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I was delighted to be selected as the tester for the Heaven Bee Venom Mask ($94), as I am a real fan of the powers of Manuka honey & have heard good things about the benefits of bee venom. Manuka honey is used as an elixir for sore throats, as a digestive aid, and even as an antiseptic for skin wounds. I've been consuming a tablespoon of Manuka Honey, daily, for a couple of years now! I don't know whether or not my digestive system is any healthier than it already was, but it sure tastes good!
As stated by Marta in her review, the instructions for usage are a bit ambiguous. When I wrote to the company for clarification, I received no response, so I elected to use it as a rinse-off mask. The other option is to use it on top of your makeup, which just sounded odd to me and caused me to wonder why not just under it? More on that later...
The scent and feel of this mask is absolutely amazing, and a little goes a long way, so I also applied it to the back of my hands. I sat next to a well known plastic surgeon on a recent flight, who told me that although its difficult to tell a woman's age by looking at her face anymore, due to the countless procedures available, he can always tell when he looks at her hands! So...I am now including my hands in on any anti aging regimens I am using!
I applied the mask daily, in the mornings, and let it sit on my freshly washed face for 20 minutes while sipping on my coffee...a multitasker at heart! My face looked and felt fabulous...until day 23, when I looked in the mirror and saw a haggard looking reflection of myself. I had little raised areas under my orbital bones, red dots in several places, & basically dull skin. Maybe it wasn't due to the mask..hard to say, as I was also doing daily hot yoga, but hadn't noticed anyone different about my skin prior to incorporating the mask into my routine.
I think that I figured why, after doing a little research on the preservative used, methylchlooroisothiazolinone. Although it is one of the more effective and potent preservatives being currently used in cosmetics, there were reactions experienced (back in the late 80s mainly) when used in "leave-on" products. Now, the recommended concentrations are 15% in "rinse-off" products and 8% in the "leave-on" products. This begs the question of what concentrations are used in the Heaven Bee Venom Mask product. My guess is that it's the higher concentration, hence the recommendation to rinse off after 20 minutes OR to apply on top of other products (barrier effect?). Since my initial question was never answered, I opted out of writing and asking about the concentration used. This is total guesswork on my part, so take my comments as just that.
After taking a 10 day break from the mask, my skin felt normal again and I was a bit chicken to try using it on a daily basis again. I am using it daily on my hands, but only once a week on my face, and haven't experience any of the previously mentioned issues. I will need to try the New Zealand product called Royal Nectar, which doesn't include this preservative, as I still am intrigued about the bee venom, Manuka honey combination!
Ingredients: 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