Inside The Skincare Benefits Of Royal Jelly

You have already more than likely seen honey as an ingredient in skincare and other beauty products, but there's another bee-related ingredient on the market that promises even more benefits. According to WebMD, royal jelly is essentially food for the queen bee in a colony. It's produced by nurse bees to provide nutrition to the queen bee and larvae, so it's jam-packed with protein and other components that provide nourishment to the most important members of the hive.


This substance can be taken as a supplement in pill form and is often used to control premenstrual syndrome, reduce the symptoms of menopause, manage diabetes, and combat viral infections, but it's also seeing a surge in popularity as an ingredient in skincare — and once you learn more about the potential benefits, it's no surprise why. This product contains something to help treat just about every common skincare issue with the ease of one natural ingredient.

It's anti-inflammatory

Because royal jelly is produced by an insect well-known for its stings, it's a bit hard to believe that it has anti-inflammatory properties, but it can actually help soothe irritated skin. The same phenolic compounds that give royal jelly its antioxidant and antibacterial properties also help to decrease pain and inflammation. In some cases, it's even been shown to speed up the healing process and reduce discomfort in injuries, making it the perfect choice to help you combat that angry, red pimple you couldn't help but try to pop (via Molecules).


If you're dealing with itchy skin from eczema or the swelling and soreness of a sunburn, royal jelly might be your saving grace, too. Just ensure that this product won't cause any further issues on your skin and avoid it if you're allergic to bee pollen or honey. Royal jelly has been known to cause a rash in certain people, so always test your skincare products on a small area before deciding to go all in.

It's antimicrobial and antibacterial

If you frequently suffer from acne, royal jelly can act as an effective treatment because of its germ-fighting properties. Some acne is caused by hormonal imbalances and stress, but another common issue is the overgrowth of a certain bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, on the skin (via Microorganisms). Frequent face washing can help fight this issue, but if you wash too frequently, it can also cause damage to the skin barrier and leave you with more vulnerable skin than you started with. Instead, consider packing your skincare routine with gentle antibacterial ingredients like royal jelly to stop the formation of pimples without causing more issues.


Royal jelly also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated pimples, regardless of if they're bacterial, hormonal, or stress-related, so existing acne will appear less red and not feel as sore or sensitive to the touch. It's also a helpful ingredient during the healing process — its ability to fight bacteria and viruses helps prevent infection and allows your skin to repair itself.

It contains antioxidants

In recent years, the term antioxidant has become quite the health-conscious buzzword, but its frequent use doesn't mean that there's not a scientific basis behind it. When the body converts food into energy, is exposed to sun, comes into contact with cigarette smoke, or feels the effects of a workout, it produces free radicals (via Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health). In large amounts, free radicals cause mutations to existing cells, leading to a wide array of chronic diseases and cancer. Certain foods have antioxidant properties and act as a kind of cleanup crew for these free radicals, helping to keep you healthy.


According to a study in Molecules, bee products, including royal jelly, contain phenolic acid, which has antioxidant properties. Because of this, it's possible that using royal jelly in your skincare routine could have anti-aging effects when used consistently. This claim, however, hasn't been directly studied, so it's a better idea to stick to a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables than simply relying on skincare.

It hydrates the skin

The outer layer of your skin, also called your skin barrier, is designed to protect against environmental factors and regulate your body's loss of water. Harsh skincare products, sun exposure, over-washing, and especially dry or humid air can damage this barrier, causing an array of skincare issues, but fatty acids help to repair it and provide some much-needed moisture for thirsty skin (via Healthline).


Because royal jelly is meant to act as an all-in-one food source for queen bees, it contains more protein, fat, and vitamins than regular honey. These extra fats are exactly what your skin needs to feel fresh, moisturized, and glowy — think of the moisturizing benefits of products like coconut oil and shea butter. Our skin naturally loses water throughout the day, but a product like royal jelly helps to trap in moisture and better regulate this cycle so your skin looks supple and plump instead of dry and dehydrated.

It promotes skin elasticity

Skin elasticity — the ability for the skin to snap back to its original position after being manipulated — naturally depletes with age, but factors like excess sun exposure, pollution, and rapid weight loss can further accelerate this process. Skin with poor elasticity tends to look more leathery, saggy, and aged, but, according to Healthline, there are products on the market containing ingredients like retinol and hyaluronic acid that are designed to slow this process and treat existing concerns.


While it's not a miracle cure that will suddenly reverse years of aging, proper moisturization and a little TLC to your skin barrier can help bring some life back to your skin if its looking a bit weathered. Because royal jelly has a high concentration of lipids, it can help to trap moisture in your skin and combat existing damage. As a result, you'll be left with a more stretchy complexion that's able to bounce back.

It can reduce dark spots and acne scarring

Royal jelly is helpful in combatting new bacterial breakouts, but it's also a powerful ingredient that can help clear up dark spots. These concentrated spots of melanin often form with age as the result of sun exposure, but they can also appear after skin irritation from acne and as a side effect of certain medications. They're notoriously difficult to clear, often taking months to fully fade, but mild bleaching agents can help speed up the process and even out your complexion. Vitamin C serums have been the go-to for years, but royal jelly also has a similar effect.


According to a study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, royal jelly contains a unique acid known as 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, also called 10-HDA. This acid was shown to both inhibit the production of melanin and lighten existing skin, meaning it prevents the formation of dark spots while also clearing up what already exists on the face.

It balances oily skin

If you have oily skin, you might be tempted to avoid products that contain royal jelly because of its high concentration of moisturizing fats, but according to a study published in Molecules, it can help regulate how much oil your skin is producing. Bee products like royal jelly contain zinc, methionine, and phospholipids, which target sebaceous glands and block oil-producing hormones called DHT.


The oil-reducing benefits of royal jelly compared to other bee products like honey and pollen, however, haven't been thoroughly researched, so this is best to take with a grain of salt. Bee pollen actually contains more methionine than royal jelly, but it still contains zinc and phospholipids. Because of this, it might be better to stick with an alternate product if your main concern is reducing your skin's oil production, but if you use royal jelly for its other benefits, you could still see a bit of improvement overall, especially if you're working to fight the acne that frequently comes along with more oily skin types.

It encourages collagen production

It turns out that 10-HDA contained in royal jelly is quite the overachiever. In addition to bleaching away hyperpigmentation and combatting irritation, it can also stimulate the production of collagen. Combine this with its ability to repair the skin's moisture barrier, and you have a powerful product that can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles while leaving your skin clear, plump, and glowing.


Royal jelly may be a bit of an obscure ingredient, but there's a reason it's creating buzz in the skincare world. Whatever skincare concern you have, this ingredient is sure to provide a solution — just make sure you're reaching for products that don't contain other irritating additives like fragrance that could hinder your progress. Royal jelly is available in a variety of forms, from face masks to soaps to skin creams, so you're sure to find a product that works as a part of your everyday skincare routine. Just make sure you always do a patch test before, especially when it comes to an ingredient that's such a common allergen.