Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Duchess of Cornwall and the £55 bee-sting facelift

55 pounds!? Camilla, I can get you the same results for A LOT cheaper. Just come on by the hive sometime... We'll give you the real thing.

From the Daily Mail
By Fay Schlesinger
Last updated at 5:05 PM on 28th July 2010
At 63, it’s not surprising that the Duchess of Cornwall has a few wrinkles. Years of smoking and plenty of time in the sun have helped add more than a few lines.
But even seasoned observers have noticed that many of those lines seem to be getting ironed out.
Yesterday the mystery of the disappearing wrinkles was solved when it emerged that Camilla is having ‘organic face lifts’.

Changing faces: The Duchess of Cornwall is using 'organic face lifts' to rid her face of wrinkles
Changing faces: The Duchess of Cornwall is using 'organic face lifts' to rid her face of wrinkles
Changing faces: The Duchess of Cornwall has been using a bee venom-based beauty treatment to counter the ageing process
Quite what that involves remains unclear but the skin expert she is seeing has a trademark treatment using bee venom as an alternative to Botox.

The Duchess has joined a string of A-list celebrities who have non-surgical procedures costing up to £165 from beautician Deborah Mitchell.

Anti-ageing: Facialist Deborah Mitchell's Bee Venom Mask, which is said to iron out wrinkles
Anti-ageing: Deborah Mitchell's organic Bee Venom Mask, which is said to 'iron out wrinkles'
Other high-profile customers said to benefit from treatments such as lymph drainage, massage and ‘acupressure’ have included Dannii Minogue, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Pfeiffer.
An intensive anti-aging moisturising cream that contains venom extracted from honey bees is one of Mrs Mitchell’s most popular products among her clients.
Her £55 Bee Venom Mask is said to work by gently ‘stinging’ the skin, leaving a tingling sensation and stimulating the body into producing chemicals which reduce wrinkles by relaxing and strengthening the muscles.
Manuka honey, shea butter and rose and lavender oils are also designed to smooth the fine lines that come with age. Used twice a day for 20 minutes, the bee venom treatment can knock up to ten years off the appearance of middle-aged women, Mrs Mitchell, 44, said.


  • Honey bee venom is used cosmetically to 'fool' the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung with the toxin melittin, according to beautician Deborah Mitchell
  • This causes the body to direct blood towards the area and stimulates the production of the naturally-occurring chemicals collagen and elastin 
  • Collagen strengthens body tissue while elastin is the protein that helps the skin to remain taut and bounce back into shape after being pressed or pinched. The venom also has the effect of relaxing the muscles, it is claimed 
  • A toxin extracted from the venom, Apamin, has also been credited with alleviating conditions such as muscular dystrophy, depression and dementia 
  • Apamin speeds up brain activity by allowing potassium to flow out of the nerves more quickly, a study by the University of Bristol and the University of Liege in Belgium found earlier this month 
Mrs Mitchell, who runs the Heaven salon in Shropshire but also works at the Hale Clinic in London, said: ‘The bee venom completely changed Dannii Minogue and my other clients love it so much that we have got waiting lists.
'It keeps skin firm and youthful and is not at all painful – there is just a slight tingle as the blood supply and nutrients flow into the skin tissues.’
The mask, which is sold online and in specialist salons and boutiques, is made using venom from bees in organic hives in New Zealand.
A pane of glass is placed alongside the hive and a weak electrical current is run through it, which encourages the insects to sting the surface. Because the bee’s lance remains in its body, it does not die.
Tiny quantities of the venom are then collected and sent to the UK. It is so valuable that it costs £27,000 for one ounce, Mrs Mitchell said.
She dilutes the venom to make up one per cent of the mask, so that it leaves the skin tingling but not painful. Mrs Mitchell also claims to be a healer and offers ‘psychic insights’ to customers during their treatments.
A spokesman for the Duchess said: ‘Deborah does carry out beauty treatments for Her Royal Highness. We cannot go into which treatments.’

'Can she call you back? She's sitting in the garden waiting to be stung'
'Can she call you back? She's sitting in the garden waiting to be stung'