We have a lot to be grateful to Mother Nature for bees.
Apart from saving our planet and giving us delicious honey, bees provide us with propolis. This natural wax-like substance can soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and boost the healing process of wounds.
If you are confused about using propolis extract with exfoliating acids like AHA and BHA, consider this your green signal.
Like AHA, propolis boosts collagen production. Salicylic acid (BHA) and propolis can be the dream team for acne-prone skin due to their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Scroll down for some important details before you hop on this skincare trend.
Can I Use Propolis After Glycolic Acid?
Yes, you can use propolis after glycolic acid.
While you reap the exfoliating powers of glycolic acid, using propolis in the same routine can help soothe the skin, thanks to the healing properties of propolis.
This helps avoid any skin irritation that may occur after using AHA products, especially if you have very sensitive skin.
Can I Use Propolis With Salicylic Acid?
Of course! Both propolis and salicylic acid (BHA) are great for people who suffer from acne.
BHAs reduce inflammation and excess oil production, fight acne, and also unclog pores. In doing so, they help exfoliate the dead skin cells. On the other hand, propolis, with its antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory properties, helps to reduce acne-causing bacteria and calm inflammation.
If you have troublesome acne, you can combine these two ingredients to minimize breakouts.
Can I Use Propolis After AHA BHA Peel?
Yes, you can. Applying propolis after AHA BHA peel is effective in reducing irritation, redness, and flaky skin (that normally entails after using the peel). Propolis helps to strengthen the skin barrier, protect the skin, and speed up the healing process.
How To Use Propolis And AHA BHA Together?
Usually, it is best to use the AHA & BHA products followed by propolis-containing products for effective results. If you are wondering: “how can I use propolis with AHA BHA in my skincare routine?”, here are some ideas for you:
1. AHA BHA Cleanser + Propolis Toner
Using a cleanser that contains AHA and BHA helps shed dead cells, and remove oil and debris while reducing acne-causing bacteria. Applying propolis toner helps calm the skin, and prevent breakouts while healing and adding moisture to the skin.
2. AHA BHA Cleanser + Propolis Ampoule Or Cream
Next up, you can use AHA and BHA cleanser followed by a moisturizing and calming ampoule or cream enriched with the goodness of propolis.
Since propolis is packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, using it as an ampoule after exfoliating acids will benefit the skin by boosting the healing process while adding moisture and reducing breakouts.
3. AHA BHA Peel + Propolis Extract Product (Toner, Ampoule, Cream Or Sleeping Pack)
You must have heard about the AHA BHAs peel. The good thing is that you can soothe your skin with propolis after applying the peel.
Once you have applied the peel as directed, using propolis in the form of a serum, ampoule, cream or even a sleeping pack can work wonders for your skin.
AHA BHA peel can be quite harsh on facial skin and cause irritation or flakiness.
Your skin will thank you for the nourishing and healing properties of propolis, applied after the peel.
For more tips on how to soothe your skin after AHA BHA peel check out my guide here.
4. AHA BHA Toner + Propolis Toner
Some beauty enthusiasts recommend the combination of AHA and BHA as the first toner, followed by a soothing splash of a propolis toner.
Not only does this exfoliate the skin while balancing the pH levels, but it also helps to calm, hydrate, and brighten the skin. Propolis is a great ingredient, especially for sensitive and acne-prone skin.
How Long To Wait Between Propolis And AHA BHA?
If you are using AHA and BHA formulated as cleansers, you can proceed to use propolis toner after you are done cleansing and rinsing. If it is an AHA and BHA peel, then it is best to wash it off after 10 minutes of application, followed by a propolis extract product (toner, serum, ampoule, cream, or moisturizer).
Benefits Of Pairing Propolis With Salicylic Acid And Glycolic Acid?
Here are the benefits of pairing propolis with salicylic acid and glycolic acid:
- Acne treatment
Both propolis and BHA work synergistically to treat acne as they have antibacterial properties.
- Improved skin texture
The acids remove dead skin cells and reveal smooth skin whereas propolis accelerates the healing of skin, which improves the skin texture.
Since propolis is an antioxidant, it fights free radical damage. When mixed with AHA, it helps delay the signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.
- Improved skin tone
Both propolis and glycolic acid boost collagen production1, and brighten the skin, which improves the skin tone and complexion.
- Repair damaged skin
Propolis nourishes, heals, and hydrates the skin, which is perfect for calming the skin after exfoliative acids and inflammatory skin conditions.
- Suitable for most skin types
The best part about this combination is that it benefits most skin types, including sensitive, acne-prone skin, and oily skin.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using propolis with AHAs BHAs:
- Since BHAs are skincare actives, they should not be mixed with other actives that could result in irritated or very dry skin such as benzoyl peroxide. AHAs like glycolic acid can be paired with vitamin C but with some safety precautions (like enough time in-between), just like when you want to use glycolic acid and retinol together. However you should never apply retinol and AHA/BHA peel in the same evening! You should alternate them.
- AHAs and BHAs should not be mixed with anything that contains fragrance or essential oils (since they can dry out and irritate your skin).
- If you are using propolis toner after AHA and BHA, remember to follow with good hydration. And never forsake a good SPF sunscreen.
- Since some individuals are allergic to beeswax, it is recommended to perform a patch test to rule out any allergic reaction.
Final Verdict: Is It Safe To Use Propolis With Alpha Hydroxy And Beta Hydroxy Acids In Your Skincare Routine?
Yes, it is safe to use propolis with alpha hydroxy (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) in your skincare routine, especially if you have inflamed skin, acne-prone skin, oily skin, or even sensitive skin.
