We seem to always be on the quest for otherworldly beauty, which makes us try even the things that are pretty out-there. People are ready to freeze themselves, try vampire facelifts and even placenta facials – all in the name of beauty. Skincare products nowadays are made from everything, starting with gold particles to caviar and snail slime. So there was no surprise when bee venom became the ingredient du jour in 2013.
How to Look Like Royalty
Honey has long been praised for its antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities, and studies have proved it can clean, moisturize, and heal skin. But then the Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge of Venom, credited bee venom (yep, the stingy stuff) for her glowing face on her wedding day.
So, can bee venom share some of honey’s qualities – and then some? As it appears, its beauty benefits are somewhat murkier than those of its sweeter counterpart, seeing that not many studies have researched them.
Bee Venom in Skincare
In theory, adding bee venom to a mask, cream, or lip serum tricks the skin into believing it has been stung. As a result, a blood rush and an increase in collagen and elastin production cause a temporary plumping and tightening sensation. In turn, this reduces the signs of skin aging.
According to dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, the substance is a “potent combination of enzymes, peptides, and amino acids.”
Brands tout is as “nature’s Botox” that requires no needles for rejuvenation. Ever since Kate Middleton and Gwyneth Paltrow caused a media stir in 2013, the market has been flooded by bee-venom beauty products. It’s a wonder how far people will go for a gentle plumping effect!
What about the Bees?
Before we talk more about the ingredient’s effects on your skin, let us put your mind at rest. You needn’t worry about the poor little bees, because none are harmed in the extraction process. A glass pane that has a light electrical current running through it attracts the bees. When they land on the pane, the bees respond to the perceived threat by stinging and leaving their venom on the glass’ surface, without giving up their stingers.
“[It’s] a safe process that ensures that the bees’ lifespan, well-being, and performance are not affected,” Dr. Mona Gohara said.
According to the American Apitherapy Society, bee-venom therapy dates way back to the ancient Egypt, Greece, and China. History fact: The extraction process was rather different and fewer bees survived it. Today, studies show the ingredient can help treat enlarged prostates, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer.
Bee-venom Therapy: Worth It or Not?
When it comes to skincare, scientific studies are scarce. According to Bruce Katz, MD, director of the Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Clinic at Mount Sinai Medical Center, the science has yet to catch up with the media. In fact, he believes bee venom can even be dangerous due to the allergic reaction that causes swelling. In severe cases, the patient can go into anaphylactic shock, which is why you should do your research before applying it to your skin.
Ellen Marmur, MD, concurs. Homeopathy, a branch of alternative medicine, relies on poisons to help you, but not on those substances that you could be allergic to.
Any effects after using a bee-venom based product show the body learns to react to something; over time, the body reacts more and more. The danger is that, in theory, this could eventually lead to a full-blown allergic reaction. Add the fact that we’re talking about bees, and the result can be super-serious.
There are other products that can give you a safer plumping effect minus the health risks. Dr. Katz suggests trying a skincare product that contains glycolic or salicylic acids. But if you’re set on trying bee-venom therapy, here are ten products you can try.
1. Skin Doctors Beetox Anti-Ageing Treatment
Beetox is a creamy textured serum formula that feels extraordinary on your skin. Seeing that it contains Manuka honey, the product gives of a natural scent of, well, honey. If you are not very particular to this smell, you should probably consider other products in this list.
This Beetox treatment works best for those with a damaged skin that just needs some love. Not only does the serum cream feel amazing, but it’s also very soothing and revitalizing. However, if you’ve been using other active ingredients, then your skin will not improve significantly.
2. Manuka Doctor Skincare Apinourish Face Mask
This deeply hydrating mask is ideal for highly damaged skin that struggles with dryness. Thanks to the bee venom, Manuka honey, and royal jelly formula, the skin’s moisture is easily repaired. Refresh and rejuvenate your complexion with one simple treatment.
