Royal jelly—the skincare beauty secret you never knew you needed

Sometimes the best beauty secrets—such as royal jelly—have been under our noses all along. Find out about the newest ingredient creating a buzz

Bright orange bottle of royal jelly face oil placed near a set of shapes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal jelly is a multipurpose skincare wonder and is a youth-boosting treasure that French women have been raving about for years. Produced by worker honey bees, the milky substance is fed only to the queen bee who thrives on its nutrients. 

Beyond the hive, for us humans, royal jelly is a versatile, natural balm and a cosmetic rejuvenator like no other. This amazing substance will soon become your favorite skincare routine indulgence.

What is royal jelly? 

Royal jelly is a creamy, protein-rich secretion derived from the glands of worker honeybees. It is believed to be the ingredient responsible for the queen bee's health and longevity. A rich source of vitamins, including several B vitamins, royal jelly also contains fatty acids, several antioxidant enzymes, and skin-strengthening collagen. It's no wonder the health and beauty world love it.

With skin-nourishing ingredients always in great demand, royal jelly is right up there on the list of effective anti-aging skin products. Its protein collagen helps promote skin repair and elasticity. 

Available in a wide variety of forms, this natural wonder product is most popular as a topical application. You can also find it in powder form within a pill or capsule that you can take daily as a supplement.

The many benefits of royal jelly

Royal jelly's beneficial qualities have been appreciated and utilized around the globe throughout history. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have long labeled it "food of the emperors" as it was believed to prolong life and vitality. It was also used by the pharaohs in ancient Egypt and, more recently, by Princess Diana to relieve the effects of morning sickness. 

As well as offering something extra to your skincare routine, it is thought royal jelly also contributes to general health and wellbeing—it continues to be studied to gain a better picture of its many possible benefits. 

What are the side effects of royal jelly?

Royal jelly is a natural product and remedy with no formal safety assessment by any regulatory body. It is generally considered safe to use by most people, though it is not without risk. Adverse reactions have occasionally been reported, especially by those who have allergies to pollen or bee stings.

Some symptoms included in allergic reactions to royal jelly are asthma, hives, and anaphylaxis. It is essential to consult a doctor if any of these occur. 

Royal jelly can also interfere or react with other herbal supplements or medications. It is best to seek medical advice before taking it if you are on blood pressure medication or an anticoagulant. 

Is royal jelly the right choice for me?

Royal jelly's natural abundance of nutrients makes it ideal for any skincare routine. It is a multi-tasking ingredient adored for its ability to hydrate and soothe skin of all types, but it is particularly beneficial for dry skin and aging skin as it promotes cell renewal while boosting collagen production. Royal jelly's amazing antibacterial properties are effective as an anti-acne ingredient and it is often included in acne treatment products. 

Anyone who wants their skin to glow like a queen (bee) should take advantage of royal jelly's remarkable skincare qualities. It is widely available in a number of common, quality cosmetic lines. Of course, those who are allergic to bee stings, honey, or pollen should talk to their doctor first.

How to use royal jelly

While royal jelly was once a specialty item reserved for kings and queens, you can now look for it on the shelves of your favorite retailer, where it can be found in a variety of different forms. It is most popular as an ingredient in lotions or moisturizing creams designed for topical application. Smoothing it on daily leaves all skin types soft and radiant, minimizing the appearance of lines or wrinkles. Some skin treatments or moisturizers are enriched with royal jelly to supplement your skin's natural lipids. 

For more intense results, royal jelly is available as an ingredient in facial mask infusers for deeper hydration. You can also find it in shampoos and conditioners, which leave hair with full body and a luscious shine. Use a small amount to start with, in order to check for any allergic reaction.

Now that royal jelly is less beauty secret, more cult product, adding it to your daily skincare routine might be one of the smartest decisions you make. It is easy to see why this anti-aging elixir is creating a buzz in the skincare beauty world.

Eunice Lucero-Lee

A lifelong creative writer and beautyphile, Eunice Lucero-Lee graduated from De La Salle University in 2002 and was hired a year later to front all beauty coverage for Pink Magazine. A beauty, astrology, and pop culture obsessive and insider for over 18 years, Eunice is an internationally published editor (and now certified astrologer) whose work has been featured in publications such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and The Numinous, among many others.