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Principal indications: acne-prone skin, dull complexion
Bibliographical summary
  • Total Propolis extract

Propolis is a mixture of resinous substances collected by bees and enriched by their secretions. Bees extract it from the buds and bark of certain trees, particularly resinous conifers, poplar, willow and alder. They use it to block holes in the hive, consolidate the wax honeycombs and destroy certain bacteria.

Its composition is extremely complex and variable. However, it always contains constant and relatively stable levels of: resins (50 to 55%), waxes (30 to 40%), oils containing volatile compounds (5 to 10%), pollen (5%), amino acids, vitamins, trace elements, fatty acids and flavonoids (the main one being galangin).

Various properties have been ascribed to it: antiseptic, purifying, soothing, cicatrizing, decongestive, antioxidant.



Propolis has the following properties:

• Antibacterial [1, 3, 4]
This property is due mainly to the flavonoids and phenol acids and, in particular, thanks to galangin, pinocembrin, as well as caffeic, ferulic and salicylic acids. The action of propolis is essentially that it inhibits the cell division that arrests the growth and progression of germs. Other mechanisms come into play, such as the disorganization of the cytoplasm [5]. This active will therefore combat acne [2].

• Cicatrizing action [2]:
Propolis stimulates the tissue regeneration and cicatrization process [6]. Propolis plays a notable nutritive role in cutaneous integrity. This property is in part due to the presence of amino acids such as arginine and proline, whose role we know in the skin regeneration process. They help to increase collagen synthesis and thus accelerate the repair of the damaged epidermis.

• Antioxidant action [5]:
This property is related to the polyphenols and flavonoids, which have been demonstrated to be capable of breaking the chain reactions on lipids, inhibit chemiluminescent reactions and trap certain ROSs [7]. The numerous trace elements and minerals in Propolis also assist antioxidant action.

• Anti-inflammatory action:
Propolis has a dose-dependent inhibition action on the activity of cyclooxygenases (COX), enzymes involved in the formation of the prostaglandins that cause inflammation [8]. Moreover, Propolis extracts stimulate macrophages and inhibit platelet aggregation and eicosanoid synthesis. Which is intended to activate the natural protection mechanisms and gives propolis its anti-inflammatory properties [5].



The interest of propolis in popular therapy needs no further introduction. However, the more circumscribed use in pharmacy comes up against the problem of its complex and variable composition and its solubilization difficulty, which leads to extracts often difficult to compare from one sample to another. The difficulty of tracking a marker and the polymeric character of resins may present serious analytical problems, particularly when tracking stability.

In fact, the antibacterial activity is well established, the anti-inflammatory properties notable and the cicatrizing or trophic effects on skin and mucous membranes remarkable.

Use on acne may be interesting and has been documented by publication and a patent in combined oral and topical use.



The body of publications and scientific studies, customary usages of this active and our expert's opinion concur in using Propolis pure Active at the dose of 35 mg per bottle.




Activity Method and Duration Products tested and dose Results
Bacteriostatic activity in relation to Propionibacterium acnes Brought into contact with increasing propolis concentrations with a culture medium. After 4 days' incubation at 36°C, a census of living microorganisms is taken. 0.01, 0.05, 0.1 0.5 and 1% propolis Propolis at 0.01% helps to arrest the growth of P.Acnes (bacteriostatic action), and at 1% it totally inhibits P.Acnes (bactericide action).

[2] Patent US005399349A 1995 TREATMENT OF ACNE Paunescu C.

Activity Method and Duration Products tested and dose Results
In Vivo acne treatment 37 patients (11 women, 26 men) suffering from acne are treated with:
-10 to 20 drops of syrup based on a 20% propolis extract 3 times a day for 15 to 21 days (oral)
-30 drops of lotion based on 20% propolis extract once a day (topical)
-Cream based on 2% propolis extract for 10 to 15 days (topical)
A clinical examination is made on days 13, 30 and 42: Appearance of local lesions
On the patient's general health/the patient's weight.

20% propolis extract (at 50% in propylene glycol) 2% propolis extract.

Treatment is positive for all patients. The cicatrization of lesions is observed as of 8 days' treatment for slight acne. After the full course of treatment, cicatrization is complete, regardless of the seriousness of the acne. No recurrence of acne is noted after treatment.
The patients' general health is good. 31 patients took between 200 and 3800 g. No digestive or allergic complications were reported.



[3] In vitro activity of Bulgarian propolis against 94 clinical isolates of anaerobic bacteria. Boyanova L et al. Anaerobe, 12(4): 173-177. 2006.

[4] Trigona laeviceps propolis from Thailand: antimicrobial, antiproliferative and cytotoxic activities. Umthong S et al. Am J Chin Med, 37(5) : 855-865. 2009.

[5] Actifs et additifs en cosmétologies. Martini MC and Seiller M, 3ème édition, Lavoisier2006 p338-350

[6] Comparison of propolis skin cream to silver sulfadiazine: a naturopathic alternative to antibiotics in treatment of minor burns. Gregory SR et al, J Altern Complement Med. 8(1): 77-83. 2002.

[7] Assessment of the antioxidant activities of Brazilian extracts of propolis alone and in topical pharmaceutical formulations. Marquele FD et al, J Pharm Biomed Anal, 39(3-4), 455-462. 2005.

[8] Propolis, an old remedy used in modern medicine. Stefano Castaldo and Francesco Capasso. Fitoterapia. Volume 73, Supplement 1, Pages S1-S6. 2002.

This information is given for informative purposes. In no event does it constitute medical information, nor engage our liability. These documents may be copied and reproduced exclusively for informative purposes for personal and private use. All and any use of copies or reproductions for other purposes is expressly forbidden and shall engage the user's liability under Article L 122-3 of the Intellectual Property Code.