Beeswax is a by-product of honey production, produced by the (female) worker honeybees. The wax is secreted from wax glands on the underside of the bee's abdomen and is moulded into six-sided cells which are filled with honey, then capped with more wax.
Most beeswax is gold or yellow but also comes in shades of orange or brown. The colour of the wax is in most part determined by the type of plants the bees collect nectar from. Beeswax has a delightful, light fragrance of honey, flower nectar and pollen.
It has been estimated that bees must fly 150,000 miles to produce one pound of wax. Bees must eat about six pounds of honey to secrete a pound of wax. For every 100 pounds of honey a beekeeper harvests, only one to two pounds of beeswax are produced!
The beeswax, which contains some honey, bee parts, and other impurities, must be melted and filtered or strained, before it can be used for cosmetic purposes.
For centuries bee products have been applied to soften skin, remove wrinkles and heal eczema and dermatitis. Beeswax is easily incorporated with water in oil or oil in water emulsions. An excellent emollient and support for moisturizers, beeswax provides skin protective action of a non-occlusive type, bestows consistency to emulsions and oil-gels and reinforces the action of detergents. It has been proven effective for dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and skin-rashes.
Non-allergic, beeswax also sustains sunscreen action with its water repellent properties, combines well with multiple ingredients, contains elasticity and provides greater permanence on skin or lip surfaces.