Ingredient Focus: Propolis

1:52 PM

Hi everyone! Today I have a special blog post, it's an "ingredient focus" article and it's all about propolis!

I've actually had this article as a draft on a word document since last year. I don't know why I haven't published it before....because I love propolis! I wrote it just before moving last year and then things got more complicated, I posted less often and kind of forgot about it....But I've been using a new propolis serum since a couple of months and wanted to review it. That's when I remembered I had written this informative article about propolis so here we go! :D

 source of the images used for the montage: 1, 2, 3


Propolis is a natural resinous substance collected by bees from living plants, mixed with wax and used in construction and adaptation of their nests. The term ‘propolis’ was used by authors in Ancient Greece: pro (for, in front of, e.g., at the entrance to) and polis (city or community); a substance that is for or in defense of the city or hive.

Characteristically, it is a lipophilic material, hard and brittle when cold but soft, pliable, and very sticky when warm. Among the types of chemical substances found in propolis are waxes, resins, balsams, aromatic and ethereal oils, mineral elements, pollen and other organic matter, such as sugars, terpenoids, flavonoids, amino acids, Vitamins B 1 , B 2 , B 6 , C, E.; the composition can greatly vary depending on the region, climate, vegetation, time of collection etc.
Propolis possesses antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and many other beneficial biological activities: anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, local anaesthetic. Many other propolis applications in dermatology have been described. It has been used for wound healing, tissue regeneration, treatment of burns, neurodermatitis, microbial eczema, contact dermatitis, leg ulcers,and psoriasis (1 and 2).

Propolis is a natural product with a great potential for use in human and veterinary medicine. On the other hand, unlike products derived from medicinal plants, its composition is extraordinary variable; samples from different geographic origin may possess totally different chemical compositions, which means for example that European, Korean, or Brazilian propolis possess different potentials (hard to say if one is better than the others, too). That said in this study (3) it was shown that propolis samples from different geographic origins despite having a different chemical composition still had the same antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities.

Finally, an important point: propolis could trigger allergies and sentitivities in some people. Also be careful if you have allergies to bee by-products!
In summary and to simplify, in terms of skincare, propolis possesses interesting antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties. It is therefore particularly interesting for acne-prone skin, skin that needs to be soothed as well as sensitive skin.

And here is a short list of most-known propolis products

Do you have a favorite propolis serum?


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