Bees and Their Wax

Written by Molly Watman

Who doesn’t love beeswax? Humans have been using it for everything from as a tool to on our bodies since the ancient times. Egyptians mixed it with pigments and oils to make paintings that have survived til this day, and during Roman times, it was used to soften skin and encourage wound healing. It’s perfect for conditioning and waterproofing wood, leather, and even stone. It discourages bacterial growth, which is how it was originally designed – to keep the beehive healthy and toxin-free. It makes beautiful, clean burning candles and seals.  Modern investigation of beeswax includes its potential to lower cholesterol, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive ailments. But how can it help human skin?

  1. Barrier: Beeswax forms a protective barrier when applied to damaged skin that helps it from environmental assault, while also holding in moisture and reducing dryness. Beeswax allows the skin to breathe and expel toxins while keeping harmful elements out.
  2. Antibacterial: Like all bee products, beeswax has been shown to have antibacterial properties. In a 2005 study in Dubai, researchers combined honey, olive oil and beeswax, then applied the mixture to laboratory plates on which the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, and the fungus, Candida albicans were growing. The honey/beeswax mixture inhibited the growth of the bacteria and fungus, demonstrating the wisdom of its traditional use as a treatment for bacterial skin conditions.
  3. Healing: Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, beeswax has been found to help encourage the healing of wounds. It also can have a positive effect on vascular difficulties such as hemorrhoids.
  4. Humectant: Beeswax attracts water, drawing moisture to the skin and sealing it in to keep skin hydrated over time. This is why it works better at moisturizing than an ingredient like Petroleum (which also happens to be toxic.)
  5. Vitamin A: A fantastic natural source of this crucial skin vitamin which supports cell turnover and reconstruction.
  6. Scent: The light honey scent that naturally comes from beeswax is wonderful. It also is completely edible, making it ideal for lip use.
  7. Dry, Tight Skin: Chronic itching, dermatitis, and eczema sufferers can greatly benefit from beeswax. Studies have shown that oil and beeswax mixtures have been effective for intense itching that occurs when burn victims are in recovery. Because beeswax is anti-allergenic, it works wonderfully for those with sensitive skin.

We use our beeswax in all our balms, most notoriously, the one and only Bumble Balm. Bzzzzzzzzzz..


{Cover Photo from: Bearcountrybees, Bottom Photo by Julia Newman}

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