Take the bite out of ageing with bee stinging venom

The latest buzz about anti-ageing products among celebrities comes from bees. In particular from their venom, which is able to fight fine lines and wrinkles with similar results as Botox or Juvaderm, and without using needles or invasive methods.

No, you don't have to stand next to a bee-hive, hoping to be stung, there's a more gentle way. The venom is squeezed out of the bee and used as the main active ingredient of a new range of cosmetics, called Bee Venom products. How does it work?

The cream directly applied to the skin, activates a natural physiological reaction, unlike Botox injections, which just freeze the muscle into an unnatural position. The bee venom is mainly composed of melittin, a peptide containing different amino acids, which increase blood flow and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and give the skin a smoother and younger appearance.

The anti-ageing product also contains honey and pollen, which are present in smaller percentages in the venom of these insects, that help nourishing the epidermis. These substances contribute in turn, to strengthen the dermis, allowing the removal of dead cells, and to naturally tighten it, to promote rejuvenation.

One of the major selling treatment, which contains more than 10,000 bee stinging per pot and is been branded the holistic version of Botox, is Manuka Doctor, Rejuvenating Face Mask and is sold at Holland & Barret at a price of £49.99. Some salons also offer Bee Venom Beauty Masks and Bee Venom Facials.

Purified bee venom has become very popular with celebrities and its properties have also been appreciated by some members of the Royal Family, like Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton. Among the fans of the product, there are also actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Pfeiffer, Victoria Beckham and Kylie Minogue.

Good news for all insect-lovers, to harvest the venom bees are not actually harmed. A glass container is put on the beehive to prevent bees to leave, because of that they become “angry” and they start stinging the glass, which can't be penetrated and therefore doesn't kill the insect. The venom is then collected and purified.

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