Royal jelly is a cloudy, creamy substance that has been gaining popularity among health gurus as a heath supplement. The main reason why everyone was so fascinated initially was that it is powerful enough to singlehandedly transform a worker bee into a queen bee.
The story goes like this: royal jelly is taken directly from the hives of honeybees. It is secreted by the hypopharyngeal glands of worker bees in order to change a female bee from a worker into the queen bee.
First the female will be selected, then over the next few days the worker bees will produce vast quantities of royal jelly to feed to her. This has a few startling effects; 1) the royal jelly will allow the female to develop ovaries, 2) the queen bee will become enormous compared to the workers and drones, and 3) the queen bee will live far longer than the others.
A regular worker bee lives for about 40 days in the summer, but thanks to royal jelly the queen bee can routinely survive for as long as five years. Royal jelly accomplishes all of this thanks to being a complex soup of amino-acids, fatty acids, vitamins, peptides, minerals, and antioxidant compounds. Basically, without royal jelly there would be no queen and no bees at all…
…and the good news for us is that royal jelly can work wonders for your acne too.
Another antibacterial powerhouse from the bee kingdom
Tons of the compounds in royal jelly have specific functions for keeping the queen healthy. For example, there are plenty of antibacterial compounds that prevent infection in the queen’s food, and they can also help us humans to destroy acne bacteria.
Out of the mainstream nutrients you’ll see on a nutrition table, 100 grams of royal jelly is a good source of the following…
- Zinc – 0.7-0.8 mg (5% of RDA).
- Magnesium – an average of 60mg (15% of RDA).
- Average of 600mg of potassium (30% of RDA).
- Calcium – roughly 55mg (5.5% of RDA).
- Small amounts of b-vitamins.
- Vitamin A, a vital nutrient for unclogging skin pores.
Those nutrients will not provide you with any huge boost, mostly because the average person won’t apply 100 grams of royal jelly in one session.
However, the real star of the acne show is royal jelly’s various proteins and peptides. There’s one peptide that has been shown to have extremely powerful antibacterial properties and this could be good for killing our pal p.acnes as well.
This study isolated a peptide from royal jelly and tested it against the Paenibacillus Larvae bacteria, the type which leads to the notorious bee-killing illness American Foulbrood. The peptide showed impressive antibacterial effects against this and two other types of bacteria.
This study, from way back in 1959, discussed a specific substance in royal jelly called 10-Hydroxy-Delta(2)-decenoic acid. They found that the compound “exhibits antibiotic activity against many bacteria and fungi”.
So firstly we know that royal jelly is potent at killing one bacteria, and that second study provides us with evidence that royal jelly can kill multiple varieties. If that’s the case then applying royal jelly to your pimples should be an effective way to kill the p. acnes within.
That’s not it for royal jelly either, for the substance seems to have significant antioxidant effects as well…
- In this study Japanese scientists discovered that peptides in royal jelly had significant antioxidant effects on lipids. According to them “four dipeptides were revealed to have potent anti-oxidative activity against lipid peroxidation”. That is great news for acne patients, because lipid peroxidation is one of the biggest causes of blocked pores.
- Scientists in this study tested unaltered royal jelly on mice, and examined the bloodstream for its effects. They discovered that administering royal jelly significantly lowered levels of 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), which is a marker of oxidative stress. In other words, royal jelly exhibited significant antioxidant power.
It seems that royal jelly is indeed an antioxidant powerhouse and it seems particularly good at inhibiting the oxidation of lipids (fats found in organic compounds). This makes sense, seeing as royal jelly is about 5% fat. The antioxidant compounds and peptides would be needed to keep those fats from oxidising, and thus deliver a healthy undamaged food for the queen bee to grow huge with…
…and for acne this is great news because lipid peroxidation is one of the biggest causes of blocked pores. If free radicals attack the sebum (oil) on your face and succeed in breaking it down, then a pore-blocking by-product called squalene peroxide is formed. If royal jelly can prevent lipid peroxidation then it can prevent this damaging process from ever happening.
Getting more antioxidants is one of the most important acne curing strategies I recommend and it seems that royal jelly is an excellent way to accomplish that.
Royal jelly increases collagen output
Perhaps royal jelly’s biggest benefit for your skin is its ability to directly boost the production of collagen on your face. This study performed a detailed examination of various different compounds in royal jelly, and concluded that several of them boosted collagen production significantly.
That’s great news because it means that putting royal jelly on your face can strengthen the skin and make it resistant to inflammatory damage (acne, in other words). Collagen is basically a key structural protein of your skin. I recommend that you get plenty of vitamin C as that is used to make collagen and can thus strengthen your skin. However it seems that royal jelly is just as good for this purpose.
Therefore royal jelly can attack your acne in a three pronged assault. Firstly, its antioxidant powers can prevent sebum oxidation and thus blocked pores. Secondly, it can increase collagen production and make your skin resistant to inflammatory damage…
…and finally, topical royal jelly has significant antibacterial properties. These can destroy p. acnes bacteria, which prevents the immune system from launching inflammatory assaults on your pores.
