Try It or Skip It: Bee Venom Skin Care

Beauty fans are abuzz over this curious new ingredient.

The Claim: Fans (including Kate Middleton, rumor has it!) and manufacturers of bee venom skin creams and masks believe this ingredient is a natural alternative to Botox. Instead of erasing wrinkles by paralyzing muscles, it's said to plump things up by revving blood flow to the surface of your skin.

Oz Says: If the name of this ingredient isn't enough to scare you away, the lack of science might be. Even without a pile of research, says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, "it's clear that bee venom definitely isn't comparable to Botox." True, it irritates your skin, causing slight swelling and redness. But the effect may lead to dilated (or "broken") capillaries. "It's basically like a real bee sting," Tanzi says — complete with potential reactions in people with bee sting allergies. Stick to nonvenomous masks and moisturizers to smooth skin.

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The Verdict: Skip It

This story originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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