Bee-Friendly Beauty Tips

Nurture and nourish skin with these beauty tips and bee-produced ingredients straight from the hive.

  • Lather up with naturally antibacterial, handmade Manuka Honey Tea Tree Soap, made with honey, aloe vera and tea tree oil. To Buy: $8,
    Photo courtesy Wedderspoon
  • Rid your shower of plastic bottles with the honey-and-beeswax Honey Silk Hair Conditioner Bar. Perfect for travel. To Buy: $21,
    Photo courtesy Bee Beauty
  • Ensure health and growth of sustainable beekeeping by purchasing quality products from conscientious companies.
    Photo by iStock
  • Bee products such as honey are excellent for body care needs.
    Photo by iStock
  • Heal sensitive, acne-prone skin with Moisturizing Facial Quencher, made with antioxidant-rich propolis. To Buy: $13,
    Photo courtesy Valley Green Naturals
  • Soothe chapped lips with the coconut, jojoba, sweet almond and vitamin E oils and beeswax in this Tropical Lip Balm. To Buy: $3,
    Photo courtesy Honey Bee Gardens
  • Soften rough hands, cuticles, feet, knees and elbows with Bee Cream, made with soothing beeswax and healing coconut oil. To Buy: $11,
    Photo courtesy Rachel's Plan Bee

Visiting more than 2 million flowers to produce a single pound of honey, bees are some of the hardest workers on our planet—and quite possibly nature’s best cosmetologists. These wondrous winged creatures pollinate about one-sixth of the world’s flowering plant species and about 400 agricultural plants, and from their hard work springs forth a plethora of valuable materials. For centuries, humans have sought the hive to reap these versatile ingredients, many of which are excellent for body care and can be found in countless cosmetic products, from soaps to sunscreens. Relish the fruits of the hive by buying beauty products enriched with bee-produced ingredients or by making some of your own. (Keep in mind that if you’re allergic to bee stings or bee products such as honey, you could also have a reaction to other products listed here, such as propolis.)

Try our Honey Coconut Body Wash Recipe and Homemade Lip Balm Recipe for ways to use honey in your beauty routine.

Gifts from the Hive

Hydrating Honey: Used in everything from cooking to body-care products, honey is probably the most coveted treasure from the hive. Rich in enzymes and trace minerals, honey is produced by bees from the wide array of nectar they collect, resulting in more than 300 types, all varying in color and flavor. Eating a spoonful of this natural antibiotic can help soothe sore throats, and applying a dollop onto a wound may help treat the skin. In beauty products, this natural humectant can hydrate skin by attracting and retaining moisture. Apply raw, unpasteurized honey to your face to smooth and tighten skin, then rinse after 20 minutes or so. (Combine with your favorite facial oil such as sweet almond or coconut to make the mixture more spreadable.) Honey can also help exfoliate skin thanks to its gluconic acid, a mild alpha-hydroxy acid. Mix 2 parts honey with 1 part baking soda to make a gentle exfoliant, and apply to your face, letting it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to loosen dead skin cells and refine pores. Because it’s antibacterial, honey can also make a great acne treatment. Dab a bit of honey onto a blemish to reduce its size.

Softening Beeswax: The waxy material produced by worker bees to build honeycombs, beeswax is an excellent softening agent. Often used to make candles, furniture polish and art, beeswax is also highly sought after for its cosmetic uses. Because of its ability to solidify emulsified substances, beeswax is a great emollient in products such as ointments, creams, sunscreens and lip balms. Rich in vitamin A, it seals in moisture, protects skin and naturally conditions. Apply a beeswax-enriched salve to soften rough patches of skin such as elbows, heels, cuticles or lips.

Healing Propolis: Bees combine beeswax with propolis—a resinous substance bees collect from tree buds—to repair, reinforce and sterilize hives. Research shows that propolis taken from a beehive may fight off infections caused by bacteria and viruses such as cold sores, canker sores and sore throats. Enjoy body-care products made with this natural antiseptic to eliminate unwanted bacteria. It is especially wonderful in soap, facial cleansers and shampoo. Thanks to its promising anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, propolis may also help repair skin damage such as scars and rashes.

The Problem with Royal Jelly

Loaded with amino acids, B vitamins and trace minerals, royal jelly is the milky substance that can turn an ordinary bee into a queen bee. It is fed to all larvae for the first three days of their lives, but only a few bees are chosen to continue being fed the jelly. Those queen bees grow 50 percent larger and live about four years longer than the other female bees. Cosmetic companies harvest this exotic substance for a different use, as some believe it may naturally support skin regeneration and rejuvenation.

10/3/2015 1:55:59 AM

Thank you for sharing this tips.Great post.I would definitely try using it and would love to add this tips to my page which has skin care section.Do visit my page and let me know if any changes required.

10/25/2014 8:12:18 PM

This instruction is confusing to me and I can find no other info on why it says (Never use a neti pot while you are congested.) Isn't one of the reasons we use a neti pot is to clear nasal congestion? Please advise about this info. Sinusitis: Add a teaspoon to a cup of saline water and use it in a neti pot. Never use a neti pot while you are congested.

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