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What is Beeswax?

6 mins read. Published on 25 Jun 21, Updated on 01 Jun 23.
What is Beeswax?
Ever wondered what goes into your daily essentials such as cosmetics, candles, and food packaging?
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Wax is a substance that is widely used in many common items, including crayons, packaging, adhesives, candles, and even food. What is Beeswax and Where to Buy it? We will answer these questions in this article.

For decades, the wax industry relied on highly processed waxes such as paraffin or petroleum wax to produce all kinds of commodities. But with consumers becoming more aware not only of what goes in their consumables but also whether they are ethically sourced, the entire industry is constantly challenged to find safer, more sustainable, and eco-friendly alternatives.

Enter beeswax! One of the most sought-after types of waxes. But what is it anyway, and how is it different from a regular wax?

What is Beeswax?

Beeswax is simply a by-product of the honey production of the genus Apis bees. Worker bees, or the younger female bees in a colony, secrete this wax from their glands to create a structure that houses the honey they will produce. Meanwhile, older bees collect pollen and nectar which mixes with the wax in the honeycomb.  The result is a miracle wax that is used all over different industries including cosmetics, skincare, health, and food, and beverages.

Beeswax is a natural substance and a renewable product. This makes it an ideal sustainable alternative to synthetic oil-based waxes. It is also organic, non-toxic, and fragrant, making it a highly coveted wax especially for environment-conscious individuals.

Is Beeswax Vegan?

The vegan community is growing to be extra conscious of their lifestyle not only in terms of what they eat but also in their everyday items such as clothing, cosmetics, and household essentials. With this, they pose a curious question: is beeswax vegan?

Vegan waxes are a blend of hydrocarbons and fatty esters, a result of the combination of fatty alcohol and fatty acid. And while beeswax fit in this composition criteria perfectly, some organizations dont consider it completely vegan because of how it was sourced. Real vegan waxes come from leaves and fruits while beeswax is made by bees themselves.

Beeswax is considered a vegetarian product because it is only produced by animals and doesnt necessarily contain the animal itself. It falls into the same category as eggs, dairy, and honey. While it is not truly a vegan ingredient, more and more companies pledge to harvest beeswax in a way that protects bees from harm.

With this, some vegans use beeswax because they believe no bees are harmed in the process of extracting the wax. On the other hand, some vegans completely veer away from it, following their strict standards in consuming vegan products. So, the answer to whether vegans should or should not use beeswax is at the users disposal.

The Many Benefits of Beeswax

Beeswax treats skin conditions

This wax is popular in the cosmetics and skincare industry for a good reason. It offers great benefits that go beyond aesthetics as it heals the skin from the inside. Beeswax prevents the growth of bacteria while keeping the skin fresh and breathable. When used in soaps and ointments, beeswax can help aid dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other fungal skin infections.

More acne patients are also experiencing the miracles of beeswax. The anti-inflammatory properties it contains gives it a strong antiseptic and healing effect that effectively treats acne. It is also a natural moisturizer that keeps the skin from drying and helps it recover from acne scars. This also makes it an organic alternative to lip balms to prevent chapped lips.

Beeswax is safe and edible

Its no secret that beeswax is a popular alternative to many oil-based products needed in the kitchen. Because beeswax works similar to butter but offers a more subtle and natural taste, many people incorporate it in their dishes. One use of beeswax in the kitchen is for baking French pastries like canel©s. Applying a coat of beeswax to the pastry before baking helps create a protective layer that preserves the shape of the canel©s and gives it a nice crisp exterior.

Instead of highly processed oils that are extracted through chemical treatments, you can use the all-natural beeswax to grease your pan when baking cookies. Simply take a block of wax and rub it on your baking sheet before laying the cooking dough, and this will prevent it from sticking as it bakes. Beeswax is also perfect for making reusable food wraps, a great substitute for disposable plastics. Its waterproof properties make the food wrap easy to clean.

Beeswax normalises liver function

A study published by the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine in 2013, found that beeswax aids in normalising liver functions and reducing the symptoms of fatty liver disease after investigating the effects of the wax on fatty liver patients for 24 weeks. The alcohols present in beeswax offer antioxidant effects that help protect the liver.

Other research reports also show that beeswax significantly lowers cholesterol levels in humans. The regulatory effects produced by the esters and long-chain fatty alcohols found in the wax have been reported to lower bad cholesterol by up to 29% and increase good cholesterol by 8% to 15%.

Beeswax offers a relaxing effect

Beeswax is a fragrant non-toxic substance that promotes aromatherapy. Because of this, it has become quite a popular alternative to paraffin wax when making scented candles. It was found that paraffin burnt more toxic fumes that, when inhaled, triggered respiratory problems. Paraffin also produces a darker smoke that leaves soot in the area where candles were lit.

Meanwhile, beeswax, along with other organic plant-derived candles, are safer. The scent also spreads faster without the risk of exposure to toxic fumes and soot.

Beeswax is a natural coating for food and tools

This wax from bees does a great job not only in preserving food but in hand tools as well. Beeswax can be used as a natural coating for cheeses to help maintain their shape and prevent them from sticking to surfaces easily.

Tools, when coated with beeswax, can last for a longer time as the wax prevents them from rusting and protects against wear and tear. It is an ideal coating for cast iron tools, nails and screws, wooden handles, shovels, and a great lubricant for old wooden furniture.

You can even polish your leather items with it and waterproof your shoes by simply rubbing a block of beeswax all over its surface.

Where to Buy Beeswax?

Cant wait to get your hands on some beeswax? We know its hard not to get excited about all the good stuff beeswax can offer so heres where you can find some of the best beeswaxes.

The Good Boutique

For on-the-go convenience, The Good Boutique offers reusable beeswax food wraps that come in all sorts of stylish designs you can choose from. The Good Boutique partners with brands that use pure organic beeswax to coat lightweight cotton fabric making them waterproof and ideal for storing food. The warmth of your hands can soften the beeswax and allow you to mould the wrap securely around food. Placing it in the fridge solidifies the food wrap around your leftovers. You can also get beeswax blocks and gift sets from The Good Boutique.

Dont miss out on natures most precious gift! Vegan, vegetarian, or just a humble candle lover, beeswax is perfect for all lifestyles. From food, cosmetics, health needs, to home essentials, this miracle wax has got you covered. And make sure to do your part in protecting the hardworking labourers that give you a sustainable supply of beeswax. Buy only from shops that are fully on board with creating a happier healthy life for both their customers and suppliers, the bees. Make sure whom you buy from really knows their bee business. 

Local Organic Stores

Beeswax is not rare; in fact, it is quite common enough that you can find it in products at your favourite cosmetics shop or even the grocery. Most local shops that sell organic products probably sell raw beeswax in blocks too. If youre not willing to pay for shipping and wait for weeks for your beeswax, then checking out local stores near you is the best place to start searching for that miracle wax.

Aromantic Natural Skincare

If you dont mind waiting, then you can check out online stores that offer high-quality organic beeswax such as Aromantic Natural Skincare. They can ship anywhere in the UK plus they have a detailed description of the beeswax on their site. This can help you tell whether that type of beeswax is what you need. Plus, their site offers good reads on ways to use your beeswax including some recipes and blends you can follow.

The Hive Honey Shop

Looking to use beeswax in food? The Hive Honey Shop sells 100% pure organic beeswax that is food safe and non-toxic. They offer beeswax by the block that you can conveniently use to grease your baking sheets or cut them up into pieces like a stick of butter. Their food-grade English beeswax is completely unadulterated by chemicals, bleaches, or sugars, and is carefully hand scraped from their cultured beehives.

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