This beauty brand’s secret to a flawless complexion? The cocoons of specially bred silkworms, as Eugene Quek discovers in Tokyo.
Photography Tan Wei Te art direction Sherli Chong
Want soft skin? Just add silk. It’s a seductive premise – but not any silk will do. As I discovered in Tokyo recently, it takes a specially bred silkworm to create an extract that Cle de Peau Beaute uses as the star ingredient in its revamped suite of Basic Skincare products. The so-called Platinum Golden Silk cocoons are reared exclusively for the brand’s use, and only in a single mulberry farm in northern Thailand at that.
The extract is derived from the cocoon fibres rather than from processed silk so as to maximise its beauty benefits, says Dr Ishimatsu Takayuki, director of Cle de Peau Beaute Laboratories. He adds that this extraction method was chosen because some amino acids may be destroyed when raw silk is refined. What beauty benefits does silk confer? According to the brand, it may reduce sallowness. “Our laboratories discovered that this strain of silk can slow down carbonylation, which is the process that causes the complexion to turn yellow,” explains Dr Ishimatsu.
The silk extract-derived Illuminating Complex EX, included in all the reformulated Basic Skincare products, also promises to “undo” past damage inflicted on your skin. “Amino acids in the extract are capable of resetting ‘skin memory’ by soothing cell receptors (cells that detect changes on the skin’s surface layer) that are in a stressed state,” adds Dr Ishimatsu. Here’s how these silk-powered products measure up.
Hydro-clarifying lotion, $180
After cleansing, apply this watery toner with cotton pads to polish away dirt and debris on the skin’s surface. Two weeks into using it, I noticed that my T-zone was less shiny, and my cheeks less dry. Plus, the featherweight fluid made my complexion radiant.
Protective fortifying emulsion, $190
This day moisturiser (my fave from the range!) is infused with a herbal root extract that reportedly ramps up collagen production in skin. The sheer texture makes this a pleasure to wear in our sweltering weather, and the SPF25/PA+++ rating means it does double duty as a sunscreen.
Intensive fortifying cream, $210
A night cream that feels like sorbet when applied. Sensorial pleasure aside, this works wonders for my combination skin: I pat a tiny pinch of the product onto my face and neck as a last step at night, and in the morning, my face looks visibly lifted.