While the virtues of green propolis only recently reached western consumers, this ingredient has been used by Korean women for ages. Apart from its skin-soothing and hydrating abilities, propolis has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It is also loaded with antioxidants and possesses medicinal effects that treat several diseases and disorders.
What is Propolis?
Propolis is the bee’s knees. It’s an apt description for this bee-derived substance. Propolis in its natural and raw form is a hard substance that turns sticky and wax-like when treated with heat. Think of propolis as the glue that holds beehives together.
Over the years, people have found multiple uses for propolis. From mummification to treating foot disorders, to healing wounds and applications in dental and digestive health, people have been using propolis for a long time.
Propolis’ more recent claim to fame is due to the K-beauty movement. As the popularity of Korean beauty products and their ingredients spread beyond its borders, people all over the world are learning about its benefits to the skin.
How To Use Propolis For Skin Benefits
Now that you know more about propolis, why not enjoy some of its advantages? Here’s how you can harness the power of propolis.
For Treating Wounds
Propolis’ ability to treat and heal wounds is due to its antioxidants. They help our bodies fight against disease and damage. According to researchers, propolis has over 300 compounds, most of which are polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that plants use for protection.
You can use propolis for healing wounds by getting propolis-infused topical ointments, lotions, and creams.
Pro tip: Propolis also works well in healing acne scars.
For Skin Protection, Hydration, and Restoration
This relatively little-known ingredient can protect our skin from free radicals. It serves as a barrier against radiation, sun exposure, and air pollution. Because of these benefits, you can find green propolis as an ingredient in sunscreens, cleansing balms, moisturizers, anti-aging creams, and face serums.
For Reducing Inflammation and Redness
Aside from protecting skin, propolis also soothes and can even repair sun-damaged skin. Its restorative and hydrating properties make it a key ingredient in soothing gels, face serums, face masks, and cleansing balms.
In topical forms like ointments and creams, propolis typically has a heavier texture, but if this is an issue for you, you can always opt for lightweight formulas that contain the ingredient.
Can Propolis Cure Acne?
Propolis is helpful for acne-prone skin because it fights the bacteria that cause it and reduces inflammation. It also takes care of oiliness which leads to pimples by getting our sebaceous glands under control.
Surprisingly, green propolis also works on cystic or hormonal acne which is generally hard to treat. (Remember those irritating breakouts that just happen when you’re about to get your period?)
If you are looking for an effective way to prevent and treat pimples without itching or pain, look for spot treatments that contain green propolis. Since this ingredient encourages the production of collagen, it can also take care of any scarring you may have from past breakouts.
Does Propolis Have Side Effects?
As of today, not enough studies have been conducted to categorically determine if propolis-based products are safe. However, they aren’t considered dangerous. If you’ve had honey, you’ve probably already ingested green propolis.
Of course, anyone with allergies to honey or bees should avoid propolis. In some people, allergic reactions may not happen immediately but will only appear after being used for some time.
The most common allergic reaction to propolis is skin rashes similar to eczema. If you’re uncertain whether propolis is safe for you, talk to your doctor, particularly if you have allergies or suffer from asthma.
The Best Propolis-Based Products
If you’re keen to give propolis a try, here are a few great products that you can start with.
#1. CosRX Propolis Light Ampoule
This CosRX product contains 83% propolis extract, a high concentration that makes sure you get maximum benefits. It works well on all skin types but works particularly well for moisturizing dry skin. It’s a lightweight cream that’s ideal for daily use.
#2. The Organic Pharmacy Blemish Gel
Organic Pharmacy’s spot treatment for pimples is packed with a generous amount of propolis along with other acne-fighting ingredients like tea tree, manuka, lavender, and echinacea extracts.
#3. Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence
Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence is infused with 63% propolis extracts and 10% jelly extracts. It’s ideal for daytime use and should be applied like a facial serum after cleansing and toning. It also features probiotic ingredients like lactobacillus and fermented yeast that help even out your skin tone while keeping skin soft, moist, and healthy.
Propolis for Clearer, More Beautiful Skin
If you’d like to give it a try, you’ll find propolis-based products in pharmacies, health food stores, cosmetic, and personal care stores. You can also check out online beauty retailers, particularly those selling Korean skincare products.
Propolis has been used for ages. Korean women traditionally use it as an anti-acne treatment. Why not see if this bee-powered ingredient can work for you?