For the rest of this month, I shall be selecting the best beauty products of 2012. My criteria is that they should be best of breed with breakthrough formulas, high effectiveness ratings and, most importantly, have been bestsellers with repeat buys (after all, the ultimate endorsement is that we buy it with our own hard-earned – more than once).  I’ll be posting new selections over the coming weeks and days and, without more ado, am kicking off with 2012’s Best Buzzed About Beauty Product:

Royal Nectar Bee Venom Face Mask

Rarely does a product live up to the hype that precedes it. A bee venom face mask beloved by the British Royal Family is about as hyped as it gets. But Royal Nectar Bee Venom Face Mask deserves the buzz. This is a bestselling product that gets used and bought over and again. Personally, I use this face mask at least once a week on those mornings when my complexion looks in need of a lift.

There’s a good backstory to Royal Nectar. The initial “Camilla and Kate love this” article that ran in the Daily Mail referred to a face mask called Heaven sold by a small spa in the UK. With the help of a sleuthing Truth In Aging reader, I tracked down the original supplier of the Heaven mask – a small bee-keeping family business in New Zealand called Nelson Honey. In a side-by-side test, Royal Nectar’s original formula proved slightly better than Heaven’s version. And so we went straight back to Nelson Honey and have been importing Royal Nectar for the Truth In Aging community ever since ($65 in the shop).

The key ingredients in Royal Nectar are Manuka Honey and bee venom. Bee venom, also known as apitoxin, is made up mainly of peptides. The venom acts as a strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, plus it contains 19 different active components. Manuka honey is an able healer of wounds and an anti-bacterial that can keep acne under control. There are other good things here too. Royal Nectar has avocado and apricot kernel oils. It also has something Easyliance. This is made from acacia (a tree indigenous to Africa) and rhizobian gum to make the skin feel smoother and tighter.

Congratulations Nelson’s Honey and the Royal Nectar Original Mask with Bee Venom for being selected as one of Truth In Aging’s Outstanding Products of 2012.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Nector Ease (manuka honey, bee venom), Lanette Wax, avocado oil, tocopherol oil, apricot kernel oil, easyliance, rose hip oil, rose water, bees wax, evening primrose oil, optiphen plus, natural fragrance, cocoa butter, ticaxan, marshmallow extract, manuka oil, lavender essential oil.