My mid-40s eyes are always on the lookout for a miracle eye cream. Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream ($35 in the shop), though not a standout miracle, has at least proven itself to be a worthy contender. Rather synchronously, the opportunity to test it came at the exact time I had been reading about the use of bee venom in skin products. It had really piqued my interest as a new and interesting ingredient (more about that shortly).
My main skin bugbear is reduced firmness under my eyes, along with loss of volume in that area and some wrinkling. While my skin overall is very good for my age, my under-eyes are my nuisance area that I’ve been unable to improve to my satisfaction.
There are three main features I look for in an eye cream:
- It should not irritate the delicate eye area. My under-eye skin reacts quickly and harshly to anything even slightly allergy-inducing. Fortunately, Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream causes no allergic reaction at all. That’s significant because Royal Nectar’s Original Face Mask and Moisturizing Face Lift, which I tested in 2013, gave me horrible reactions. They left my skin swollen and kind of crispy-wrinkly for several days. So I was cautious about testing Royal Nectar’s eye cream, but thankfully its ingredients proved compatible with mine — zero irritation. So if Royal Nectar’s other products don’t agree with you, as was the case with me, don’t let that put you off trying the eye cream.
- An eye cream should not exacerbate puffing of the skin. Much to my annoyance, I have recently developed malar bags. These are not ordinary under-eye puffiness, but pesky bags that sit atop the cheek bones below the outer portion of the eye. They drive me mad and are so easily exacerbated by skin products. Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream does not seem to do this significantly. You may think, “Well of course, it’s an eye cream”, but it’s amazing how many so-called eye creams — I would say most of them— not only fail to resolve bags but actually make mine worse. I’d say it’s the norm rather than the exception. So the fact that Bee Venom Eye Cream doesn’t do this, or barely does it, is actually a big win.
- It should moisturize, or at least sooth. The way to assess this, I find, is not by staring in the mirror, but by noticing how enthusiastically I reach for a given product. A pleasant eye cream is something I feel like using and look forward to, rather than using because I think I should. Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream gets a tick in this regard. I have several times found myself reaching for it “just because”. It’s lightly but convincingly moisturizing, and quite pleasant to use.
The fourth factor I look for in an eye cream I have recently relegated to ‘optional’. It used to be my number one criterion but has now slipped to fourth place: the active anti-aging effect of the cream. There are many effective skin creams these days that improve the appearance of aged skin, genuinely enhancing firmness and clarity and reducing wrinkling. Very few eye creams, though, seem to provide convincing additional value in this regard. So it’s not that I’ve entirely given up on anti-aging in that zone. It’s just that I view active anti-aging ingredients in an eye cream as a bonus rather than a critical inclusion.
The main ingredient in Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream that could be expected to exert this effect is the bee venom itself. My informed but non-expert assessment of what little research I could find suggests (don’t quote me!) that topical bee venom enhances wound healing, at the same time as down-regulating a number of biochemical reactions associated with inflammation and scarring. If this is correct, it makes bee venom a promising ingredient that may have advantages over several popular peptides that firm skin effectively but do so partly by upregulating inflammatory elements, such as Transforming Growth Factor TGF-β1 a.
I should mention that I don’t know how much bee venom is actually in the product, because it’s not clear from the ingredients list. As for the rest of the ingredients list, it makes for pleasant reading — almost everything qualifies as natural or semi-natural. Not that I’m tempted to eat my skin products, but I do like the idea that I could if I wanted to, if you catch my drift.
In my case, I would say that I did not notice a clear anti-aging effect from Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream when using it once or twice a day, about five days a week for a few weeks. I will happily use the product for longer to fully assess whether a long-term benefit becomes noticeable. It has certainly done no harm.
A final word on the superficial aspects of the product, so you know what you will be getting: It’s a light-weight cream that takes a bit of massaging to absorb, but wears well on the skin with no pilling or annoying effects. It’s a bright white cream, which always raises questions because how can all of those ingredients be in there and the cream still look white? I don’t know. The fragrance is sweet. I’m pretty sure it’s Ylang Ylang, with a hint of honey.
The product comes in a small jar with a mini spatula. Not ideal, as this is fiddly. For something used in such tiny amounts each day, a squeeze tube would be preferable. But we can’t have everything, can we?
Overall, I’d recommend Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream as being suitable for all ages. There’s nothing offensive about it, it moisturizes nicely, doesn’t promote puffing, and is an interesting addition to your anti-aging arsenal that might just do some good.