While it's pretty safe to say that most of us would not be too happy about having bees close to us, it's also safe to say that bee ingredients are a highly desirable part of an anti-aging skin care regimen. Derived from nature, bee ingredients such as bee venom, manuka honey and royal jelly are powerful and potent skin savers, fighting inflammation, soothing irritation, stimulating collagen, healing wounds, fighting free radical damage, boosting hydration levels and more. Learn about the bee-you-tiful benefits that these ingredients have to offer.
Marta has long fought to dispell the notion that bee venom in cosmetics simulates a bee sting. Bee venom, which is known as apitoxin, acts as a strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Packed with antioxidants, bee venom also contains at least 18 active substances, including the peptides melittin and apamin. These work to boost the production of natural collagen and elastin, increase cortisol production and stimulate the healing process. The hyaluronidase from bee venom causes hyaluronic acid in the body to become acetylglucosamine, important to tissue functions. Bee venom hydrates, nourishes and soothes skin and is beneficial for fine lines and crepeyness.
Editor's Note: Anyone with a known allergy to bee stings should conduct a patch test prior to using a bee venom product.
Recommended products with bee venom:
• Benir Beauty BV Nine Platinum Anti-Aging Bee Venom Cream ($136 in the shop)
• Royal Nectar Moisturizing Face Lift with Bee Venom ($55)
• Royal Nectar Rejuvenating Serum ($45)
Manuka honey is produced by bees that feed on the New Zealand manuka bush, a relative of tea tree. It has nourishing and healing qualities due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, and not only can keep acne under control but also effectively treats burns, wounds, acne scars and irritated skin. Manuka honey's antibacterial properties are due to a natural hydrogen peroxide in the honey, which has been labeled unique manuka factor (UMF). The higher the UMF level, the higher the antibacterial activity. Manuka honey is also a natural humectant that draws moisture from the air into the skin, improving skin's hydration, enhancing its elasticity and fighting wrinkles.
Recommended products with manuka honey:
• Royal Nectar Face Mask with Bee Venom ($68)
• Royal Nectar Cream Cleanser ($29)
• Nature's Beauty Bee Kiwi Hand and Nail Repair Cream ($19.50)
• Nature's Beauty Bee Venom Eye Serum ($49.95)
Although manuka honey has generated a lot of buzz, 100% raw honey is a cosmetic asset whatever the bees have dined on. Honey has flavanoids, which are antioxidants. Honey is a natural wound healer and is making a comeback in wound care. Because it is an antibacterial and antifungal, honey minimizes the need for harsh chemical preservatives in cosmetic formulations. 100% raw honey is the signature ingredient in I Pekar's line of skin care products.
Recommended products with 100% raw honey:
• I Pekar Moisturizer ($78 in the shop)
Propolis is a natural source of antioxidants, having antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Bees collect it from tree buds and sap and then use it to block small openings in the hive and make it more defensible — a sort of "bee cement." Propolis has been used in medicine for centuries and is a fabulous emollient, as well as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Recommended products with propolis:
• Sciote Advanced Bio Serum ($70)
• Sciote Peptide+Defense Firming Youth Creme ($95 in the shop)
• RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek
Royal jelly is secreted by honeybees to feed and nurture queen bees. It contains amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants, proteins, minerals and vitamins (including B1, B2, B5 and B6). Its high water content in addition to its fatty acid content make it an effective moisturizer. Its silicon content can bolster collagen production, supporting skin renewal and firming skin. Royal jelly also contains high amounts of antioxidants, which help combat free radical damage.
Editor's Note: Because of its estrogenic effects, royal jelly should not be used by women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (source).
Recommended products with royal jelly:
• Astara Age Defying Complex ($85)
• Astara Nourishing Vitamin Mask ($56)
• Nutra-Lift Conditioner ($15)