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Apitoxin and the Duchess of Cornwall’s anti-aging treatment

Is a Solution for:
Dull Skin, Oily Skin, Sagging Skin
Reviewed by SarahK August 10, 2011 38 Comments
Usually when the media is talking about a beautiful royal, it’s referring to the newly appointed Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. However, it is 64-year-old Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who has made recent headlines regarding her beauty regimen.

In July, beauty expert and creator of  “anti-aging, all natural” skincare line Heaven, Deborah Mitchell, revealed that Camilla is a fan and user of her bee venom beauty treatments (the Duchess’s spokesperson confirmed this). According to Mitchell, “used twice a day for 20 minutes, [the Bee Venom Mask] can knock up to ten years off the appearance of middle-aged women.” Apparently, Danii Minogue is also a fan of the Bee Venom Mask.

Now, I’ve heard of snake venom, but bee venom, also known as apitoxin, was a mystery to me until I started researching for this article. Bee venom is made up mainly of peptides. The venom acts as a strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. One researcher claimed that apitoxin “deserves no less attention of the medical profession than antibiotics of fungal and bacterial origin.” The substance has been used to treat everything from joint diseases to malaria to lupus for decades. More recently, it has been tested on patients with depression, dementia and muscular dystrophy.

All of this sounds very promising and there’s actually some viable research that backs it up. But what can bee venom do for your skin? As an anti aging treatment, apitoxin has been described as an alternate to Botox. “The venom extracted from honey bees ‘stings’ the skin causing the body to produce chemicals that will relax muscles and thereby reduce wrinkles.”

So, is Heaven’s Bee Venom Mask ($38 for 15ml or $94 for 50ml) worth the price? Manuka honey is the third ingredient in this product (after the innocuous water and decyl oleate); this particular honey is produced by bees that feed on the New Zealand manuka bush, and is a proven antibacterial agent. Marshmallow extract is used to treat skin inflammation, while shea butter might just be the best moisturizer out there. In addition to bee venom, of course, there is also rose oil, lavender oil and beta-carotene. All in all, nothing not to like.

I’m actually intrigued by Heaven’s Mask. What do you think; would you give bee venom a try?

UPDATE: Reviewed by Marta and you can now buy in the Truth In Aging shop

Ingredients in Heaven Bee Venom Mask: aqua, decyl oleate, manuka honey, bee venom, glyceryl monosterate, cetearyl alcohol, glycerine, althea officinalis (marshmallow extract), ceteareth 20, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), silica, rosa centifolia (rose extract oil), lavandula angustifolia (lavender essential oil), betacarotene, cl75100, methylchlooroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, tea tree essential oil
  • April 26, 2012

    by Jane

    I am 77 and have looked for a while much younger than my age. All of a sudden, I don't like what I see in the mirror despite the skin care I have been using (dare I mentioning it: Meaningful Beauty). This product has been responsible for improving my skin tone, but I would seriously like to try bee venom!

  • September 21, 2011

    by Penny

    I haven't seen anyone asking to try the Bee Venom mask as "young" as I am at age 70. On a good day looking, honestly, like I'm in my 50s but worrying about those lines that really are becoming a little more prevalent, I am anxious to use your recommended products, Marta. The Bee Venom is one I would love to review for you. Oh, yes, move over Camilla and Michelle Pfeiffer!

  • September 18, 2011

    by hopeinablog

    Bee Venom has been a hit in Asian skincare last year, especially in curing Acne.

    Article :

    http://hope-inablog.com/a-c-cure/2010-unique-cosmetic-ingredients-a-huge-hit/

  • September 5, 2011

    by Geha Gonthier

    I´d love to try it!
    I am always looking for new products for both myself and my clients/patients.

  • September 2, 2011

    by Ann

    As with most of us I'm quite sure the Duchess has had some professional help. Given her love of the outdoors life whatever she's done is remarkable and natural.

    As a beauty junkie, of course I'd try the heaven mask....however what are the risks if one is allergic to bee stings?

  • September 1, 2011

    by Tina Jensen

    Hi Sarah,

    I would LOVE to try Heaven's Bee Venom Mask! I have heard of the Heaven brand and the actress, Michelle Pfeiffer, uses their moisturizing cream and loves it. Her skin is youthful and amazing looking; she never ages. As an esthetician, I am always on the lookout for new and effective skincare products and I really enjoy treating myself to at home facial treatments like masks and intensive anti-aging protocols. Now that I am 50+, I notice new aging concerns and I am intrigued with this product with the "exotic" ingredient that could be competition for Botox. Would love to be a part of this new "buzz" (smile!).

