Last updated: August 20, 2021

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Many bee-derived products have proven to be excellent for a wide range of health issues, such as nutrition, skin and diseases. Today we welcome you and explain the uses and benefits of one of these products: Beeswax.

Basically, beeswax is the material secreted by honeybees, which is then used to build their nests. It has been used by people all over the world since ancient times, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties, among others.

In its pure state, it is usually used to make balms and household products, and is sold in the form of paste, blocks, or granules. However, more and more brands are adopting beeswax as their base material for cosmetic products such as lip balms, face creams and anti-inflammatory creams.




Summary

  • Beeswax is the material from which these animals build their honeycombs, and it has many benefits for humans. These benefits include its anti-inflammatory, moisturising, analgesic and cholesterol-lowering properties.
  • There are different types of wax, and the main difference is whether it is packaged by a company or purchased from a local beekeeper. When comparing different products, factors such as purity, accessibility, difficulty of use, and dosage must be taken into account.
  • In order to buy a particular beeswax, we have to consider whether it meets the characteristics we will need for the products we want to use it for, as this will determine the amount we need, its purity level and its colour.

The best bee wax: Our picks

Buying Guide

Buying beeswax is complicated because there are some differences between wax that can be obtained from local beekeepers versus companies that package it. Each type of wax has qualities that give advantages and disadvantages, but to know and compare them it is necessary to know how the wax works and its different uses.

Beeswax is mainly used in skin products, although it can also be medicinal. (Photo: Min An / Pexels.com)

What is beeswax and what are its benefits?

Young honeybees secrete a substance that is transformed into the wax found in honeycombs or nests. Beekeepers collect this wax and give it different shapes, usually transforming it into partitions for transport.

In its natural state, the wax is translucent. However, when it comes into contact with pollen, it turns yellow. Most of the white wax on the market has already undergone a purification process, although great care must be taken as some wax is artificially manufactured or chemically bleached.

There are several uses for beeswax. The most common use is in cosmetic products for its anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties. Another use is medicinal, as the wax works to lower cholesterol, reduce pain and inflammation, and care for the stomach.

Advantages
  • Deflames
  • Moisturises
  • Relieves pain
  • Good for cholesterol
  • Cares for the stomach
Disadvantages
  • Some companies manufacture it artificially
  • Use of chemicals to discolour some white waxes

Beeswax from a company or local beekeeper - what should you look out for?

If we go to a shop or if we buy our wax online, the most common way is to find the wax in granules or small blocks, which is the easiest way to melt it. However, many people prefer to find a local beekeeper to buy their wax from, although this is often not the most convenient.

Packaged wax. The biggest drawback of packaged wax is that it is more likely to have been exposed to chemicals than a local beekeeper. This can be avoided by looking at the organic seal on the packaging and making sure that the company or product is certified.

On the other hand, the benefits of packaged wax are that it is much easier to find, easier to melt and mix into cosmetic products, and easier to dose than stick forms.

Local beekeeper's wax in stick form. Although it could be argued that local stick wax will always be more "natural", this can be misleading as we do not know the extraction processes of individual beekeepers. Therefore, one of the biggest disadvantages is that with local producers we have no certificate or guarantee.

The easiest way to know the quality of a local wax is to test it against others, which could take a long time. Also, as mentioned above, it is much more difficult to find a beekeeper who sells bar wax.

Packaged wax Local stick wax
Purity Must be certified Probably more natural but difficult to verify
Accessibility Accessible Difficult to locate
Difficult to use Granules, easy to melt Stick, more difficult to melt
Dosage Easy to dose Difficult to dose

Tip: Purchase a recipe booklet along with your wax

Although we have already specified some of the benefits of wax, we recommend that you purchase a recipe booklet or user manual to learn how to use it to make homemade products. Usually only a few extra materials are required, such as coconut or almond oil.

To choose a good recipe book you should make sure that it is specifically about beeswax, and not bee products in general, as many books focus on honey and other products.
Some beeswax products that you will find recipes for in these books are lip balm, moisturiser, hair removal, medicinal solutions, candles, furniture polish, soap, acne cream, and antibacterial ointment.

The most common products made from beeswax are moisturising balms (Photo: Silviarita / Pixabay.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different beeswax models

To make sure that you are buying a good product, there are different purchasing criteria that you should compare. Once we know all these determinants, we will know what type of wax to buy, where, and in what presentation.

  • Use
  • Quantity
  • Purity
  • Colour

Use

The most important criterion to identify is the use, i.e. what do we want to obtain from our beeswax? Do we want to make balms? Use it as medicine? Thinking about our objectives will determine what kind of beeswax we buy, and where.

Cosmetic use. To create cosmetic products, the wax that suits us best is the one packaged in tablets or granules, as it is the easiest to handle and the one that can be sold in larger quantities that are easier to dose, mix and melt.

Medicinal use. The medicinal use of wax is the most complicated, and we do not recommend the manufacture of such products before researching the recipes properly. For this type of use, the best wax is an all-natural wax, preferably from a local but certified producer.

Non-human use. By non-human use we mean, for example, the use of wax for polishing furniture. This type of activity does not require high purity or easy presentation, so a wax stick will be the most practical, cheapest, and most effective.

Quantity

Another aspect to consider is the amount of wax we need for the use we have identified in the previous section, for which it will also be useful to review the recipe books and the quantities needed for each type of product.

Cosmetic products for personal use. Companies that package beeswax consistently do so in different sizes, as we noted in the section on our favourite products. For personal use, for example, a small jar will suffice, so it is not advisable to buy a large pack or a heavy bar.

Products for distribution. If you want to distribute several beeswax products that you make at home, it is best to get a large packet of wax tablets or sticks. For cosmetic use, we recommend packets of granules.

Non-human use. Normally you will not need a large amount of wax, so it will be easier to measure the quantities by how long a stick will last. It is best to buy a small stick and measure from it if you need a larger one next time.

Purity

Wax purity is difficult to check on products from local beekeepers

Wax purity is difficult to check on products from local beekeepers, as many are not certified. However, with them we can often get better products than the packaged ones if we look at the right criteria.

Packaged wax. Make sure your wax is from a recognised or certified company and, if possible, identify an organic seal on the packaging. It also works to look for the place of origin of the wax on the label.

Local wax. If you are buying from a local seller, try to get ratings of their products, i.e. contact customers and ask them about the quality of the products. Simply put, if the wax works, it is of good quality.

Beeswax cosmetic products are of higher quality when produced in-house (Photo: Rawpixel / Pexels.com)

Colour

Finally, the colour of the wax will give us clues about the processes it has undergone, as well as inform us about its different uses. Some wax colours are, for example, more difficult to mix with oils than others.

Clear or translucent wax. Although wax is naturally transparent, these colours are hardly ever found, as it turns yellow when in contact with pollen. Many waxes of the highest quality are transparent because they go through a purification process, which is very convenient for certain products such as balms.

Yellow or gold wax. This is the least processed wax, and is especially good in medicinal and skin soothing products as the pollen included in this wax has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, among others. It is also easy to mix with oils commonly used in cosmetic products.

(Featured image photo: pexels / pexels.com)

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