Combining these ingredients helps exfoliate the skin and limit excess sebum while repairing damaged skin and boosting the healing process. In short, you get healthy skin with a smooth texture and clearer tone, clean pores, and no more breakouts.
If you are allergic to bees (honey, royal jelly, etc.), it is best to steer clear of propolis. Instead, you can stick to your tried and tested skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C, etc.
Everything You Need To Know About Propolis Extract
Propolis is one of the natural substances sourced through bees. Derived from beeswax, tree buds, and bee secretions, propolis serves as the cement that strengthens and protects the beehive.
Now imagine those benefits on your skin.
Propolis is chock-full of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties, making it one of the best ingredients to incorporate into your skincare routine if you have damaged, acne-prone, inflamed, or irritated skin.
Propolis helps to protect, heal, nourish, brighten, and add moisture to the skin. No wonder it is used so frequently in K-beauty products like ampoules, serums, moisturizers and other nourishing formulas.
According to clinical studies, propolis is known to have antibacterial, anti-fungal2, and antioxidant properties, and plays an important role in promoting wound healing.
Benefits Of Propolis For Skin
Here are some benefits of propolis for our skin:
- Heals wounds
According to this research3, propolis heals wounds and strengthens the skin barrier, making it one of the best ingredients formulated to combat irritation.
It promotes collagen production and regeneration of the epidermis4, which helps to repair skin damage and fight signs of aging.
There is another K-beauty ingredient, often compared to propolis in terms of effectivity in reducing early signs of aging: it’s snail mucin. What’s interesting propolis and snail mucin can be pair together!
- Reduces inflammation
Propolis has anti-inflammatory properties, so it helps to protect, repair and relieve inflamed skin.
- Acne buster
Due to its antibacterial properties, propolis is often used in K-beauty products to treat and prevent acne.
- Brightens the skin tone
Propolis, like honey, brightens the skin tone and improves skin texture as well (due to increased collagen production).
- Great for sensitive skin
Propolis is a lifesaver if you have inflamed or very sensitive skin.
Who Should Use Propolis?
People with acne-prone, oily, sensitive, inflamed, and easily irritated skin should definitely use propolis.
Can I Use Propolis On My Face Everyday?
Yes, propolis can be used in your skincare routine every day.
Does Propolis Lighten Skin?
Yes, propolis can lighten the skin, smooth it out and reduce signs of fatigue5. As it fights free radical damage, it evens the skin tone by reducing the blotchiness and inflamed patches.
What Are The Side Effects Of Propolis?
- If you are allergic to bees (royal jelly, beeswax, honey), using propolis can cause an allergic reaction.
- It can alter the effects of certain medications such as blood thinners, chemotherapeutic drugs, and cardiac medication6.
- It is recommended to stay away from supplements with ginkgo Biloba and John’s wort, because propolis can alter their effectiveness.
What Can You Not Mix With Propolis In Skincare Routine?
Though propolis is great when paired with most ingredients in a skincare routine (like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C serum, vitamin E, retinol, etc.), it is best to avoid combining it with any fragrances or essential oils.
Everything You Need To Know About AHA & BHA
AHA and BHA are organic acids that benefit the skin by exfoliating dead skin cells.
AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) are water soluble and include glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, etc. They boost collagen production, remove superficial dead skin, brighten dullness, add moisture to the skin, and fight signs of aging.
On the contrary, BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) are oil soluble and include salicylic acid, willow bark, etc. They penetrate the deeper skin layers as well, remove excess oil, unclog pores, fight acne-causing bacteria, and of course, shed dead skin cells. BHAs are exceptionally great for acne-prone and oily skin as they eliminate blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
These two ingredients can be used separately as cleansers, toning solutions, and serums or you can find a formula that combines the two ingredients such as toners, cleansers, peels, etc.
Benefits Of AHA & BHA
Here are some benefits of AHA & BHA:
- Improved skin texture
When you combine these two ingredients, the skin texture improves multifold, removing all the dull and rough patches and dead skin cells.
- Great for zits
BHAs have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and they reduce acne, blackheads, and whiteheads7.
- Fade hyperpigmentation
AHA can reduce pigmentation, and dark spots which improves skin tone.
- Anti-aging benefits
Since AHA promotes collagen synthesis, it helps reduce the signs of aging8 like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, etc.
- Radiant complexion
Glycolic acid brightens and lightens the skin, adding a healthy glow to your complexion.
- Unclog and minimize pores
BHAs remove bacteria, gunk, and residual impurities from pores, which can lead to acne if not cleared.
- Regulate oil production
BHA control the excess oil and sebum, and are a great option for oily skin.
Who Should Use AHA BHA Products?
People with normal, dry, oily, and acne-prone skin types should use AHA BHA products. It is not recommended for people with very sensitive or reactive skin or those who have broken/damaged skin.
Side Effects Of AHA BHA Products
- Glycolic acid can cause sun sensitivity.
- BHA can dry out the skin.
- Since they are exfoliative acids, they can cause skin irritation (dryness, redness, peeling, flakiness)
What Should You Not Use With AHA BHA?
You should not use vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, retinol (vitamin A) with BHAs.
However, recent studies show that it’s okay to pair glycolic acid (AHA) with retinol or vitamin C9 – just not in the same skincare routine. But you should be all good if you use them on alternate evenings.
Also, using peptides with AHA BHA can be harsh on the skin.
The purpose of this article is informative and entertaining. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Safety should be your priority.
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