Beeswax is a natural wax that is made by honey bees – members of the genus Apis. This unique wax has a chemical structure of over 300 known compounds. Honey bees use it to construct the combs inside their home. But, we humans make good use of it as well. Using beeswax for skin care is part of a very popular beauty regime.
Why Use Beeswax on Skin
In today’s society, we are looking for natural ways to make life better. Fewer chemicals and unnatural substances in our home and bodies. This includes taking a closer look at some of the synthetic chemicals and ingredients that we use on our skin. If the opportunity to use a natural product is there, why not give it a try?
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Have you every heard of beeswax? This wax made by honey bees has natural qualities that make it very beneficial for skin care in most people.
Natural Qualities of Beeswax for Skin Care
- Natural humectant
- It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory
- Contains Vitamin A – known to promote healthy skin
- Creates a protective barrier
Beeswax is a humectant. This means that like honey, another useful product from the hive – beeswax absorbs moisture from the air and locks in moisture. This helps it prevent air from drying out your skin too much.
It also has antibacterial properties that help keep the surface of your skin clean. This protects your skin and promotes healing. The anti-inflammatory benefits helps some suffers of topical allergies such as: rosacea.
It contains amounts of Vitamin A known for improving skin condition. Vitamin A boosts skin cell production and helps the overall appearance of the surface.
Skin care products with beeswax help to create a light protective barrier against environmental pollutants. We are exposed to pollution, smoke, etc every day and some of these particles must end up on our skin. These can contribute to dry skin and itching. A layer of wax aids in protecting our skin from free radicals.
Popular Skincare Products Containing Beeswax
Beeswax is used in so many health and beauty recipes that you are likely already using some on your skin – at least in a small amount. A little wax goes a long way so creams and soft textured products only need a bit of it.
In fact, the cosmetic industry uses it in creating many product recipes. You will find it in gels, makeup, creams, salves, hair care items, ointments and more. And one of the most wonderful benefits of beeswax for skin care is that you can make many of these products at home!
Of course everyone has heard about the lip balms. Did you know you can make your own beeswax lip balm? It is super easy to do and almost impossible to mess up! You can also customize the basic recipe and use the flavors that you prefer. Try some – your lips will thank you for the increased hydration.
Humans aren’t the only ones to enjoy the pleasure of this skin conditioner. My dog-nephew Harley, enjoys the dog paw balm I made for him. It protects and soothes his pads during the cold Winter months.
And don’t even get me started on the cracked heel cream – that I use all Winter. The jar sits right beside the bed! Rub some on those cracked heels at bed time – put on a pair of socks. Just a few applications can make a difference.
Can Beeswax Irritate the Skin?
Yes, beeswax can cause skin irritation. Every individual is different and anyone can be allergic to one of the hundred of compounds that it contains. However, this is rare – just a precaution when using it for the first time.
Always, test a new product on a small area first and watch for any reaction. In fact, many people with sensitive skin find that a natural product is less irritating than many of the commercial brands.
Allergies and Beehive Products
People can be allergic to almost anything. For those that have a known allergen, it is wise to be cautious when ingesting or applying new products.
Let’s talk about bee venom for a minute. When a bee stings you, a small amount of venom is injected into the skin. For most of us, this event causes some temporary minor discomfort.
For local reactions to stings of bees or wasps, often home remedies for stings are the only thing needed to put you on the path to recovery. However, some people are very allergic to bee venom. These people require emergency medical treatment when stings occur.
If you are allergic to bees – are you allergic to beeswax or honey? No, in most cases this is not the case. The proteins in bee venom are not in beeswax or raw honey. However, if you are in doubt – always ask your doctor.
Pros and Cons of Beeswax for Skin
There are many natural benefits of using a little beeswax in your skin care. It helps skin retain moisture and helps skin protect itself. Also, it is less likely to clog skin pores than some other products.
But, no product is perfect. A small number of people will have sensitivity issues to this natural product. There are many different skin types and sometimes you have to experiment a bit to find the perfect one for you.
Does harvesting beeswax hurt bees? I do not think it does. No reputable beekeeper ever takes all the wax in a hive. Most of us only sell the extra wax that is left over after the excess honey harvest. Buy your wax from beekeepers who practice sustainable beekeeping if you are concerned.
Consider adding this completely natural wax to your skin care regime and enjoy the benefits it has to offer. Some studies report that it may help control eczema and psoriasis.
In addition to soothing that dry, itchy skin, you can also eat beeswax if you want to. Though let me warn you that is just passes through the digestive system. You can’t live off of it. Though, you are missing one of life’s simple pleasures if you have never eaten a piece of honeycomb.
The value of beeswax goes way beyond making beeswax candles – though you can do that to! If you don’t currently have any on hand, I suggest you search out a bar and begin to explore the possibilities. You can make some great inexpensive beeswax gifts. Do you have any friends with cracked heels? LOL.