I just turned 38, and I try to take good care of my skin — it is oily, super sensitive and acne prone. Hormones and stress seem to bring out the worst in it, but for the most part, it is well behaved these days with only minor breakouts. Of course, as acne becomes less prominent, in comes aging concerns. When I was a teenager, we were told tanning beds were safe — even good for you — so I have done more than my share of tanning and am always in fear of some nasty pigmentation rearing its ugly head. But so far, I don't have any pigment issues. Though, I do have uneven texture from the "battle scars" of the acne I struggled with for more than 20 years. I also have a tendency to raise my eyebrows, and after years of making the same expression, I have three nasty horizontal forehead lines that are the bane of my existence. When I heard bee venom could mimic the effects of Botox, I was all in. I bought manuka honey with bee venom and a bee venom serum from the UK, and it all sat (and still sits) gathering dust. The honey was too messy, and the serum was too drying. Would this princess ever find the truth behind the secret of Dutchesses?
Thanks to Truth In Aging, I got a chance to try the Benir Beauty BV Nine Platinum Anti-Aging Bee Venom Cream ($136 in the shop).The ingredients include a lot of familiar characters, some proven botanicals, copper and other peptides. Unfortunately, there are some bad guys, too — including cetearyl alcohol (which is pore clogging for some, but I don't seem to have a problem with it), phenoxyethanol (thought to be toxic by some and banned by Eccocert and the Soil Association) and carnitine (which is considered generally safe and even helpful to oily skin types, but I did find one negative remark claiming it can increase free radicals).
The rest of the ingredient list is filled with good, familiar stuff for the most part. But come on, we're all here for the bee venom right? [Read all about how bee venom and how it works for the skin.] At $136, this cream may seem expensive, but after six weeks of use I have hardly put a dent in it. Considering a pound of venom is worth $600,000, I'd say that is a pretty good deal.
I swapped this out for my usual night cream and committed to using it each and every night. Since it’s in a jar, I used a spare spatula to scoop out about a dime-size amount. This small amount covered my face, neck and decollate with some to spare for the tops of my hands. It absorbed quickly and left no greasy residue (especially important to this oily gal). As I used the product, I noticed that my skin was less oily with each morning. After about two weeks, I no longer woke up with the "greasies." Conversely, my super dry hands were soft and crinkle free. As time passed, I experienced no breakouts, while my skin appeared brighter and more even toned — dare I say, is that what they call glowing?
As for my forehead (my nemesis), at about the four-week mark, those evil little lines were less noticeable. Now, the bad news: after about a week of not using the cream, the greasies were back along with my forehead lines. It seemed all the good the cream had done got undone. So, I snapped back into action, and about a week later, the improvement I saw was back. Is this a miracle in a jar? No. Is it a great cream that delivers noticeable results with long-term and continued use? Absolutely. I'm not sure I would repurchase, as it hasn't improved my skin so greatly that I think it will replace my regular night cream. As for the verdict on bee venom? Definitely not a fad — I think it will be around for a while and, with more research, become a valuable asset to the cosmetic and medical community.