What is Propolis ? 

Propolis is a natural bee product with a gummy consistency, consisting of various oils, pollens, special resins, and waxy substances collected by honey bees from the cones and bark of trees and the buds and shoots of plants. Bees produce propolis by combining the resinous substances they contain from the leaves, stems, and buds of plants with beeswax and their salivary enzymes. In ancient Greece, the term "propolis" was used to refer to the defense of the beehive, combining the Greek words "pro" (meaning "before" or "in front of") and "polis" (representing "city").

Bees apply propolis as a layer to the inner parts of their hives and other living spaces. The propolis produced by bees serves various purposes in protecting their hives. It is used to seal off hive openings and cracks, reduce entry during cold days, repair combs, glue combs together, polish honeycomb cells, narrow down hive entrances, protects the colony from various bee diseases, inhibits the development of pathogens, and mummify unwanted intruders that enter the hive, preventing their decay. Propolis also helps maintain lower levels of fungi and bacteria within the hive.

How is Propolis Produced?

In its raw form, when harvested from the hive, propolis is mixed with beeswax and cannot be digested by the human body. The bioavailability of raw propolis in the human body is around 2%. The natural beeswax in propolis is removed through extraction methods, resulting in a digestible liquid form known as propolis extract or propolis drops. Propolis extract, obtained using proper solvents, provides approximately 90% bioavailability in the human body.

For propolis to be digestible by our bodies and for us to benefit from its rich nutrient composition, it needs to undergo an extraction process using appropriate technology, removing the beeswax content. However, this is a technical process that should be carried out under the supervision of expert food engineers. In the extraction process, obtaining the maximum level of phenolic and flavonoid compounds present in propolis is essential. Propolis extract, obtained using suitable solvents, can be digested by the human body, allowing us to reap the countless benefits of propolis.

Benefits of Propolis on Skin Care

The natural composition of propolis makes it a fantastic ingredient for skin care.

  • Due to its phenolic and flavonoid components, it naturally exhibits antioxidant effects on your skin.
  • It helps reduce the damage caused by free radicals that can occur on the skin.
  • It aids in removing dead cells from the skin's surface.
  • It assists in strengthening the barrier function of the skin.
  • It helps create a physical barrier on the skin's surface, preventing new blemishes by countering the harmful effects of sunlight.

Does Propolis Protect The Skin From The Harmful Rays Of The Sun?

Propolis is a bee product rich in antioxidants and known for its skin-soothing properties. Propolis can also protect against the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays by creating a natural barrier on the skin and preventing the formation of free radicals that can damage the skin cells. Blocking the formation of these free radicals is of utmost importance for protecting the skin against UV light since they contribute to sun-induced aging. In addition, the natural content of propolis is not harmful to the oceans!

Are there scientific studies on the protective effect of propolis against sun rays?

- In a scientific study conducted in 2022, the protective effect of propolis against sun rays was investigated. For this purpose, the chemical composition, antioxidant activity, and sun protection factor (SPF) of propolis ethanolic extracts were evaluated and compared with extracts from birch and pine buds. According to the data from the study, propolis extracts exhibited the highest SPF value, while birch and pine bud extracts showed a lower SPF value. Furthermore, phenolic acids such as p-coumaric acid and cinnamic acid and flavonoids such as pinocembrin were identified in all tested extracts.

- A scientific study conducted in France in 2008 investigated the protective properties of propolis against sunlight. The sun protection factor (SPF) of the ethanol extract of propolis was evaluated using an in vitro method with homosalate used as a control. In the method based on physically determining the decrease in energy in the UV range, extracts containing various concentrations of propolis were applied to roughened polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) plates, and transmission measurements were made using a spectrophotometer equipped with an integrating sphere. The study's data showed that using propolis as a natural sunscreen agent could be beneficial.

- In a scientific study conducted in 2017, the protective effect of propolis against sun rays was examined. In the study, three topical pharmaceutical preparations containing propolis (liquid cream, lotion, and semi-solid gel) were applied to the skin of 10 healthy individuals at a rate of 2 mg of propolis per cm2. The study concluded that propolis had a confirmed protective effect against harmful sun rays under both in vitro and in vivo conditions.


  1. Stanciauskaite, M., Marksa, M., Rimkiene, L., & Ramanauskiene, K. (2022). Evaluation of Chemical Composition, Sun Protection Factor and Antioxidant Activity of Lithuanian Propolis and Its Plant Precursors. Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(24), 3558.
  2. Couteau, C., Pommier, M., Paparis, E., & Coiffard, L. J. (2008). Photoprotective activity of propolis. Natural product research, 22(3), 264–268.
  3. Trujillo-Valdivia, Alfonso, et al. "Development of three pharmaceutical preparations containing propolis and evaluation of their photoprotective effects in humans." Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Farmacéuticas 48.1 (2017): 43-47.
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