Harvesting honey and the wax from the honeycomb can be a controversial topic, especially with the declining bee population. That’s a topic for another discussion.
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This article focuses on the skin benefits and uses of cera alba (beeswax) in skincare.
What Is Cera Alba (Beeswax)?
Cera alba is beeswax. It 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.
Cera Alba (Beeswax) Benefits for Skin
Beeswax has several skincare uses and benefits. Cera alba is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that can help soothe, calm, and protect the skin. It also acts as a humectant to help the skin maintain moisture.
Cera alba contains vitamin A which can help speed up healing, prevent blemishes, and support healthy skin. A healthy skin barrier also helps the skin stay nourished and hydrated for a youthful glow.
Fight Premature Aging
Cera alba has antioxidants that help protect the skin against free radicals. This can help prevent signs of aging from too much sun exposure and environmental pollutants.
Soothe and Calm Skin
Beeswax has anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to the skin, beeswax helps soothe irritated or dry skin, and reduce inflammation. It’s often used as a treatment for eczema.
Moisturize and Protect
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.
No bees are harmed for the production of beeswax. But vegans who want to avoid all animal-derived products should avoid products that use cera alba, since it is harvested from beehives.
Is Beeswax Safe To Use In Skincare?
The Journal of the American College of Toxicology considers cera alba safe to use in cosmetics. 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 pores. On top of that, it has a 0 irritancy score making it a good option for people with sensitive skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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