Image: Honeybee Landing on Milk Thistle. Credit: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos under license.
Recently a photo vent viral online of the “world’s first beekeeping donkey.” A creative beekeeper in Brazil not only dons his own beekeeping suit for the workday, he fashioned a suit for his donkey as well, who helps carry the gathered honey to market.
Honeybees are incredibly important to humanity and all of nature. Bees pollinate almost all of the almond, apple, orange, cherry, peach, tangerine and grapefruit in the world.
Unfortunately, many of the pesticides used on crops are deadly to bees. In the last several years, the honeybee population has collapsed. The European Union has banned many chemicals that are known to be harmful to bees, but the United States has not followed suit. (When you buy organic foods and products, you help support the entire ecosystem, including bees, by rewarding chemical-free farmers with your business.)
Bees also create wonderful natural ingredients that we use every day in food and body care products. This week we’ll look at beeswax (and be sure to come back next week to learn about honey).
Beeswax is nutrient-rich, non-allergenic, non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), and never goes bad. Medical science is even looking at beeswax as a tool to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, as a pain reliever, and for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects.
Beeswax has the wonderful property of being emollient and keeping skin moist, while still allowing skin to breathe and without clogging pores. It’s full of healing and restorative Vitamin A. (That’s why Indigo Wild uses organic beeswax in its Under Eye Butter.)
Beeswax is also anti-bacterial. Chapped or damaged lips? Beeswax will not only moisturize and soothe, it also provides natural antibacterial protection. Lip balms from Indigo Wild, LEAP Organics, Badger Balm, and Mahya Cosmetics all take advantage of beeswax.
Beeswax is a humectant, helping skin retain moisture. But unlike mineral oil, which builds up under the skin and prevents the skin from absorbing nutrients, beeswax keeps skin moist naturally and safely.
For those looking for nontoxic deodorants, beeswax is a natural fit: Nourish Organic uses it as a primary ingredient in all their organic deodorants, along with cornstarch and plant enzymes, for dryness and odor protection.
KIND Soap Company uses beeswax to create beautiful solid perfumes. The beeswax serves as a long-lasting base that allows the intoxicating aromas to stay with your skin all day.
All The Buzz
Now when you see “beeswax” on an ingredient list, you’ll know it means natural, emollient, nourishing, and all-around good. That’s why beeswax is so popular with our makers – in fact, you’ll find beeswax in over 100 products at Soap Hope.
Stay tuned next week for a look at the benefits of honey. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.