  • September 1, 2011

    by Michele

    I for one am game to try this product. Turning 45 soon and as an ex-smoker and ex-sun worshipper, all my sins are catching up with me.

  • August 31, 2011

    by Connie Bieshada

    I have ordered the products and used the Bee Venom. I travel extensively in Europe and Asia. In England, I stopped a woman on the street who had the most fabulous skin. She was 20 years older than myself and informed me it was Heavenly Bee Venom. I have used all the products and LOVE THEM! I use the mask over my moisturizer/serum during the day. Followed by SPF 30, of course. Smooth skin that is baby soft.

  • August 31, 2011

    by Jennifer

    I would absolutely love to try the Heaven "Mask"! I am a fan of Manuka honey, after traveling through New Zealand, where they market the honey for multiple elixirs. The bee venom is intriguing & since I don't have allergies to bee stings...bring it on!
    One of your readers commented that hyaluronidase is an ingredient in Heaven, but, unless it goes by a different name, I failed to see it in the list of ingredients.
    Marta, are you using the mask twice a day, for 20 minutes each application?

  • August 31, 2011

    by Anna

    Hi Sarah, Thank you for your interesting post. I am new to TIA, joined a month ago and have already ordered two products from ReLuma and YBF. They are wonderful! I am so happy to find this site; it's so positive and so educational! I am 50 years old, always looked younger, but now age started to show more and more every day. I have MS for 17 years and for a long time, especially at the beginning, was treated with very heavy and toxic drugs, both steroid and immunosuppressive. Thanks God, not doing it anymore! Now I only take natural and non toxic treatments. Also using only natural cosmetics and face care treatments. Lately was using 100% Pure Skin care, which is nice but not enough anti aging anymore. So, I would love to try and write a review on this very attractive anti-aging Heaven’s Bee Venom Mask. Thank you, Anna

  • August 31, 2011

    by Deanna

    I would try it! I need something to calm my worry lines.

  • August 31, 2011

    by debs

    I would love to try heaven......

  • August 31, 2011

    by Dawn

    Interesting.... Yeah, I'd give it a shot.

  • August 29, 2011

    by J.Alex

    I'd try it in a second! I had quite a chuckle reading this article. I came across the web-site for this company (during a completely unrelated search whilst trying to find information on another 'venom' product I saw on Vitacost's skin-care section) Saturday 27-08-2011 and then here they are on TIA when I log-on today! I was trying to find a North American distributor but couldn't.

  • August 28, 2011

    by Marta

    I've just started testing the Mask. The directions are a tad confusing (the jar indicates it is a mask that should be rinsed off after 20 minutes, while it came with a leaflet that implies its a cream - I'm going with the jar). So far, so good - rather nice in fact. I'll report back with a review in a few weeks.

  • August 26, 2011

    by Oksana

    for those interested in the Heaven eye cream the ingredients are:
    Heavenly eyes ingredients
    Aqua, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, polyglycerymethacrylate, propylene glycol, glyceryl monostearate, dimthyl silanol hyaluronate ceteareth 20 vitamin a palmitat D-alpha and Methylisothiazolione, sodium hydroxide solution melaleuca altenifolia (Tea Tree oil)

    not impressive, in my opinion

  • August 12, 2011

    by Mark

    It sounds like an interesting concept, however like the posts above I do believe she had procedures performed to turn back the clock, but yes, I would try it.

  • August 12, 2011

    by deb

    the more I look at this photo...don't you think the Duchess may have had some laser work done?

  • August 12, 2011

    by Stephanie

    Thanks for the update Marta, and the link to the original article.

    By the way, I recently discussed some stuff about lavender to someone selling cosmetics/skin care products at an apothecary here in Chicago, and the scorn in her voice as she responded to my queries/mentions of such was amazing.

    I promised to bring her some printed articles, and when I get around to it, I am going to- amazing how people orient their beliefs and don't want to have them challenged.

  • August 11, 2011

    by Abbey

    Whoops - forgot the link: http://www.honeybeetherapy.com/products

  • August 11, 2011

    by Abbey

    I thought I would try a cheaper alternative from this site. I'm interested in trying the Nectar Ease with Glucosomine and the Nectar Balm. Are there anything in either of these that would cause breakouts? They both contain 1% Bee Venom and Manuka Honey.

  • August 11, 2011

    by deb

    i'd gladly try it. having just turned 60 and on daily meds for depression it would be an interesting test to see if there was some truth to these claims.

