beauty and the bees

Greek skincare line Apivita found its way into my life last year, after I spotted a cute and compact foil pack at New London Pharmacy in New York City. Inside was a perfect-for-travel sized mask which looked more than easy to use and travel with. This summer, in an attempt to lighten my luggage and keep things simple, I switched to bar soap and Apivita was the product of choice. Lightweight and infused with honey and seaweed, my skin survived the summer. Loved it so much, I told all of you about it, too.

The reporter in me of course wanted to know more about this natural skincare line from Greece that offers products ranging from toners, masks, soaps and even baby care. From experience, I’ve learned that Apivita products are very gentle, leave no residue, feel amazing on the skin and are some of the most affordable on the market today, given it is an international brand.

After some research, I landed an interview with Apivita co-Founder Niki Koutsiana, who with her husband brought their vision of skincare to market thirty-three years ago. One thing I’ve learned is that when a European pharmacist talks, it is good to listen. Niki and Nikos (how cute!) met while studying pharmacy in their native Greece, and their shared passion and belief in and of things natural led them to develop the Apivita line.

A selection of Apivita Natural Soaps.

Today, Apivita retails around the world and the range of products is known as one of the most natural out there today. With Apivita, it’s all about pure organic ingredients, biological bee product and Greek plant extracts. Good for you both inside and out.

My interview with Niki follows.

After three decades of developing high-quality skincare, what still inspires the brand?

Thirty-three years on, will are still inspired by the bee society, the unique biodiversity of Greek nature and Hippocrates’ holistic approach to health and beauty. In addition to offering added value to products, bees are responsible through pollination for about 2/3 of fruit, vegetables and nuts that we enjoy in our daily diet, which directly or indirectly creates the beautiful mosaic of scents and colors in nature.

How has your pharmaceutical background influenced the Apivita brand?

Nikos and I are both graduates of the Athens School of Pharmacy. This gave us the knowledge and expertise to combine nature and science, in order to optimize the effectiveness and the safety of our natural and cosmetic products.

What exactly are the benefits of royal jelly and what led you to make it the foundation of so many products?

Royal jelly is known since antiquity as a symbol of eternal beauty and youth. It is the exclusive food of the queen bee, to which she owes her longevity. In each beehive one queen bee lives 2 to 5 years which is 40 times longer than any other female worker bee, and is 40% larger and 60% heavier. It is the only female capable of reproduction, 2000 eggs per day. At Apivita, we have encapsulated Greek Royal Jelly in liposomes in order to optimize and enhance its unique antiageing properties in our Queen Bee face care line.

Apivita is well-known for its reservatrol use in its anti-wrinkle range. How beneficial is this?

The grape originated in Persia, and was brought to the Mediterranean region by the Phoenicians. It then spread across Greece and the Aegean Islands. In ancient Greece, the grapevine was the symbol of civilization. The ancient Greeks worshipped Dionysus, the God of the grapevine and wine. Hippocrates used grapes to treat female disorders. Resveratrol, which is the main active ingredient of grapes, is an important phytoestrogen known as the ingredient of longevity. It belongs to a class of polyphenolic compounds called stilbenes and it is a potent polyphenolic antioxidant. Some types of plants produce resveratrol and other stilbenes in response to stress, injury, fungal infection, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Resveratrol’s most abundant source is found in the skin of red grapes, in berries, and even in peanuts. Reservatrol stimulates the production of sirtuins, which serve as the ‘guardians’ of the cell and are considered the proteins of youth, responsible for the longevity of cells, highly impacts on the reduction of the depth on the surface of the fine lines and wrinkles as well as on their number. It offers an antioxidant protective shield against free radical damage. Also, reservatrol promotes skin thickness, elasticity, radiance and glow. For this reason it is the key ingredient in our Wine Elixir face care line.

Do you find it easier to introduce new natural products in your native Greece than overseas?

The increased demand for natural products is more than just a global trend. It is an expressed need of people in their quest for a better, more qualitative, more sustainable and healthier lifestyle. Today, the quality, naturalness and effectiveness of Apivita products has crossed the boarders of Greece throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. These two factors have equally enhanced our ability to launch with the same successes– new natural products all over the world.

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