Beeswax Benefits For Skin Care
Beeswax can help the skin attract and retain moisture and is often used in skin care products and cosmetics.
Beeswax has been used topically on the skin since ancient Egyptian times.
You can find beeswax in many products today, including:
- baby products
It's been a while since beeswax entered the skincare scene. As it packs softening, moisturizing, and even protective benefits, there’s no surprise people are still using it to fix all sorts of skin issues. But as we don’t take anything for granted, especially when it comes to skincare, we’ve decided to do extensive research on the benefits of beeswax for skin to see whether or not they are backed by science.
What is beeswax?
Beeswax is an ingredient that bees produce to form honeycombs’ structure giving them the protection they need to stay in perfect condition. Specifically, the wax is produced in the glands located in the abdomen of bees. Its production requires a significant effort since to produce 1 kg of wax, a bee must consume between 4-12 kg of honey. The honey is removed from honeycombs through a heating process.
As for what is made of, beeswax has a complex composition, mostly consisting of hydrocarbons, wax esters, fatty acids, and proteins. All these supercharge beeswax with an amalgam of benefits for the skin, from protective to moisturizing to emollient.
Fortunately, for skincare, beeswax can also be synthetically obtained by mixing fatty acids and alcohol to create a similar wax-like product. Though the synthetic substance won’t have the same composition as natural beeswax, it is still in our favor since it’s both cruelty-free and vegan.
Beeswax benefits for skin
When compared to other bee products, beeswax seems to have the least range of biological activities. It still possesses some good-for-skin stuff:
Stabilizes the formula and improves consistency
First, beeswax is often used in ointments and creams as an emulsifying agent to stabilize the formula, and because it has lubricating effects, too, it can improve the consistency and make the texture smoother.
Provides antioxidant protection
Moisturizes and softens skin
Beeswax is an occlusive with emollient properties, hence it has softening effects and can reduce transepidermal water loss by forming a protective film over the skin’s surface. For this reason, beeswax could be a savior for dry, dehydrated skin, helping keep the moisture barrier intact.
Diminishes aging signs
In addition to mitigating free radical damage, beeswax also contains β-carotene, which is a valuable source of vitamin A that protects against collagen degradation and promotes cell renewal. As such, beeswax can help preserve skin firmness and elasticity for longer.
Soothes irritated skin
Beeswax has analgesic, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, allowing damaged skin to heal faster as well as relieving irritation, redness, and itching. According to studies, chrysin, the most abundant flavonoid in beeswax, reduces inflammation at a cellular level and has antimicrobial and regenerative effects on the skin.
Protects the skin
Finally, beeswax fortifies the skin’s protective barrier against external irritants and bacteria by forming a film on the surface.
Is it safe?
Beeswax has a risk of irritation close to zero, so it’s a skin-friendly ingredient fairly tolerated by most. It also has a comedogenic rating below two, meaning it’s unlikely to clog the pores.
Thanks to its antibacterial agents, beeswax has a long history of being used for certain skin issues. Historically, this has included treating burns and wounds.
Nowadays, it’s used to in ointments and creams, often to soothe symptoms of certain skin conditions, such as Trusted Source:
A 2018 study even found that natural products, such as beeswax, were far superior in managing sensitive skin compared with skin care products with synthetic ingredients.
Natural products minimized the chances of skin irritation while still providing soothing benefits.
A 2020 Review Trusted Source notes the following benefits of beeswax when used in skin care:
- softens and lubricates skin
- prevents water loss
- has antiseptic properties, which may help protect the skin from pathogenic microorganisms
- provides a protective barrier to the skin
- provides vitamin A, which helps skin regenerate sooner after damage
Before using beeswax on your skin, you may want to test for allergies. You can do so by completing a patch test, which involves leaving a dab of beeswax on your inner wrist or elbow for 24–48 hours.
Some adverse reactions could include:
- skin swelling and redness
- itchiness or rash
- a burning sensation
If you experience any of these reactions from a patch test, discontinue the use of beeswax products. You may have an allergy.
Clean beeswax off skin
If using beeswax on your face, be sure to wash it off afterward.
Removing beeswax or any products containing beeswax from your skin is extremely important to let the skin breathe.
Since beeswax doesn’t dissolve in water, you may have to use an oil-based cleanser to remove it entirely from your skin. This could be the case if you use beeswax on your face or other areas of your skin.
Using beeswax on your skin may be just what your skin care routine needs.