Episode 28 with Carly Stein

Today's episode is all about bees. Yes, you read right. Some are afraid of them, some think we should save them but aren't sure why…today should help clear all that up.

You've probably heard of manuka honey and its potential uses for skin rashes. So it's already established that honey can help!


Or, listen on your favorite app: iTunes (Apple Podcasts) | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | Subscribe on Android

My guest for today's episode is Carly Stein. Carly is the founder and CEO of Beekeeper's Naturals, a natural health product company developing innovative bee-made nutraceuticals to provide effective natural solutions to modern health problems.

Carly is committed to using her company as a platform to raise awareness and funding for the bee cause and promoting sustainable practices and pesticide-free beekeeping.

In this episode, we talk more about the different kinds of bee products and how they can be useful for those of us with chronic skin rashes. 

Do you use any bee products in your skincare routine? Tell us about it in the comments!

In this episode

  • What keratosis pilaris means and how to address it
  • How Carly's psoriasis led her to bee products.
  • The different kinds of bee products (it's not just honey!).
  • How does Beekeeper's Naturals practice sustainable beekeeping?
  • How to apply bee products to the skin.



“There's all these different superfoods that bees make that have very different beneficial health effects.” [3:27]

“In nature, Royal Jelly has some pretty insane effects. The queen bee [who eats only Royal Jelly] will live three to five years, versus a regular bee that lives six to eight weeks during foraging season.” [6:43]

“Propolis will combat any sort of impurities and fight inflammation; honey helps with moisture, exfoliation and antioxidants; pollen is really high in vitamins…and Royal Jelly is the ultimate anti-aging agent: full of fatty acids, it's really nourishing and healing.” [9:32]

“Even in the natural product space, it's really hard to know what's clean.” [18:30}



Best Labs To Find Root Causes of Skin Rashes

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“In nature, Royal Jelly has some pretty insane effects. The queen bee [who eats only Royal Jelly] will live three to five years, versus a regular bee that lives six to eight weeks during foraging season.”

028: How Bee Products Can Help Your Skin Rashes w/ Carly Stein FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer:              Hey everyone, welcome back to the Healthy Skin Show. Today I want to talk all about bee products and how yes, I said bee guy, the guys, the thing that buzzes around that usome people are afraid of because they might have an allergy and for other people you're just like, I know we should save the bees but I don't understand why we need the bees. And here we are. We've got a really, I don't know, she's an expert. She knows her stuff about bees. And the cool thing is she is a part of our community and I'm, we'll dive into that in a moment. My guest today is Carly Stein. She's the founder and CEO of Beekeepers Naturals a natural health product company developing innovative bee made nutraceuticals to provide effective natural solutions to modern health problems. Carly is committed to using her company as a platform to raising awareness and funding for the bee cause. Cause it's important guys, we need to save the bees as well as promoting sustainable practices and pesticide free beekeeping. Now before all of this cause Carly is, did not just like wake up one day and say, oh I'm live a life and bees. She actually worked as an adolescent at Goldman Sachs in their securities division and she spent time working at the William J. Clinton foundation, which is wow. Pretty cool. Thank you for joining us, Carly.

Carly:                     Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to talk all about bee products and skin and everything.

Jennifer:              I know. So it was interesting like when I was reading your bio, I met somebody who worked for you and they're like, Oh, you need to talk to Carly cause she, she's like totally right there with you in this world of like skin and everything. So can you just share with everybody you know, why, what is, what does skin rash issues mean to you?

Carly:                     Oh my gosh, so much. So I have, I have an auto immune condition. My immune system is compromised and then beyond that I have psoriasis. So I've had psoriasis on and off my entire life. It is aggressively triggered by antibiotics and you know, a lot of different chemicals and ingredients, a lot of the things that are found in over the counter medicine and cold and flu products. And so that's kinda how I got into the bee world and how my struggle began because I have a condition where my immune system is often compromised and I get sick very easily. And then I've got the psoriasis. So all of the stuff that one would normally take to combat immune issues are not accessible for me. And my struggles with psoriasis, it, it's been a really big journey. The longest outbreak I've had I believe was like six months, but I'm, I know that listeners can relate. I had full body, head to toe. Yeah, I've been covered and I've had a really rough time at different stages, getting it into remission. And I found a lot of tools that have helped me along the way. A lot of them from the hive.

