In the world of beauty therapies, experimentation with outlandish ingredients isn’t new. Sheep placenta, bone marrow, snail mucus… we could go on.
But one ingredient that feels a lot more palatable, and has been proven to deliver results (if Princess Catherine’s flawless skin is anything to go by), it’s bee venom.
It shot to fame around 2011, but its popularity – and efficacy – has endured.
And no, the facial doesn’t sting. In fact, bee venom is incorporated into a luxury, limited edition cream – only 500 jars are produced in a year – to harness the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of the venom. The logic being, the skin gets tricked into thinking it’s been stung when it interacts with the venom, to promote the production of collagen and elastin.
The Heaven bee venom mask created by celebrity facialist Deborah Mitchell – who does Catherine and Queen Camilla’s facials – is the OG, only using venom from the stinger of the prized queen bee; how fitting.
And in Australia, renowned holistic facialist April Brodie, who was trained by Deborah herself, is the only person who delivers these facials Down Under in private appointments.
What is the bee venom facial like?
The facial follows the standard cleanse-exfoliate-tone-moisturise routine, only turbo-charged, and tailored to individual skin needs.
Bee venom products are used in multiple steps – from the non-abrasive exfoliation, to an ABEETOXIN serum and the all-important Willow Bee mask, and the efficacy of all the products is enhanced by LED light therapy.
The range of products are truly luxurious but the magic ingredient in this facial is April’s facial massage. She uses a combination of various massage techniques, including the unique buccal massage style, and tools like a gua sha, to intensively work the products in and release tension in parts of the body where it shouldn’t be; the jaw, for example.
She works the neck, shoulders and decolletage, explaining how tension in these parts of the body can actually impact skin health. And while the bee venom mask is left on to do its work, she also gives a relaxing foot massage.
“The powerful Bee Venom ingredient works in synergy with the facial massage techniques to relax the facial muscles and tissue, working to firm and tighten for smoother, more youthful skin,” explains April.
The result is, honestly, skin with a healthy, natural glow and a visibly brightened complexion.
Is it harmful to bees?
Now, no facial, however indulgent, should be acceptable if it means harm to living creatures – especially bees, as they are crucial to the existence of the earth’s ecosystem, and are already endangered.
The good news is the process of extracting bee venom is ethical – it involves the bees dropping their venom on to a glass plate, which is then dried off and used in the products.
Sustainable, luxurious and royals-endorsed? We’ll take it.