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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.
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 this non-toxic skincare line
There are four preservatives in Silk Therapeutics products (obviously, not all four in one product at a time).
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 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 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 database. Studies 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 line
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.
Emulsifiers in this anti-aging skincare line
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 non-toxic 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 line
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 line
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 website
You can get 25% off on the full-sized products with the discount code IRLFY25.
Your Superpower To Read Ingredients
Imagine looking at the ingredients of any shampoo, conditioner, lotion, or cream and in a matter of seconds being able to decide if it is safe to use!
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.