You may be most familiar with beeswax as an ingredient thanks to Burt’s Bees lip balms. But there are many beauty uses for beeswax beyond lip products. Beeswax is often harvested for beauty products primarily due to the fact that it’s so soothing to dry skin.
“Literally you can use it from head to toe,” says Debbi Burnes, natural skincare expert, esthetician and founder of Sumbody. “Beeswax is a humectant, which means it helps your skin retain its own moisture. It also seals and locks moisture in. I absolutely love beeswax. Used properly it’s an amazing ingredient.” This ingredient can be found in everything from hand lotions to hair products to, yes, lip balms.
While beeswax can generally work for all skin types, Burnes notes that it really depends on the concentration of beeswax in the product. “For example, in a hard bar lotion there can be a high percentage of beeswax and that’s perfect for the body from the neck down or your hair, but you would not want to use that for your face,” she says.
“I think one thing that’s important to be mindful of is how it’s obtained,” Burnes says. “There are people who are raising bees and selling honey, beeswax, and honeycomb ethically and sustainably without destroying the colonies of bees. Bees are imperative to our survival as humans our food chain would be virtually an existing without it, so making sure you’re getting properly sourced products from bees it Is important.”
Here, 10 uses for beeswax.
1. For chapped lips
As previously mentioned, beeswax is a common ingredient in lip balms—especially those of the homemade variety—thanks to its humectant properties. And it’s got dermatologists’ stamp of approval.
2. To help with eczema
Beeswax is also anti-inflammatory, so it can be good for skin conditions like eczema. Dr. Hadley King, dermatologist, points to a small 2003 study. “[It] showed that daily application of a mixture of bee’s wax, raw honey and olive oil to the skin of people with eczema or psoriasis resulted in significant improvement after two weeks,” she says.
3. To help with acne
“Beeswax has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which helps to fight conditions such as acne and eczema. It calms the skin without clogging your pores,” says Adriana Martino, esthetician and co-founder of Skinney Medspa.
4. For dry skin
Martino also recommends products with beeswax to people with dry skin, “especially during the cold, harsh winter months,” because, obviously, skin is more prone to dryness then. “Beeswax is an effective occlusive, which means that it can create a protective layer on the skin, sealing in moisture. It also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which can help protect the skin as well,” Hadley adds.
5. For fine lines and wrinkles
Beeswax contains vitamin A aplenty, so it can help with fine lines and wrinkles, Martino says. Retinol products—which help speed cell turnover and stimulate collagen production—are all derived from vitamin A.
6. For sensitive skin
“A 2018 study concluded that bee’s wax, as well as other ‘botanical anti-inflammatories’ were effective for managing sensitive skin and even outperformed skincare products with synthetic ingredients,” Hadley says. Martino also recommends products containing beeswax for people with sensitive skin because of their anti-inflammatory and humectant properties.
7. To get rid of flyaways
“If you have hair that can be difficult to manage, use products with beeswax—or just pure beeswax to smooth flyaways and keep your hairstyles in place,” Zeena Alli, stylist at Mizu Louis Licari, says. Warm it up in your fingers before applying.
8. To moisturize hair
All the reasons that make beeswax a stellar moisturizer for your skin also make it great for your hair. “It’s also great to use when straightening your hair, especially if you have natural hair,” Alli says.
9. To hide split ends
I once went an entire year without cutting my hair, so my split ends were bad. I used just about every product on the market instead of, you know, just booking a hair appointment. Turns out, beeswax would have been an effective option for making them look less apparent. “If you have split ends you can also use beeswax to seal and hide those split ends before you eventually need to cut them off,” Alli says.
10. To soothe your scalp
Thanks to the aforementioned anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties of beeswax, it can also be used to soothe scalps suffering from eczema, psoriasis, or dandruff. “Massage the beeswax into your scalp to help calm and soothe these conditions,” says Alli.
Welp, I feel the urge to buy all the beauty products with beeswax now. Try the new lipsticks from a cult-favorite lip balm brand. Or if you’re into DIY, this lip balm recipe is super hydrating and tastes like mint chocolate chip.
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