Jennifer:              Yeah.

Jennifer:              And so, so tell us a little bit about that. Like people may be thinking, okay, so I use honey in my tea. And maybe they've heard about some, like it's not just honey. I think that's the important first step. So why don't you tell us that? Let's start there. So we've got honey and then what else, what else is there from bees?

Carly:                     So there's so many things the bees make. I love starting here because for myself as well, when I first was introduced to bee product, all I knew about was honey. But it turns out there's all of these different super foods that the bees make that have, you know, some very different beneficial health effects. So honey, of course everyone knows honey. It's a very healthy sweetener, but it's also really high in antioxidants. It's full of amino acids. It can actually help to get the body into a relaxed state. It's really good to take honey before bed topically. A honey is a humectant, so it's great for moisturizing, nourishing, and then it's antibacterial as well. So I love doing facials and I actually washed my face with honey all the time. And there's a specific one I use and I'll tell you about that.

Carly:                     But honey, how it works in the hive, it's the bees food. You can think of honey as the bees, carbs. And then some of the other things that the bees make. My favorite and the thing that really changed my health is something called propolis. So you can think honey is the bees carbs and energy source propolis is the bees medicine. So propolis is made, bees collect plants and tree resins. So they're, you know, they're collecting from the base ingredient that's like a little bit more adaptogenic versus floral nectars. So they collect plant in tree resins, they put it through their enzymatic process and they make this sticky substance called propolis. And then they use propolis to line the hive and keep it germ-free. So they line the entire hive with it. They lined the inside of the cell walls for newborn babies to create a sterile environment.

Carly:                     And for humans it functions as a protector as well. It's antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory and antibacterial. So it's an amazing alternative to antibiotics and our typical over the counter medicines, particularly for people who have reactive conditions and autoimmune concerns. So I like to think propolis is like the safe go to, to boost your immune system. And then for me as well taking it and I put it on my skin but taking it orally, it's really helped to stabilize my immune system. Bee products royal jelly and propolis actually are immunomodulatory agents, which means they help to stabilize and a lot of these skin conditions are triggered by just our immune system kind of going out of control that that's what's happening, that's what we're, seeing our skin tells her like over producing in the case of psoriasis. So for propolis, for me originally I was just using it as an immune booster.

Carly:                     It was the first time I found an immune booster and a cold and flu remedy that didn't cause a crazy head to toe reaction. So that was like a game changer for me, cause I actually experienced recovery from things like my chronic, I have chronic tonsillitis and strep throat. And then I started taking it daily and just incorporating it into routine. And I noticed a real reduction in inflammation. And my immune system and my psoriasis started to kind of dissipate and stabilize. And then I started incorporating it in an even bigger way. And you know, it's now just a part of my daily routine and a part of my life and how I kind of keep everything under control. And yeah, so, so that's propolis. And then royal jelly you can think of as the superfood of the hive. So royal jelly is the exclusive food of the queen bee.

Carly:                     The nurse bees make it. And all babies are fed royal jelly for the first three days of development. And then after the three days, they're transitioned off of it on and they go to a diet of honey and pollen. But the queen continues with just the royal jelly and in nature, royal jelly has some pretty insane effects. So the queen bee will, it's three to five years versus a regular bee who lives, you know, six to eight weeks during foraging season. The queen bee is laying, you know, up to 1500 babies a day, whereas regular bees don't have reproductive organs. Female bees that is, and it, the queen bee just is significantly more robust and physically different. So royal jelly is pretty amazing internally. People use it a lot as a brain booster and a brain detoxification agent. So it's really high in acetycholine, which helps to combat brain fog.

Carly:                     It helps to improve our memory. And it's, royal jelly is like a totally natural, holistic sort of plant based supplement. So it's something that's very safe to take and we see people using it for everything from, you know, just improved brain health to reducing their likelihood of neurodegenerative conditions to concussion recovery. It's really, and it's got these fatty acids in it called 10 HDA and amp and monoxide, and they basically act as catalyst for neurogenesis. So they actually help our brain to create new, clean neurons and brain cells. So royal jelly is a pretty amazing super food for the brain. And then for skin it, it's been used across cultures like going, you know, if you look at traditional Chinese medicine and yeah, just for a very, very long time, different parts of the world. Humans had been using royal jelly as an anti aging tool and so it's really great because you know, it's full of fatty acids. It's also antibacterial I mentioned as well. It's also an immunomodulatory agent, so great for stabilizing full of antioxidants. And so it's really great for the skin and royal jelly. Also really amazing for inflammation. I've used a combination of royal jelly, honey propolis and pollen to really kind of boost my skin tone. My mom has used this to get rid of her rosacea.

