It’s probably not news to you that skin care is a vast field of expertise and knowledge that’s expanding every day. More and more ingredients are being tested for potential benefits, and some are showing fantastic results.
In the past, we’ve covered the benefits and uses of different fruits and vegetables, as well as ingredients such as rosehip oil, witch hazel, coconut oil, tea tree oil, and even milk and aloe vera. But while we’ve also covered the benefits of honey, we’ve never explored the amazing skin benefits of beeswax - until now.
The addition of beeswax into our modern skincare industry is fairly recent. However, that’s not the case when we turn to the past. Beeswax has a long tradition of cosmetic use, with even ancient civilizations using it to remove hair from the skin.
But that’s not all. Beeswax was also the first ingredient in the history of mankind to serve as a waterproofing and lubricating agent. Additionally, beeswax has been used as a polishing substance for leather, and wood (especially in shipbuilding), as an additive in artistic paints, and, of course, in the production of candles.
Today, the way yellow beeswax is used in skincare is being increasingly broadened. Skincare products that employ beeswax have different purposes. Beeswax is used in quality moisturizers, various skincare gels, creams, ointments, and many makeup products. However, many people are oblivious to its benefits.
As mentioned above, beeswax (also known as cera alba) has a long history of use by humans. It is naturally produced by honey bees, technically known as the genus Apis. What you probably don’t know is that beeswax has a very specific chemical structure, belonging to the category of chemical substances known as esters. Esters, also called wax esters, are made up of fatty acids and additional long-chain alcohols.
You can purchase beeswax almost anywhere, including over the counter. It's also edible but not digestible by our digestive tract. Even if you eat beeswax, it will pass through your system and won’t get absorbed.
These chemical and molecular properties of beeswax provide it with specific skincare benefits.
In short, beeswax can form a protective barrier on the skin's surface, protecting your skin from environmental irritants and harsh weather. This also makes beeswax an efficient material for the water molecules in your skin and on top of it. That helps our skin retain moisture and protect it from drying up.
But does beeswax clog pores? The answer is no! This makes it particularly good for preventing acne.
In short, these are some of the main benefits of beeswax:
But that’s not all. Beeswax offers a ton of additional benefits.
We've all lit a candle and watched the hard wax turn molten. Beeswax is like safe, moldable plastic - once it cools, it forms an impermeable barrier over whatever it touches.
When it comes to yellow beeswax, what you see is what you get. It has the same properties when implemented into skincare products, covering the skin with a thin protective barrier. When used in creams and gels, beeswax protects the skin from environmental pollutants such as microscopic dust, smog, and cigarette smoke. These substances often contain free radicals, a class of chemical compounds that have an especially deleterious effect on living tissue. Free radicals can enter our cells and damage their DNA, causing our cells to age prematurely or even develop dangerous, cancerous mutations.
Generally speaking, antioxidants make short work of free radicals, but this is also where beeswax joins the rescue. By covering our skin, beeswax provides an impermeable barrier, preventing free radicals from affecting our skin.
Beeswax is also non-comedogenic, meaning it can't clog pores and will let your skin breathe freely.
Honey and beeswax are very close cousins, so it only makes sense that these two substances share beneficial properties. Beeswax possesses the same anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties as honey, which can help keep your skin clean and soothed.
These properties of beeswax are excellent in keeping bacteria and fungi away. Beeswax keeps inflammations and infections at bay by fending off bacteria and fungi. These properties of beeswax are also useful for people who deal with chronic skin disorders, such as psoriasis, eczema, and other common skin disorders.
But that’s not all. Beeswax's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a good ally when treating acne. Its combo of protective, restorative, and antiseptic properties prevents further infections but also soothes your skin and slows down the progression of acne.
This makes beeswax useful in treating temporary skin conditions such as ringworm (also known as jock itch or crotch rot). Ringworm is caused by a fungal outgrowth, and as we said, beeswax has antifungal properties too.
As we briefly mentioned in the introduction, beeswax can moisturize our skin because of its isolating property. Beeswax locks in water molecules by providing a watertight layer over our skin, keeping it hydrated and moisturized. This means that beeswax is one of the best DIY moisturizers around, making our skin softer, more flexible, and more supple.
This is especially useful because some cosmetic and even makeup products can dry our skin. The worst offenders include powder and some exfoliating and cleansing substances (such as BHA and the various AHAs).
Combining beeswax with oils such as castor oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil, and ideally with vitamin E, can be even more effective at keeping your skin flexible and preventing drying. Applying this mixture before bed will give your skin time to absorb all the good nutrients from the oils and repair itself.
Cold winter or hot summer days, the effects of these two temperature extremes on our skin and lips are the same. But even if you’re fairly sheltered, you’re probably still spending a lot of time in air-conditioned rooms, which can also dry your lips. And not only that, dry lips quickly turn into chapped lips, and no one wants that.
Beeswax is one of the main substances used in lip balms and for a good reason. As mentioned above, beeswax can protect our skin and provide a protective layer. In doing so, it keeps our skin calm and hydrated. The same applies to our lips too.
