Bee Kind to Your Skin: Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly
Some people have that amazing skin that just glows. It’s got the perfect amount of dewiness without being oily, feels smooth, and looks even-toned. While a lot of ingredients can contribute to that healthy complexion, there are few that work as well (and for as many skin conditions) as bee products do.
Honey, propolis, and royal jelly are the ingredients that are typically harvested for skincare purposes. In fact, they’ve been harvested for centuries, for many reasons. The ancient Greeks used propolis to help heal wounds, and the ancient Egyptians used both honey and propolis for beauty treatments. Even today there’s evidence that bee products can soothe sunburns and other skin ailments.
Remember, like all bee products, if you have allergies to bees, bee stings, or have had allergic reactions to bee products before, you should definitely check with a doctor before trying any of these on your skin.
What is Propolis?
Propolis is a waxy substance that bees produce from material collected from conifer trees. The bees use propolis to seal cracks and crevices in the hive, and discourage bacteria growth that could cause disease within the colony. Beekeepers scrape the propolis off the hive boxes for different uses, one of which is skincare products.
So what’s so great about propolis? Turns out, a lot. Studies show that propolis helps healing by speeding up cell growth in people who have suffered from burns. It also seems to reduce inflammation in healing skin, and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties. In skincare, propolis can help heal skin affected by acne, and combat the bacteria that can cause acne. By speeding up the healing process, it can also reduce the chances of scarring. It contains flavonoids, which are found in ingredients with high levels of antioxidants, and there’s evidence it can help control oil production in the skin.
That Honey Glow
Honey is often credited with giving skin that healthy, even “glow” that we love. Part of why it works so well is that it has so many different benefits, all of which contribute to the overall well-being of your skin. Like propolis, it has natural healing properties, and is antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
If your skin is dry and dull, honey can moisturize and soothe, and contains emollients that make it feel soft. If you have issues with acne, honey helps to heal and reduce scarring, and reduces swelling and redness. It’s also thought to help with collagen production and discolouration, making it an amazing multitasking ingredient!
If it sounds weird to you, it might be because it is a rather strange substance. Royal jelly is a secretion that worker bees produce to feed bee larvae at the beginning of their lives. A protein in the jelly causes the larvae to grow into a queen bee instead of a regular worker bee.
Within the jelly, there are components that are meant to protect the queen bee throughout her life. Antioxidants, vitamins, fatty acids, and a high nutrient content are what make royal jelly so useful as a skincare product. It’s often found in anti-aging products because of its nourishing properties.
What About the Bees?
A quick note on the harvesting of bee products. If you’re concerned that honey bees may be harmed in the collection of bee products, rest assured that Korean skincare brands have a pretty good track record in the humane and ethical treatment of animals, including bees and snails (from which snail mucin is harvested).
All Korean beauty brands were required to be cruelty-free by 2018. Some brands, like Benton, are even certified by PETA as being cruelty-free. So while products containing bee products aren’t vegan, many reputable brands have statements on their websites on the humane treatment of their bees.
Products to Try!
Are you ready to try some bee product skincare yourself? Here are some suggestions to get in on the action!
Want some bee product packed skincare? This toner is made of 72.5% black bee propolis extract and 10% honey extract. With an essence-like texture, it hydrates and nourishes skin, helping it to look and feel plump and healthy.
This bestselling ampoule is sporting a new look! It still contains a great propolis extract formula, full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. If you have dry or rough skin, this ampoule helps to reduce redness and improves the texture of your skin, leaving it soft and supple. Use after your cleanser, toner, and essence.
If you want some serious hydration, but want something with a light texture, this gel-like cream is for you! Featuring a trio of bee products (propolis, honey, and royal jelly extract), this healing and nourishing cream is a great way to finish off your skincare routine. It seals in moisture to keep your skin glowing and smooth.
This is a great ampoule for those looking for something to control oiliness and soothe acne-induced inflammation. Propolis helps to fight bacteria that can cause acne, and hydrates without causing oiliness. This ampoule also contains houttuynia cordite extract and witch hazel which calm skin, and zinc PCA to control sebum.
A luxurious honey mask that promotes elasticity and a smooth skin texture, with gentle exfoliation. Apply after cleansing and leave on for at least 10 minutes. Rinse off. Use once a week or whenever your skin needs a boost. Gives your skin that radiant glow!
Honey and royal jelly moisturize dry skin, and help it to become supple again. Use if your skin often feels tight and flakey. Their blackberry collagen complex boosts elasticity so your skin looks and feels plump and youthful.
If you like a dewy finish, this cream is the perfect, moisturizing formula to round out your routine. Honey improves skin texture and helps to smooth lines, while ceramides hold moisture in and give skin that lovely dewy look. This cream goes on smooth, without stickiness.
This formula provides lightweight hydration and calms irritated or inflamed skin. Use it to fade acne scars or discolouration, and brighten the complexion overall. Because of the soothing effects of aloe and propolis, this gel works for even those with seriously sensitive skin.
Ready to give your skin that ready-for-warm-weather glow? This is a great time to try out a honey, propolis, or royal jelly product. Whether you’re looking for an anti-aging treatment, hydration for dry skin, or something to help control acne, there’s a bee product for you!