I speak with people all the time who are interested in maintaining the look of their youth, but arent willing to sacrifice their health to do so. They are disillusioned by the battle against aging and the millions of dollars spent on products that make false claims about fighting the clock, but they still want to look their best. Luckily, there are plenty of great options for maintaining a youthful, healthy appearance that are perfectly safe.

Is Botox an Option?

Botox is a nickname for the neurotoxic protein called botulinum toxin. It is produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum and in large doses will cause botulism, a rare paralytic illness usually linked to food poisoning.

In smaller doses, the protein is used for cosmetic purposes, as well as for treating medical disorders. Botox is a diluted dosage of the protein and it weakens the muscles in the face slightly, but just enough to have an effect. Unfortunately, some people have adverse reactions to Botox injections and are unable to use it to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as they age. Since it is injected, it is an invasive option, though most consider it safe.

Recently, many people looking for an alternative to have turned to bee venom. It has even been used by well-known celebrities, including Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.

Bee venom is produced by bees and is what makes a bees sting painful. Bee venom is considered medicinal and has been used to treat multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve pain, tendonitis, and various muscle conditions, though the jury is still out on just how effective these treatments can be. It is also used as a treatment to reduce reactions in people who are allergic to bee stings. More recently, bee venom has become a popular ingredient in beauty products.

Are there Side Effects?

Bee venom side effects are usually quite mild, especially compared to Botox injections. Some people experience itching, breathing trouble, heart palpitations, anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, vomiting, confusion, and low blood pressure. In most cases, the side effects arise in response to an allergy to bee stings, but as long as a person is not allergic to bees, there is rarely a problem.

Beauty Creams with Bee Venom

One product on the market claims to provide anti-aging effects through the magic ingredient of bee venom. This beauty cream contains venom equivalent to 10,000 bee stings. Advocates of this Botox alternative claim venom can stimulate collagen growth and cell renewal. In addition to providing visible results immediately, the cream might also slow the aging process.

Harvesting the venom is an expensive process and the price of the cream reflects that. At the moment, one gram of bee venom is worth more than $300 and is nearly seven times more valuable than gold. For those concerned about the risk the process poses to bees (I was!), you should know the bees survive the extraction.

Whether you choose Botox, bee venom creams, or other methods to keep your appearance young is a personal choice. Botox is effective, but there are side effects. Bee venom has been used for medicinal purposes for quite some time, but is just now beginning to gain ground in the beauty industry. If you are curious about its anti-aging effects, I encourage you to give it a try and let us know here at MHLC know what you think!