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How Does Bee Pollen Affect Acne?

author image Richard Nilsen
Richard Nilsen writes poetry, fiction, features and news stories in upstate New York. He was an emergency mental-health consultant for 20 years and directed a mentoring agency for a decade. Nilsen is a black-fly control technician in the Adirondack Park, where he enjoys hiking, biking and boating.


Bee pollen is espoused as a “superfood” and cure for everything from cancer to adolescent acne. Other than anecdotal reports, references to its use for topical acne treatment in Chinese medicine and a report of successful treatment by a Swedish dermatologist, there seems no substantiated report of bee pollen as a successful treatment of acne.


Because bee pollen has many nutrients and building blocks for growth and development of the bee colony, homeopathic practitioners have ascribed health and medical corrective qualities for human use. Bee pollen is about 24 percent protein and 27 percent carbohydrates, rich in B vitamins, iron, zinc and manganese. But problems of absorbing the nutrients from raw pollen for human use keep it from being generally labeled to be as helpful as some natural food adherents suggest.

Alternative View

In spite of the lack of general proof for therapeutic effects in bee pollen, many health advocates and alternative therapy advocates say bee pollen is effective in treating acne. The Mother Nature website states that Dr. Lars-Erik Essen, a dermatologist in Halsinborg, Sweden, successfully treated patients for acne with bee pollen supplements. He claimed it “nourishes the skin and stimulates cell renewal with its high concentration of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, as well as numerous other components.” According to, Chinese medicine uses bee pollen for eczema, skin eruptions like acne, and even diaper rash, but the site also admits there has been no research to validate such uses.


While most health sites state there are few side effects with taking bee pollen, it should be noted that those who have an allergic reaction to bees and pollen should avoid the use. Also, other than commercial sites that sell bee pollen products and have articles advancing bee pollen as a cure-all, traditional, Western medicine research sites show no conclusive data that bee pollen has any particular effect on acne or any other health issues.

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