3. Miss Spa Bee Venom Facial Mask
Plumping and firming is what this product promises – and also delivers, according to reviews. Miss Spa’s gel sheet mask comes straight from the hive, combining 3D lifting technology with bee venom. The result is an active fight against skin aging, such as fine lines, visible wrinkles, and firmness. The facial mask will help your complexion look effortlessly contoured.
4. Rodial Bee Venom Cleansing Balm
This bee venom-infused balm needs only water to become the best solution for brightening and firming skin: A smooth and milky cleanser. Just add water and you’re ready to start glowing. The cleansing balm contains a high concentration of skin-perfecting serum to revitalize and illuminate skin.
Bee venom works in collaboration with a fascinating complex of cyclopeptide-5 and plant stem cells to correct skin tone. It also plumps and smooths the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Thanks to bio marine collagen 6, the skin also becomes more elastic, whilst Mari moist offers long-lasting hydration.Buy now
5. WEI Bee Venom Anti-Wrinkle Cream Mask
No-one wants to be stung by a bee and this bee venom cream mask ensures that you feel no pain. Instead, it gives you a warm and tingling sensation, proving that the anti-aging mask formula is successful at stimulating collagen and elastin production. As a result, the skin is plumper and tighter.
The mask should not be applied for more than 10 minutes, weekly or biweekly. The amazing results will become visible in a matter of weeks from the start of the treatment. The rich and moisturizing mask contains the highest quality bee venom peptides to improve the overall elasticity of the skin.Buy now
6. Nip + Fab Bee Sting Body Soufflé
Sometimes our busy schedules get in the way and make it difficult to get regular workouts. But when you need a temporary body-toning solution, turn to this Nip + Fab product with confidence. Thanks to the bee venom and shea butter, the massage body soufflé can make your skin appear toned and much firmer.
This specially-blended and soothing massaging lotion will deeply moisturize your skin and provide the required repair. You will appear younger thanks to the wholly nourishment that comes with this nutrient dense formula.Buy now
7. BeeFriendly Skincare Anti-Aging Face and Eye Cream
Winters can be rough on the skin. If you’re suffering from a dull and dry complexion, try including this face cream into your skincare routine. Once or twice a week, allow the bee venom, Manuka honey, and shea butter to boost your complexion’s radiance. Due to the precise formula, the gentle tissues surrounding your eyes will once again be moisturized.
The best part is that you no longer have to buy so many different creams, moisturizers, and lotions. This BeeFriendly cream can be applied on more than just your eyes. Your face, neck and décolleté will thank you. It contains ingredients clinically proven to aid in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.Buy now
8. Vee Tox Mask Anti-Aging Cream with Manuka Honey
Say goodbye to cosmetic injections and Botox fillers! This bee-venom mask includes two of the most efficient anti-aging ingredients: Purified bee venom and Manuka honey (active 15+). Both substances are completely organic and thus very gentle on your skin. This anti-aging cream boosts the production of elastin and collagen, both of which help tauten your skin for a radiant complexion.Buy now
9. Saintsco Luxury Natural Bee Venom Lip Balm and Plumper
This state-of-the-art formula is exclusively made from natural ingredients, based on rich, New Zealand bee venom. The surface of the skin is deeply moisturized, leaving the lips softer, fuller, and ultimately kissable. As an added benefit, this plumper can also be used to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines.Buy now
10. Rodial Bee Venom Moisturizer
Skin problems can be the result of a stressful lifestyle and a poor diet. The result is the early development of wrinkles, dark circles, premature aging, saggy skin and a plethora of other health changes that make you look tired and older.
Rodial’s bee venom moisturizer is based on an advanced formula that renews and revitalizes the skin, giving it a naturally younger look. While more studies need to be conducted, bee venom is supposed to help improve skin tone and elasticity.Buy now
Author’s note: Even though it should go without saying, bee venom-based skincare products should not be used by persons allergic to bees. The facial masks and creams will only make you run for the Epi-Pen, so be careful before jumping on board of this beauty train.
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What about Beenigma? I have seen them on QVC and they do have a clinical study which showed that people saw a reduction of wrinkles using their face cream.
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