Women have always been asking about the benefits of propolis for skin care. The use of propolis goes back to at least 300 BC. Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans used propolis for healing, skin beautification, and embalming (think pharaohs). Most of us are aware that propolis is linked to bees. But what are the main features and benefits of this ingredient that is surrounded with so much buzz?
What Is Bee Propolis?
Propolis as a chemical compound comes from bees. To truly and wholeheartedly embrace this bee product, you need to know that the origin of it is plant-based. To be precise, tree-based.
Trees have populated the planet Earth for thousands of years. There are still a few of the most ancient trees living in the Basin National park. They are the grace and the beauty exuding the power of life. During such a long evolutionary period, the trees have developed one of the most potent mechanism of protecting themselves from outside intruders like insects, viruses, bacteria, and pollution.
This pre-propolis mechanism consists of plant phenol chemicals and bioflavonoids. The bees collect tree secretions of sap and resin. By processing them through their unique bodies and adding beeswax to the mixture, we get one of the most unique end-products ever – propolis.
Propolis consists of approximately 300 plant- derived compounds including flavonoids, phenolic acids, cinnamic acid derivatives, terpenoids, cellulose and amino acids. (Bankova V, Castro SL, Marcucci MC. Propolis: recent advances in chemistry and plant origin. Apidologie 2000;31:3–15.) It is a mouthful, but it just shows how rich and literally complicated the propolis structure is.
Fun Fact About Propolis
If you look at the etymology of the word ‘propolis,’ it consists of two parts. In Greek, ‘pro’ means “for” or “in;” ‘polis’ means “the city.” When you put two parts together, it becomes Pro-City or For-City. The bees defending their city, their hive, use propolis to keep their fort clean and free of parasites.
For example, bees sting the intruders inside of their hive first, then they cover the dead bodies with propolis. Basically, they embalm the dead bodies, like ancient Egyptians have used on their diseased.
What Are the General Benefits of Propolis?
It’s hard to imagine all the micro elements that propolis incorporates into itself. The scientists are discovering new chemicals inside bee products and research their use in the medical and cosmetic industries all the time. It is an ongoing process to expand the health and beauty benefits of proopolis, raw honey, royal jelly and bee pollen. I would like to point out the top three propolis benefits that stand out in a strong, dramatic, way.
If you are looking for Anti-inflammatory properties, propolis is one of the central foods that has a strong standing in it. Reducing inflammation in the entire body is one of the top benefits of minimizing an onset of any disease or chronic condition.
Propolis shows antiviral properties (Amoros et al., 1992; Serkedjieva et al., 1992; Vynograd et al., 2000; Ito et al., 2001; Huleihel and Isanu, 2002; Gekker et al., 2005).
This unique bee product demonstrates antifungal (Dobrowolski et al., 1991; Sforcin et al., 2001) and antiparasite activities (Higashi and De Castro, 1994; De Castro and Higashi, 1995; Saloma ̃o et al., 2004; Freitas et al., 2006).
No surprise that modern medicine, beauty and personal care products of today are trying hard to incorporate potent compounds inside bee products into their practice. But you and I can take advantage of high quality bee products by including them into our diet and daily skin care routine.
3 Top Skin Benefits of Propolis
To access the benefits of propolis, a combination use of topical and digestive products should be used. When I eat a mix of propolis and honey, and then apply a facial mask with these ingredients, the end effect is much more powerful than if I used either of them in isolation. The body receives the benefits of well-being from inside-out, which calls for different types of application and consumption of the same product.
Healing Properties of Propolis for Skin
As propolis is being credited with strong antiseptic qualities, skin could use it in healing wounds and in cell turnover. That is why women who have been enjoying the use of propolis often credit skin brightness to this ingredient.
If you have minor scrapes on your skin, and use propolis-based products to clean and wash your hands and face, you may notice a faster healing of these minor skin wounds.
Restorative Properties of Propolis for Skin
Being a natural sealant, propolis helps to retain more water inside the skin. This important quality contributes to smoother skin and reduction in appearance of fine lines.
As one of the central benefits of propolis is being anti-inflammatory, the skin could directly benefit by fading acne marks by calming down internal inflammation. Some of the bio active compounds found in propolis are Caffeic Acid and Hydroquinone. This duet is found in commercial skin care products and acne treatment products on the market. You could access these compounds by going to the source – bee propolis!
