Behind the buzz of this hot new ingredient
By Marygrace Taylor, Prevention, August 2013
Bee venom’s been getting major buzz (sorry, couldn’t help it!) in the beauty world for its purported abilities to make your lips look like Angelina Jolie’s and give your skin that smooth suppleness you haven’t seen since your twenties. But where the heck is the stuff actually coming from—and does it spell bad news for our hive-dwelling friends?
First, a little background for the uninitiated. Bee venom, (scientific name: apitoxin) is the clear, odorless liquid that’s injected into your skin when a honeybee stings you. It consists of more than 20 known compounds, the most prominent being melittin, a protein that boasts powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. In the case of enhancing your epidermis, lip boosters and anti-aging creams use bee venom to trick skin into thinking it’s actually been stung, says Purvisha Patel, MD, a Memphis dermatologist and owner of Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Associates. “This causes the body to direct blood toward the area, stimulating the production of collagen, which strengthens tissue, and elastin, which helps the skin to remain taut and bounce back into shape,” she says…