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It’s A Bee Secret: What Does Propolis Do For Your Skin?

by Victoria Marian Belmis / Jan 26, 2022 07:56 AM EST

Before we discuss what can natural propolis do for your skin, let's check out what propolis is. 

Well, did you know that honey isn't the only thing that bees make? Aside from honey, bees also produce a compound called propolis from the sap found on needle-leaved trees or evergreens. 

Propolis is the result when bees combine the sap from the trees with their own discharges and beeswax. It is a sticky, greenish-brown product they use as a coating to build their hives. 

Way back, ancient civilizations have used propolis for its medicinal properties. In fact, Greeks used propolis to treat abscesses while Assyrians put it on wounds and tumors to fight infection and help the healing process. 

On the other hand, Egyptians used propolis to embalm mummies.

The location of bees alongside the type of available vegetation affects the composition of propolis.

Based on studies, researchers have identified over 300 compounds in propolis with the majority of these compounds being forms of polyphenols. 

Polyphenols are antioxidants that fight disease and damage in the body. Specifically, propolis was studied to contain polyphenols called flavonoids which are produced in plants as a form of protection. Flavonoids are commonly found in foods thought to have antioxidant properties, including green tea, red wine, fruits, and vegetables.

Antioxidants such as phenolic compounds and flavonoids neutralize an unfavorable effect of free radicals on the skin which is wrinkles. As propolis contains such compounds, it helps smooth out wrinkles and has antiaging properties. It also lightens the skin, reduces signs of fatigue as well as moisturizes it.

So where can you get propolis?

Propolis is readily available in pharmacies or health food stores. It is usually in topical forms like creams, ointments, and lotions. Also, propolis can be taken orally and comes in tablet, liquid extract, and capsule form.  Before taking any supplements, however, ask your doctor first if propolis is safe for you.

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