If we had to choose a favourite bee ingredient, then it probably has to be our precious, British-sourced propolis. For millions of years, only the bees that so expertly create Propolis knew the secret of this incredible ingredient.
Rich in flavonoids (a class of antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and cell loss), Propolis has a long history of use as a natural treatment for a host of health problems. Records trace the awareness of this wonder ingredient back some 5,000 years, and, as with honey, propolis was prolifically used by the Egyptians and Greeks for its many diverse skin benefits.
But what is propolis exactly?
Propolis is a natural, resin-like mixture made by bees. It is made up of hundreds of natural chemicals, all of which are collected by bees from the pollen of tree buds and other botanical sources around them in their local habitat.
The bees process the pollen through their digestive system and combine it with wax to create propolis. Sometimes known as Bee Glue, the propolis is then used like cement in the hive to seal cracks or open spaces in the structure. And that’s not all!
Propolis generally includes resins and balsam compounds, beeswax, essential oils and bee pollen. Plus, it is also packed with many super-power ingredients, including vitamins B, C, E, copper and manganese. All of the combined elements in propolis help make it antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal.
Because of this, as well as bolstering the hive structure, propolis makes the perfect defence system to protect the hives. The Bees even instinctively know what pollen to collect to combat any threat of infection to their hives by bacteria or insects.
Where Propolis is collected by the bees in such a localised way, the actual composition varies. But, the overall properties of Propolis offer great health benefits, not just for skincare.
Research has found more than 300 compounds in Propolis, the majority of which are forms of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that fight disease and damage in the body. These include Flavonoids, which are produced naturally in plants as a form of protection and are commonly found in foods thought to have antioxidant properties, such as fruits, green tea and vegetables.
One such Flavonoid is Pinocembrin, which also acts as an anti-fungal, and its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties help propolis to aid wound healing.
The Benefits Of Propolis
Propolis, as an ingredient, has a wide range of benefits and is used in many types of products, including cosmetics, ointments and lotions, lip balms and cold sore treatments, cough syrups and some food.
In the world of skincare, the powerful anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties of propolis help purify the skin and aids the maintenance of the body’s resistance to viruses. Some studies have even demonstrated how Propolis can speed up new healthy cell growth.
Anecdotally, we have had great feedback from people using our Propolis Balm (currently back in production) for a range of things, from cradle cap to stretch marks and to reduce the visibility of scar tissue, not to mention the benefits to daily skincare and the effect on the skin with regular use.
Bee Good & Propolis
Because Bees are central to what we do, we are proud to say that propolis can be found in all four of our key skincare products and other beneficial ingredients for great-looking skin.