Bee venom skin care blend shows antioxidant, anti-ageing promise in study

Writing in Cosmetic Dermatology​, researchers from Turkey’s Düzce University developed a prototype skin care product using bee venom, propolis, honey, beeswax and royal jelly and analysed stability, antioxidant activity, dermatological response and cytotoxicity. The researchers then evaluated product claims around skin smoothness, nourishment, moisturisation, skin tone, brightness, and wrinkle visibility in a small-scale panel study.

Overall, findings showed that a body cream made using a blend of bee venom and other bee products (0.1% bee venom, 0.3% propolis extract, 0.45% honey and 1% royal jelly) had a “high antioxidant capacity” ​at 85.45%. ​In addition, the formula proved to be non-cytotoxic, with no irritation or allergic reaction in non-allergic individuals, enabling it to be classified as non-irritating.

“Panel test(ing) showed that the prototype makes skin silky smooth, contributes to hydration, brightens and nourishes the skin, evens the skin tone, reduces the visibility of wrinkles, improves skin elasticity, and smooths wrinkles,”​ the researchers wrote.

Further testing would be required to evaluate effectiveness against skin ageing on different skin types, they said, given testing had only been conducted on a very small panel number (10 women). Wider studies would also provide more insight on the levels of bee venom that could be incorporated into formulas for effective anti-ageing properties.

Beyond healthy skin ageing, the researchers said the bee product blend could also be investigated for UV protection and as a potential option to treat acne.