WIth the Duchess of Cambridge and now GTG's Sarah Vine among its devotees, this anti-ageing ingredient is going to be huge

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It is K Middy herself, aka the Duchess of Cambridge, whose radiant skin is driving the current craze for bee-related skincare, specifically the  Manuka Doctor  range of products that recently went on sale at Holland & Barrett. Apparently she’s a big fan, which in this Jubilee year is about as helpful an endorsement as any

product can get.

The “hero” product is the Bee Venom Rejuvenating Face Mask (£49.99,  www.hollandandbarrett ), which boasts an instant tightening and brightening effect on skin. I’ve tried this a few times and it is very effective, an excellent weekly or bi-weekly boost for tired and ageing complexions.

The idea is that the irritation caused by the bee venom encourages the body to perk up its collagen production. It’s being touted as the “natural” alternative to Botox, but that’s misleading. Botox works by impeding muscle movement, whereas this works by stimulating the tissue.

The theory is a common one in so-called anti-ageing circles: cause a minor injury or irritation to tissues so that the body will divert resources to the area and in so doing perk up skin tone and appearance. If you’ve ever used one of those lip-plumping glosses that make your lips go all tingly, for example, you’ll be familiar with the concept. At the other end of the scale there are treatments such as Sculptra, which involve injecting lactic acid into the tissues of the face to stimulate collagen production (lactic acid being the stuff that causes sore muscles after exercise, and which ultimately leads to firmer muscle tissue).

If all that sounds too scary for you, fair enough. This week, as it happens, is also National Honey Week (there’s a week for everything these days), so you could just get your bee fix orally. A teaspoon a day
of Raw 15 Plus Active Manuka Honey (£13.95 from www.victoriahealth.com ) is not only delicious, it will also help
support the immune system, aid digestion

and ward off those inevitable summer colds.

Alternatively, Nuxe have just added a night cream to their lovely Reve de Miel range (Ultra Comfortable Face Cream, £22.50), and they also sponsor bee hives via an organisation called Un Toit Pour Les Abeilles, based in Vosges, France.

More honey sweet products...

Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream, £9.50,  Nealsyardremedies.com . This limited-ediition hand cream is enriched with ultra-conditioning organic honey, deeply moisturising nut oil and the sunny, spirit-lifting scent of orange essential oil. A must-have beauty treat.

Crabtree & Evelyn Citron Honey & Coriander Skin Smoothing Body Scrub, £17,  Crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
Containing honey glycerine, this hard-working body scrub cleanses, exfoliates and buffs the skin leaving it a super-smooth version of its former self.

Diptyque Rich Butter for the Body, £48,  Diptyqueparis.com
This luxuriously indulgent body butter contains argan oil as well as organic honey to ensure even the driest skin is left intensely nourished and utterly radiant.