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The Complete Guide to Propolis Extract: Benefits, Types, Application, Research, and Choosing the Right Products

Last updated: Aug 2023
In this article:

Benefits of Propolis Extract

Propolis extract is a natural substance produced by honeybees to protect and disinfect their hives. It is known for its incredible health benefits and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Here are some specific benefits of propolis extract:

1. Antimicrobial Properties

  • Propolis extract has powerful antimicrobial properties, making it effective against a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • Studies have shown that it can help fight off harmful pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant strains.
  • This makes propolis extract a great natural alternative for preventing and treating infections.

2. Antioxidant Effects

  • Propolis extract contains high levels of antioxidants, which help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Free radicals can contribute to various health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and aging.
  • By neutralizing these harmful molecules, propolis extract can support overall health and well-being.

3. Anti-inflammatory Properties

  • Chronic inflammation is linked to many health problems, such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and digestive disorders.
  • Propolis extract has been found to have potent anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate related symptoms.
  • It may also aid in the management of inflammatory skin conditions like acne and eczema.

4. Wound Healing

  • Propolis extract has been used traditionally for wound healing due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It can help speed up the healing process by promoting tissue regeneration and reducing the risk of infection.
  • Applying propolis extract topically to minor cuts, burns, and abrasions can aid in their healing and minimize scarring.

5. Skin Protection

  • Propolis extract is beneficial for overall skin health.
  • It has been found to have moisturizing and nourishing effects, helping to keep the skin hydrated and supple.
  • The antioxidants present in propolis extract also protect the skin from environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV damage.
  • Incorporating propolis extract into your skincare routine can help maintain a healthy and youthful complexion.

Tips for Using Propolis Extract

  • Choose a high-quality propolis extract from a reputable source to ensure its purity and potency.
  • When using propolis extract topically, apply a small amount to the affected area and gently massage it in. Allow it to absorb completely before applying any other products.
  • If you have any allergies or are prone to allergic reactions, it's advisable to do a patch test before using propolis extract, especially if you intend to apply it to large areas of your skin.
  • When consuming propolis extract orally, follow the recommended dosage provided by the manufacturer or consult a healthcare professional.
  • Store propolis extract in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to preserve its potency.

Overall, propolis extract is a natural powerhouse with various health benefits. Whether used topically or taken orally, it can support your immune system, protect your skin, and promote overall well-being. Incorporate propolis extract into your daily routine to take advantage of its incredible properties.

Types of Propolis Extract

Propolis is a resinous substance that bees collect from trees and plants. It is used by bees to seal cracks and gaps in their hives, providing protection against bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens. Propolis extract, which is derived from propolis, is known for its numerous health benefits. In this guide, we will explore different types of propolis extract and their unique properties.

1. Green Propolis

  • Green propolis extract is derived from the botanical source Baccharis dracunculifolia, commonly found in Brazil. It is known for its high concentration of flavonoids and phenolic compounds, making it an excellent source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green propolis extract is often used to support immune health, reduce the risk of infections, and promote wound healing.

2. Red Propolis

  • Red propolis extract is sourced from the botanical species Dalbergia ecastophyllum, found in Brazil and other tropical regions. It is characterized by its rich red color and is recognized for its high content of prenylated phenylpropanoids. Red propolis extract is known for its strong antimicrobial, antifungal, and antitumor properties. It is often used to support oral health, respiratory function, and overall immune system.

3. Brown Propolis

  • Brown propolis extract is primarily obtained from Clusia spp., a botanical source common in Brazil. This type of propolis extract contains a wide range of phytochemicals, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenoids. Brown propolis extract is valued for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. It is often used to support cardiovascular health, soothe gastrointestinal discomfort, and enhance oral hygiene.

4. Black Propolis

  • Black propolis extract is predominantly found in the temperate regions of Europe and is sourced from several botanical species, including Populus spp. and Betula spp. Black propolis extract contains a unique blend of bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, phenolics, and aromatic acids. It is known for its potent antimicrobial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. Black propolis extract is commonly used to support respiratory health, boost the immune system, and promote skin healing.

5. Composite Propolis

  • Composite propolis extract is obtained from a mixture of different propolis types collected by bees from various botanical sources. This type of propolis extract provides a synergistic blend of bioactive compounds, resulting in a broad spectrum of health benefits. Composite propolis extract is often used to support overall well-being, boost immunity, and enhance antioxidant protection.

Topical Use:

  • Cleanse the area: Before applying any topical skincare product, cleanse the area properly to remove any dirt, oil, or makeup. This allows the product to penetrate deeply into the skin.
  • Apply a thin layer: When applying topical products like creams, serums, or lotions, it is important to use a small amount and spread it evenly over the skin. A thin layer is sufficient for effective absorption.
  • Massage gently: While applying topical products, massage the product into the skin using gentle circular motions. This helps in better absorption and stimulates blood circulation.

Facial Skincare:

  • Cleansing: Start your skincare routine by thoroughly cleansing your face with a mild cleanser suitable for your skin type. This helps remove impurities and prepares the skin for better absorption of subsequent skincare products.
  • Toning: After cleansing, apply a toner to balance the pH level of your skin and tighten the pores. Use a cotton pad or spray it directly onto your face, gently patting it in.
  • Moisturizing: Apply a moisturizer suitable for your skin type to keep your skin hydrated and plump. Massage it into your face and neck using upward strokes until fully absorbed.
  • Sun protection: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours if exposed to direct sunlight.

