How A Bees Dream Became A Global Skincare Hit
Friday, May 20 marks World Bee Day. Deborah Mitchell, founder of Heaven Skincare, explains how her favorite bugs inspired her best-selling beauty must-haves
Over 15 years ago, Deborah Mitchell literally struck gold when she created her revolutionary line of bee venom face masks using her patented ABEETOXIN formula. A favorite of celebrities and royalty, they were certainly ahead of their time, and as the brand’s best seller they are now sold worldwide.
However, despite their iconic status in the industry, many people don’t realize that the idea came to Deborah in a dream and her first client was none other than Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. “It may sound funny to most people when I say I dreamed about bee venom, but it’s true,” says the savvy businesswoman with the Midas touch. “It was 2006, I think just after the Duchess of Cornwall married Prince Charles. I had started treating her with my Lia Therapy facial and I was in her bedroom and looked at myself in the mirror and I thought “I need Botox”!
“The thing is, I didn’t want that creepy Dr Spock look, so I thought, ‘I need to make a new potion, something that would provide an organic alternative to needles.’ That night, I went to bed and dreamed of bees, and the next morning I knew exactly what to do.
Deborah realized that by using ABEETOXIN on the skin, it would cause the muscles to relax in the same way as the injectables. “As your natural defenses try to stop it from moving through the body, the skin goes to work repairing itself.
“It was important to me from the start that the venom used be extracted without harming the bees. So I use a system where the bugs are encouraged to sting a pane of glass with an electrical hum going through it and they survive with their stings intact. “I started mixing the venom with fresh honey because I knew it had been used for centuries for its super healing properties. My first tester was the Duchess herself and she loved it right away, even if at the time it was much stickier. That’s why I called it a mask rather than a moisturizer. But with a few tweaks to the recipe, I made it more like a face cream and now the most of my clients use it in addition to their moisturizer or as a moisturizer.
At the time, Deborah didn’t tell anyone about her most famous client, not even her mother, but she was spotted entering the palace by the press. “Someone who knew I was a beautician phoned the Palace and that’s how the papers first heard about the Bee Sting facial and my Bee Venom masks.”
Deborah’s three masks – Silver, Black and Gold – quickly become one of the most sought-after skincare products across the globe, propelling the Heaven brand to instant success. They’ve even appeared in a Netflix documentary, as well as countless magazines and TV shows. “In business, you may never have that eureka moment, but I’m really lucky because I’ve had a few over the years – in fact, my most blistering moments. more recent were when I had ideas for my vegan Nettle Venom range and my new collagen drops.
Despite her meteoric rise, Deborah remains firmly rooted in her Shropshire roots. She and her team recently moved to a new Heaven headquarters in Telford, a few miles from where she started her business at her kitchen table.
“Being a UK company is vital to me, it’s at the heart of everything we do at Heaven,” adds Deborah. “It’s also a great feeling to know that years later I’m still making and bottling our bee venom masks just down the road from where I first got the idea.”
Known as the “facelift in a jar”, Deborah Mitchell’s three bee venom face masks have become skincare saviors for thousands of her clients; and it’s easy to see why. Created to effectively target these telltale signs of aging, they also soothe and heal, making them ideal even for sensitive skin. They can be used in different ways: simply apply after your morning and evening cleansing routine; layer your daily moisturizer or combine it with a serum; leave on for ten minutes and rinse with lukewarm water; or leave on overnight for accelerated results.
You can shop Heaven Skincare’s Bee Venom product line online at Heavenskincare.com