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How the Silk Protein Sericin Helps Hair and Skin
How the Silk Protein Sericin Helps Hair and Skin

 

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If you’ve ever worn a silk garment, you know how soft and smooth this material feels against your skin. What you might not realize is that this softness does more than just feel good. Silk contains a protein called sericin that can actually help you maintain healthy hair and skin.

What Is Sericin? 

How does the silk protein sericin work, and what exactly is it? This involves learning a bit about insect science. 

Sericin comes from a silkworm known as Bombyx mori, or the mulberry silkworm. This silkworm produces sericin in large amounts towards the end of its fifth larval instar, which is a fancy name for the larval stage. This silk protein has been used for centuries to make various items. 

silkworm

Sericin from these silkworms combines with another protein called fibroin filaments to form a cocoon. These cocoons are harvested for their raw silk. The mulberry silk fibers are then used to make various things, including hair and skin care products. These silk proteins are also used to make innovative products like Blissy Silk Pillowcases.

Sericin Is Chocked Full of Antioxidants

Since Bombyx mori feed on white mulberry leaves, which are packed with antioxidants, the sericin they produce comes with these helpful compounds. Antioxidants are powerful compounds that protect skin cells from damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and help boost collagen production. This damage can include fine lines, dark spots, a higher risk of skin cancer, and other skin problems.

Sericin provides skin with a layer of protection while also helping it stay hydrated. This helps lower the risk of skin damage and prevents skin from becoming dry and dull. This silk protein also helps lower the risk of hair damage and can repair damage that you might already have, such as brittle or dry hair from sun exposure.

antioxidants

Sericin and Fibroin in Skin and Hair Products

Hydrolyzed silk protein, a form of sericin that's broken down to be water soluble and easily absorbed, is popularly used in hair care and skin care products thanks to the protective and healing effects it has. While sericin is found more often in hair care products than skin care products, it can help improve both skin and hair health.

When you’re looking for skin care and hair care with silk proteins, you’ll also find fibroin in some of these products. Fibroin tends to be used more often in skin care products, since it contains amino acids that boost skin health. These amino acids help repair damage caused to epidermal cells, maintain hydration, and protect against sun damage.

The Science Behind Sericin

While companies can claim that their skin care and hair care products containing sericin do all kinds of wonderful things, what does the science have to say? Taking a look at some studies and scientific reviews on sericin can help you see how effective it is and what kinds of benefits it offers.

Studies and reviews on this silk protein have focused on its use in different industries, including cosmetics, health, and the food industry. The following round-up of findings can give you a better idea of how well sericin performs when it's used in the cosmetics industry.

Retain water, resist sun damage

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Biomaterials Applications notes that sericin absorbs UV radiation and resists free radical damage. This silk protein also retains water in a capacity that’s similar to hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that’s often used in cosmetic procedures to reduce fine lines and add volume to sagging skin.

What does all of this mean? Sericin was found to have properties that protect your skin from sun damage and help your skin maintain its volume and moisture. This results in youthful-looking skin with a healthy glow instead of a dull appearance or noticeable signs of aging.

Hydration for healthy skin

A 2016 scientific review published in Engineering and Competitiveness found that sericin has been effectively used in moisturizers, along with fibroin, to help skin stay hydrated. Being able to maintain hydration protects your skin from aging effects and damage.

healthy skin

A 2004 review published in the Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research showed that in addition to boosting skin elasticity and providing anti-aging effects, sericin helps skin stay moist. Sericin gels are able to repair natural moisturizing factor (NMF) in your body and block water loss on your skin, which helps treat dry, flaky skin. 

When you’re looking for moisturizers to prevent your skin from becoming dry, consider using products that contain sericin. Applying these after showering while your skin is still damp helps lock in this moisture for healthy looking skin all day long.

Healthy hair care

A 2013 study published in Advanced Materials Research showed that sericin can be used as an effective hair care product ingredient. This silk protein was found to provide outstanding hair care and repair damaged hair. The study also notes that sericin’s amino acid components offer a high amount of moisture absorption and retention on the skin’s surface.

healthy hair

Based on this study’s findings, sericin can offer a great way to fix hair damage or keep your hair looking healthy. Tired of dry or dull hair? Products with sericin might be just what you need to get it looking its best again. This study also shows that silk protein keeps your skin well-hydrated if you plan to use it as part of your skin care routine.

Multiple benefits for hair and skin

A 2016 scientific review published in BioMed Research International found that the use of this silk protein in shampoos, creams, and other cosmetics increases hydration, improves skin elasticity, and provides anti-wrinkle and anti-aging effects. Sericin in these products also offers a cleaning solution that is less irritating to the skin.

This silk protein offers tons of benefits for hair and skin health based on the findings of this in-depth scientific review. From more moisture for your skin to a lower risk of developing fine lines and other aging signs, sericin does it all. Its ability to improve elasticity means your skin stays more flexible rather than becoming saggy.

beauty

This review also backs up the findings of the previously mentioned 2013 study. Sericin is a powerful moisturizing agent that stops water loss from occurring on the skin's surface, which lowers your risk of having dry skin.  

More to come!

According to a 2021 review published in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology, sericin is an antioxidant molecule with the potential to be used effectively in cosmetic products, such as skin care and hair care products. The review notes that additional studies are needed to find potential uses of sericin in more cosmetic products and determine their effectiveness.

While some studies and reviews on sericin have been done, more are needed to better understand this silk protein and all of its wonders. As more studies and reviews are done, keep an eye out for additional hair care and skin care products containing this protein.

Make Sericin Part of Your Daily Routine

Using skin care and hair care products with sericin in them is one way to enjoy the benefits of this silk protein. Whether you apply moisturizer with this ingredient or use shampoo that contains it, this protein can help heal damage and boost your skin and hair health. This can leave you with radiant skin and shiny hair.

Sleep On It

Cosmetics aren’t the only way to make use of sericin’s benefits. Sleeping on a Blissy Silk Pillowcase made from mulberry silk is another great way to do so. When you rest your head on these pillowcases, your skin and hair can reap the rewards that this silk protein offers.

blissy striped grey pillowcase

These pillowcases have a cooling effect to help you sleep comfortably while also providing moisture-retaining properties. Sleeping on these pillowcases means you can look forward to enjoying a great night’s sleep and waking up feeling beautiful.

Sleep in style

Blissy Silk Pillowcases come in a wide range of colors and sizes, so you can choose one that’s perfect for your bedroom. From colorful tie-dye and vibrant Bahama blue to luxurious gold and elegant orchid, these pillowcases are made from the finest quality silk protein.

Get Your Blissy Silk Pillowcases Today!

Ready to choose new pillowcases, so you can enjoy healthier skin and hair? Visit Blissy to see all of the silk pillowcases we have to offer. Our pillowcases contain sericin and fibroin that can help protect you from flyaway hair, creased skin, and other hair and skin problems.

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