Beeswax is, as the name suggests, a natural wax produced by worker bees. Then, honey bees use this wax to build honeycomb cells where honey is stored. When beekeepers extract honey they also obtain the wax that is used for the production of candles, modeling waxes, polishing products but also for cosmetics. Used in cosmetics, in fact, beeswax is able to give to the product its precious properties that are the topic of the article of today.
Beeswax in beauty products
Beeswax is used as an emulsifier in lip balms and face creams. But the cosmetic properties of beeswax certainly do not end there. In fact, beeswax is emollient, nourishing, moisturizing, healing, softening, antifungal and antimicrobial and shows an action against various bacteria and fungi including Staphylococcus aureus, responsible for most skin infections, Candida albicans, a fungus that can infect the skin and is responsible, for example, for diaper rash in children, and Aspergillus niger, another fungus that can cause skin infections (Ediriweera et al, Ayu, 2012). Thanks to these characteristics, beeswax proves to be curative in case of wounds, inflammations, various forms of dermatitis, such as atopic or caused by diaper, eczema, psoriasis and burns. You may fund interesting to consider that ancient Egyptians already used beeswax for topical applications on wounds, burns and irritations to accelerate their healing. In addition to this, beeswax also contains vitamin A, useful to stimulate wound healing, to fight wrinkles, to protect the skin from UV radiation and to stimulate the turnover of skin cells (Kasparaviciene et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2016).
Given the properties of beeswax, therefore, this natural product is widely used as an ingredient in cosmetics, creams, lotions but also balms and lipsticks. If you love the DIY you can certainly consider beeswax as an indispensable ingredient for your creams and lip sticks, in the video blog section you can find interesting ideas. Also consider that the healing, protective and antimicrobial properties of beeswax are emphasized thanks to the synergy with other ingredients with which beeswax often appears in formulations, such as honey and vegetable oils (Fratini et al, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2016 - Al Waili et al, Complement Ther Med, 2003). So, add also a drop of honey to your face cream, together with beeswax! If, on the other hand, you do not like DIY but prefer to buy your cosmetics, you can see that beeswax is often included in the formulation and appears in the INCI with the name of Beeswax.
Yellow wax is the wax obtained by simple collection and extraction from the honeycomb. It has a yellow color and is characterized by a sweet and fragrant aroma. White wax, or cera alba, on the other hand, is the wax obtained by purifying and bleaching the yellow wax by means of air or chemical agents.
Beeswax is generally well tolerated, however allergic reactions may occur in predisposed people. It is therefore better to do a small patch test before applying the product on large areas of the skin and try it on only a small part. Attention then also in case of acne-prone skin. Beeswax is certainly beneficial in this case too, but try not to overdo the quantity to avoid the occlusive effect on the pores.