A lot of attention has been given to bee venom lately; however, what is it used for and is it effective?
What it is
Let’s take a step back. What is bee venom to start with? Well, bee venom, honey bee venom or apitoxin is a colourless, odourless, bitter liquid that can be administered via the bee’s stinger. It is created in the abdomen of worker bees and is a mix of acidic and basic secretions containing more than 20 compounds with melittin being the most prominent protein.
What is does
Renowned for its anticoagulant, anit-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, apitoxin is used to treat a variety of ailments spanning from ALS to Arthritis, from Liver Fybrosis to Parkinson.
When talking skincare, apitoxin is used as an ingredient part of a topical application via creams, serums, toners etc.
The effect it has is that of tricking your skin into thinking that it has been stung by an actual bee, calling blood towards it. This, in turn, stimulates the production of collagen (a major component in keeping the skin tightly knit) which, in turn, strengthens the skin tissue. Elastin, in charge of maintaining that taut, bouncy look of the skin, also sees its production enhanced.
How it’s obtained
You might know that bees die after they sting, so you might be asking yourself how honey bee venom is sourced to begin with and, more importantly, how many bees die in the process. It’s important to note that bees only perish if their stinger is completely dislodged from their body.
Luckily we have moved on from barbaric sourcing methods which saw the poor things crushed or forced to sting rubber or plastic surfaces where their stinger would get stuck, causing the bees’ demise.
Nowadays “Beekeepers start with fabric-covered plates that have conductor wires stretched flat across them. When a bee lands on the plate, the wires deliver a mild electric current that agitates the bee just enough to make it sting, causing the venom to drop onto the plate. Since the fabric on the plate is very thin, it doesn’t trap the stinger the way plastic or rubber used to do, leaving the bee free to fly away unharmed”(Taylor, M. 2019). Though odourless to us, bee venom is recognised by other bees and can signal them to also help their friend in need by also stinging “the enemy”. Once dry, the bee venom is scraped off and purified.
This process makes for a sustainable, more humane method of collection than the previous.
Bee venom in skincare
With collagen and elastin seeing a spike in production, you can easily guess how apitoxin is used in treating signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.
It has been scientifically proven that honey bee venom does in fact help improve the above by decreasing the total wrinkle area, total wrinkle count, and average wrinkle depth.
Given it has demonstrated no dermal irritation potential, bee venom is safe to use topically on the human skin to help promote overall skin regeneration even in the long-term.
Where to find
Now that sounds just peachy – but where can I get it?, you may ask.
Look no further than Benton, the highly praised brand focused on antiaging. Bee venom paired with Snail Mucin, another highly sought after antiaging and hydrating ingredient, creates the perfect cocktail to target fine lines and wrinkles, rejuvenating your skin to give you that youthful look. Here are some of our favourite products:
Benton Snail Bee High Ultimate Serum, a multitasking serum that’s suitable for all skin types and works to protect and hydrate, add suppleness and vitality, and target hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin, The first step to revitalise tired skin, it will provide moisture and nutrition in a few drops. It targets wrinkles and fine lines, improving their appearance over time. It has a non-sticky watery texture, easy to absorb.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask, Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and troublesome, its dose of Bee Venom delivers intense moisture and hydration, whilst providing anti-aging properties to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion, with just one drop you can smoothen your skin, firm it, and moisturise it, leaving an extraordinarily velvety sensation after being absorbed.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence, Benton‘s long-loved steady seller, this beauty in a bottle gently nourishes and clears your skin all in one go.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (2020). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 133082063, Apitoxin. Retrieved December 29, 2020 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Apitoxin
- Han, S. M., Park, K. K., Nicholls, Y. M., Macfarlane, N., & Duncan, G. (2013). Effects of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom on keratinocyte migration in vitro. Pharmacognosy magazine, 9(35), 220–226. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-1296.113271
- Han, S. M., Hong, I. P., Woo, S. O., Chun, S. N., Park, K. K., Nicholls, Y. M., & Pak, S. C. (2015). The beneficial effects of honeybee-venom serum on facial wrinkles in humans. Clinical interventions in aging, 10, 1587–1592. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S84940
- Han, S. M., Lee, K. G., & Pak, S. C. (2013). Effects of cosmetics containing purified honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) venom on acne vulgaris. Journal of integrative medicine, 11(5), 320–326. https://doi.org/10.3736/jintegrmed2013043
- Han, S., Lee, K., Yeo, J., Kim, W., & Park, K. (2011). Biological effects of treatment of an animal skin wound with honeybee (Apis mellifera. L) venom. Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery: JPRAS, 64(3), e67–e72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjps.2010.08.022
- Apitoxin. (n.d.). Bee Venom: Clinical Trials & Research. Retrieved December 29, 2020, from https://www.apitoxin.se/research.html/
- The Beauty Issue, J. (2019, March 23). We need to talk about bee venom. Retrieved December 29, 2020, from https://www.thebeautyissue.com/need-talk-bee-venom/
- Taylor, M. (2019, June 10). Is The Bee Venom Beauty Trend Killing Bees? Retrieved December 29, 2020, from https://www.prevention.com/beauty/skin-care/a20458230/is-the-bee-venom-beauty-trend-killing-bee