Beeswax, the Natural Skin Protectant that Soothes and Hyrdrates
Most of us who prefer natural ingredients love the work that bees do. Though honey may be their most popular product, known for its health and skin care benefits, bees product another substance that works great for our skin—beeswax.
Known mostly for its conditioning properties, beeswax also has a number of other benefits for the skin, including an action that helps to calm and soothe.
A Little Bit About the Ingredient Itself
Honeybees produce a natural wax, secreting it from glands on the sides of their bodies. They then scrape the wax off, chew it up and secrete it to the inside of the honeycomb. There, it gradually hardens into a protective lining for the cells where the baby bees are grown and the honey is stored.
This hardened material not only serves as a physical protection, but also helps keep the hive free of infections and other contaminants.
Internal Health Benefits of Beeswax
Beeswax has been widely used over the centuries for a number of reasons, most commonly to make candles, which it is still used for today. In fact, beeswax candles are thought to be healthier than most, since they don’t produce toxic byproducts and heavy soot when burned, and they also help neutralize pollutants in the air.
Ancient Egyptians used beeswax to make paint for their artists, and during Roman times, it was also used as a skin softener. Today scientists are studying beeswax for its potential to lower cholesterol, relieve pain, and treat digestive ailments. A 2007 study also found that a purified constituent of beeswax may protect liver health because of the antioxidant effects.
Benefits to the Skin
The cosmetics industry loves beeswax because not only is it natural and non-toxic, it provides benefits to the skin and to various types of formulas. It’s a “thickening agent,” for instance, which means that it can help thicken creams to make them easier to use and more spreadable on the skin.
Here are some of the more potent benefits of beeswax:
- Protective: When applied to the skin, beeswax forms a protective barrier that helps protect it from environmental assaults, while also holding in moisture and reducing dryness. This is one of the reasons beeswax is often used in lip balms. Unlike ingredients made from petroleum, however, beeswax doesn’t “suffocate” the skin, and won’t clog pores.
- Humectant: Some ingredients “attract” water, and beeswax is one of them. When you put it on, you attract water molecules, helping to keep skin hydrated over time.
- Vitamin A: A good source of this vitamin, beeswax helps exfoliation and can rejuvenate your look.
- Fragrance: We always say there’s no reason to use harsh chemicals to make products smell good. Natural ingredients work so much better! Beeswax has a natural honey fragrance, and is a favorite in soaps and perfumes because of its pleasant, light aroma.
- Soothes temporary itching: If you suffer from dry skin itching or sensitive skin, beeswax is for you. Because beeswax is anti-allergenic, it is also easily tolerated by even those with reactive skin.