Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into “scales” by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, who discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey-storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.
Beeswax has been widely used over the centuries for a number of reasons, most commonly to make candles, which it is still used for today. Ancient Egyptians used beeswax to make paint for their artists, and during Roman times, it was also used as a skin softener.
The cosmetics industry loves beeswax because not only is it natural and non-toxic, it provides benefits to the skin:
Protective: When applied to the skin, beeswax forms a protective barrier that helps protect it from environmental damage, such as traffic pollution and cigarette smoke. When these forms of pollution touch the skin, they can spawn damaging free-radicals, which are known to be a factor in causing premature skin ageing. Beeswax helps to hold in moisture and reduce dryness. Unlike ingredients made from petroleum, however, beeswax doesn’t “suffocate” the skin, and won’t clog pores.
Humectant: Beeswax helps to keep water out and in. By acting as a protective, breathable layer on the skin’s surface, beeswax helps to lock in moisture for soft, supple, hydrated skin.
Vitamin A: A good source of this vitamin, beeswax helps exfoliation and can rejuvenate your look.
Soothes temporary itching: If you suffer from dry skin itching or sensitive skin, beeswax is for you. Because beeswax is anti-allergenic, it is also easily tolerated by even those with reactive skin.
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