Beeswax, What is it and Where Does it Come From?
Described as “the miracle of the beehive", beeswax is a natural substance which is produced by honeybees. The process of making the beeswax is started when the bees’ collect oils from the pollen found in flowers. Unlike other insects and wildlife, honeybees can self-produce the materials they require to build their home.
The bees mix the oil that has been collected from the pollen in with the comb to build up a hexagonal structure. Interestingly, it’s the younger bees that are between 12 and 20 days old who complete this task. These bees can work efficiently when producing the wax by ingesting honey and then secreting it out through their abdomen. In total the bee has eight functional glands that can produce the scales of wax. Once the younger bees have completed this phase, the worker bees start to take over the work. The wax is passed down the long line of bees and is chewed up and reshaped until the wax becomes malleable.
At this point of the process, it is vital that the temperature of the hive is around 35 Degrees. If its too cold, the wax will harden and become brittle. On the other hand, if the hive is too hot, the wax can become too soft. Having the ideal temperature for the bees will mean that the wax can be controlled and shaped easily to be then used as a building material.
This is a long and continuous process for the bees as making 1 pound of wax requires around 8.4 pounds of honey.
How is it Extracted?
The Beeswax is extracted at the same time honey is taken from the hive. Beekeepers will cut off the slice of wax from the honey by a method called “capping”. A hot knife is used to cut through the wax, and it can then be separated from the honey and then be cleaned and stored ready for its desired use. Beekeepers will also extract a proportion of Honey at the same time whilst leaving some behind for the bees as this is a food source that the hive needs to survive.
Beevital, our sister brand has created a range of natural remedies using various substances produced by bees.
Propolis – is said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Propolis is added to a range of their products including Propolis Cream, Mouthwash and Toothpaste. Taking Propolis internally can help boost the body’s immune system and have a positive impact on overall health and wellbeing.
Honey - BeeVital also produce a range of honeys, including a Propolis honey. Perhaps not to everybody’s taste (as it has a unique flavour) but has a plethora of health benefits!
Pollen – Did you know that regularly taking pollen can help to reduce the effects of hay fever? It may sound counter productive but it’s true!
What Are the Benefits of Beeswax?
Overall, beeswax has many great benefits and can be used for a range of different things.
Natural staying power for makeup - Applying a product containing beeswax as a base layer before using makeup can help to keep the makeup looking flawless for longer. The molecular structure of beeswax acts as an anchor on the skin, preventing makeup from slipping off easily. For someone who has predominately oily skin, using beeswax as a primer will be effective for holding the makeup in place.
Beeswax can keep water out but also keep water in. Wax acts as a protective layer whilst allowing the skin to breathe. As a result, moisture is locked in.
Protect against environmental damage and free radicals – Over time our skin meets a whole range of nasties that can cause damage. There are certain environmental factors which contribute to skin damage such as exposure to the sun, living in an area that is heavily polluted or being someone who smokes. All these factors contribute to the acceleration of production of free radicals. Our body naturally produces these molecules which break down skin cells over time. However, it is often through our lifestyle choices that we cause the breaking down of these cells to speed up. As a result, it can cause our skin to prematurely age.
Beeswax can slow down this process as it adds a protective layer to the skin preventing external factors from damaging it.
Nourishing for lips - So, you now know about some of the great benefits that using beeswax on your skin has to offer, therefore it is a great natural ingredient that can be added into lip balms. Not only will it help to keep your lips moisturised, but it will also help to reduce chapping and dryness.
Our Products That Contain Beeswax
Beeswax is included in the process of making all our Lip Balms here at Sweet Cecily’s HQ.
As we don’t use petroleum jelly, our balms are able to provide your lips with a good amount of nourishment and protection without it being greasy. Beeswax is one of the main ingredients that is added to our natural Lip Balms, along with Cocoa butter and Shea butter.
We also include a bag of Beeswax in with the Make Your Own Lip Balm Kits so that you can make a 100% natural product all whilst having the fun of making them at home.