Jennifer:              Yeah. You were saying, so your mom had had I guess, rosacea and she's used a combination, you were saying before we started talking, she's actually used bee products to help her. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Carly:                     Yeah, so my mom developed rosacea when she was pregnant with me, sorry, mom. And she spent a lot of her life on and off cycles of antibiotics and she's, you know, she tried everything to combat it and nothing really worked. And we make this product called bee Powered. It's a super food honey, so it's a raw honey with medicinal grade dosages of all the super foods from the hive from, so it includes pollen, it includes propolis, it includes royal jelly and it's in a raw honey base. And my mom does facials with it and I do facials with it once a week as well. And it's really great because propolis will combat any sort of impurities and fight inflammation. Honey helps with moisture exfoliation and antioxidants. Pollen is really high in vitamins and it also contains a compound called rutin, which strengthens capillaries.

Carly:                     And then royal jelly is like the ultimate anti-aging agent full of fatty acids. It's really nourishing and healing. And so this combination it's a really great way to sort of soothes and support the skin. And then just back to propolis, there's also been a lot of really interesting research looking at propolis for its anti inflammatory effects. On the skin. So if I ever burned myself, I'm, I burned myself all the time. I'm the very clumsy chef. But I always spray propolis and it's also, I almost use propolis. I mentioned it as like a natural alternative to antibiotics while topically it's also really great as a protective agent. So I use it the way a lot of people would use Neosporin, cause Neosporin is another thing that I can't use. I'll react to that. So if I ever, if I ever get a cut when I burned myself even like if I burned my tongue on coffee or if I get canker sores, any sort of inflammatory thing, I spray propolis and I like to surf and I unfortunately have burned my face more times than I would like to.

Carly:                     What I do there is I actually spray propolis into whatever skin cream I'm using. And so it's really great for just healing and yeah reducing inflammation.

Jennifer:              Wow, that's really interesting. So I'm wondering, you know, me, myself being bee conscious I garden and all this stuff. And, and other listeners may also be bee conscious. They might be thinking, well this is great, but aren't you like taking the bees hard work? Like how, how are you doing this? And, and you know, I think I was just curious cause this is so great that we have all these alternatives and options that, you know, dermatologists may not have told you about. But how do you not hurt the hive?

Carly:                     Great question. So first of all, bees make a real surplus of product. So if you're, if you're working with bees in a sustainable manner and you're exposing them to, you know, healthy, clean plant sources, they're going to have more than they need. So that's a really big part of it. But what we do at Beekeepers Naturals, we practice sustainable beekeeping. And what that means to us is at every level of production, we're working to save the bees. We're constantly monitoring our highs. We're looking at how much they produce. If we ever see a hive that's kind of, you know, looking a little weaker, we just won't source from them. And we work with our business model as well. We work with a network of small scale beekeepers all over the world who meet our standards of sustainability. And we do that because if any one hive is looking depleted, we'll just let them chill.

Carly:                     And then beyond that as well, we're doing that because I'm autoimmune and because people in the autoimmune community and you know, people dealing with skin things when you're taking health foods, you don't want to be exposed to pesticides and a sad reality of the product world. It's coming from plants and often they're exposed to pesticides and you know, even if you're buying organic honey bees aren't like cattle where you can sense in or blueberries let's stay in one place they fly. So just because the ground that the bees are honest, certified organic, if the neighbors are doing something dirty, the bees will fly over and get exposure and the bees can forage for a five mile radius. And you know, finding a five mile radius of clean ground in the U S is a tall order these days, unfortunately. So what we do is, you know, we work in different parts of the world and we find that that radius and we find bees that are exposed to only clean plants.

