Have you noticed how many beauty products contain beeswax? This by-product of the honey industry has wonderful properties that make it ideal for using on our skin. It's gentle, soothing, and antibacterial, and excellent for people with sensitive skin. And if manufacturers can use it, then so can you! If you make your own skincare products, you know exactly what's going into them and on your skin - here are some tips if you want to have a go …
1. What Can You Use It for?
Beeswax has so many beauty uses that you're sure to find something you'll love. You can use it to make balms and salves to sooth sore and chapped skin, as well as masks, lotions, creams and lotion bars. You can start by buying a small amount, but it's worth stocking up as you'll use it to make so many super products!
2. What It Does
But what does beeswax actually do? It's often used as a means of thickening creams; the thicker you'd like your cream to be, the higher the proportion of beeswax you'll use. Like honey, beeswax has antibacterial properties and is excellent if you suffer from skin problems like eczema. It's soothing, protects the skin, and also helps keep the skin moisturized.
3. Preparing the Beeswax
Beeswax comes in different forms; you can buy it in blocks or beads. Blocks are good if you want to make candles or larger amounts of products, while if you just want a small amount it will be easier to measure beads. If you buy blocks, prepare it for melting by grating or scraping with a knife. You can also buy sheets, which are good for making candles.
4. Melt in a Double Boiler
Always melt beeswax in a double boiler or in a larger pan of hot water. Never melt it directly over the heat or in a microwave, as it could actually ignite. You shouldn't cover it either. And always watch over it while it's melting; never leave it unattended while you go off and do other things.
5. Where to Buy
It's easy to buy beeswax online, but if you have a farmer's market near where you live, you may be able to buy it there. You can also buy it from local beekeepers. Bees are hugely important to our ecosystem, so cut out the middleman and support your local beekeeper!
When you're looking for wax to buy, you'll find it in white or yellow. Avoid the white version if you want the lovely scent of beeswax in your products, as it's been refined and possibly treated with something like bleach. Look for yellow beeswax instead, as that's going to smell better. Also check that you're buying cosmetic grade.
7. Shelf Life
Homemade products won't have as long a shelf life as commercial products, since they won't have any preservatives in them. So don't make enough product to last you for years; it's better to only make small amounts unless you intend giving them as gifts. Label your products with the date you made them, and use them up within six months.
Mix your beeswax with other simple ingredients like shea butter and almond oil, and you'll be able to make natural, safe, cheap products that will leave your skin soft and nourished. What's more, you'll know exactly what's going on your skin.