Glossary of Ingredients
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Bee Pollen Between raw honey, honeycomb, beeswax, and bee pollen, bee products are the new beauty balms – and for good reasons. So what's the buzz on bee pollen?
Made by young honeybees, pollen (also known as propolis) is one of nature's most complete and nourishing superfoods as it contains almost all of the nutrients humans need to thrive. It's extremely rich in protein – it actually has more protein than any animal source – and amino acids, vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium. As such, it can be used medicinally for a whole range of skin and health issues. No wonder people swarm to it!
In terms of skincare, bee pollen is often used in topical creams to treat inflammation and irritation, like psoriasis and eczema. The vitamins protect the skin, and help cells to regenerate. Pollen naturally boosts energy and the immune system, treats mild allergies and asthma, and balances hormones. It is also said to be an aphrodisiac, and many women use it to aid fertility.
While more and more organic skincare products contain bee pollen, it's also beneficial to eat it. Aim for a teaspoon a day in your smoothie or porridge.
Bee Propolis Bee Propolis is made by bees from beeswax and other secretions, and is mixed with tree resins to be used as a sealant for the beehive. It has potent antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties (which is why bees use it to protect their hive).
It is rich in bioflavonoids, amino acids, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and beta-carotene, giving it a wide range of rejuvenating and healing properties. It is most commonly used to treat burns, minor wounds, infections and acne.
Beeswax Not to be confused with bee pollen or honey, beeswax is one of those natural health supplements that offers a helping hand to your skin and body. Thanks to its non-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties, beeswax is used to soothe and protect the skin from airborne allergies. It also contains antioxidants, which work to rejuvenate, firm, and plump up skin.
Beeswax shines as a natural hydrator, which is why it is a key ingredient in many skin and lip balms. Basically, the thick, rich substance helps to lock in skin's natural moisture, and seal the effects of other skincare products such as serums. In other words, it forms a lovely, light barrier on the skin.
While beeswax is mostly applied topically, it can also be eaten and of course they make the beautiful candles.
Many manufacturers use beeswax to help preserve foods that are prone to acid. Whether you're applying or ingesting it, to reap the benefits it is super important to make sure you are using raw beeswax – not one that has been bleached, deodorised, or chemically processed in any way. It should be golden-yellow in colour, and have a light, honey-like scent.
Bergamot Essential bergamot oil comes from compressing the peel of a small, orange-like fruit native to Italy.
Bergamot oil is not only a natural antibiotic and disinfectant, but it also helps to control excess oil production in the skin, making it perfect for those with acne or oily skin.
Like many other natural oils, bergamot is also an antiseptic, meaning it helps the skin heal and regenerate, making it great for wounds, scars, marks left by acne, cold sores, boils, eczema and psoriasis. It also helps to regulate the distribution of melanin which reduces the appearance of pigmentation and evens out skin tone.
Birch Juice (Birch Water) Birch juice is one of the richest known sources of proteins, sugars, amino acids, enzymes and vitamins, and is especially rich in vitamin C and B-group vitamins. It is also rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, phosphorous and sodium.
Laboratory analysis in the form of in-vitro studies has indicated that treatment with Birch juice can help to protect the skin against the ageing process, stimulate collagen formation and new cell growth, help to prevent the damage caused by environmental stress, and provide energy for the skin.
Topical use of products containing Birch juice has been shown to trigger positive changes in skin elasticity and firmness, as demonstrated during placebo-controlled dermatological studies.
Blackberry The extract of the blackberry fruit. It is used for it's astringent, masking and tonic properties in cosmetics. These berries are very high in antioxidants and thus have been used for centuries for their medicinal qualities.
Black Tea In the health world, there is lots of talk about the benefits of organic teas – but for some reason, black tea is often overlooked. It's a skincare superstar that works to beautify and rejuvenate the skin. Brimming with vitamins B2, C, and E, minerals, essential oils, and antioxidants, black tea helps to clarify and repair skin, making it an ideal treatment for acne and blemishes. The polyphemals and tannins in tea accelerate skin regeneration, thus preventing wrinkles and reducing scarring. Since it has a low caffeine content, it is quite hydrating, which – coupled with lots of water – helps give skin that inside-out glow.
This brew also offers a ton of health benefits. Thanks to its antioxidants and flavonoids, organic black tea boosts immunity and cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, and has even been shown to improve memory. The tannins in tea have a warming and therapeutic effect on the digestive system, and can help the body reduce cellulite over time.
Blueberries While some fads come and go, blueberries will be on the superfood list forever. As well as being packed with micronutrients, this tiny berry has the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit. They are a health and beauty powerhouse: antioxidants fight free radicals, which in turn fights ageing and weight gain and protects the cardio system. When eaten regularly, antioxidant-rich foods can lead to a more youthful, radiant appearance. The blueberry contains tons of vitamin C, which helps to maintain a healthy immune system and boosts collagen production.
Blueberries are also loaded with fibre and manganese, which not only keeps you fuller for longer, but also helps to convert carbs and fat into energy. As a result, this tiny fruit is a major fat burner, and is particularly useful in getting rid of extra padding around the stomach area. In addition, new research has shown blueberries can balance blood sugar levels and improve insulin insensitivity.
As if that wasn't enough, this sweet berry has been linked to better brain health and memory function.