Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ingredient Feature: Beeswax

image from Little Alexander

I am a bee fan and have been since I was little. I never had a fear of bees and was so concerned with their welfare that I would save them from drowning if I ever found them in a pool or at the lake. Perhaps that is why I've only ever been stung a handful of times...I have good bee karma. My affinity for bees makes me a devotee of honey and beeswax. I love the sweet rich honey like smell that emanates from the wax. If you’ve ever been to a farmer’s market and stumbled upon the local honey booth you know exactly what I’m talking about. Beeswax is a wonderful natural ingredient that is part of my lotion bars and the new product I am working on (hint: its for your lips). I wanted to share a little more information with all of you about this amazing ingredient.

Beeswax is created by honeybees to make the honey combs where honeybees raise their young, store honey and pollen. The wax, secreted from glands of the worker bees (who happen to be female), is molded in the six sided comb, filled, then capped. When the wax is first secreted it is clear, after it is molded to form the comb it turns white and overtime ranges from yellow to deep brown. To produce one pound of wax, the worker bees need to consume about ten pounds of honey and fly approximately 150,000 miles, the equivalent of almost six trips around the world (Wow!). Clearly, beeswax is a precious natural resource. The wax is a wonderful addition to skin care products because it has similar “wax esthers” to skin. When in skin care, it acts as a natural humectant (which means it attracts moisture to the skin) and creates a breathable moisture barrier on the skin. Beeswax also contains Vitamin A which is necessary for healthy cell development. It has been used for centuries for its antiseptic, emollient and healing properties. The beeswax in Etta + Billie products comes from a company that works with American beekeepers.

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