Royal jelly is, quite literally, fit for a queen — a bee queen, that is. Worker bees secrete this sought-after substance and feed it to larvae, grooming them into future queen bees. Home remedies from around the world prescribe royal jelly for everything from hair loss to arthritis, but the substance’s natural qualities — namely its skin-friendly components, such as water, protein, fat and vitamins — make it a natural fit for nontoxic skin care.
The Monarch of Moisturizers
Because royal jelly is 60 to 70 percent water, its effectiveness as a moisturizer comes as little surprise. Additionally, its fatty acid content — particularly the presence of 10-HDA — makes it an effective salve for dry or damaged skin. Royal jelly’s moisturizing ability makes it useful as an anti-wrinkle cream, toner, firmer and ointment to improve the appearance of stretch marks.
Skin thins and crinkles as it loses its collagen content. Royal jelly’s silicon content can bolster collagen production when included as part of your skincare regimen, potentially easing the effects of aging. This natural substance also contains antioxidants, which combat skin-damaging free radicals, and skin-nourishing B vitamins and zinc.
Royal jelly’s plentiful B-vitamins offer benefits apart from anti-aging potential. Vitamin B3, in particular, helps prevent redness, inconsistent pigmentation, irritation and scaliness. In addition to helping your skin maintain moisture, biotin encourages healthy fatty acid metabolism, which in turn encourages healthier skin. Biotin deficiency, meanwhile, leads to unsightly skin conditions such as scale, inflammation or dermatitis.
According to 2013 findings from the journal “Biomedical Research,” 10-HDA has anti-inflammatory properties. Likewise, this collagen-boosting fatty acid has sun-blocking abilities, as reported by the “Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology” in 2013. By shielding the skin from ultraviolet rays, royal jelly can help ward off wrinkling and discoloration, a quality that’s further assisted by its nutrient content.
References and ResourcesColumbia University: What Is Royal Jelly?
NCBI PubMed.gov: 10-Hydroxy-2-Decenoic Acid Prevents Ultraviolet A-Induced Damage and Matrix Metalloproteinases Expression in Human Dermal Fibroblasts
Oregon State University: Linus Pauling Institute: Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health
NCBI PubMed.gov: Inhibitory Effect of 10-Hydroxydecanoic Acid on Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Nitric Oxide Production via Translational Downregulation of Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 in RAW264 Murine Macrophages
The Dr. Oz Show: Anti-Aging Game Changers
FAO Corporate Document Repository: Agriculture and Consumer Protection: Chapter 9a Cosmetics: 9.1 Introduction
Burt's Bees: Ingredient: Royal Jelly
Skinstitut: Things to Know About Vitamin B and Your Skin
Chris Kresser: Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Biotin and Sulfur
ResourcesNational Honey Board: Skin Care
CNN: Do's and Don'ts for DIY Skin Care