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If you’re familiar with K-Beauty products,  you’ve no doubt seen one ingredient that keeps popping up again and again.


It’s propolis.


If you’re wondering why K-Beauty is obsessed with propolis (and whether you should be too!) read on to find out.




Propolis is the resin made by bees that they use to keep their hives together – it’s bee glue.

It’s a totally natural, slightly sticky substance that helps prevent disease and parasites from infecting the hive.

Propolis typically contains a range of different ingredients, including beeswax, sap and various botanical extracts, which the bees have collected from around the local area.

Propolis can contain up to 300 different natural compounds, from amino acids to polyphenols and many more.




Propolis offers a number of benefits for the skin, including acne-fighting and brightening, which explains why its such a skincare mainstay.

It can help reduce pigmentation, redness and inflammation, boost collagen, and offer antioxidant protection from environmental aggressors like sunlight and pollution.




Propolis works for a wide range of skin types, but can be especially beneficial for:

Those with acne prone skin – propolis can help prevent acne, redness and inflammation, making it ideal for those with acne or who are acne-prone.

Anyone with a sunburn – propolis has been shown to expedite the process of healing in sunburnt skin.

Anyone with sensitive skin – thanks to its anti-allergy, anti-inflammation, cleansing properties, and its ability to promote action on collagen synthesis, propolis is an ideal ingredient for sensitive, reactive skin.

Those suffering from skin damage – studies of propolis have shown positive collagen metabolism in wounds during the healing process, as it increases the collagen content of tissues. This makes propolis a good option for damaged skin.



K-Beauty is *obsessed* with propolis, so you won’t have to look too long or hard to find out. Some of our tried and tested favourites? Try:

Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule – this hero serum contains 80% pure bee propolis extract, and gives the skin a poreless, smooth finish with a healthy glow.

iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum – this unique K-Beauty serum combines the optimal ratio of Propolis (70%) with Vitamin C (12%) for skin brightening for sensitive skin. It targets skin damage, pigmentation and inflammation with instant calming benefits.

COSRX Propolis Light Ampoule – this highly-concentrated ampoule contains pure black bee propolis which rejuvenates dry, damaged skin by replenishing moisture.

Tosowoong Propolis Brightening Essence – this little essence packs a punch, with ingredients chok-full of antioxidants, brightening and natural skin soothers. Propolis is the star, accounting for 75% of the formula.

iUNIK Propolis Sleeping Mask – this creamy overnight mask has all the on-trend K-favourites, including propolis, hippophae rhamnoidesfruit extract and centella asiatica, which intensively nurture, soothe and hydrate tired skin.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel – if you’re looking for a cruelty-free option that skips out on alcohols and fragrances, try Benton’s moisturising gel, which helps soothe irritated skin, fade post-blemish scars, brighten skin tone and maintain hydration levels with both propolis and aloe.

Tosowoong Pure Propolis Mask – bathed in propolis essence, this skin soothing sheet mask also helps diminish the look of wrinkles and dullness, with brightening niacinamide and adenosine.



If you’re looking to get your glow on K-Beauty style, opt for one of Korea’s favourite skin soothing, brightening ingredients – propolis. This natural wonder ingredient fights acne, inflammation, sun damage and pollution to help boost your complexion.



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Get STYLE STORY’s other Korean Skincare ingredients breakdowns, including ceramidescollagenhyaluronic acidsnail mucinlicoricebee venom, rice and more!


Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule
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