Next Level Luxury: How to add silk to your skincare routine

Luxurious yet practical, silk has been regarded as the textile of choice for everything from loungewear to formal garb. It has a visually appealing natural sheen, a pleasant texture that is cool to the touch, and a breathability that brings comfort as well as effortless style. As it turns out, this elegant cloth has other applications, as well! Phrases like “silky smooth” and “soft as silk” show how much we associate this fabric with great skin and hair. In fact, several popular bath and body products have silk in their brand names: Cream Silk, Sunsilk, and Silka!

Some beauty brands have taken this a step further, though, by creating products that have actual silk in them. But does that actually do anything to make skin as smooth as silk? I tried three silk products to find out!

COSRX Blackhead Silk Finger Ball (P200 for a pack of 12 at The Skincare Curator)

If natural products float your boat, this is just about as natural as you can get. These finger balls are actual silk cocoons you can use to exfoliate your skin! This has been around for a hot minute, and though I was curious, it seemed a bit gimmicky. It comes from a brand I trust, though, so I gave it a whirl without expecting much.

Following the directions, I let the ball soak for 2 to 3 minutes in warm water. I thought it might dissolve into fragile silk threads, but the ball held its shape. Once soaked, I wore it on my finger and gently massaged it on my t-zone and chin, areas where my clogged pores prefer to reside. While it didn’t draw out blackheads or sebaceous filaments, it did feel soothing to my easily sensitized skin. After use, my skin felt cleaner but also softer and more supple! My large pores also looked a bit smaller, at least for a little while.

I feel like doing this weekly would be a great addition to my skin care routine. My only issue with it is that I can’t bring myself to reuse the balls (it says on the package that each ball can be used up to 3 times). Washing the used ball under running water did make it look cleaner, but I wasn’t sure how to properly sanitize it without ruining the silk fiber and its skin-improving properties. Even so, I think it’s worth it to continue weekly use. A pack would last me 3 months if I use one ball weekly, which isn’t too bad for the price.

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Lisse Silk Eye Mask and Pillowcase (P850 and P1,850 respectively at Lisse)

I came across an article that enumerates the many personal health benefits of using silk clothing and beddings. I was surprised to find out that using silk pillowcases and bedsheets can lead to improved sleep quality, and even help your skin care absorb better! Plus, you can take a usable #wokeuplikethis photo sans “sleep wrinkles” and frizzy hair since the fabric is gentler than traditional linens.

Both the Silk Eye Mask and Silk Pillowcase of Lisse are made from 100% mulberry silk with 16.5 momme, the equivalent of thread count for silk. The most common silk cloths are around 8 momme, so 16.5 momme is considered a cloth of higher quality. It certainly felt so luxe!

I loved how cool the fabric felt against my skin as I slept, which I think helped me drift off to sleep more quickly than usual. Both the eye mask and pillowcase helped keep my hair in place as I slept, and I woke up free of tangles with my hair looking pretty much the same as the night before. This is a revelation to me and my wild hair, as I usually go to bed with my hair tied up to prevent tangles but wake up to a serious bedhead anyway. With these sleep accessories, my hair is finally tamed!

Yes, silk beddings tend to be pricey, but it’s something worth looking into for those who find trouble sleeping or have frizz-prone hair like me. Lisse also has other silk products like customizable robes and sleepwear for men and women, which make for great gifts!

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Water Angel Gold Silk Mask (P140 at BeautyMNL)

I got these sheet masks during one of BeautyMNL’s sales. I was intrigued by the gold cocoons on the packet, and thought the sheet might be made of actual silk given the higher price point. The Thai brand name Water Angel (which mostly makes sheet masks) added to the mystique, too. As it turns out, this is a black charcoal sheet mask with hydrolyzed silk, or liquefied silkworm cocoon protein. I learned that silk proteins contain 18 amino acids (!!!) that promote tissue repair, growth, and overall health.

While it felt pleasant on the skin, as most sheet masks do, I honestly didn’t feel like it performed any differently from other sheet masks I’ve tried. After all, hydrolyzed silk was wayyyyy down the ingredients list, meaning the sheet mask contains a low percentage of this nourishing substance. I probably won’t repurchase, as my favorite sheet masks fit my needs better at a lower price. But I’ll keep my eyes peeled for other skin care products with hydrolyzed silk in it, hopefully at a higher percentage content.

Water Angel Gold Silk Mask Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Phospholipids, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Carbomer, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Urea, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Triethanolamine, Lecithin, Fragrance, Glycolipids, Ethanolamine, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Propylene Glycol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Silk, Citric Acid, Peucedanum Ostruthium Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben

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The bottomline

While it’s not a new idea, I think silk needs to be part of the beauty discussion more for its skin care and overall health benefits. I didn’t even realize that there were so many applications, from skincare products with silk extracts to even actual silkworm cocoons! Trying out silk for personal care made me want to find more silk products to test. I am seriously considering adding more silk garments to my wardrobe, as well as using silk skincare products regularly.

Have you tried silk for your beauty routine? What products do you like and recommend? Do share them in the comments and help me find new silky things to try!

Product photography by Nicole Quindara