Leave it to skincare ingredients to make something as straightforward as beeswax sound scary. Don’t fret, this ingredient is beeswax but with a slight tweak. It’s kind of like beeswax 2.0.
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Keeping reading to learn what makes cera bellina different from cera alba (beeswax) and how it even works better in many skin formulations.
What Is Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax?
Polyglycerol-3 beeswax (cera bellina) is a common skincare ingredient derived from cera alba (beeswax) that has been specially processed to change its properties.
Cera bellina has had its fatty acids converted into polyglycerol esters. Confused by these complicated terms? All this means is that this type of beeswax can mix with water better (hydrophilic).
Normally, beeswax does not interact well with water. By using a special process, standard beeswax can be turned into polyglycerol-3 beeswax. It’s still very similar to beeswax but has better gelling properties. This lets us get the benefits of beeswax in more skincare products. You’ll find it’s use in skincare and cosmetics from 1%-30% depending on the product.
Let’s take a deeper look at the cera bellina skin benefits and uses now.
Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax Skin Benefits
Polyglycerol-3 beeswax helps improve skin smoothness and texture just like normal beeswax, but it also has some unique properties due to its chemical composition.
- Inhibits oil syneresis – Oil syneresis is the process by which oils separate from a water-based gel. This can make a skincare product harder to use. Cera bellina prevents the separation of water and oil, since it’s hydrophilic, stabilizing the gel and leading to a longer shelf life.
- Prevents crystallization in formulations – Cera bellina has a natural ability to inhibit crystallization in some skincare formulations, which extends the shelf life of the products and ensures they maintain their intended texture. This particular issue can happen using standard beeswax. If you have an old jar of honey you know what we’re talking about here.
- Thickens & stabilizes emulsions – This ingredient is a great thickener, and it helps hold together oil and water-based ingredients in emulsions and prevent them from splitting.
- Creates a buttery, smooth texture – This is one of the best cera bellina skin benefits. It has a smooth, satin-like texture that feels great on the skin and can help deliver other moisturizing and skin-repairing compounds, and form a protective humectant layer on your skin. This prevents skin moisture loss.
As you may have noticed from the list above, the benefits of polyglycerol-3 beeswax offer more texture enhancing benefits than direct benefits to the skin. But these are important too! These ingredients help products last longer and can make them more effective with easier application.
For instance, cera bellina can increase stability in serums and creams so they have a longer shelf-life. It’s also popular in cosmetics such as lipstick since it mixes well with other waxes and creates a firm, smooth, spreadable texture. Last of all, it can help thicken eye makeup products for easier application (without irritating the skin).
Is Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax (Cera Bellina) Vegan?
The short answer is “no.” Since polyglycerol-3 beeswax (cera bellina) in skincare is derived from bees, it is technically an animal product. If you are a vegan and do not use any animal products, you should not use polyglycerol-3 beeswax (cera bellina).
However, it’s important to note that beeswax harvesting does not kill bees or destroy their homes. Some vegans are willing to use cruelty-free beeswax products because of this. In the end, it’s up to your personal preferences, but this ingredient is not usually considered to be vegan.
Is Cera Bellina Safe To Use On Skin?
Yes. Polyglycerol-3 beeswax is not known to be a skin irritant or allergen and is considered safe to use in skincare products and cosmetics. It’s even safe for those with sensitive skin. In addition, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel considers polyglycerol-3 beeswax safe to use in cosmetics.
However, those who are allergic to beeswax (which is rare) may react to this beeswax-derived compound. Be aware of this when shopping for skincare and cosmetic products.
Also Known As:
There are no other commonly-used synonyms for this product. In most skincare formulations, it will be referred to either as polyglycerol-3 beeswax, or cera bellina.