If you’re out of lip balm, consider other homemade options. For example, you can prepare your own homemade beeswax lip balm. Just combine beeswax with coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or vitamin E oil. If you prefer a specific aroma when making your own lip balm, look for essential oils, such as orange, lemon, peppermint, and more.
Adding honey to this mixture will ensure that it tastes a bit sweet. In the end, put this mixture into a clean little box, close it with a lid, and use it to refresh your lips. Other popular ingredients are cocoa butter and shea butter.
The benefits of this natural moisturizer don’t stop there. We briefly mentioned that beeswax shares many of the same beneficial properties as honey. That means beeswax also possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. When it comes to acne, beeswax can alleviate many of its symptoms and stop further inflammations and infections in their tracks.
Additionally, vitamin A is one of the most beneficial substances for helping skin rejuvenate and boost its ability to repair itself. Karotens, retinoids (such as retinol, Retin A), and even the most powerful anti-acne medicine, Accutane, are all derived from vitamin A. In short, vitamin A is great at combating acne, boosting our skin’s self-repair capabilities, and even ironing out scars and wrinkles. And beeswax is just brimming with it.
People with sensitive skin need not look any further. Beeswax is known for its ability to soothe the skin and relieve itching. This is especially important for people who have burn injuries or those who suffer from chronic skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. In these cases, the changes to the skin produce a strong, often uncontrollable urge to itch. The problem is scratching will almost surely make the injuries, psoriasis, or the symptoms of eczema much worse.
For these people, scratching one itch means scratching many others too, and they’re caught in a loop of itch-ception. This is where beeswax comes in. By being anti-allergenic and providing our skin with a gentle but efficient protective cover, beeswax significantly reduces and sometimes even eliminates itching.
Pregnancy, or other causes for rapid weight gain, can cause one of the most dreaded changes to the skin in modern times - notorious stretch marks.
If you have to hit the beach, you may feel self-conscious about your stretch marks. Thankfully, the skincare and cosmetics industry has stepped up its game and is offering more and better products that seek to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Stretch marks form when the body increases in volume, and the skin can’t keep up with the changes due to lessened elasticity. Our skin needs enough collagen and elastin to be flexible and stretch without injury. But, when we don’t have enough collagen and elastin, and our body expands due to pregnancy or gaining weight, our skin suffers damage, which presents itself as a stretch mark.
Beeswax can alleviate some of those problems and make stretch marks less prominent. Additionally, you could consider combining beeswax with other soothing ingredients that will make your skin more flexible and elastic, such as coconut oil, royal jelly, shea butter, grapeseed oil, etc. Combine any of these ingredients into an ointment, apply it two times a day, and you will see changes.
Did you know that some makeup brands have created makeup products containing beeswax?
As we've already pointed out, the chemical molecular structure of beeswax is very specific. Beeswax belongs to a class of naturally produced esters used for various purposes. Most of these are protective or isolating. When beeswax is added to makeup, these effects transfer to the makeup product.
But what does this mean?
Well, your makeup is now more resistant to water or sweat. It also means that the layers of your makeup won’t crease up or dry out your skin. Additionally, since beeswax doesn’t clog pores (unlike other types of makeup), applying makeup that contains beeswax is also a good way to prevent the formation of acne.
On top of it all, makeup that contains beeswax provides a better-looking, silky, creamy-smooth texture to your skin. All of this translates into achieving a better look.
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that beeswax can help people with eczema. But that’s not where the benefits end. See, beeswax possesses antiseptic, anti-allergenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has hydrating properties, making it even better for these conditions.
When people with eczema, and even psoriasis, experience symptoms, their skin gets damaged, dry, and flaky. Applying beeswax onto the affected skin can be beneficial in lessening and sometimes even eliminating these symptoms. The best results can be achieved by mixing beeswax in olive oil or honey and applying it over the affected areas. It will soothe any inflammation and prevent bacterial infections from forming.
Beeswax has so many positive properties for our skin that it’s almost miraculous. It's antibacterial but also antifungal.
In addition to that, natural beeswax is also anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic. Furthermore, beeswax doesn’t clog our pores and keeps our skin protected and moisturized. Beeswax can help the skin attract and retain moisture and is commonly used in skincare products and cosmetics.
This means beeswax can stimulate our skin’s natural regenerating abilities. It can reduce itching for people with severe burn injuries, eczema, psoriasis, or other chronic skin disorders. However, it also works to repair damaged skin. This all helps our skin heal faster.
If you have any minor bruises or cuts, test it out on yourself. Apply beeswax to the injured skin, and the wound will close up faster. This also means you have a smaller chance of ending up with a permanent scar, or any scar, for that matter.
Beeswax is one of the best and safest ingredients to shape beards and mustaches. Many beauty products already offer wax for your beard and facial hair. And do we need to mention that it smells so, so good?
Styling products containing beeswax can also “wax” your beard, mustache, and hair. By giving your beard a slightly silky, smooth appearance, beeswax can make you even more popular among the ladies (and the gentlemen too). And not only that - beard products that contain beeswax can also be used for styling your hair.
From chapped lips to dry and sensitive skin, beeswax has it all. It can soothe inflammation, reduce itching, and moisturize your skin. If you haven't added this natural wax to your skincare routine, what are you waiting for?