These days, it seems like there’s always a new must-have skincare ingredient that promises to deliver the fountain of youth, clear your complexion for good, and change your tires. (OK, maybe not the last one, but you get the point.) And that next big thing seems to be royal jelly.
Although royal jelly has been showing up in beauty products stateside since 2022, other cultures have used this natural ingredient in medicine for centuries. And the French have been using royal jelly as a supplement and beauty aid for decades. This ingredient from nature can help you moisturize your face. So, read on for the benefits of royal jelly for skin:
Anyways…What is Royal Jelly? Royal jelly is a term used to describe the creamy white secretions that come from the throat glands of honeybees. It’s the single protein, called royalactin, in royal jelly that causes a young bee larva to develop into a queen bee. Royal jelly is a substance secreted by bees that is mainly used to feed the larvae and the queen bee. This substance is rich in antioxidant and regenerative properties which have made it a popular ingredient in cosmetics.
If you use it twice daily regularly, you will notice significant changes in your skin. The main benefits of royal jelly are: Increased collagen production, promoting wound healing, and fighting inflammation.
These are the benefits of royal jelly on your skin…
Using skincare products infused with royal jelly can add benefits such as much more hydrated skin, elasticity, prevention, and treatment of imperfections and breakouts. In addition, royal jelly has a combination of vitamins, folic acid, protein, and minerals that have incredible revitalizing effects on the skin.
Since it is not irritating, it can be used in a regimen with potentially more aggressive products, like retinol” or alpha hydroxy acids, says Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami and the founder of Dr. Loretta skincare.
According to Krupa Koestline, clean-cosmetic chemist and founder of KKT Consultants, royal jelly:
- Promotes skin hydration and elasticity: The high lipid content of royal jelly is amazing for keeping skin plump, moisturized, and bouncy. “Royal jelly is highly moisturizing and affects hydration of the stratum corneum by retaining water in it. In consequence, the skin becomes more elastic.
- Encourages collagen production: Royal jelly contains an overachieving acid called 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid, which “stimulates fibroblast production in collagen. By increasing skin collagen production, royal jelly can help treat and prevent fine lines, wrinkles, and skin sagging.
- Fights inflammation: Dealing with uncomfy symptoms like swelling, itching, and redness? Royal jelly helped relieve skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and skin inflammation in mice. Try it on skin irritation and sunburns!
- Speeds healing of acne and other wounds: Royal jelly not only has an anti-inflammatory effect, but it also keeps bacteria at bay. When applied to skin ulcers, burns, and shingles, royal jelly produces “strong antimicrobial activity within skin tissue,” Koestline says. It also helps reduce the redness and speed up healing of acne wounds.
- Brightens dark spots: The same acid in royal jelly that boosts collagen production also suppresses skin pigmentation, which means it can help fade melasma and dark spots caused by acne and sun exposure, Koestline advises. Bonus: Royal jelly can help prevent hyperpigmentation from forming in the first place.
- May regulate oil production: Suffer from oily skin? Try using royal jelly to balance your complexion. “For people with oily, acned skin, [royal jelly] is found to help normalize sebum production,” Koestline says.
- May have antioxidant effects: Research indicates that the phenolic acid in royal jelly may counteract skin aging. (Koestline says she believes the antioxidant effects of royal jelly are “hyperbolized.”)
Other Forms of Royal Jelly
Royal jelly isn’t just for topical skincare; it can also be taken as a supplement. People have been scarfing pure royal jelly for its health benefits since ancient times, Koestline says. And there’s research suggesting royal jelly supplements may have anti-aging benefits.
It’s also possible the benefits of royal jelly supplements extend way beyond firming and smoothing skin, Koestline says. “Modern research supports that all the bioactive benefits (anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, neurotropic, etc.) can help improve reproductive health, balance hormones, improve mental health in older humans, and generally improve your health,” she explains.
All that said, Koestline adds, make sure to “speak with your dermatologist/primary care doctor” before adding royal jelly to your beauty routine especially if you have asthma, allergies, are pregnant or breastfeeding.
In addition to this, using royal jelly products will help you:
- Delay skin aging.
- Strengthen your skin barrier through collagen production.
- Revitalize your body through the activation of blood circulation.
- Inhibit bacteria and fungi on your skin thanks to its antiseptic properties.
How to Use It
Royal jelly is used in skin care products: cleansers, makeup removers, toners, serums, moisturizers, masks—the works. How and when you use royal jelly in your routine is entirely dependent on which type of skincare product you choose.
Royal jelly can also be used on the skin in its pure, virgin form—for a pretty penny, of course. Apply it like a mask and allow it to penetrate the skin for about 20 minutes before rinsing off; you can even leave it on overnight to reap maximum benefits.