Beeswax is produced by the (female) worker honeybees. 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. Just to put it into perspective, one pound of wax requires the bees to consume about ten pounds of honey! Beeswax works well in cosmetic products because of the “wax esthers” that exist in both beeswax and human skin and it is these compounds which help to bind and emulsify ointments, lipsticks and lotions. As a natural hydrating ingredient that increases essential moisture in skin, it is commonly found in hand and body creams that help retain natural skin moisture and in the relief of itching from sensitive skin. Beeswax has an irritation potential of zero, and a comedogenicity rating of 0 - 2, which means that when formulated and used correctly in cosmetic formulations, beeswax will not cause a problem or clog the pores, but brings a host of very positive attributes, such as general healing and softening, as an antiseptic, and an emollient to cosmetic products. In foaming cosmetics such as skin and body detergents, beeswax improves skin compatibility and reduces the aggressive properties of surfactants, while in shampoos and hair conditioners it improves the condition and the manageability of the hair. Even after processing, it still remains a biologically active product, retaining some anti-bacterial properties and also contains vitamin A.
Listed below are some of the many reasons Beeswax is used in cosmetics:
- It is easily incorporated in water and oil emulsions
- It is an excellent emollient and support for moisturizers
- It gives skin protective action of a non-occlusive type
- It gives good "body" (consistency) to emulsions, oil and gels
- It reinforces the action of detergents
- It increases the protective action of sunscreens
- Its elasticity and plasticity improve product efficacy by allowing thinner films and
- It provides greater permanence on skin and lip surfaces
- It does not provoke allergic reactions
- It is compatible with many cosmetic ingredients
- cleansing creams
- cold creams and lotions
- emollient and barrier creams
- lipsticks - protective sticks in general
- nail creams
- sun protection products
- eye and face make up
- foundation creams
Of Particular Note
The melting point for Beeswax is approximately 140 to 150 Degrees F. Beeswax should only be melted in an approved electric wax melter, crock pot, microwave oven, or double boiler. Do not melt beeswax in a pan directly on a stove under direct heat. 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.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.