Beeswax is a natural wax produced by the honey bee, Apis mellifera. This wax is often added to oils and other ingredients to create ointments due to its effective function as a thickening agent. Besides acting as a thickener in beauty products, beeswax has its own beneficial properties. When choosing which beeswax ointment to use, you want to take into consideration what part of the body it will be used on and and what other ingredients are present in the product.
Excellent at retaining moisture, beeswax draws it into the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, making it useful for soothing irritated skin. The wax is not recommended for use, however, if you have a bee allergy, even though it has been processed.
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Beeswax forms a protective barrier on skin, keeping moisture in while keeping irritants, such as the wind and cold, out. It is, therefore, a great ingredient for use on chapped lips. When you're choosing a beeswax ointment for chapped lips, it is best to purchase one that is specifically designed for this purpose.
A balm, not a cream, should be chosen as it is much thicker and has a higher wax content. This results in slower absorption and better protection. You should also consider what other ingredients you would like in the balm — extracts such as eucalyptus, honey, and acai are often added and may impart a flavor or mild tingling sensation. There is also beeswax ointment intended for the lips that contains sun protection or color, so decide if either of these characteristics is desirable.
Beeswax ointment for the face is also available, and like lip balm, you want to choose one that is specifically formulated. Otherwise, you may find the cream too heavy. You may have to try a few before you find one that works well with your skin, so it is best to start with lighter formulations first. Light creams absorb better and are less likely to clog pores.
Face creams that contain beeswax, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, are good for sensitive skin. If your skin falls into this category, choose an ointment that contains other relevant ingredients alongside the beeswax. For example, aloe vera is a good choice to soothe sensitive skin. Also, consider if you want an ointment that contains UV protection as these are also available.
There is some disagreement on the use of beeswax ointment on acne-prone skin. Beeswax has a comedogen rating of zero to two, which means it can exacerbate skin if not used properly. This does not mean that it will cause acne, but it may not help it either. If your skin is prone to breakouts, it may be best to avoid using products containing beeswax.
When it comes to choosing beeswax ointment for the body, the choice is more about which other ingredients you would like to include. Body lotions that contain beeswax also include a wide variety of other skin-nourishing treats such as cocoa and shea butters, vitamin E, and milk. With all products, it is best to choose something reasonably priced, at least at first. Buy the smallest available container, and see how it makes your skin feel. If you like it, you can always buy more.