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Is bee venom emerging again as a key skin care ingredient?

By Michelle Yeomans , 12-Feb-2013

Bee venom popped up on the skin care scene a few years back as a natural alternative to the hugely popular Botox trend, boasting restoration and plumping properties, particularly in menopausal skin. Years later, it appears skin care formulators are turning to the ingredient once again…

Bee venom works in a way that it fools the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung with the toxin melittin, which causes the body to direct blood towards the area, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin.

The ingredient first appeared in skin care products around 1990 but only in a limited number of products on the North American market. By 2004, European brands had caught up, which sky rocketed the ingredient in terms of trend, before it went under the radar again, giving way to the likes of snake venom and other natural ingredients.

Now, with the Korean government announcing the investment of vast amounts of money into bee venom research and European brands like Rodial launching new skin care lines  purely based around the ingredient, it appears it is back with a bang.

Back in the spotlight

The UK based cosmetic company has developed a line around the ingredient focused on the eye area, together with six other active ingredients including that of RonaCare Cyclopeptide-5, P-Cell, Juvinity VC IP, Haloxyl and Proturon.

Bee Venom works in synergy with plant stem cells to help visibly improve skin tone and elasticity, whilst Cyclopeptide-5 smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the delicate eye area. Haloxyl diminishes the appearance of dark circles for a brighter, wide-awake look," says a company spokesperson.

Other brands such as, New Zealand-based Manuka Doctor have recently utilized bee venom as the main ingredient in its anti-ageing, cleansing and moisturizing products due to its anti-bacterial properties.

Whilst fellow UK brand 'Heaven Skincare' has developed a line to target lines and dark circles which features Manuka Honey, Bee Venom and their 'secret ingredient' River Silt, to feed the skin tissue and tighten the skin.

A threat to the bee population?

According to experts in the area, generally speaking, venom is extracted using a specialized glass surface known as the collector, which is placed alongside the gate of the hive and features a weak electrical current, which then encourages the bees to gently sting a surface they cannot penetrate, thus meaning their abdomens remain intact – so that they don’t die in the process.

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