However, if you’ve got an area that needs either healing or reduction of any type of scarring, propolis could be your go-to source. The antioxidants in propolis work in synergy with the antioxdants found in our bodies. When the power of two combined, we see the results in scar fading and skin healing and improved blood circulation. The benefits for the skin are truly amazing, as they become evident when a person begins to use bee propolis and other bee products in combination with it.
Protective Properties of Propolis for Your Skin
Propolis protects skin against bacterial invasion and helps to maintain your skin blemish free.
How To Choose Quality Honey & Bee Products
You can’t underestimate the beauty benefits of propolis! Honey is a beautiful everyday food you could easily use to add to your beauty regiments. Facial masks I concoct in my kitchen include honey frequently. I use either local honey or a bio active honey like in Bee & You.
Bee & You makes several formulas that packs only pure unfiltered honey onto glass jars we can use internally and externally. None of their honey batches are pasteurized. It means whatever the bees collected and produced in their beehive, you and I will receive as is, without any beneficial compounds destroyed by heat during pasteurization.
Raw honey that hasn’t been put through any alterations, like pasteurization, has all the potent antioxidants for you and me to enjoy. Including all of bee products into our beauty and skin care routine adds the magic of the bee lives into ours.
Why Bee & You Are Unique Bee Products
Using quality products from a trusted source is my way to discovery new ways of living. The Bee & You company has a unique collection of raw honey, propolis, royal jelly and bee pollen. The company sources all their products from the individual farms in Anatolia, a fascinating place in Turkey where where people highly revere the bees.
A mother who had a sick child had started the company. By giving her son pure honey and propolis and royal jelly mixture, she was able to raise and strengthen his immune system. The results were so astounding to the entire family and friends, that Asli Samanchi launched her new career by starting the Bee & You company.
The Royal Jelly from Bee & You contains a high percentage of 10-HDA, a specific organic acid which has been reported to have many health benefits. One of the skin benefits is collagen production! Other benefits include stronger immune system, antitumor activity, improvement of physical and mental performance. It is also reported to support hypersensitivity and improve fertility.
The company has a variety of products that include many variations of honey, propolis, and royal jelly. You could easily incorporate any of their products into your daily living.
Honey Face Mask Recipes for Every Season
For every woman there’s a honey facial mask. From the Cleopatra times who knew how to extend her natural beauty, we use honey and propolis to heal, maintain and beautify our skin.
Honey is a powerful moisturizer and purifier. That is why using just a spoonful of honey can make your skin clearer and softer. Just use quality raw unpasteurized honey varieties that do not have any fillers!
Moisturizing Avocado and Honey Face Mask
This mask is a perfect addition during winter and spring seasons, when our skin can become dry in no time. Honey helps to restore and maintain moisture levels inside the skin. Use 1/2 of freshly ripe avocado and 1 tablespoon of raw honey. Mix well and apply to your face and neck. Wait for 15-20 minutes, then wash off with warm water, finishing with a refreshing cool water splash.
Here you’ll find more ways on how to make your skin Smooth again.
Exfoliating Oatmeal and Raw Honey Facial Mask
Use this facial mask once a week to get rid of dead skin and allow growth of healthy new cells. Mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey (Bee & You is awesome, as it has royal jelly, too) with 1 tablespoon of ground raw oats. I use a coffee grinder to ground the oats. Add a drop or two of milk or water to the mixture to make it more spreadable on the facial skin. Wait for 15-20 minutes, then wash off with warm water, finishing with a refreshing cool water splash.
Easy Moisturizing Face Mask for Cold Weather and Dry Winter Season
Hydrating Honey and Yogurt Face Mask
Honey and propolis for skin are a perfect hydration duet all-year-round. In addition to hydrating the skin, this mask feeds the skin its phytonutrients. Mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey with 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt. Apply to your face and neck, if desired. Wait for 15-20 minutes, then wash off with warm water, finishing with a refreshing cool water splash.
When to Avoid Propolis or Bee Products
If you have never used or ate honey or bee products, please consult with your health and wellness practitioner. Some people are allergic to bee products and should never eat their products. But if you are not allergic to bees, then honey, propolis, royal jelly, bee pollen could be one of the potent sources for your sustainable healthy living.