What Science Knows So Far About The Benefits Of Beeswax In Skincare

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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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[2]

Provides antioxidant protection

Beeswax is a good source of flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals and minimize photoaging.

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.[2] 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.[1][2] 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.[1]

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.

How to use it

How to use beeswax in your skincare routine mostly depend on the product at hand, but overall, creams and ointments containing beeswax can be applied daily. As they tend to have a richer, heavier texture, it’s best to apply your beeswax products in your nighttime routine.

You can either buy a face mask with beeswax like I’m From Honey Mask, an ointment, a cream containing beeswax like Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Face Cream, or try a DIY recipe like these:

Cream with beeswax and olive oil

Olive oil is rich in vitamins, including A, D, E, and K, has antioxidant benefits, moisturizes, and fights bacteria. A lot of reasons to include it in our DIY receipt, right? Well, to make this super moisturizing and nourishing cream, you must first gather the following ingredients:

  • 250ml of mineral or distilled water
  • 250ml of olive oil
  • 30g beeswax
  • a few drops of essential oil

First, melt the beeswax together with the olive oil in a bain-marie. Slowly stir both ingredients until you see everything has dissolved. Remove it from the heat and wait for it to cool. After that, pour the water with a few drops of essential oil into a blender and beat for a few seconds. Add the mixture of oil and beeswax and beat again until you get a thick mixture. Keep it in the fridge until it solidifies a bit more, and you can use it as a moisturizer.

Cream with aloe vera and beeswax

Another great cream to moisturize the skin and promote healing is made by mixing beeswax and aloe vera. For this DIY recipe, you need the following:

  • 2 tablespoons of grated beeswax
  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup moisturizer

Heat the beeswax in the bain-marie, and when it melts, add the aloe vera, water, honey, and olive oil. Mix all the ingredients and remove the pot from the heat. Beat everything with the mixer and add the moisturizer. When everything is integrated, pour it into a bowl and keep it in the fridge until it thickens a little.


Sources

Women’s Concepts uses reliable sources, including dermatologists’ insights, clinical trials, and scientific journals, to find accurate information and support all the facts shared in our articles. All statements and claims have clear and legit references. Read our editorial policy to learn more about our sources of information, our process of researching and fact-checking the content, and how our team strives to keep all articles updated, completed, and trustworthy.

  1. Buchwald, R., Breed, M.D., Bjostad, L. et al. The role of fatty acids in the mechanical properties of beeswax, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1051/apido/2009035
  2. Kurek-Górecka A, Górecki M, Rzepecka-Stojko A, Balwierz R, Stojko J. Bee Products in Dermatology and Skin Care. Molecules. 2020 Jan 28, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7036894/
Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana is a sociologist and feminist with a shared passion for literature, psychology, and skincare, the combo that made her determined to start Women's Concepts. With over five years of experience in dermatological research, she has now become a certified skincare consultant keen to convince others of the importance of a diligent routine. Her close relationships with dermatologists around the globe, along with years of researching, analyzing studies, and hand-testing products on a daily basis, made Ana one of the best persons you can get advice from.
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