  • August 11, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Stephanie, I regularly check to see if there is any new research on lavender or linalool and haven't found any. So for the time being, I am sticking with the view that pure lavender oil is probably best avoided in direct contact with the skin given that it is mostly comprised of linalool and linalyl acetate. Many cosmetics simply list linalool, without giving its source. However, it seems that linalool, wherever it comes from, is cytotoxic. So I wouldn't be too unhappy about a product that lists lavender oil and probably only has a small concentration of it. But I am less happy about seeing linalool listed as an ingredient and prefer to avoid it if I can. http://truthinaging.com/ingredient-spotlight/lavender-and-skin-safety

  • August 11, 2011

    by SarahK

    Heaven is sending us a sample of its Bee Venom Mask so we'll be testing it very soon!

    And Arandjel, thank you for you comment. You raise an interesting topic that I'm going to look into for a separate post.

  • August 11, 2011

    by Donna

    How would one order this as it is produced in the UK?

  • August 11, 2011

    by Arandjel

    Considering that one of the components of bee venom is hyaluronidase, which breaks down hyaluronic acid, it seems detrimental to basic skin health applying it topically. Not to mention the rest of the toxins that make this poision...

  • August 11, 2011

    by Stephanie

    The product sounds interesting, but I'm wondering where are we on the lavender being a cytoxin? I know there was a lot of debate here on TIA about linalool/lavender and I'm just wondering what the current thinking is.

    Thanks,
    Stephanie
    ps I'd be shocked if the changes to her face were due to topical treatments of over the counter products. I'm not a plastic surgeon/esthetician, but the fullness of her face in the 2010 picture looks like someone had some filler to help with the lines and volume loss.

  • August 10, 2011

    by Kristin Osmar

    Yes I would definitely try it. Almost 62 and seeing more sagging and wrinkles is pretty scary. Yikes, face, upper arms, belly from babies....sag city. So anything I can do short of botox or surgery is fair game. Price is of course a consideration. Please review it! and if you need reviewers, looks like you have them lining up.

  • August 10, 2011

    by Jan

    I would absolutley try it, however doubtful it's fully repsonsible for Camilla's youthful appearance. Me thinks she's had cosmetic surgery and bee venom alone is not going to produce such a dramatic change, however am certainly not opposed to trying it! Thanks!

  • August 10, 2011

    by Emily

    Absolutely!!!! I would LOVE to try it if it will make me look good as it did Camilla!

  • August 10, 2011

    by Evening Feeding: Birth Defects Tied To Child Brain Tumors | Mommyish

    [...] The Duchess of Cornwall has made recent headlines regarding her beauty regimen (Truth In Aging) [...]

  • August 10, 2011

    by Sharon

    I am fast approaching 50 so this old girl is willing to try anything, but that being said I believe most of her transformation is from a good surgeon. I am also a bit skeptical

  • August 10, 2011

    by JustD

    Absolutely yes, I'd give it a try. Camilla has never looked better to me, what a transformation...so to speak. I've been looking for a good face mask that leaves me a bit more hydrated instead of drained and dry. I'm battling tiny dry skin patches of late so I'm like the other ladies, bring it on!

  • August 10, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Camilla certainly does look better, but due to what, exactly? I read (soon after she and Charles wed) that she was "encouraged" to have an extensive surgical all over makeover to better present herself at public appearances. I've no doubt she may well use this bee venom product as well, but is it responsible for how well she looks? I'm skeptical, myself. ~jk

  • August 10, 2011

    by Pam

    Sure!...in a heartbeat!!!

    I think I saw a documentary a while back touting the effects of bee venom. It looked really promising for pain I believe.

    It's natural and I can't help but believe it would be good for you even if it didn't reduce wrinkles.

  • August 10, 2011

    by Susan

    I'd love to try Heaven! Being on the verge of birthday 56 in September (and aging at the speed of holding the presidential seat, this anti-aging cream could be beneficial. Plus I'd like to make sure the Duchess of Cornwall's greatly improved skin texture isn't the result of laser resurfacing, and not due to this heavenly cream.

  • August 10, 2011

    by Junko

    It certainly looks as if Camilla has been doing something right in that five year span for her skin. She looks much better in 2010 than in 2005! I'd say Heaven's mask sounds more promising than Dr Denese's Wrinkle Rx Deep Wrinkle Treatment (It's a mask) that I've been using.

  • August 10, 2011

    by Sandy

    Yeah, I'd try it. Better on my face than a stinger, I say. I'm intrigued, especially since I am challenged wit chemical depression.

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