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Bee venom: The next Botox?

Nadine Bells
Shine from Yahoo! Canada
August 19, 2011

We don’t often mention Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in beauty-secret conversations, but maybe it’s time that changed. Her royal touch —and recent age-defying glow — has one product flying off the shelves.

After Camilla revealed last year that she uses bee venom as an “organic face-lift,” bee venom masks have been in high demand. Called “nature’s alternative to Botox” by Camilla’s favorite beautician, Deborah Mitchell, the product has since scored Mitchell a $164-million deal to stock 2,500 Chinese salons with her brand.

Bee venom paralyzes muscles much like Botox, only naturally, and “can lift, tighten and firm face muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles,” Blisstree reports.

Mitchell claims her product can knock 10 years off your appearance.

“With high profile celebrities — and now even royalty — choosing to help nature with fillers and lifts, non-surgical procedures have never been so popular, as numbers have passed the one million barrier for the first time,” a spokesman for Deborah Mitchell’s line said.

[See also: Is plastic surgery a moral issue?]

Since the ‘30s, bee venom therapy has been a treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Bees would sting patients; the venom stimulates the immune and protective systems of the body.

“In contrast to drug therapy, arthritics often continue to improve even after bee venom therapy treatments have been terminated,” wrote famed beekeeper Charles Mraz.

But does it improve your skin?

Allure magazine asked dermatologist Jeannette Graf about the benefits of bee venom:

“Dr. Graf says melittin, the active compound in bee venom, does have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and can boost the immune system. Since the venom is anaphylactic, it temporarily relaxes the facial muscles, breaking down cell membranes and improving circulation — all of which can theoretically contribute to a tighter complexion,” Allure’s Daily Beauty Reporter shared.

“Everybody wants to be the next Botox,” Dr. Graf added, “but there haven’t been enough clinical trials to judge the effect of the venom.”

If you’ve got the curiosity and the cash to try Camilla’s product of choice — a 50 ml bottle will set you back $88 CAD — order a bottle here.

Camilla has been looking pretty great recently.

Would you try bee venom?

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