Carly:                     And we do third party pesticide testing on all of our raw product to make sure that there's no pesticides, pollutants, toxins. And again, we do that one because I literally cannot take that stuff without reacting. And two, because if you're buying superfoods and you're buying, you know, these natural products to heal your skin and heal your health, there's, you should not be exposed to anything toxic. You're trying to detox, not retox. And that's one of our core values is transparency and building products that are effective. And then the third reason is that by doing that we can really be a part of the solution for the bees. So one of the big issues affecting the bees today, and one of the reasons we're losing bees at a rapid pace is because of pesticide exposure. So if we can get the bees away from those pesticides and give them access to clean flowering plants and actually ensure that, you know, they're being cared for in a nourishing way, then we can have real impact in the solution.

Carly:                     And what we've seen is over a year hive population has grown contrary to population trends. So that's kind of how we're doing it. We're seeing that are the bees that were keeping our doing better and better. They're growing. Uthey're splitting and swarming, which is a beekeeper for any beekeeper listening. You'll know what I mean, but beekeeper way of saying that they're multiplying at a really rapid rate. Uand yeah, that's a really great thing. And then the other thing is that the beekeeping world has really changed. In the olden days, there used to be tons of beekeepers who, you know, took care of the bees the same way we take care of other animals and then sold the raw product to people like, like my company,uto make things out ever to, you know, sell at farmer's markets. But today our consumption has gone up and our pollinator and bee population has gone down.

Carly:                     So you make more money typically as a beekeeper working in commercial pollination and what that is, it's when, you know, you put your bees on a truck and you drive them over to whatever crop type needs pollinating. Like in, in California, in February during the almond bloom, people will bring their bees from all over the U S to let loose and pollinate almonds. An issue with that, and certainly it can be done in a kind way, but you know how things go in this world, we're not always the most careful. And what will happen is, you know, you're bringing the bees on a big journey in the back of the truck, which is stressful. And then you're letting them loose to pollinate these orchards and sometimes pesticides are being sprayed around them. And it's quite toxic. So, because that's really kind of become the primary practice when it comes to bees, is what we do is we find sustainable beekeepers who, who really care about the environment and you know, care about the bees and many of which love them, like pets.

Carly:                     Which sounds crazy, but I fall into that category. And we say to people like that, like, Hey, hold up. I know you can, you know, make a living doing this, but we, if you can actually keep your bees on clean ground and stay put and you know, care for them we'll work with you and we'll commit to buying up all your product. And that's, that's really kind of how it started. So my answers, that question is, as long as you're keeping bees in a safe way you're getting them away from pesticides and you're, you're really monitoring hives to make sure that they're strong and that they're getting what they need, then you can actually contribute in a positive way to the bee population. And that's really what we do. And that's what we stand for. And we're a benefit corporation. We also partner with UC Davis research. So we're really active in finding a solution, especially with the pesticides. And yeah it's, that's what it's all about. I tend to tell people that, you know, eating our bee products is better for bees than eating a blueberry. Like more bees are dying and commercial pollination of things like almonds. I actually don't use almonds anymore. I try not to cause it's really something that's hurting the bees but, but yeah, that's, that's kind of what it's all about.

Jennifer:              And so with that said, you had mentioned, which I think people are probably curious about about applying stuff like this to your skin cause they're probably like, okay wait, it's sticky. You're saying you put it on your face. What are the steps, if you wanted to say apply this to your face or if you have a rash someplace, and obviously I'm just going to say everybody, like if you're applying anything to your skin, I would advise you, and I'm not a doctor, but if your skin is broken, you may want to check with a doctor first to make sure that what you're applying is safe because you can't just go throwing different things on your skin. If it's broken open and you've got wounds or areas that won't heal. But if you don't have that and you've just got rashes say you want to try and do that like mask or a topical application, how would you do that, Carly, with which product is that that you, you said you guys make?

Carly:                     [Inaudible] Psoriasis outbreak and then B Powered. It's the medicinal honey. A lot of people use this face mask. So first of all, great question. Our line of products, it's a nutraceutical line. So, you know, it's, it's stuff to take in place of your cold and flu medication or in place of your nootropic products or your energy boosters. It's, you know, an all natural line that you're meant to ingest. That being said, and I think a lot of people, a lot of listeners probably fall into this category, even in the natural product space, it's really hard to know what's clean. And so taking things that are food grade, like what we're doing,uand you know, mixing them into your skincare or using them as skincare, it's like, it's a way to really ensure that you're getting high quality, clean food grade stuff because, you know, these are things that are built, they're built to be ingested.

