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Heaven Bee Venom Mask
68

Heaven Bee Venom Mask Review

is a Solution for:
Dry Skin, Dull Skin, Fine Lines
Reviewed by Marta October 8, 2013 50 Comments
TRU Rating

Pros

Bee venom is full of antioxidants

Cons

Preservatives may cause irritation
We prefer the original bee venom mask from Royal Nectar

Perhaps it was all the media hype, the appeal of a British Royal, or the masochist in all of us, but when Sarah came across a face mask with bee venom, the Truth In Aging community was positively buzzing with excitement. I must admit that I caught the bug myself and couldn’t resist trying the Bee Venom Face Mask ($94 for 50ml and $38 for 15ml) by British boutique brand, Heaven.

I loved it. And then I managed to do one better. I found the actual source of the bee venom used by Heaven - a bee keeper in New Zealand called Nelson Honey. Their bee venom mask is called Royal Nectar ($68) and is even better than Heaven's - see my video comparing them.

The Bee Venom Mask is left on for about 20 minutes and I have been using it for nearly a month on my face and neck about three times a week. After rinsing, I follow with my normal regimen, but sometimes my skin looks so glowing and refreshed that I’ve left it that (apart from eye cream and anything else that I’ve been specifically testing) for the rest of the day.

Bee venom isn’t the only thing in the mask, but it is supposedly the key active. The blurb says that the skin reacts to the venom as if it has been stung, thereby jump-starting the production of elastin and collagen. OK, so let’s try to figure out what’s really going on, or if the only things being stung are our wallets.

According to 3DChem, honey bee venom contains at least 18 active substances. These include the peptides melittin and apamin. Melittin causes localized pain and inflammation but also has a moderate antibacterial and antifungal effect. More importantly, it is an anti-inflammatory that is being used to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism, and can combat cancers (source).

But there is another compound in bee venom and it is less straightforward as to whether it is friend or foe: hyaluronidase. When a bee stings, the hyaluronidase breaks down hyaluronic acid polymers that serve as intercellular cement, tissues soften and then the venom can spread through the tissue (source). Which is pretty devious and clever of Mother Nature on behalf of the bee. Now, hyaluronic acid is something that we are trying to preserve and replenish with all our anti-aging serums, so is bee venom-delivered hyaluronidaise in my latest favorite face mask doing me more harm than good?

Ultimately, I think it may do more good than harm. According to 3DChem, hyaluronidase from bee stings causes hyaluronic acid in the body to become acetylglucosamine, important to tissue functions such as hydration, lubrication, transport, cell migration, cell function and differentiation. From the reading I have done, it seems that more is being understood about hyaluronidase and that its role in turning over hyaluronic acid may be beneficial.

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Interestingly, I also found a study saying that “bee venom hyaluronidase shares 30% sequence identity with human hyaluronidases, which are involved in fertilization and the turnover of HA” (source).

Another clue may come from the recent trend in using  hyaluronidase to break down hyaluronic fillers (eg Restylane) without damaging the surrounding tissue. Interestingly, plastic surgeons claim that it does not affect the adjacent, natural HA (source). As one explained: “It doesn't seem to affect natural hyaluronic acid and has a predominate effect on filler injected. The reason for this is due to the fact that natural hyaluronic acid is found around a substructure within the skin. When natural hyaluronic acid is degraded it is reformed almost just as quickly. In fact, natural hyaluronic acid is turned over on a daily basis so your body naturally degrades its own hyaluronic acid and replaces it.”

There is something that inhibits hyaluronidase, should you still not be too sure about it. And that is marshmallow. And guess what... Marshmallow (also an anti-inflammatory) is in Heaven's mask.

Having got all that out of the way, I can report that Heaven’s Bee Venom Mask does not sting or any way feel uncomfortable. On the contrary, it is very pleasant and comfortable and, above all, I find the effect to be very hydrating. This may be due to the shea butter, a moisturizer, antioxidant and natural sunscreen, and the manuka honey, also an antibacterial that can help against acne. The only things not to like are the preservatives, which may cause irritation (in my case, this formula did not).

Whether Heaven’s Bee Venom Mask is responsible for the transformation of Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall) after all those years of smoking and galloping around on horses in all weathers, I can’t say. But Royal Nectar's mask is now part of my bee-auty regimen.

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  • May 18, 2016

    by denise

    (1 out of 5)

    Full of hype. Use plain old organic rose hip oil, works fantastic, and yes, even some stars use just plain organic rose hip oil. Just like organic castor oil for eyelash growth, (oh does this work too) forget paying $60.00 to $100.00 for a little tube to make lashes grow.

    You're paying for hype, advertising, packaging and the ingredient your looking for is down on the ingredient list, full of fillers and things you cannot even pronounce. Save your money, put in bank for rainy day. I use rose hip oil, cost less than $10.00 (TEN DOLLARS) for over a years supply. Simpler is better, and cheaper. Some, have to learn the hard way. Not one, wrinkle, not one, I am almost 60. Used it for years, stars use rose oil too. Think twice....

  • May 18, 2016

    by Denise

    Just use a few drops of organic rose hip oil, it works wonders at night. Cost me less than $10.00 for a years supply. Ten dollars! So many want the magic bullet, don't understand the simpler the better ( and way cheaper). You are paying for the hype, packaging and advertising, not to mention the rent to pay dept stores( you pay the rent in the product) to put on their shelves. . I know, I work for a cosmetic company, I don't even use their brand, a very, very high designer end, and I have beautiful skin....not one wrinkle at age 62. The rose hip oil has to be pure and organic, trust me. Look on Amazon and try it, or look at a local health food store. Just PURE rose hip oil.
    Remember, your paying for packaging, rent, and advertising. Many times too, the one ingredient you want to work, is way down on the ingredient list, paying for fillers. Think and put your money into savings, be glad you did.

  • May 15, 2016

    by Emma

    (1 out of 5)

    I have used all the heaven face masks. I have just finished using the Gold version which set me back over £300. I have to confess I never felt much tingling when applying it, saw absolutely no difference in my skin when I had applied it and my skin didn't feel form. On the whole it was really disappointing.

  • March 20, 2016

    by Audrey

    Renee...you seriously need to chill out and not condemn a product until you KNOW THE FACTS and where they source their venom. I have been using these products and absolutely love them. My skin has never looked better.

  • January 22, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Renee
    I have researched sourcing apitoxin myself and, like you, found it to be expensive. Note that Heaven is marketed by a British company and ingredients labeling rules are not the same in the UK. Also note that apitoxin outside the US is less expensive, because bees are more abundant in other countries. As I am sure you are aware, bees are almost extinct in the US. We import Nelson Honey's Royal Nectar bee venom mask from New Zealand. Nelson Honey has its own bee farm and, therefore, sources the apitoxin from its live stock and is able to control its marginal costs. Bee venom is listed on the ingredients (not apitoxin) and is cleared by the FDA when we import it through US customs.

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