#BeautyBoss: Carly Stein, Founder of Beekeeper's Naturals
This week’s #BeautyBoss is Carly Stein, Founder of Beekeeper’s Naturals—a line of natural wellness products with healing compounds and plant-based ingredients from the hive. Her company is dedicated to making pure, healthy honey and bee products while saving the bees at the same time! Here, she shares how she became inspired to start her company, her beauty and wellness secrets, and more:
What inspired the creation of Beekeeper’s Naturals?
Beekeeper’s Naturals grew out of my own search for healing bee products in the marketplace. I discovered there was a need through my own personal frustrations and health struggles. I have an autoimmune condition and have always had a really weak immune system. I used to get sick incredibly easily and didn’t really have options—because of my condition, I couldn’t take antibiotics. Anything that was natural wasn’t effective enough. As a kid, a common cold could land me in the hospital.
When I was traveling in Italy during my university year abroad, I experienced a particularly nasty bout of tonsillitis. Desperate for a solution, I found propolis from a local pharmacist as an alternative to antibiotics. It healed me and changed my life. When I returned home to Canada, I couldn’t find this magical healer at the local health food store, so I began beekeeping to ensure I never had to go propolis-free again. Once I started spending time around hives, I was hooked.
I began learning about the unique benefits of the different bee products, using royal jelly for a mental boost or fresh bee pollen to get my vitamins. Even more, I started exploring and understanding the integral role the bees play on our planet. I was fascinated with the fact that they make up the pillars of our ecosystem and was blown away by the intricate societies they form. Today that fascination has developed into a serious love affair, as well as a company with a two-fold mission to improve people’s health and save the bees.
How long have you been in business?
I started beekeeping in order to make my own propolis while I was still trading at Goldman Sachs. I realized from there that it wasn’t just me who needed the propolis and there was a need in the marketplace. I was making it for myself, my friends, and everyone was asking me for it. So it all began around 2015, but I officially started full-time after making the jump from my job in finance in 2016.
Tell us more about your line. Do you have a hero product?
Beekeeper’s Naturals is a wellness company specializing in innovative nutraceuticals made from healing compounds and plant-based ingredients from the hive. We make products that work and are about the space where science meets nature, and we apply the scientific rigor typical of the over-the-counter world to all natural compounds to give people an option to heal the way Mother Nature intended.
We are sustainability-obsessed beekeepers and make the purest, healthiest honey and bee products on the planet, and we work to save the bees while doing it. Our mission is twofold: to improve people’s health and save the bees! We are dedicated to providing people with safe, natural alternatives to their typical medicines, give people access to sustainably sourced and pesticide-free healthy sweeteners, and draw on ancient wisdom from the beehive.
I have to say that it is the Propolis Spray that is our hero. That was our first product and it really propelled us into the marketplace. I take 5-10 sprays of it every day. I use it to stabilize my immune system, so I use it a lot. I’ll spray 10 sprays into my smoothie in the morning and use it preventatively. It’s also super effective as an alternative antibiotic. It’s one of the highest naturally occurring source of antioxidants and full of beneficial compounds like caffeic acid (fights post-oxidative stress after workouts). It also fights fungal conditions like candida.
If I’m getting on an airplane or in any other situation which might compromise my immune system, I do 10 sprays a few times a day. If I feel like I’m at the beginning of a sore throat, I hit it hard with propolis and do 10 sprays 3-4 times a day.
Where are your products sold?
All of our products are sold on our website beekeepersnaturals.com. We are also available at health food stores and wellness boutiques throughout the country such as Erewhon, CAP Beauty, and online at Thrive Market. You can find a list of local retailers on our website.
Tell us about the beneficial properties of propolis, honey, pollen and royal jelly. What’s the difference between them?
Propolis is the immune system of the hive. It’s a sticky substance the bees make from collecting plant and tree resins and they use it to seal up and protect their hive. Propolis has powerful healing properties and is widely regarded as “nature’s antibiotic” for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-fungal effects.
Humans have been using propolis to up their health game since 300 B.C. Propolis has a stronger taste than honey but still has all of its natural sweetness, making it the best tasting “medicine” around. You can use it for colds, coughs, sore throats and inflammation. I use it every day to keep my immune system strong.
