This Reparative Beauty Ingredient Is All the Rage in French Pharmacies Right Now

Photo: Stocksy/Michela Ravasio

When a skin-care item starts flying off the shelves in French pharmacies, you know it's only a matter of time before it reaches cult status here, too. The upcoming star ingredient set to reach this status? Propolis.

Propolis is the resin that bees create out of trees, flowers, and wax, which they carry back to their hives to seal it and keep it sterile. "It's full of bioflavanoids, it's antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory," says Angelina Umansky, the facialist and skin-care guru behind San Francisco's Spa Radiance. "Bees bring it into their hives so they don't get diseases."

The long-time esthetician notes that the ingredient used to be around a lot in the 80s and 90s, but then vanished. "Old is becoming new again," she says. "It's in the French and Italian pharmacies, and I've seen a whole section for propolis." It's back, baby.

"Propolis has well known wound-healing properties and helps with skin cell turnover."

So just what is it good for? According to Umansky, it's used to treat combination skin to clear it up, since it has such strong sterilization properties. "Inside the beehive, it gives the perfect waxy surface," she says. "The propolis makes it really smooth and clean."

It essentially does the same for your complexion. "Propolis has well known wound-healing properties and helps with skin cell turnover," says Mona Gohara, MD, a Danbury, Connecticut-based dermatologist. "It's helpful in the anti-aging process. It also has anti-inflammatory properties—a lot of people swear by it for their skin."

Hey, what's fit for a queen bee is fit for slathering on your skin for a golden glow.

On a related note, this is what happened when I replaced my face wash with honey. And this is how Kourtney Kardashian uses Manuka honey.

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