Glitter Guide contributor, PJ Feinstein, is here to share why A-list stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Emily Blunt are buzzing about the benefits of bee beauty products. Read on to discover how you can incorporate these potent ingredients into your skincare routine.
When Gwyneth Paltrow shared beauty advice last spring with The New York Times, she revealed that she sometimes indulges in bee sting facials. The actress and GOOP guru has always been into alternative therapies—after all, she brought cupping into the national spotlight before Michael Phelps—but getting stung by bees in the name of beauty? Sounds pretty painful.
In reality, her facials probably don’t involve live bees crawling all over her face (shudder!). More likely, her facialist applies a serum made from bee venom, which can still have a stinging-like effect.
As you’d expect, the Internet was soon buzzing about the benefits of bee beauty. Turns out that apitherapy—the medicinal use of ingredients from the hive—has been around for thousands of years, and since GP’s interview, I’ve been noticing more and more beauty brands incorporating these potent ingredients into skincare. Here are three that are pretty much the bee’s knees.
Admittedly, honey isn’t a beauty breakthrough, but the sticky stuff continues to be a popular ingredient. A natural humectant with antibacterial qualities, honey is used in products designed to moisturize and heal the skin. It’s one of the hive ingredients, along with beeswax and propolis extract, in First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm ($20), which works while you sleep to repair and hydrate dry, chapped and irritated lips. If you’re dry all over, Farmacy Honey Savior ($34) is a multipurpose salve that can treat everything from rough calluses and parched cuticles to cracked soles and chapped lips.
Honey bees secrete a milky white substance called royal jelly that’s a combination of water, protein and sugars—and full of antioxidants and amino acids. This “bee milk” is a key ingredient in Savannah Bee Company White Hibiscus & Royal Jelly Facial Mask Infuser ($29), a reusable sheet mask delivering anti-aging properties that continue to release into the skin for 6 to 8 hours.
Royal jelly also works to regenerate cells and contribute to collagen production, which is probably why celebrities like Jessica Alba, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain use Baszicare Roseus Floral Hydrating Toner ($110) before hitting the red carpet. The all-natural rose-infused toner contains a proprietary blend that includes royal jelly along with reishi mushrooms, ginseng and aloe.
Let me preface this by saying that if you’re allergic to bees, you should avoid products made with bee venom. Bee venom is the poisonous liquid released by bees that makes a sting painful. What type of reaction you have to a bee sting will happen if you apply a topical made with venom.
When applied as a cosmetic ingredient, bee venom supposedly tricks the skin into thinking it’s been stung. Blood circulation increases, resulting in gentle plumping of the skin. That’s why your skin looks and feels firmer after using Miss Spa Bee Venom Plumping Mask ($7.99) or Rodial Bee Venom Eye Cream ($140).