There’s been a lot of buzz around using honey in skincare lately– and for good reason! Its enzymes, antioxidants, and amino acids work together to give you that glow-from-within look.
But another bee product that deserves the spotlight is beeswax. It’s the foundation for intricate honeycomb structures and an absolute treasure for your skin. Let’s peek inside the hive to find out what makes honey and beeswax a go-to for natural skincare. Shall we?
How do bees make honey and wax?
Honey and beeswax are essential to a colony’s survival. Bees eat honey for energy and use wax to build fortified homes. The whole process is a team effort.
It starts with forager bees collecting nectar from nearby flowers, which they carry to the hive in their nectar sacs. Once they arrive back home, the foragers pass the nectar into an assembly line of worker bees that use stomach enzymes to churn the sugars into honey. They then convert some of the honey into wax. A single pound of wax requires 6-8 pounds of honey. Pretty sweet, huh?
The worker bees have special wax glands that complete this step. The wax then oozes through small pores on their abdomen as a liquid. It’s cooled into flakes that workers chew until it becomes malleable enough to form the honeycomb. This durable wax makes the hive waterproof and protects it from infection.
The unripe honey is then placed in the comb cells, where workers fan it with their wings until the excess water evaporates. And voila, honey.
5 raw honey benefits for skin
This sweet stuff powers tiny bee kingdoms and fuels worldwide pollination. No wonder it's so good for skin health. It’s traditionally been used for wound healing and fighting infections. (Not to mention, it tastes amazing.)
Some other reasons we love honey are that it:
- Gently exfoliates– Naturally occurring enzymes in honey break down the keratin in dead skin cells without harsh abrasion. Amino acids slough them away, making room for fresh, soft skin.
- Deeply cleanses pores– Its enzymatic and antibacterial properties make it an excellent cleanser for those battling breakouts or other skin struggles. Honey is also naturally pH-balancing to support your skin’s barrier function and microbiome.
- Restores moisture balance– Honey is a natural humectant. This means it draws in moisture from the outside and fortifies the skin barrier. What a great addition to your in-shower routine for effortlessly hydrated, supple skin.
- Improves skin integrity– Packed with anti-oxidants, honey is the ultimate anti-aging serum. It can boost elasticity, soften fine lines, and prevent wrinkle formation. (1)
- Lightens scar tissue– Its impressive regenerative and exfoliating properties may help prevent or even lighten existing scars or dark spots on the skin. (2)
Why use raw honey?
The high temperatures of the pasteurization process greatly denature the beneficial properties of honey and destroy its antibacterial effects. Unfiltered and unpasteurized honey, on the other hand, retains all the vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants that make it so good for you.
Stick with the raw stuff for all the health-boosting and skin-healing benefits.
5 natural beeswax benefits for skin
This all-natural product is quite literally the bee’s knees when it comes to skin health. Beeswax provides shelter-like protection for skin and soothes even the most irritated, sensitive spots.
We love to incorporate it into Fatskn products because it:
- Seals in moisture– As an effective occlusive, beeswax makes a long-lasting protective barrier on the skin to prevent water loss and environmental damage.
- Battles bacteria growth– Naturally antibacterial and anti-viral, beeswax can defend against all types of infection. From acne and dermatitis to diaper rash and athlete's foot, it's got your back.
- Brings down inflammation– Sweet relief. It calms skin, minimizes the risk of irritation, and reduces redness without clogging pores. Psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema are no match for the soothing effects of natural beeswax. (3)
- Softens and conditions skin– Beeswax is another natural humectant that attracts and binds to water. This, combined with its abundant vitamin A content, helps to rejuvenate skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Naturally preserves– Hence why it's often used to make food storage wraps, leather sealant, and, of course, weatherproof beehives. It's naturally resistant to oxidation and won’t break down in water. It never spoils or becomes rancid, effectively extending the shelf life of what it's mixed with.
Are soy or paraffin waxes bad (aka "vegan" wax)?
Our skin is a highly porous organ that absorbs whatever you put on it.
Soy and petroleum-based waxes may appear to “do the job” in various skincare products you find at the drugstore. But beneath the surface, they often do more harm than good.
Soy wax is sourced from hydrogenated soybean oil. This means it’s much less stable and has a higher chance of oxidation. (5) Oxidative stress in the tissues leads to increased inflammation and may exacerbate skin issues.
Paraffin wax is made from petroleum, a toxic crude oil. Manufacturers may tout its “moisturizing” effect on the skin, but it doesn’t actually have any moisturizing abilities of its own. And because it isn’t water soluble, this chemical-laden wax has the potential to build up in your system over time.
Beeswax is a much safer, saturated, all-natural alternative that truly moisturizes and protects the skin.
Fatskn products made with honey and beeswax
We are all about using clean ingredients that work.
So these two sweet-smelling bee products are kind of a no-brainer.
We currently source our raw honey and natural beeswax from two local beekeeping farms here in Alberta. They emphasize gentle, minimal filtering to preserve as much of the good stuff as possible.
Explore some of our top bee-powered products below.
As always, while we hope to be a no-nonsense resource, we encourage you to do your own research to find the healthiest options for you and your family.
You can check out our whole collection of good-for-you, tallow-based skincare products by clicking the link below. We hope to see you there!
- Burlando B, Cornara L. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2013 Dec;12(4):306-13. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12058. PMID: 24305429. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24305429/
- Han, S. M., Lee, K. G., Yeo, J. H., Woo, S. O., Kweon, H. Y., Nam, S. H., Ho, Y. Y., & Kim, W. T. (2010). Whitening Effect of the Honey from Korea. Korean Journal of Apiculture. https://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=KR2011002508
- Cornara L, Biagi M, Xiao J, Burlando B. Therapeutic Properties of Bioactive Compounds from Different Honeybee Products. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Jun 28;8:412. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00412. PMID: 28701955; PMCID: PMC5487425. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5487425/
- Evaluation of the Performance of a Nature-Based Sensitive Skin Regimen in Subjects With Clinically Diagnosed Sensitive Skin. (n.d.). JDDonline - Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Retrieved February 7, 2023. https://jddonline.com/articles/evaluation-of-the-performance-of-a-nature-based-sensitive-skin-regimen-in-subjects-with-clinically-d-S1545961618P0908X/
- Indiarto, Rossi & Qonit, Muhammad. (2020). A Review of Soybean Oil Lipid Oxidation and Its Prevention Techniques. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology. 29. 5030-5037. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348758746_A_Review_of_Soybean_Oil_Lipid_Oxidation_and_Its_Prevention_Techniques/citation/download