The Immune-Supporting Secret Lily Collins Uses Each Morning For A Scratchy Throat
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Upon clicking on actress Lily Collins' Beauty Secrets video with Vogue, I expected to find a smattering of skin care and makeup tips to fold into my own regimen. Perhaps a deep dive into her enviable brow routine or an eyeliner trick to achieve that certain je ne sais quoi she exudes on her burgeoning Netflix show, Emily in Paris. What I didn't foresee, however, was for her morning beauty routine to have such an emphasis on immunity. In fact, her very first step each and every a.m. includes a few spritzes of bee propolis.
Here's why Collins deems the spray a downright necessity (and don't worry; the French-inspired beauty hacks do indeed follow).
Why she uses a bee propolis spray each morning.
"[Bee propolis] is an amazing immune-system booster," Collins notes. She's not wrong: The sticky bee varnish (note: it's not honey) comes from a mixture of resin from tree buds and bark, wax, and bees' own saliva. When the sap combines with the enzymes in their mouths, it results in quite the antibacterial substance that's perfect for cementing the walls of honeybee hives, no doubt, and also amazing for immunity.
"It contains a whole variety of health benefits," integrative medicine physician Amy Shah, M.D., previously told us about the substance. "There are hundreds of natural antibacterial compounds, amino acids, and polyphenols1. It's most significantly known in history for its infection-healing abilities, and Egyptians even used it during mummification."
Research backs it up, too: In one double-blind study, children given propolis (along with antibiotics) recovered from a respiratory tract infection significantly faster2 than the participants given antibiotics alone. Another research review touts propolis as a complementary agent to enhance the immune system3. Although, we should note that the science does remain limited: Specifically, scientists aren't too sure what it is about propolis that makes it so immune-supportive. They've identified more than 600 compounds3 (different polyphenols, flavonoids, and amino acids) from propolis samples around the world, but each composition has a slightly different makeup depending on its location—that said, they haven't been able to come to a general conclusion about propolis just yet.
That's not to say a propolis spray isn't worth your time. Anecdotally, "It's so good for a scratchy throat, which sometimes I wake up with," Collins says. Research has also shown that bee propolis can ease pain and irritation due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. "It has a subtle numbing quality as well," Shah says of her verdict, which can make it an effective throat spray on a particularly dry morning.
Collins uses Beekeeper's Naturals Bee Propolis Spray to coat her throat (the ingredients are minimal—just bee propolis, vegetable glycerin, and water), but feel free to browse other bee propolis options here. Or you can opt for a tincture instead to drop into your tea.
If you wake up with a dry, scratchy throat most mornings, you might want to invest in some soothing bee propolis. According to Collins (and backed by experts), it's a great natural remedy.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.