What Is Cera Alba (Beeswax)?
Beeswax is a natural wax created by various species of honeybee in the genus Apis. It’s used to build honeycomb, and create the hives where bees work, live, raise their young, and store honey. It’s a white and slightly translucent color in its pure state, but in most cases, it has a more yellow-golden color. This is caused by the staining of pollen and propolis.
This wax is created by worker bees, which have special glands underneath the abdomen that create wax in thin “scales.” Then, the bees can use the wax to build up the hive.
Beeswax is very complex, it consists of over 300 different natural compounds. The precise composition of beeswax can also vary somewhat, based on the location of the honey bees, and the types of pollen and flowers they’re feeding on.
This wax is regularly harvested by beekeepers. They use hot knives to remove the “cap” of wax that covers up the honeycomb “cells” that are full of honey, then they collect the caps, melt them down, and create a solid mass of beeswax.
|Ingredient Type||Natural (from bees)|
|Uses||Skin soothing, humectant, anti inflammatory|
|Vegan||No, but it is considered cruelty-free|
|Comedogenic Rating||0-2 likely will not clog pores|
|Safety||Considered safe for all skin types|
Cera Alba (Beeswax) Benefits for Skin
Beeswax has several skincare uses and benefits. You’ll most commonly find cera alba in lip balms and lipsticks but it is used in various skincare products too.
- High in vitamins and antioxidants – Beeswax is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants, which helps it fight back against skin damage and promote healthy skin.
- Soothing and anti inflammatory – When applied to the skin, beeswax helps soothe irritated or dry skin, and reduce inflammation. It’s often used as a treatment for eczema.
- Humectant and protective – Beeswax is a humectant, which means that it helps prevent the loss of moisture from your skin. It forms a barrier on top of your skin that protects it and prevents moisture loss, which is why it’s very commonly used in lip balm and other lip care products.
Is Cera Alba (Beeswax) Vegan?
The issue of whether or not cera alba (beeswax) in skincare is vegan is contentious. It is harvested from animals – bees – but bees are not harmed or killed when the beeswax is harvested. So by the book, beeswax is not vegan but it is considered cruelty-free.
Bees produce an excess of wax over their lifetimes, so harvesting beeswax does not deprive them of anything they need. If you are okay with using animal products as long as the animals are not harmed in the making of the product, then you can use beeswax.
But if you are a vegan who wants to avoid all animal-derived products, full stop, you want to avoid products that use cera alba, since it is harvested from beehives.
Is Beeswax Safe To Use In Skincare?
Yes, beeswax is considered safe to use in skincare. It does not cause any major side effects or other problems when used as an ingredient in skincare products. Cera alba (beeswax) skin benefits are numerous, and it’s completely non-toxic, and not known to be a major allergen.
Beeswax has a 0-2 comedogenic rating meaning that it likely will not clog your pores. On top of that it has a 0 irritancy score making it a good option for people with sensitive skin.
Also Known As:
The only common terms used to refer to this product in English are cera Alba and beeswax. It may also be referred to by its color in some cases, such as white beeswax or yellow beeswax.