Mind Your Beeswax! by Katie Gustafson June 23, 2018 16:21
“Mind your own beeswax.” We’ve all heard that one, right? I love learning about the origins of popular idioms, and I remember hearing a story that this expression began with 18th century debutantes who used beeswax to smooth their complexions and, essentially, “spackle” over any skin imperfections. Thus, at social gatherings, fireplaces were to be feared. “Mind your own beeswax,” might have been the retort one woman would give to another if she felt scrutinized (or just particularly feisty.) Can’t you just hear it? “Oh honey, your face is melting. Better mind your own beeswax and stop looking at mine.”
I don’t know if this idiom origin-story is true, but however this expression began, it’s safe to say that beeswax and skincare do share a long history.
The ancient Egyptians, history’s most famous beauty experts, kept bees and used beeswax for cosmetic and embalming purposes. The ancient Romans used beeswax in a healing cream (which also contained olive oil and rose water.) Additionally, the Chinese have long believed that beeswax has beauty and health benefits. And today, beeswax is experiencing something of a resurgence in the beauty industry. I think that one of the unique things about the time we live in is that we are now able to better understand why some of the natural ingredients that our ancestors loved are so good for us. In fact, this is the case with some of the key ingredients used in Bee in Bloom products: lavender oil, honey, and- of course -beeswax.
At Bee in Bloom, Sara and Brent use beeswax as an important ingredient in Bee Healed, the skin-healing skin salve developed by Dr. Whitehead to treat eczema. Bee Healed does more than treat eczema, however. It can also be used on stings, burns, insect bites, and much more. In fact, Bee in Bloom customers have shared with us several fascinating uses for Bee Healed (you can read more about some of those, here).
While there are several superstar ingredients in Bee Healed, the inclusion of beeswax gives this salve some of the properties for which it is so beloved. Beeswax is also an important, protective ingredient in Bee Soft lip balm! Here are just a few reasons we are big fans of this natural solution (and why your skin will be, too)!
Like lavender essential oil and honey (other natural ingredients you’ll find in most Bee in Bloom products) beeswax has natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a healing agent for red, irritated skin (rashes, psoriasis, “winter skin,” etc.), blemishes, minor skin injuries, and even microscopic fungi that can cause skin imperfections/discoloration.
Protects and Hydrates
Beeswax is a natural humectant. This means that it draws water to itself and prevents the loss of moisture. When applied to skin, beeswax draws in water while also sealing it to the skin inside a protective layer. Humectants like beeswax can also prime skin to take in even more moisture through other sources, so you could use beeswax in combination with a moisturizing ingredient like aloe vera, almond oil, etc. to obtain even more hydrated skin. (Bee Healed and Bee Soft contain other ingredients that add moisture to skin, which are locked in by the beeswax.)
Beeswax is a natural source of Vitamin A, a vitamin that your skin loves because it stimulates healthy cell regeneration and collagen production. This results in firmer, younger-looking skin. With frequent application, Vitamin A can also help slow/reverse discoloration caused by the sun!
Feels & Smells Great
Of course, beeswax feels amazing to apply and has a lovely, mild scent that is reminiscent of honey. You can also feel good about putting this healing humectant on your skin because it is so natural, time-tested and free of any worrying ingredients that fill many store-bought products.
There are so many reasons to love beeswax, but these are just a few that make it an ingredient that we love for skincare. Of course, as with many of nature’s gifts, we wouldn’t have this amazing ingredient without our friends, the bees. Thank you, bees!
Sidenote: When searching for honey or beeswax, one of many reasons to look for a small, local source is so that you can make sure you are working with a beekeeper who cares about the welfare of bees, and who will harvest these materials in an ethical, bee-centric way.
Do you use beeswax on your skin for any reason? If so, be sure to tell us why you love it!