The truth about Beeswax

Posted by Janet Stewart on

We have decided to become 100% vegan and cruelty free and are going through the process of getting our endorsement from beauty without cruelty. We have never and never will use any ingredients tested on animals or test our products on animals.( That’s what friends and family are for!)  We have changed all our products that we manufacture under the Pink collection to all be 100% vegan.  I have been making our products for nearly 4 years now and I have only just become aware of how many ingredients we use everyday that are derived from animals or insects. I have decided, to educate my customers these ingredients,  with some basic information regarding how these ingredients are obtained and why a vegan option is a MUCH better choice.   

 Beeswax: 

What is it?: 

Beeswax is a natural wax secreted by honey bees of the genus Apis to make honeycombs. The wax is shaped into scales (resembling mica flakes) by eight wax-producing mirror glands in the abdominal parts of, typically younger, worker bees, who dispense it in the hive. The wax is gathered by other beehive workers and used to form cells for honey-storage and larval and pupal safety within the hive. The beeswax is used to form the honeycomb of the hive. To create this, the bees will hang in rows and as wax is expelled from the glands of the it is passed between the legs and mouths of the bees, being chewed and moulded into shape along the length of the chain. The wax is used to build hexagon-shaped honey cells. 

 

Origin: 

Most commercially available beeswax is made from cappings. Bees systematically work their way across frames and honey boxes as cells are filled with nectar, fanned and then capped off with wax to prevent moisture loss. Beekeepers then harvest this honey by removing the frames and processing it in honey houses. Beeswax comes from cappings, honey combs and brood combs.  

 

Why it is used in cosmetics: 

Beeswax is used in cosmetics products for its emollient and humectant properties. Also for hardening, if you add beeswax to a lipbalm in becomes a lipstick (it’s a bit more complicated but this is the reason why its used in lipsticks and balms). It has the ability to smooth and soften the skin as well as attract moisture for absorption into the skin. It is also a useful antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial substance.  

 

Why it is not vegan: 

During the mass production of beeswax by beekeepers it is not unusual for the queen bee’s wings to be cut off, leaving her trapped in her colony where she is sometimes artificially inseminated. Many of the other bees are also killed or have body parts torn off when beekeepers mishandle the bees. Bees use the nutrients provided by their honey to carry them through winter months but on large commercial farms their honey is stolen and replaced by non-nutritional sugar substitutes which contributes to colony decline. The world is currently being faced with a dying honeybee population; known as Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder.  

 
What products do you find this in?:  

  • Lip balm 
  • Lip Gloss 
  • Moisturisers 
  • Creams 
  • Eye liner 
  • Candles

 
Alternatives to beeswax that we have chose to use at PInk 

Candelia wax - A vegetable wax obtained from the leaves of a small shrub indigenous to Northern Mexico and southwestern America, known as the Candelilla shrub. It is nutrient-rich and easily absorbed. 

Carnuba wax - is a wax of the leaves of the palm,a plant native to the northeasternBrazilian states  

Cocoa butter – Cocoa butter is an edible vegetable fat pulled from the cocoa bean. Cocoa butter is ultra-hydrating, emollient and high in anti-oxidants.  

 

Sources:  http://www.podgardening.co.nz/harvest.html 

 

 


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