Coming from a long line of beekeepers and being a self-confessed honey addict (my second name could easily be Pooh Bear) I am always distressed when dangers facing the bee community make headline news and, this week was no exception.
The terrifying fact is that should bees be eradicated from the planet, in the long run, this would mean curtains for humanity as their vital role of pollination would lead to the progressive disappearance of vegetation, plants, fruits cereals thus bringing about famine …
This week yet another insecticide called Sulforaxaflor, has been brought to light as being potentially life threatening to bees. And so, the list becomes longer and longer whilst beekeepers continue to witness the progressive eradication of their colonies.
By now you are probably asking what this has to do with a beauty blog? Well, over the last decade or so, cosmetics containing honey and honey related substances have become an integral part of the cosmetic landscape so I thought it was the ideal moment to look into the reasons for that and spotlight a relatively new apicultural trend, “Bee Venom”, and how it works. The disappearance of bees would also mean the end of their participation in the cosmetics industry!
Thousands of years after the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Persians dressed their wounds with honey, modern medicine is still using it for its antibacterial properties. Due to its high PH, it makes it difficult for bacteria to survive which means it fabulous for skin conditions such as acne.
Honey is also hygroscopic meaning that it moisturises skin by absorbing water from the environment. It is also particularly high in anti-oxidants and is an ideal ingredient used in anti-ageing creams helping skin cells to repair and renew leading to firmer brighter skin.
Recent opinion polls have revealed that honey is becoming a favourite cosmetic ingredient and according to Mintel 2016, 75% of the people questioned expressed interest in buying a product containing honey due to its healing and medicinal properties combined with the fact that it’s a natural ingredient.
Cosmetics containing honey can be found right across the presentation and price spectrum and in all distribution channels. From health-food and organic outlets, supermarkets and para-pharmacies for simple no nonsense options or specialised “apicosmetics” brands to premium and prestigious names such as Guerlain who have a dedicated and specific honey based anti-ageing range, l’Abeille Royale. According to Frédéric Bonté, Guerlain’s Director of Research, it is an extraordinary alchemy at the crossroads of the animal and vegetal universes, a concept that hasn’t yet revealed all of its secrets!
Of course, honey is not the only gem that bees offer us Beautystas.
It appears that the new ‘It’ ingredient is Aptioxin … bee venom … yes, the stingy stuff that has been tagged as “natural Botox”.Actress and Wellness Guru Gwyneth Paltrow along with Kate Middleton were among the first to let the buzz out of the bag a couple of years ago by reporting bee venom as one of their facial choices.
Actually, the only thing that will get stung is probably your wallet. Bee venom is not cheap — though as it grows in popularity, we’re seeing more affordable options. The cost of bee venom can often be even more expensive than gold, because the cruelty-free, eco-friendly process of venom collection requires many resources and advanced technology. However the up side is that it certainly has its own share of beauty benefits that are worth considering.
How does it work?
When added to a cream, mask, or lip serum, bee venom can supposedly trick your skin into thinking it’s been stung, causing a plumping and tightening sensation that will diminish signs of aging … almost instantly albeit temporarily. However it does have a more long-term action that improves circulation and increases the production of collagen and elastin. When this potent ingredient is associated with healing, moisturising and soothing honey or even royal jelly the cocktail is a winner.
So, if you’re a honey fan, a beauty addict or you simply love life on our wonderful planet, next time you see a “bees in danger “awareness petition … they pop up regularly on social media, take time to read it and … sign!