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Beeswax – a complex miracle product from nature

Beeswax is a natural raw material produced by bees and used by them to construct their beehives. It is solid to workable up to 20°C and becomes liquid at temperatures between 40 and 60°C. Beeswax is primarily composed of fatty acid esters. In all, however, beeswax has been found to contain more than 300 different constituents. Because of its complex and unique make-up, no chemistry lab has so far managed to artificially create an identical form of this powerful product.

Information about beeswax

  • INCI name (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients name): Cera Flava (yellow beeswax), Cera Alba (white beeswax)
  • Natural
  • Uses: Lip care, skin creams, ointments, massage bars, body butters, moustache wax, hair wax, soaps, make-up
  • Special properties of beeswax: Supports the moisture retention of the skin, protects the skin

Beeswax in cosmetics

Beeswax has long been a favoured ingredient in cosmetics products due to its special characteristics. It has a slight emulsifying effect compared to fats and oils. When used in care products, this means that it helps to bind oily and aqueous components together in order to achieve the desired consistency.

The high percentage of fatty acid esters in beeswax also means that it acts like a gentle protective film on the surface of the skin. While it is not particularly greasy itself, the addition of beeswax to creams, lip balms and lotions helps to deliver important lipids to the skin without blocking the pores. Beeswax is also known to cover the skin with a kind of protective film which helps it retain its moisture and avoid dehydration. And last but not least, beeswax is used in many cosmetics products because of its pleasant scent.

How is beeswax made and collected?

The “worker bees” in the honey-bee colony are responsible for creating the beeswax. The wax glands of a honey-bee develop when it is around eleven days old. It is now able to create beeswax to construct the hive. The wax glands are located in the abdomen and the wax is secreted into tiny “pockets” on each side. It solidifies there into tiny transparent discs. The bees enrich this wax with oils from their mouths and they use their mouth parts to shape it into honeycombs.

To collect the beeswax, the bee-keeper takes the emptied honeycombs from the beehive. They are subsequently melted down and further processed into different products.

The statements about properties, effects and effectiveness made here refer exclusively to beeswax and its components/products.

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