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