Thanks to all those benefits, I believe that pure royal jelly should be a truly excellent topical treatment for acne.
There’s no denying that a dodgy diet is the real cause of acne, but royal jelly is still great. There’s a whole range of other potential benefits as well.
One study here found that royal jelly is anti-inflammatory, which can lessen the redness and swelling of your pimples. The study on mice referenced above found that consuming royal jelly extended their lifespan significantly. Supposedly, other studies have found that giving royal mice to roosters led them to reach a significantly larger size than they would have otherwise achieved…
…and royal jelly is such an amazingly complicated food that any other benefit could be feasible. Royal jelly contains citric acid, gluconic acid, lactic and malic acid. Benzoic acid has been detected in royal jelly. There are numerous phosphates like adenosine diphosphate, monophosphate, and triphosphate. Royal jelly contains uridine, guanosine, iridin and cytidine. There are endless swathes of other substances like biopterine, acetylcholine and neopterine.
Finally you have the complex proteins present in royal jelly. Royal jelly is roughly 13% protein, with about 90% of that protein being the highly powerful Major Royal Jelly Protein Type. This unique protein is responsible for a good portion of royal jelly’s health properties. Specifically, it has been demonstrated to have a potent regulating effect on the human immune system.
Is royal jelly recommended for acne patients?
In short, royal jelly is one of the most complex food-based topical treatments you’ll find. Just about every study I have seen has shown extraordinary benefits on health, whether conducted on mice, rats or humans. Your chances of success with royal jelly are very high.
The next task is to find the correct product. Like honey, which I raved about in this article, royal jelly loses its enzymes, peptides and antioxidants when it gets heated up. That means that your product absolutely has to be RAW or unheated. It also needs to be pure; in other words, not contaminated with any additives. Royal jelly is a miracle substance on its own; any scientists that get the bright idea of “improving” it would almost certainly fail.
The product which best meets all these criteria is this Stakich FRESH Royal Jelly.
What makes things easier is that there are far fewer types of royal jelly than honey. Each honey can have a varying nutritional composition because bees can produce honey from all kinds of plants, hence why you have Manuka, Revamil, and more.
Royal jelly, on the other hand, is simply manufactured in the hive by the bees themselves, so while there will be minor natural variation in the nutritional content, it’s not enough to be concerned with.
There’s also this mixture that is mostly royal jelly but also contains honey: YS Organic Bee Farms – Pure Royal Energizer: Royal Jelly In Honey.
The product is pure and unprocessed and the mixture of the two foods could create very interesting effects, because honey is just as great for your acne. Raw honey has some similar effects to royal jelly such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
However the two products are far from the same; they are used for very different purposes in the bee kingdom. Honey is created from nectar by honey bees, and then stored in the hive where it is used to feed all the worker bees and drones. Royal jelly, on the other hand, is mostly used to raise the queen bee, giving it ovaries, enormous size, extraordinary lifespan etc. These differing purposes mean that the nutritional composition of the two foods are far from identical.
Therefore if you buy this combination product, you could be giving your skin the best of both worlds. These products are also dead easy to apply to your skin; they are sticky enough so that you can simply apply a small, round blob to an individual pimple and leave it there overnight. By the time you wake up, you’ll be pleased to find that your acne bacteria has died and your pimples are significantly less inflamed.
Like with honey, the best strategy is to apply royal jelly to individual and particularly aggressive pimples. However you can also create an entire face mask as that will strengthen the structural proteins more widely.
Royal jelly seems to be a miracle supplement for just about any purpose in general.
One aspect I didn’t mention was that royal jelly can significantly boost fertility according to this and this study. The fact that this food alone is used to create the life-giving queen bee is enough to demonstrate its extraordinary powers. There are no studies directly covering acne and royal jelly, but the indirect evidence is so strong that it can clearly affect it.
In terms of who can use it, royal jelly can benefit just about all severities of acne. If you have a ton of particularly aggressive spots, then royal jelly will be good for calming them down. If you merely have one or two pimples, then you can use royal jelly to get rid of those minor imperfections.
Royal jelly is also a very good food to eat. It’s best for topical use, but many of the glowing studies referenced above were based on oral consumption. Eating royal jelly can benefit many of the indirect factors that lead to acne, particularly oxidative stress within the body.
Important message – the only real issue with royal jelly seems to be that it triggers allergic reactions in some people. Royal jelly can trigger the classic reactions like a runny nose, and headaches, but it has reportedly even triggered asthma and anaphylaxis in some cases.
However you can easily avoid this by starting with very small doses. Simply eat a tiny amount of royal jelly at first, and monitor whether you develop any of the above symptoms. Then increase the amount, and when it becomes apparent that royal jelly is harmless for you, you can apply and consume it freely. Note that if you are allergic to honey, it’s highly probable that the same is true for royal jelly.
Thanks for reading!