Deep inside the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom lie treasures untold. The potential that dwells in leaves, stalks, flowers, stamens and pistils are to me, a frontier that is yet to be completely conquered. As far as the animal kingdom, a central aspect of existence that is by turns magnificent yet puzzling and very much a part of the order of life, there is one subset that still mystifies. That subset is bees. Thus far, around twenty thousand kinds are known the world over, and around four thousand kinds have been identified in the US.
In Greece, where beekeeping stretches back to ancient times, the soil is rich, fertile and replete with plants and flowers that are assets for bees. Greek mythology states that the Gods supped on bee derived elixirs, and they also combined milk and honey for libations. In ancient Greece honey was also used for barter and inscriptions of bees and beehives have been widely found on ruins from that period. Hippocrates, to whom history credits with formalising the study of the human body and what troubles it, prescribed honey to his patients as well. And it is via inspiration from Hippocrates’ charter, that the Greek company Apivita was formed. The husband and wife team of Nikos and Niki Koutsianas, both qualified pharmacists, coupled their education and training with Nikos’ interest in bees and Niki’s interest in aromatherapy. Nikos’ family were already beekeepers, and Niki had done an internship at Nikos’ family’s pharmacy during her first year at University. The two fell in love and their first product was a black soap with thyme and propolis, which is what bees use to seal crevices in the honeycomb.
Niki Koutsianas started out by selling their initial soap products from pharmacy to pharmacy, at a time when the desire in Greece was for established skin care brands. With persistence, eventually they hit a stride and have since developed more than five thousand recipes. The company has also established the Hippocrates Botanical Garden where more than two hundred of the plants thought to be used by Hippocrates have been cultivated.
Today Apivita boasts products for face, hair, babies, body and even medicinal elixirs. The products use bee derived assets, botanical extracts and raw natural ingredients. Their ethos also rejects animal testing and the use of animal derived ingredients apart from bees.
I was unaware consciously of my growing interest in the brand. Apivita had been doing a dance with my interest, popping up here and there and gradually drumming an invocation in my direction. Thus, I sought it out and instead of buying it from a US based stockist, I dug until the internet yielded a pharmacy in Crete, Greece that shipped internationally. Delivery was quite fast, and here I am now, indoctrinated. My shared thoughts will be on the Apivita Face Mask with Royal Jelly along with Apivita Express Beauty with Honey Mask.
When looking at the ingredients of Apivita’s products and you see the word water, one may automatically think it to be a shortcut by the brand. However, Apivita’s water is actually a green tea water or infusion that contain antioxidants. The Apivita Face Mask with Royal Jelly is meant to be firming and also regenerating according to the website. In my use of it, I’ve found it to indeed have an effect that is akin to turning the lights on. The texture of the mask prior to application is smooth, light, very creamy and oddly cool. It is so emollient that you have no choice other than to studiously massage it into the skin. Some may be put off by this, but truthfully, massaging the face is an excellent practice and I feel that dedicated face products become that much more effective when one takes the time to work them in.
Once it settles in, the skin feels balmy, the way it would when an esthetician applies the first product at the start of a facial. My one complaint is the scent, which makes its presence quite known, but it’s a minor aspect as the mask only stays on for ten minutes. Once the mask is rinsed away, the skin feels reinforced and my dry skin doesn’t feel as though it has been sanded. I’d suggest this mask as a pre-going out treat and even as a gift for those in your life who appreciate facial masks.
Shifting to the Apivita Express Beauty with Honey Mask, this is more for dry skin subjects, although anyone can use it. An exceedingly hydrating product, to me even more so than its royal jelly cousin, this contains honey, shea butter and oils of sunflower and olive. Again, one has to work this mask to absorption, but once it is submerged into the skin it feels like a hydrating cloth that drenches the epidermis. Something about this mask out-trots the royal jelly one. After ten minutes the skin is vibrant, and would be a major boon for the bare faced warriors. My skin looked like it had been given a jumper cable start, even my eyes shone more. Thus, this mask would also be a superb first step for a big day or night, its hydration delivery is brilliant and can surely hold its own among pricier options.
Apivita continues to be a family controlled company with distribution now across more than four continents. Nikos and Niki Koutsianas continue to work together, with Nikos focusing on the gardens and the bees and Niki more on the marketing and its attendant concerns. Their son and daughter also have integral roles in running the business. For a small outfit that began in 1979 by two young pharmacists, Apivita has been steadfast in its growth overtime and has remained close to its original impetus to honour the gifts endowed by bees and the plant kingdom. The company has been formally recognised as one of the most pioneering in the cosmetics world and works closely with beekeepers and farmers. To me, it demonstrates the fact that bright lights are not always required for that which is good to be seen. This is not a splashy brand, and it may not be on everyone’s lips especially in the US, yet it is one of those gems that you happen upon, happy for the encounter.