Carly:                     So there's like, it's held to a higher standard of purity than just pure cosmetic. But how I do that, so with the propolis, like I said, like I, I spray it in my mouth every single day. I spray it more if I'm feeling run down or stressed because stress is a catalyst for an outbreak. And then if I do have an outbreak or I have kind of the start of an outbreak, what I'll do is I'll spray our propolis spray into a carrier oil and then I use that all over my body and then I spray it into my face cream as well. And I put that on my face. And that's just, you know, like a fixed part of my routine. It's a little bit sticky, but when you mix it with a carrier oil, it's actually pretty nice. And yeah, propolis.

Carly:                     It's just so great cause I feel like it's such a multipurpose product. It's addressing so many conditions. It's good for acne, also good for inflammation. I'm really high in the antioxidants, [inaudible] acid, so all of that stuff. And then for the B Powered face mask, that is definitely sticky. Do not wear a cute top when you're doing a bee powered honey face mask. That is a warning. Uso what I do is I usually I'll take, you know, a tablespoon of the honey. I'll throw on a pajama top that I don't care about or do it when I'm in the bath and I'll put it all over my face for 10, 15 minutes. It drips a lot. You can then benefit is you can like lick your lips and it's pretty delicious. Ubut I'll put a towel down,uwhere I'm lying or you know, like I said, do it in the bath and so leave it on for 10, 15 minutes and then just kind of rub it off in circular motions and it's a really nice exfoliant as well.

Carly:                     And that really gets my skin glowing. Like that's, that's been, I noticed a big difference in just my general complexion. So I use, so the B Powered honey, it's kind of, you know, it's multipurpose, it's for like all skin types because it has all of those different superfoods that treat different issues and then it's just completely natural. Like there's no additives. It's something that's been built for you to eat. So super pure. And then the propolis, it's more for antibacterial effects and inflammation. So the propolis is more like a specific affliction, whether it's curing a burn dealing with eczema or psoriasis outbreak or even acne.

Jennifer:              Okay.

Jennifer:              And, with the face mask, then once you do the circular motions, then you're, I assume going to wipe it off with like a wash cloth.

Carly:                     Okay. Yeah, from water, just wash it off and yeah, because the propolis has the antibacterial effects team with the honey. It's really great for cleansing the skin too.

Jennifer:              That's great.

Jennifer:              Wow. That is so neat. I love that. It's, you know, you're right there, there is this very interesting trend toward more, Oh, I can eat my skincare. It's very clean. And, and it is true. I mean, none of us want to apply pesticides directly to our skin or to consume them. We think that it is safe and you're right, we are to some degree, misled, we are potentially misled by the idea that it, because it's marked as organic, that automatically means that it is clean. So I love that you're going that extra step and not just the extra step with the pesticides, but you're also taking care and tending to the hives in a very responsible manner. And as you said, being a part of the solution instead of moving in this direction where we're just taking all of it for our own benefit and forgetting about the bees, which we really need. So I, I just want to thank you so much. This has been great and I know that you, you have been so kind, you guys are sharing a really great discount code with everybody. So for everyone who is interested, so first tell us your website.

Carly:                     So the website, it's beekeepersnaturals.com. You can find all of our products there and we have a really cool Instagram page as well. If anyone's interested in learning more and it's just @beekeepers_naturals.

Jennifer:              Cool. Yes. And I will put the links to all of that. And then if you guys are interested in making a purchase and checking out their products and trying them at home, you can get 15% off by using the discount code, naturalskinshow15 and if you're driving or away from the computer, you can come back to the show notes and we will have all of that information here along with all of Carly's information so you can stay connected to her as well. Carly, thank you so much for joining us and sharing not just like your psoriasis journey and kind of your mom's rosacea journey too, but also all of the great things that have helped you and what you guys are doing. And this is, what I love about the natural skin show, is we're offering people these alternative ways to address their skin from a more holistic standpoint. And I love that we can include your products as a part of that solution. So thank you so much for joining us.

Carly:                     Thank you so much for having me.

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.

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