Raw Honey is the thick, golden liquid produced by bees, and honey is made using the nectar of flowering plants and is saved inside the beehive for eating during times of scarcity. It is rich in enzymes, minerals and antioxidants. Raw honey is so high in enzymes that it’s the only food on the planet that never goes bad.
Also, Raw honey is full of amino acids like tryptophan. When you have a teaspoon of honey, it causes a slow, steady spike in insulin which allows the tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier and be converted into serotonin and then melatonin, which is essential for a restful sleep. Raw honey before bed can also help your sleep cycle by stocking the liver with glycogen. The brain and liver are still working while you sleep and if glycogen stores in the liver are depleted it can send the brain into a crisis search for fuel which has you waking up in the middle of the night.
Raw honey has an optimal ratio of fructose to glucose, which supports the liver while you sleep. Not only is honey giving you a natural dose of melatonin, it's also supporting your liver function and reducing disruptions during your sleep cycle. For this sleep hack, make sure to go raw—not only is raw honey full of antioxidants, vitamins and more— it's also 22% better at supporting liver glycogen than the heated regular honey you buy at the store.
Bee pollen is collected by bees from the pollen of male flowering plants and it is the bees’ protein source. It is considered one of nature’s most nourishing foods and contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. Bee pollen has more protein per gram than any animal product and is full of free-forming amino acids, making it easily absorbable by the body. It’s high in vitamins and minerals including vitamin B, which has been shown to increase energy levels.
Royal jelly is the exclusive food of the queen bee, who lives 40 times longer than the average worker bee. Many use this nutrient-dense elixir—which is composed of 12.5% crude protein, 5% fatty acids and several different types of amino acids—as a brain-boosting tonic to promote memory, mental acuity and protect against neural inflammation. It’s a source of acetylcholine—a neurotransmitter found in the brain, spinal cord, and throughout the nervous system—which helps to regulate memory and transmit nerve messages from cell to cell. It's a fantastic tonic to use regularly to maintain brain health and fight inflammation.
Who inspires you?
My friends and family. I believe you are an average of the people you spend your time with and it’s important to me to love, respect, and learn from my friends. I surround myself with unique people creating or building different things. I learn from the way people work in different fields, whether it’s seeing my sister as she becomes a dentist or my best friend solve problems as a veterinarian. I pay attention to way people look at things and the mistakes they make and question my own patterns. I’m constantly inspired by my peer group and encourage everyone to be selective with who they give their time and energy to, and make sure their network is lifting rather than draining.
Secret to success?
Hard work, commitment, and most importantly being comfortable sucking at things. When you take on a new challenge you will most likely suck, but if you hit it with a growth mindset and don’t get discouraged by the early outcome, you will improve, you will grow and you will be made stronger in so many ways.
B. Powered is one of our bestselling and most amazing products. It’s a combination of hive superfoods—royal jelly, propolis, bee pollen, and raw honey—and it’s a scientifically-approved beauty superstar. Bee pollen is energizing, rich in B vitamins and amino acids, and promotes hormonal balance. Royal jelly combats wrinkles and boosts collagen production, and propolis fights off free radical damage, including sun damage. I also love using a B.Powered face mask once every week for 15 minutes. I really can see and feel the difference!
On the skin, raw honey is a powerhouse, rich in enzymes and nutrients, capable of deep, anti-inflammatory moisturizing. It’s even shown to balance skin pH and fight off signs of premature aging, like wrinkles.
Royal jelly drastically increases the moisture content of the skin, increases collagen production, and actually promotes the regeneration of skin cells!
Bee pollen moisturizes and tightens pores and promotes stronger connective tissue. Propolis is popular in Korean beauty for locking in the skin’s moisture and fighting acne-causing bacteria naturally. It can also help with scrapes, minor burns and pesky cold sores.
I’m an avid proponent of acupuncture. I love exploring healing practices of other cultures and recently have been using acupuncture to reduce stress and promote balance. I have been learning all about our bodies’ energy system— the way different points correlate to organs how we can incorporate acupuncture points into our own self-care routines.
When your faith outweighs your fears, you will get what you want. When creating something new you will be met with tons of opposition, doubt and skepticism; trust that you can do this and be ready to put in the work.
[Images courtesy of Beekeeper’s Naturals]