Bee venom meets skincare
You’d be forgiven for being a little cautious about voluntarily letting a bee sting you, let alone smearing scoops of its venom on your face, but the addition of bee venom to one’s collection of beauty products is a growing skincare trend that’s causing a bit of a buzz globally.
Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. Bee venom is naturally produced by the stinger in a bee’s derriere. When you get stung by a bee, the venom makes your skin swell and itch, and (unless you’re allergic to bees) the reaction may last a couple of days. Bee venom therapy, though, takes the properties of a bee sting and turns it into skincare magic.
So how does it work?
As skin ages, it loses its naturally-occurring collagen which results in sagging skin and fine lines and wrinkles. Sometimes referred to as nature’s Botox, bee venom therapy works to reverse the effects of ageing by encouraging the stimulation of natural collagen and elastin.
Applying small amounts of bee venom creams to the skin fools it into thinking it has been stung. Blood is sent to the affected area which in turn stimulates the production of collagen, which strengthens body tissue, and elastin, which helps the skin stay firm and youthful. Regular users of bee venom therapy beauty products like eye cream, venom masks, ointment and serum can notice a number of benefits including improved skin texture and firmness, the reduction of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and reduced pigmentation and sun damage.
It’s important to reiterate that you shouldn’t just squeeze the venom out of a bee and dab it on your wrinkles. The difference between a bee venom cream and an actual bee sting is the dosage. Bee venom beauty products like eye cream, moisturiser, venom mask and venom ointment contain a low-dose variant of bee venom, which means a user can still enjoy the skincare benefits it provides without actually being stung.
Bee venom and New Zealand honey
Bee venom by itself is great for an instantaneous skin lift and plump-up but if it’s left on your skin for too long at one time, it can result in a similar reaction to an actual bee sting. To avoid the angry reaction while still harnessing the power of nature, bee venom is often combined with New Zealand Manuka honey. Not just famous for our organic skincare ranges, we produce New Zealand Manuka honey which is internationally-recognised for its healing and overall health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce possible redness that might be caused by the application of bee venom, while its anti-bacterial benefits assist with any possible skin infection. Bee venom and New Zealand Manuka honey combos come in venom masks, eye creams, moisturisers and a wide range of creams and ointments.
But is it safe for the bees?
Absolutely. When a bee stings a person, it dies because it no longer has its stinger. Collecting bee venom, on the other hand, is not harmful or stressful for the bees. A glass sheet is placed into the beehive along with a very weak electrical current running through it. When bees sit on the glass, the weak current encourages them to stick out their stingers and pump out a small amount of venom. As each bee releases its venom, it also releases pheromones which tell the other bees to sting the glass too. The venom sticks to the glass, which is then removed from the beehive and the venom collected and purified.
It’s said that a number of well-known international faces regularly use bee venom therapy. Kate Middleton reportedly used bee venom in the lead-up to the Royal Wedding, and other stars including Victoria Beckham, the Minogue sisters and even Kiwi model Kylie Bax are reportedly fans of the beauty products too.
Generally speaking, bee venom cream is safe to use unless you have a severe allergy to bees, however some producers like SAViQ have even developed non-allergenic bee venom beauty products. If you’re concerned about potential allergic reactions, talk to a professional before trying bee venom therapy.