Home INGREDIENTS The power of Propolis extract for Acne-Prone Skin

The power of Propolis extract for Acne-Prone Skin

by Kylie Nguyen

Good evening, gorgeous!

When the winter knocks on our door, we think about changing almost every product we are using in the summer into other kinds to keep our skin hydrated and nurtured in this harsh weather. However, we also seek a way to minimize the things we should put on our face, instead of adding more to that process. So I’ll share with you the best ingredient that I have fallen in love for a long time ago and since then, I can say bye-bye to all the blemishes and inflammation. That is Propolis (Bee Glue). 

With the trend of nourishing and strengthening the skin barrier, products with honey extract, bee pollen, and propolis will also be listed. However, the top keyword you might come up with will be Propolis. Propolis is such a huge hype in the skincare community in 2018 and in fact, it still works miracles and serves multi-purposes compared with other natural ingredients, especially for acne-prone skin or sensitive skin. 


Propolis or bee glue is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. (from Wikipedia) In ancient times, propolis was known to be the medical properties by the Greeks, Assyrians, and Egyptians. Usually, propolis has a dark color, depending on the region and which kinds of trees or flowers it has been accessed, it will be in different colors. 

Propolis contains up to 300 active compounds, which have been studied and proven effective in disinfecting, antimicrobial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and protecting the skin under the influence of the environment.

Propolis, in addition to being an ingredient in cosmetics for skincare, is also formulated into a pill or liquid form (spray), to be used as a product to enhance and supplement health. Before I tried any skincare products with propolis, I had used the Propolis Extract Spray given by a friend from a local store when I caught a cold and kept coughing for some days. After spraying it 5 times a day, the symptom was reduced after a week. 

The raw form of Propolis before formulated and extracted into liquid (Source: Internet)


Propolis is known as a natural antibacterial, antiseptic ingredient: Propolis has existed for a very long time. First used in Greece and Egypt as a natural antiseptic and preservative. Propolis was used under the form of a sticky gel to heal wounds and be applied onto the skin to treat itch, burns, and pimples. In Egypt, propolis was even used as a preservative during mummification.

Propolis is a powerful antioxidant: it contains flavonoids, such as quercetin, pinocembrin, Galangin, and Pinobanksin, which have a very good antioxidant effect on the skin. Propolis also works to increase the efficiency of Superoxide Dismutase, one natural antioxidant found in the human body, to promote self-healing, enhance cell growth and increase blood circulation, at the same time prevent scarring.

Propolis also contains caffeic acid and hydroquinone that are effective in treating inflammatory acne and other skin infections. It helps to eliminate skin inflammation caused by bacteria, which appears as spots on the skin. Propolis will also assist in balancing, healing and soothing problematic skin, which is made by enhancing the health of the skin barrier.

Propolis contains a variety of useful minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, nickel, and zinc, which are beneficial in building and helping to repair damaged skin cells, resulting in softer, healthier skin.


While allergy is the complicated reaction of human beings, until now, there lacks concrete evidence whether the allergy would happen for people as using the ingredient topically. However, it is recommended to stay cautious if users have any allergic symptoms with any products from the bees like honey or bee pollen, they shouldn’t use Propolis via oral. 


Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Moist Propolis Ampoule

Ingredients: Bee Propolis Extract (95%), Propanediol, C12-14 Pareth-12, Aqua, Honey, Butylene Glycol, Dextrin, Xanthum Gum, Theobroma Cacao Extract, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Edetate Disodium, Coptis Chinensis Root Extract, Glycerol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Royal Jelly, Chrysanthemum Sibiricum Extract, Hydrolyzed Royal Jelly Protein, Zanthoxylum piperitum Peel Extract, Prunella Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Parfum.

Quick review: Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Moist Propolis Ampoule can be seen as the ampoule with the highest ratio of Propolis in its ingredients, with a super nice price tag. However, this ampoule is quickly sold out and hard to find, even in Korea. I found that it is distributed in Amazon, however, not many. Moreover, Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Moist Propolis Ampoule is designed for the dry skin type, so I only use it in winter to add extra nutrition to my skin. Among all the products, this ampoule still keeps my special interest.

Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Moist Propolis Ampoule for dry skin

Cosrx Propolis Light Ampoule

Ingredients: Propolis Extract (45%), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Panthenol, Arginine.

Quick review: Cosrx Propolis Light Ampoule is quite the budgetary option and easy to buy for anyone who would like to add Propolis into their daily skincare routine. Because Cosrx provides worldwide shipping with good support about the fee for customers, not to mention about the payment via Paypal newly added into their website. This product leaves a thin oily film on the skin after applying similar to many products contained Propolis do, so we should use it after other lighter serums and right before the moisturizer. 

Propolis for Acne Prone Skin - Cosrx Propolis Light Ampoule
Cosrx Propolis Light Ampoule for basic skincare routine

Dr. Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis 33 Ampoule

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Propolis Extract (33%), Carbomer, Arginine, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Spirodela Polyrhiza Extract

Quick review: Among the serum that I’ve tried, Dr. Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis 33 Ampoule is the product with the highest price and the smallest package. ^^ With the support of Panthenol, sodium of Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide, this serum has a quicker absorbing ability into the skin than other products. 

Propolis for Acne Prone Skin - Dr. Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis 33 Ampoule
Dr. Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis 33 Ampoule for combination and oily skin – Source: Korean Smooch

Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enriched Essence

Ingredients: Black Bee Propolis Extract (50%), Royal Jelly Extract (20%),  Royal Black Honey Extract (10%), Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Beta-Glucan, Carbomer, Arginine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium Edta, Water, Phenoxyethanol.

Quick review: Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enriched Essence is the first Propolis extracted product that I used, with a really beautiful and fancy glass bottle. Similar to Dr. Ceuracle, Sodium Hyaluronate helps the ampoule to penetrate better into our skin’s epidermal layer and fits with the normal or combination skin. This line of products is also quite easy to find and buy. 

Propolis for Acne Prone Skin - Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enriched Essence
Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enriched Essence for normal skin


After two years using propolis extracted skincare products including serums or moisturizers, my skin has been getting well from time to time. I haven’t got any pimples or blemishes throughout these two years, even the hormonal acne in case my period came later than normal. Living in a big city with a high air-polluted, propolis protects my skin really well and I almost apply it every day in day and night time routine.

I hope that my experience can help you out in your long journey of healthy and brighty skin.

See you all next time. Much love!! xxx

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