Beeswax is used in natural skin care products for its protectant and Antibacterial properties. When constructing a honeycomb, bees secrete a nutrient-rich substance called beeswax.
Utilized in a variety of skin care products, beeswax improves the condition of skin. According to the website Absoluteastronomy.com, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals comprise a whopping 60 percent of total beeswax commercial consumption. Completely nontoxic, beeswax is known for its healing properties.
Carefully crafted by young worker bees into six-sided honeycomb cells, beeswax provides tiny storage units for honey until the beekeeper extracts the golden liquid. After harvest, the beekeeper melts and purifies the beeswax, and some of it will find its way into lotions, soaps and other skin care products. Beeswax may have beneficial effects on the skin, but check with your doctor before using beeswax to treat any medical condition.
Acting as a surfactant, beeswax, when blended into cold creams and other skin lotions, forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin. This barrier, according to Koster Keunan, a global organic wax supplier, provides a film of protection against irritants while still allowing the skin to breathe.
In its natural state, beeswax is firm but pliable. Melted and combined with other ingredients, beeswax adds body to skin care products, making creams thicker. Like other beehive products, including honey and royal jelly, beeswax offers anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral benefits, according to the magazine, Delicious Living, making it potentially beneficial for treating minor skin irritations.
Dry, rough skin may benefit from creams, lotions or soaps that contain beeswax. When added to skin care products, beeswax acts as an emollient and a humectant, drawing moisture to the skin and sealing it in, reports Botanical.com. Beeswax also contains vitamin A, which may be beneficial in softening and rehydrating dry skin and in cell reconstruction.
Beeswax may have mild antibacterial properties, according to a 2005 study conducted at Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates. Researchers combined honey, olive oil and beeswax, then applied the mixture to laboratory plates on which the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, and the fungus, Candida albicans were growing. The honey/beeswax mixture inhibited the growth of the bacteria and fungus, making beeswax, along with honey, potentially beneficial in the treatment of diaper rash and other bacterial skin conditions.
Beeswax is a colorless liquid secreted by female worker bees as they build the honeycomb walls. According to Botanical.com, “The wax is secreted from wax glands on the underside of the bee’s abdomen and is molded into six-sided cells which are filled with honey, then capped with more wax. When honey is harvested, the top layer of wax that covers the cells, or the cappings, must be removed from each hexagon-shaped cell.” To produce one pound of wax, a bee consumes an estimated six to eight pounds of honey, according to Honeyflowfarms.com Absolute Astronomy reports that bees fly approximately 150,000 miles, or the distance of six earth orbits, to produce only one pound of beeswax.
Beeswax properties work in concert with cosmetics. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), beeswax is easily incorporated with water in oil or oil in water emulsions. An excellent emollient and support for moisturizers, beeswax provides skin protective action of a nonocclusive type, bestows consistency to emulsions and oil-gels and reinforces the action of detergents. Nonallergic, beeswax also sustains sunscreen action with its water repellent properties, combines well with multiple ingredients, contains elasticity and provides greater permanence on skin or lip surfaces.
Beeswax locks in moisture, fosters cells and protects skin from damaging environmental factors. Honeygirlorganic.com reports beeswax effectively “softens your skin and creates a long-lasting protective coating against the elements. It also is a naturally nourishing moisturizer as well as being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic and a germicidal antioxidant.” According to Botanical.com, “Even after processing, beeswax still remains a biologically active product, retaining some anti-bacterial properties and also contains some vitamin A, which is necessary for normal cell development.” The Mayo Clinic recommends lip balm made from beeswax for chapped lip care and prevention.
Because of the healing, softening and antiseptic properties associated with beeswax, numerous skin care lines incorporate it. According to the FAO, “Even small quantities show effects of improvement…. Beeswax is very frequently used in the following cosmetic classes: cleansing creams, cold creams and lotions, emollient and barrier creams, depilatories, lipsticks-protective sticks in general, nail creams, sun protection products, eye and face make up, and foundation creams.” Botanical.com states, “Beeswax has an irritation potential of zero, and a comedogenicity (doesn’t clog pores) rating of 0-2, which means that when formulated and used correctly in cosmetic formulations, beeswax will not cause a problem.”
Since beeswax does not clog pores, Dermaxime.com states, “When it is properly used, (beeswax) will not promote the formation of acne or pimples.”
People with oily skin should refrain from using beeswax skin creams, advises Nutritivepower.com. In addition, Botanical.com cautions, “Beeswax is mildly flammable and will start on fire if the wax comes in direct contact with a flame. People with bee allergies should not use beeswax as it could cause interactions.”