-toxic; however, it all depends on your personal preferences, sensitivities, and skin needs. If interested, you can schedule a consultation with me, and I can help you figure out your beauty routine. Thanks! ~Irina

  4. I was so excited to try this line of products, and then disappointed to learn that they don’t ship to Canada!

    1. Joanne Ward-Iaccino

      I am Canadian, and I find that very disappointing too. I live in a border community, so I have a U.S. shipping address. I place an order and pick up my packages there. You definitely need to provide them with feedback about this. If they want to grow their customer base, they need to make it possible for Canadians to buy their products!

  5. Hello,
    Your super power cheat sheet. I read the actual link for it but can you give me a bit more detail?
    Is it a cheat sheet in that it lists all worst offenders so if I use it while out shopping, I know im not causing *serious* harm? Or does it list all (potentially) harmful ingredients that id know to avoid?
    OR – better yet –
    Is it like an ingredient dictionary where it also lists *good* ingredients? Esp like good preservative options, for example?
    Look forward to your response!!

  6. Orie veronica Eduwoh

    Hi Thanks for the review on silk, please may i have the opportunity to consult with you on how to choose the best product for my skin? I filled out the online form and my email is there for you to contact me. Thanks

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