Bees may hold the secret for better skin, according to a recent study in the Asian Journal of Beauty & Cosmetology. In that study, researchers found nano-sized bee pollen to have antioxidant, anti-wrinkle, hydrating and lightening benefits for skin care.
Although the study mentions bee workers gathering the pollen, it does not specify where the the pollen comes from.
The Exine Layer
While bee pollen is loaded with free amino acids, flavonoids and protein, it is also covered by an outer wall called exine, which is resistant to digestive enzymes, acids and bases. Due to this challenge, bee pollen is not highly utilized in medicine or nutrition.
However, removing the exine layer, the researchers prepared nano-sized bee pollen using a wet-grinding technology for the study. After preparing the pollen, they examined the antioxidant activity, protective effects on skin fibroblasts, and potential clinical application as a cosmetic.
The clinical study showed nano-sized bee pollen is filled with antioxidants, and 1% bee pollen reduced lactate dehydrogenase release—an indicator of skin damage—by 18.73% in skin fibroblasts. Results also showed the bee pollen had benefits for skin roughness, hydration, transparency, wrinkles around the eyes and the skin's melanin index; it also did not have any undesirable effects on the skin.
Therefore, contrary to bee pollen in the whole, which has previously been reported to negatively impact skin, the outcome of this test suggests exine-free, nano-sized bee pollen is an ideal ingredient as a cosmetic resource with various skin benefits.