Beeswax is a natural substance generated and secreted by honey bees. It is hard and breakable when cold but soft and pliable when heated.
Just like honey, Beeswax varies in color, depending on various factors related to the bees themselves as well as the flowers from which the honey is derived.
Used in aromatherapy, Beeswax is known for its long, slow, clean, smoke-less burn. It not only exudes the aroma of honey but it also produces comparatively brighter flames, facilitates the elimination of airborne pollutants, and promotes the overall health of body and mind.
Used cosmetically, Beeswax hydrates, conditions, soothes, and calms the skin. It exfoliates, repairs damage, promotes the skin’s regeneration, diminishes the appearance of the signs of aging, soothes itchiness and irritation, and creates a hydrating, long-lasting protective barrier against environmental pollutants. Used in hair, Beeswax nourishes, conditions, and softens the strands while and promoting the hair’s luster.
Used medicinally, Beeswax helps soothe and facilitate the healing of abrasions. It prevents harmful bacteria from entering the body through chapped and broken skin and it provides the skin with a layer of protection against external irritants. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties benefit those who suffer from topical allergies or skin ailments, such as eczema and rosacea.
HISTORY OF BEESWAX USAGE
Beeswax is a natural substance generated and secreted by honey bees that use it to develop their honeycombs. Beeswax is comprised largely of fatty acids, hydrocarbons, and esters. The wax is hard and breakable when cold but soft and pliable when heated or exposed to human body temperature. Because Beeswax does not spoil, become rancid, or otherwise expire, it can continue to be reheated and reused.
Like the varying colors of honey, the color of the wax depends on the age of the bees, the flowers from which they gather the nectar, the region of flower growth, and the purity of the honey. Beeswax ranges in color from almost white to black, although it is typically a shade along the yellow spectrum, appearing to be bright yellow, butterscotch yellow, or light amber. These colors are due to the pollen, resin, and gum content in the originating honey. These elements are also responsible for contributing to the agreeable scent of both the honey and the wax.
While Beeswax is commonly known for its light-bearing ability and for thus being a source of heat, historically, it has also been valuable for its versatile applications, which include culinary uses, such as food flavoring and food storage. For example, it continues to be used to coat or glaze cheeses in order to create an air-tight seal to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Used on some types of fruits, Beeswax prevents the loss of water while protecting them from gathering dust and from being scratched, bruised, or bitten by insects.
Used in aromatherapy, the smokeless and lengthy burn time of Beeswax makes it a valuable ingredient in aromatherapy candles. Beeswax candles are also reputed to exude the aroma of honey – which can range from sweet, fresh, or floral to warm, robust, savory, or spicy – and they are also reputed to help facilitate the elimination of airborne pollutants, such as bacteria, dust, allergens, and odors. When pure and natural essential oils essential oils are added during the production phase of natural homemade candles, the resultant products are known to have enhanced fragrances. Furthermore, they are believed to promote overall physical and mental well-being by invigorating the body with increased energy, reducing stress, strengthening focus, helping decrease physical pain, and regulating blood pressure.
Used cosmetically, such as in lip products, moisturizers, and eye makeup, Beeswax hydrates, conditions, soothes, and calms the skin. Without clogging the pores and preventing the skin from being able to breathe, Beeswax creates a hydrating, long-lasting protective barrier to protect it against environmental pollutants as well as the harsh effects of the elements. Its exfoliating and repairative properties combined with its vitamin content helps promote the skin’s regeneration and rejuvenation by helping diminish the appearance of the signs of aging, including spots, wrinkles, and skin damage. Used in natural product formulations, Beeswax offers its scent, which may be characterized as mild, warm, sensual, floral, woody, rich, “oriental,” or a combination of these descriptions, depending on the preferred Beeswax. Refreshing, restorative, and gentle enough for use on even the most sensitive skin, Beeswax is known to soothe itchiness and irritation, to nourish, and to soften dry, cracked, broken areas, making it ideal for use in lip balms. Used in hair, Beeswax contributes shine that promotes the hair’s luster, making it valuable for use in hair products that promote the look of sleekness, such as pomades.
Its regenerative quality and anti-inflammatory property work in conjunction to help decrease the irritation, redness, and inflammation characteristic of acne, while its anti-septic effect further facilitates the healing process. Beeswax has a similar effect on skin afflicted with eczema and psoriasis, soothing the itchiness and working to prevent further irritation or infection. By promoting the growth of newer skin and by contributing softness, Beeswax leaves the complexion looking renewed. When applied to stretch marks, whether they are caused by a fluctuation in weight or by pregnancy, Beeswax is known to help diminish the appearance of these often-unwanted marks, when used in combination with carrier oils and butters.
Used medicinally, Beeswax makes an ideal ingredient in salves meant for treating scrapes, minor cuts, minor wounds, and burns, among other abrasions. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects help to prevent harmful bacteria from entering the body through chapped and broken skin, which is especially common in dry climates and which makes it valuable for use during the drier times of the year. By providing the skin with a layer of protection against external irritants, including harsh and extreme weather conditions that can cause roughness and dryness, Beeswax moisturizes the skin to restore its natural radiance and smoothness. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Beeswax also benefit those who suffer from topical allergies or other discomforts, such as eczema and rosacea.
As illustrated, Beeswax is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to exhibit:
COSMETIC: Hydrating, Softening, Smoothing, Non-Comedogenic (non pore blocking), Protective, Smoothing, Regenerative, Strengthening, Conditioning, Soothing, Collagen-Enhancing.
MEDICINAL: Anti-Allergenic, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral, Protective, Regenerative, Strengthening.
Used in aromatherapy applications, Beeswax candles exhibit air-purifying properties. Unlike paraffin candles, they help decrease the number of airborne contaminants, such as bacteria, pet dander, and dust.
Used in skincare, Beeswax hydrates, soothes, repairs, and fortifies the skin.
Used in medicinal applications, Beeswax not only facilitates healing but it also prevents bacterial infections from developing on the skin while also promoting the skin’s regeneration and thereby helping to diminish the appearance of scarring from abrasions.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR BEESWAX
Potential side effects of Beeswax include sensitization, redness, pain, itchiness, burning, contact dermatitis, shortness of breath, swelling/crusting/rash around the mouth/lips/tongue, rash, tiny bumps, and difficulty swallowing or speaking. Those with hay fever, rhinitis, and allergies to pollen, propolis (bee glue), or honey should avoid the use of Beeswax.