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Ever the wellness adventurer, actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow caught our attention when she revealed last month in The New York Times that she’d been stung by bees—on purpose.

In an interview about her beauty routine, which doesn’t sound as rigorous as you might expect—except, of course for the bees— Paltrow explained: 

“I’ve been stung by bees. It’s a thousands of years old treatment called apitherapy. People use it to get rid of inflammation and scarring. It’s actually pretty incredible if you research it. But, man, it’s painful.” 

While the bee-related health benefits of honey, royal jelly, and pollen are well known, venom (yep, the stingy stuff) shares some of these qualities, but also has its own slew of beauty benefits. 

The substance can be used cosmetically to trick the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung with the toxin melittin, thereby increasing the production of blood circulation and naturally occurring chemicals collagen and elastin. The effect is being touted as a “natural Botox”, causing plumping and tightening that reduces the signs of aging, no needles necessary. No wonder other celebrity moms like Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge have also jumped on board the sting wagon; the British beauties are said to use the secret ingredient to keep their skin looking taut and flawless.

It’s worth noting that no bees are hurt in the process of extracting bee venom but, as GP said herself, the treatment is quite painful. A far less scary sounding alternative is applying venom that’s already been added to a cream or serum, such as Rodial’s truly buzz-worthy Bee Venom range. Whether in the form of a cleansing balm, hydrating moisturizer or the ultra-luxe 24 carat gold body soufflé (a perfect gift for yourself or the Queen Bee in your life), each product works in synergy with a complexion-boosting complex of plant stem cells to improve skin tone and elasticity in a pleasant, tingling way that won’t have you facing your fears next to a little yellow friend.