Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

Royal Jelly Skincare: What's all the Buzz About?

I was wide awake on Thursday around 3 AM. Not sure why sleep was so hard to come by, but eventually I grew tired of staring at my dark ceiling. I turned on the light and reached for something to read.

Being the makeup and skincare junkie that I am, I grabbed my Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. I know this isn't light reading for most people. But, I'm not much for teen vampire books or horror novels.

As I randomly landed in the R's in my reference bible, I came to the listing for Royal Jelly. I'm sure most of you have at least heard of the "wonder supplement" found in health food stores and used in beauty products by brands like Burt's Bees and DHC.

Royal Jelly, for those of you who aren't completely sure what the heck it is, is the nutritious secretion of the throat glands of the honey bee workers. Doesn't that sound appetizing? It's fed to the most prized bee in the hive, the Queen Bee. Well, to be picky, it's actually fed to the queen larvae to help her develop into the office of her destiny.

It is said that the milky substance is packed with B-complex vitamins and other bio-active compounds that help nourish not just bees, but humans alike. It has been associated with everything from anti-aging to curing cancer. It is sold as a supplement for internal consumption and mixed into beauty products as a topical "treatment."

But I don't like to hop on hype. I wanted to know for sure what sort of research has been done to back the claims of this magic nectar. (I'll tell you what the Consumer's Dictionary had to say in a moment). I went online and visited lots of sites that touted how amazing this stuff is. Unfortunately, most of those sites had something to sell that included royal jelly in the ingredients list.

One really well known company that focuses exclusively on products with royal jelly admitted that no studies have been done that prove any of the claims put forth by companies. But they quickly add that ancient people (implied, wiser folks with a clearer understanding of nature's offerings) have known the benefits of royal jelly for hundreds of years.

Okay, no offense to anybody's ancestors, but wasn't there a time when leaches were attached to the human body to "bleed" out diseases? And wearing large cloves of garlic was believed to protect one from pregnancy. Although this one probably protected women from the opposite sex, it didn't directly offer contraceptive aid.

I'm just saying.

But back to royal jelly...I found a website where a woman claimed she'd put "active" royal jelly on her face, without first blending it into a cosmetic base. She reports feeling a tightness in her skin and when she ran to the mirror, low and behold, her face looked as through she'd had cosmetic surgery. She immediately mixed it up into batches of cream for the masses.

Soooo, I started a search on "active royal jelly". I didn't find much. Actually, I only found more sites selling it and labeling theirs as "active" to make it seem more potent than anyone else's. I did find one site that talked about active or raw royal jelly and referred to the obvious benefits that were discovered through "tests on mice." Um, would you mind sharing the details of these tests with the rest of us?

If nothing else, tell us what university conducted the tests. One site offered this: A (nameless) university found that cancer patience fared much better after chemotherapy and royal jelly supplements. Great. Here's a thought. Maybe, just maybe, it had more to do with the chemo than the royal jelly.

Anyway, after hours of crawling the web, I found zilch that actually supported the wonders of royal jelly for HUMANS. I am totally happy that the queen bee lives a long and prosperous life by eating only royal jelly, but here's the disconnect. I'm not a bee. I was not a science buff in high school, but this I know. Bees and humans are different.

Another thing I know: Just because something works for one species does not mean it will do the same for another. But let's suppose royal jelly does work internally as a supplement for humans, does that mean smearing it on your face will make you look 20 years younger?

My final question concerning royal jelly is this? If it does work, and let's just suppose it cures just about everything and makes you stunningly beautiful, does it keep its potency stored in a jar on a shelf indefinitely?

One site said this: For long term storage, keep the royal jelly in a freezer, taking out small doses for consumption. Another site said never freeze or freeze dry royal jelly because it loses something like 60% of its power to heal if frozen.

And finally, A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients had this to say: If stored, royal jelly loses its capacity to develop queen bees. Interesting.

What do you think? Have you used royal jelly products and seen a miracle?