Body Skincare:

  • Exfoliation: Regularly exfoliate your body using a gentle scrub or exfoliating brush to remove dead skin cells and reveal smoother skin. Focus on rough areas like elbows, knees, and feet.
  • Shower gels and soaps: Use a pH-balanced shower gel or soap to cleanse your body and maintain the natural moisture barrier. Avoid harsh products that strip away natural oils.
  • Body moisturizer: After showering, apply a body moisturizer or lotion to lock in moisture and keep your skin soft and supple. Pay extra attention to dry areas like elbows, knees, and heels.

Product Formulations:

  • Creams: Creams are thicker and provide deep hydration, suitable for dry and mature skin types.
  • Serums: Serums are lightweight and quickly absorbed, delivering potent active ingredients. They are ideal for targeting specific skincare concerns like wrinkles or dark spots.
  • Lotions: Lotions are lighter in texture and provide hydration without leaving a greasy residue. They are suitable for normal to combination skin types.

Dosage and Safety:

  • Follow instructions: Always read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for dosage and usage. This ensures optimal efficacy and safety.
  • Patch test: Before using a new product, perform a patch test by applying a small amount on your inner arm or behind the ear. Wait 24 hours to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivity.
  • Consult a professional: If you have sensitive skin, existing skin conditions, or are unsure about certain ingredients, consult a dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized advice.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to skincare.

Follow a daily routine and allow time for the products to work effectively. Be patient, as it may take a few weeks to notice visible improvements in the skin's appearance.

Research Studies on Propolis Extract

Clinical Trials on Propolis Extract:

Clinical trials are essential for determining the efficacy and safety of propolis extract as a skincare ingredient. These studies involve human participants who are given products containing propolis extract and are monitored for specific outcomes.

Researchers may assess the effects of propolis extract on:

  • Skin hydration
  • Texture
  • Elasticity
  • Overall appearance

The results of these studies help determine the potential benefits of propolis extract for improving skincare.

Comparative Studies with Other Skincare Ingredients:

Comparative studies are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of propolis extract in comparison to other skincare ingredients. These studies aim to determine whether propolis extract performs better or similar to widely-used ingredients like hyaluronic acid or retinol.

Comparative studies can provide valuable insights into the unique properties and benefits of propolis extract, allowing consumers to make informed decisions when choosing skincare products.

Effects on Specific Skin Conditions:

Research studies have also investigated the effects of propolis extract on specific skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and aging. These studies analyze how propolis extract may alleviate symptoms associated with these conditions, including reducing inflammation, promoting wound healing, and improving skin elasticity.

Understanding the specific effects of propolis extract on various skin conditions can help individuals with these concerns choose appropriate skincare products.

Mechanism of Action:

In-depth research studies have explored the mechanisms by which propolis extract works on the skin. These studies aim to uncover the biological pathways and processes through which propolis extract exerts its skincare benefits.

This knowledge helps researchers and product developers understand how propolis extract interacts with the skin's cellular functions, collagen production, and antioxidant activity. A clear understanding of the mechanism of action enables the development of more targeted and effective skincare products.

Long-term Safety and Efficacy:

To ensure the long-term safety and efficacy of propolis extract for skincare, studies focusing on extended usage and potential side effects are conducted. These research studies involve monitoring individuals who use products containing propolis extract over an extended period.

By assessing any adverse effects and evaluating the continuous benefits, these studies help establish the safety profile and appropriateness of propolis extract for long-term skincare use.

Choosing and Purchasing Propolis Extract Products

Propolis extract has gained popularity for its potential health benefits, including immune support and antioxidant properties. With a wide range of propolis extract products available on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right one. However, by considering certain factors, you can make an informed decision when purchasing propolis extract. In this guide, we will explore product quality and purity, labeling and certifications, sourcing and sustainability, reviews and customer feedback, as well as pricing and value for money.

Product Quality and Purity

When purchasing propolis extract, it is essential to consider the quality and purity of the product. Follow these guidelines:

  • Look for products sourced from reputable beekeepers or companies that follow good manufacturing practices (GMP).
  • Check for third-party testing or certifications that ensure the product meets quality standards and is free from contaminants.

Labeling and Certifications

Read the product labels carefully to understand the ingredients and concentration of propolis extract. Consider the following:

  • Look for certifications such as "organic" or "natural" to ensure the product is free from pesticides and harmful additives.
  • Check for certifications like Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or ISO certifications that indicate the manufacturer follows strict quality control measures.

Sourcing and Sustainability

Consider the sourcing practices of the propolis extract. Keep the following factors in mind:

  • Look for companies that prioritize sustainability and ethical beekeeping practices.
  • Ideally, the propolis extract should be sourced from beekeepers who harvest propolis responsibly without harming the bees or their habitat.
  • Sustainability certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) can indicate environmentally conscious sourcing practices.

Reviews and Customer Feedback

Before making a purchase, read customer reviews and feedback about the product. Consider the following:

  • Look for reliable sources such as reputable websites or online marketplaces where customers share their experiences.
  • Consider both positive and negative reviews to get an overall view of the product's effectiveness and potential side effects.

Pricing and Value for Money

Compare prices of various propolis extract products to ensure you are getting the best value for your money. Keep these points in mind:

  • Remember that higher prices do not always indicate superior quality. Consider factors such as product concentration, sourcing practices, and certifications to determine the product's true value.
  • Look for discounts or promotions that may be available, but do not compromise on product quality for a lower price.


  • Propolis extract is a natural ingredient derived from bees and is an effective antioxidant in skincare.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and irritation, making it beneficial for individuals with sensitive or acne-prone skin.
  • Propolis extract helps to promote skin healing and regeneration, making it useful in treating wounds, scars, and aging signs.
  • It has antimicrobial properties, which can help combat bacteria and prevent breakouts.
  • Propolis extract is rich in vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin, improving its overall health and appearance.
  • Due to its moisturizing properties, propolis extract can help hydrate and soothe dry or damaged skin.