Beeswax is probably the best known hive product after honey. It is also the most easily recognised: that tangle of hexagons which piece by piece form the hive! Discover all the benefits of beeswax, its history and its different uses.
What is beeswax?
Unlike other hive products, beeswax is a substance produced 100% by worker bees. They produce what are called wax scales thanks to specific glands located on their abdomen. Mixed with saliva, the wax scales take on a more homogeneous and smoother appearance, which then serves as a polishing, protective and softening agent. Like propolis or royal jelly, beeswax plays an important role in maintaining the good health of the hive and protecting it from external aggression.
History of beeswax
While we discovered the benefits and properties of hive products relatively recently, they were commonly used across the different civilisations which preceded us. The first traces of the use of beeswax have been found in Turkey, where it was discovered on pottery shards dating to seven thousand years ago. Other discoveries also lead us to believe that beeswax was used traditionally during pre-Neolithic then Neolithic periods.
In the present day, beeswax has many uses. It is often found in the cosmetics sector, where it serves as a protective and softening agent. Beeswax is also used to make candles, as well as being used as a food additive. Zero waste proponents also use it to create “bee-wrap”, an alternative to plastic containers for preserving food in a more ecological way.
Characteristics of beeswax
Beeswax has a very rich composition: it contains over 300 different molecules! It mainly contains alcohol esters, fatty acids and sugars, as well as a significant quantity of vitamin A. Produced at the heart of the hive, it also contains traces of propolis, pollen and other elements.
When it is produced by bees, beeswax is white, but it progressively takes on a darker tint from contact with the pollen and propolis found in the hive. Beeswax is a valued substance in industry, as it is very easy to work with. Malleable at room temperature, it becomes liquid when it is melted. It can also be kept for a long time, and its different properties make it a popular ingredient.
Benefits of beeswax for the skin and hair
The softening, emulsifying and protective properties of beeswax are particularly valuable for helping to nourish the skin and contribute to naturally maintaining its elasticity and flexibility.
Rich in fatty acids, it is widely found in the formulation of cosmetic treatments intended for dry skin and mature skin. Beeswax is also a key ingredient in lip balms and hand creams. Applied on the skin, it gives instant comfort thanks to its softening action and provides lasting protection against external aggression such as the cold or wind.
In addition to being recommended in facial and body treatments, beeswax can also be used on the hair to nourish ends and facilitate styling, in association with other ingredients.
To enjoy the benefits of beeswax, we have integrated it in some of our cosmetic products. You can therefore find it alongside other hive products in our hand cream, our lip balm and even our moisturising day cream for normal skin.