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I was very excited to track down (actually it was Faye) the original source of bee venom all the way to a family-owned beekeeping business in New Zealand. The Royal Nectar Face Mask turned out to be a dead ringer for the one made in the UK – and apparently beloved by Camilla Duchess of Cornwall – but slightly nicer (see my video comparison) and less expensive. I love the mask as a once a week complexion refresher and the past month or so I’ve been trying out the moisturizer, the Royal Nectar Moisturizing Face Lift ($48 in the shop).
I’ve been testing it on hands, neck and face and am really, really liking it. It has a light, almost whipped texture, is absorbent and not greasy at all. As would be expected Royal Nectar Moisturizing Face Lift has a pleasant whiff of honey. With a lot to love and almost nothing to dislike, this is great moisturizer at any price and is excellent for under $50.
So what’s with the bee venom anyway? Well, this ingredient had the British press all of a flutter earlier this year when it was said to account for Camilla’s transformation from someone who looked like she had spent most of her life galloping on horses in all weathers. It turned out that bee venom, also known as apitoxin, is made up mainly of peptides. The venom acts as a strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Yes, this is actual venom and so if you are allergic to bee venom you should do a patch test before using this product. Manuka honey is another of the key ingredients and this is an able healer of wounds and an anti-bacterial that can keep acne under control.
Although this moisturizer’s formulation is light and easily suitable for daily use (unlike the mask, which I personally would use as a mask – rinse off after 20 minutes or – once a week), the ingredients are fairly similar. There are nourishing antioxidants in the form of avocado, vitamin E, apricot and rose hip. I like the inclusion of marshmallow as it has an inhibitory effect on hyaluronidase, the enzyme that degrades hyaluronic acid in our skin tissue. In case you scan Royal Nectar's ingredients list and wonder what "optiphen plus" is, it is basically the preservative phenoxyethanol, and ticaxan is a stabilizer.
A big thanks to the nice people at Royal Nectar and their distributor for helping us bring this, along with the mask, to the US and the TIA shop.