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April 27th 2013
THERE'S NOTHING B-LIST about the new swarm of bee-venom
beauty products. The toxic ingredient appears in a growing
number of high-end anti-aging serums, masks and moisturizers
from various companies...

The key ingredient is said to improve skin by setting off an elaborate chain
reaction. "Your brain thinks that [you've been] bitten and it sends back a signal
that the skin needs to heal itself," said Maria Hatzistefanis...

...Once this brain signal has been sent, as the theory goes, blood rushes to
the area, triggering an increase in the production of wrinkle-smoothing collagen.
Deborah Mitchell, describes venom products as a topical, natural alternative to
Botox. "Straight away, the skin tightens and firms," she said, noting that many
users report a slight tingling—a sign the product is working.

The venom rage originated in Britain, where many of these products are produced (perhaps
coincidentally, Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton, whose studio is in London, based her spring collection on bees and their human keepers). The mania grew buzzier in 2011, when a press leak revealed that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, tried a venom mask before the royal wedding–on the recommendation of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall...

..."My customers use it like addicts," said Victoria Galbraith Wachtel, a company director. Still, while some of her clients use it daily, both morning and night, others find that a few times a week will suffice.The difficulty of collecting venom largely explains the high cost of the products. When a bee stings a person, the venom-containing stinger is left behind and the bee usually dies, explained Alex Fras, a beekeeper in British Columbia...

...To gather venom for commercial purposes, beekeepers place a sheet of glass embedded with low-voltage electrical wires at the hive entrance. After the bees receive a small jolt, they release some venom but retain their stingers. The keepers scrape the venom off the glass once it has dried.
July 27th 2012
Known as "natural botox," New Zealand bee venom has show-business celebrities and royalty clamoring for a sting. But the product doesn't come cheap...

...Bee venom, long used in ancient medicine, is being touted as a "natural Botox" that stimulates the body's production of collagen and elastin to smooth, lift and tighten skin. The venom also contains a compound called melittin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

...demand has been strong since British tabloids reported that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, used bee-venom skin-care products before the royal wedding last year. More recently, actress Gwyneth Paltrow said on her blog Goop that she had "been given bee venom therapy for an old injury" and as a result the injury had since disappeared. After bees 'sting' a glass plate, above, venom can be collected by scraping it with a razor blade.

One gram of venom from New Zealand, a major producer, is the equivalent of 10,000 bee stings and costs about $304—more than eight times the current value of gold, according to industry sources. Venom produced outside of New Zealand is sold at lower prices...

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