Beeswax is a very versatile natural substance with many uses for the home, skin, and health. It comes from the worker honeybees as they build their home.
Not only does beeswax have an important function within the beehive, it also has many uses and benefits for humans.
It's a common ingredient in natural skincare products and has been for centuries. In the home, beeswax candles are gaining in popularity because they have a slow, clean burn.
Here's more about the incredible substance that is beeswax, plus the top benefits and uses for beeswax in skin care.
What Is Beeswax?
Beeswax is a substance that worker honeybees secrete in order to build the structure of their hive. The use it to form the hexagon-shaped honeycombs that make up their home.
Interestingly, the hexagon shape allows bees to store the most amount of honey while using the least amount of wax.
The wax itself is hard when cold. It varies in color but is typically a shade of yellow. Beeswax becomes softer and more pliable when handled and has a melting point of about 147 degrees Fahrenheit.
It's composed of over 280 different compounds, but the exact composition varies depending on the region, the age of the bees, and the local flower selection. (1)
There are three main types of beeswax: yellow, white, and absolute.
Yellow beeswax is the unrefined, raw wax that is obtained from the comb. White beeswax has undergone either a chemical bleaching process or a non-chemical filtering process using carbon filters. Beeswax absolute is yellow wax that has been treated with alcohol.
White beeswax pellets are the most commonly used type for skincare and cosmetic products.
Top Benefits + Uses for Beeswax
Moisturizes and Softens Skin
Beeswax is a good ingredient to use for moisturizing skin because it creates a barrier that seals in moisture.
Unlike other substances, such as petroleum jelly, the protective barrier that beeswax creates is breathable. It softens and hydrates skin without clogging pores and allows skin to "breathe". (2)
Beeswax is especially good for dry, chapped lips and skin. Because beeswax is solid at room temperature and has a high melting point, it's usually combined with oils to use on skin.
For example, beeswax is a popular ingredient in natural lip balms because of its moisturizing properties and because it helps to solidify the lip balm.
Regenerates Skin and Fights Signs of Aging
Beeswax is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin A.
Vitamin A is an important nutrient for skin health and has been shown to stimulate collagen production and reduce signs of aging, including wrinkles. (3) Collagen is one of the key building blocks of healthy skin and needed for skin to repair itself.
The vitamin A in beeswax also helps to prevent damage from UV radiation, which can cause skin to age more quickly. (2)
Thickens Skin Care Products
One of the main uses for beeswax in natural skincare is to thicken creams and lotions. It's also a good alternative to petroleum when making homemade salves.
Because beeswax is solid and has a high melting point, it can be combined with liquid oils to make a thick and creamy end product.
Or beeswax can be combined at a different ratio with coconut oil and body butters to create solid products like lip balms and lotion bars that soften slightly on contact with the skin.
It's also an ideal ingredient to use in a salve for treating cuts, scrapes, bruises, rashes, etc. The beeswax will help to harden the salve while also protecting skin while it heals.
Calms Inflamed and Sensitive Skin
Beeswax contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds that give it many uses for treating skin inflammation.
It can be especially helpful for issues like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis by calming redness and irritation and soothing itchiness. The protective barrier that beeswax creates helps to prevent further inflammation.
One small study found that a mixture of honey, olive oil, and beeswax was successful at improving both dermatitis and psoriasis. (4)
The healing and soothing nature of beeswax also makes it an ideal ingredient for those with sensitive skin.
Another study found that a skincare regimen using natural ingredients (including beeswax) was far superior at treating sensitive skin than a regimen using synthetic ingredients. (5)
For sensitive, dry, or irritated skin, try this Calm Cream containing beeswax.
May Help Treat Acne
Along with anti-inflammatory properties, beeswax also acts as an antiseptic and may have antibacterial properties. (6) These combine to make it a good home remedy for acne.
In addition, vitamin A (in the form of retinol) is a commonly used topical treatment for acne. (7) Beeswax is rich in vitamin A.
The breathable and noncomedogenic nature of beeswax means that it won't clog pores and make acne worse.
Heals Cracked and Damaged Skin
Beeswax is a natural healing ingredient with many uses for damaged skin.
It acts medicinally as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory to heal minor wounds, cuts, and burns. It will also form a protective barrier that keeps damaged skin from drying out so that it can heal more quickly.
This is why you'll often find beeswax in a salve to heal skin.
Combining beeswax with an oil like coconut makes a quick remedy for dry and cracked heels or hands.
Beeswax may even help to get rid of stretch marks when applied regularly.
Other Uses for Beeswax
Besides skincare, beeswax is one of the most commonly used substances to make candles, especially homemade ones.
Many store-bought candles have traditionally been made from paraffin, which is a petroleum byproduct. Burning paraffin candles releases toxic chemicals that can harm your health and your home. (8)
They can be especially harmful for those with asthma or other lung problems.
100% beeswax candles, on the other hand, burn cleanly and slowly. They can be bought or made at home.
Beeswax Food Wraps
Beeswax wraps are growing in popularity as an alternative to plastic wrap. Most are made of a cotton wrap that is waxed with beeswax and oils.
When pressed into place, the wrap will hold to the container and keep food fresh. They are washable, reusable, and eco-friendly.
Beeswax is a very safe substance to use. Occasionally, it can cause an allergic reaction that includes itching, swelling, or redness.
If you are concerned about allergies, perform a patch test first by putting a small amount of beeswax on the inside of your arm. If there's no reaction after 24 hours, you use beeswax in larger amounts.
Many Beeswax Uses for Your Skin
Beeswax has many uses and benefits for skin and beyond. It's an important ingredient in natural skincare but often overlooked.
You will most often want to combine it with oils and other ingredients to end up with a softer product. Or look for beeswax in already made products like lip balm, creams, and salves.
Try out beeswax for its moisturizing and healing properties, and don't forget to thank the bees that made it!