Ultraviolet radiation causes tissue aging, promotes the formation of wrinkles and skin spots and increases the fragility of the skin. From today, however, we know that we have another weapon against photoaging at our disposal, namely propolis. This is what emerges from a recent scientific research published in the Nutrients journal by a Korean team (Kim et al, Nutrients, Dec 2020).
UV rays trigger processes that lead to the activation of enzymes, called MMPs. Of these enzymes, one in particular, MMP1, is responsible for the degradation of collagen and the loss of elasticity of the skin. Therefore, one way to reduce photoaging is to inhibit the production or action of MMP1. Propolis is a substance produced by bees and, as reported by various scientific studies, shows antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties thanks to its content in flavonoids, terpenoids and lignans. Hence, the researchers wondered if propolis could also play a protective role with regard to the health of skin exposed to UV damage. The research took place in the laboratory where propolis extracts were applied to human tissue cells, after which the tissue cells were exposed to UV rays for ten days. What emerged was that propolis was able to significantly reduce the production of MMP1 thus protecting the skin from aging induced by exposure to UV rays.
Therefore, propolis, added to cosmetics, can help limit the damage of photoaging and therefore, wrinkles, loss of tone and elasticity and spots.