Spas Take to Animal Venom for Some Poisonous Pampering

Venom botox
Photography: Getty Images

People are constantly looking for the fountain of youth, which is why treatments like Botox continue to be extremely popular. In fact, new data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows continued growth in cosmetic procedures over the last year. According to the annual plastic surgery procedural statistics, there were 17.5 million surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. in 2017, which is 2 percent more than 2016. The statistics also reveal that Americans are embracing more minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. Among the 15.7 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2017, the top was Botox or Botulinum Toxin Type A (7.23 million procedures, up 2 percent from 2016). 

While the popularity of Botox doesn’t seem to be slowing down, many of today’s savvy spa-goers are also willing to try less invasive (albeit sometimes extreme) options that offer similar effects, such as treatments that incorporate animal venoms. “People are increasingly looking for the next big thing when it comes to reversing the signs of aging and having younger-appearing skin,” says Deb Uhrberg, president and owner of Scandic Beauty. “They also prefer immediate results. The components of venom do contain skin-tightening properties that typically create instantaneous results. The effects are generally short-lived, but the treatments are attractive for their on-demand, line-smoothing effects.” 

While venoms have long been used in medicine to treat a number of conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, their use in skincare is newer, which means more studies and research need to be performed to find out how effective they really are in treating skincare concerns. Here’s a look at some studies that show promising results.

  • A study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health revealed the beneficial effects of honeybee venom serum on aging skin. Results showed that bee-venom serum clinically improved facial wrinkles by decreasing the total wrinkle area, wrinkle count, and average wrinkle depth.
  • A clinical study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology analyzed the effectiveness of bee-venom serum on treating acne. It was found that six weeks of treatment with purified bee-venom serum was effective in treating mild-to-moderate acne with no serious side effects or irritation. It helped to improve open comedones, closed comedones, papules, pustules, and nodules.
  • Scientific research published in The Journal of The International Society of Skin Pharmacology revealed that the fluid substance that land snails secrete when under stress helps to protect them from free radicals, environmental pollution, and UV radiation. And the snail secretion can help treat some human skin issues, including helping to reduce acne scars and protecting skin from skin damage caused from UV radiation. 


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