Today is a day to smile and celebrate our sweet little fuzzy friends.
At aos, we are kind of obsessed- we LOVE bees. Honey bees, wild bees - all bees. Why? Besides being ridiculously adorable, bees are our partners in life. My own diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables and fish and bees pollinate all those fruits and veggies. Without them, we'd have to subsist on grains and meat. And what about flowers? I'm obsessed with flowers of every kind.
Almost every ingredient we use in our skincare formulas needs to be pollinated by insects, and in many cases, bees. I'll spare you the list of all the plants we use that rely on our little fuzzy friends, but you get the idea. Bees are a huge part of our lives. Beeswax is an integral component of several aos products. Not only is it one of nature’s most effective skin protectants, but it also has it’s own healing properties.
Historical Uses of Beeswax
Beeswax has been used continuously from the seventh millennium BCE from cosmetics, healing salves, medicine, candles and fuel.
Ancient Romans combined it with olive oil and rose water to create one of the first known salves that people used to treat burns, cuts, bruises, and fractured bones- much as we do today. The first product I made- and still our best-seller- Skin Doctor salve, is a blend of beeswax, olive oil, hemp seed oil and essential oils. I truly believe in using ancient
herbal wisdom as I formulate.
The Greek physician Galen used beeswax in the world’s first cosmetic cream. He combined beeswax with rosewater and olive oil, just as the Romans did, but recommended it as a beauty product capable of hydrating and protecting the skin. Our own Herbal Day Cream and Herbal Night Cream are modern versions of this concept.
By the time beeswax made its way into Ayurvedic medicine, it was celebrated as a remedy for cracked heels- just like our Skin Doctor salve!
Why Are We So Determined to Use Bee Products?
The Benefits of Raw Honey
Recent studies highlight honey’s antibacterial activity, emphasizing its effectiveness against various bacteria, including some of those resistant to pharmaceutical medicines. I read a book years ago called "Honey, Mud, Maggots and Other Medical Marvels" that my physician husband had (we read a lot of nerdy medical books). This one was fascinating- modern doctors exploring folk medicines and remedies around the world and proving or disproving them. One chapter was a story about raw honey. A doctor in rural Mexico was using it to treat bedsores that had gone deep into the muscle tissue. Normally, muscle tissue is very difficult for our bodies to regenerate. This doctor was packing the deep sores with raw honey and the muscle was growing back and healing beautifully!
The doctors investigating this folk medicine were so intrigued and excited by the possibilities that they convinced some research hospitals in the US to try it. It worked so well that this concept is often used to treat pressure wounds (they use sterilized sugar instead of honey). According to the National Institute of Health, "Honey appears to be more effective than sugar in reducing bacterial contamination and promoting wound healing, and slightly less painful than sugar during dressing changes and motion."
We buy our raw honey from Rainshadow Organics Farm, a local biodynamic farm that focuses on the health of their plants and animals- and bees! At Rainshadow, they practice biodynamic farming and keep their bees healthy. This is of vital importance as we all work together to support organic farms to keep bee colonies from collapsing. We're proud to buy and use ingredients from farmers who take a thoughtful approach.
The Benefits of Beeswax
We primarily use beeswax for the protective barrier that it forms on the skin. It also naturally soothes and hydrates the skin as it protects it against the environment.
Beeswax has a mild anti-inflammatory effect and antiseptic properties, further protecting the skin. One of the best things about using beeswax as a carrier for natural medicines is that contains vitamin A, which our skin loves. Vitamin A delays collagen degradation and stimulates mitotic division in the epidermis. That means it stimulates the skin’s regeneration, accelerating the healing process.
Another benefit of beeswax is that it's naturally hypoallergenic, so it's safe for sensitive skin!
Our beeswax comes from our sweet friend, Ida, in Pendelton, Oregon. Ida loves her bees and carefully filters the wax, without overheating it so that it retains all of its natural benefits.
Why We Use Beeswax at aos skincare
The three main reasons we use beeswax in our products are
1. It hydrates and protects
Beeswax won’t clog your pores, but it will create a protective barrier that can prevent infection and shield our skin against the ravages of both dry and humid climates.
2. It relieves itchiness and irritation
Beeswax can significantly reduce or eliminate itchiness associated with healing wounds, burn injuries, eczema, and psoriasis.
3. It helps repair dry, flaky skin
We combine it with other plant oils like evening primrose oil and healing herbs like calendula to boost its calming and healing properties even further, creating an effective product.
Beeswax is much more than just a skin protectant– it’s a natural remedy in itself. While we don’t fully understand the composition of beeswax or why it’s so effective, we do know that it soothes the skin and accelerates healing. Not only that, but being 100% natural, it can almost always be used on sensitive skin without triggering an allergic reaction.
A Few Products We Make With Raw Honey:
Seaweed & Mint Exfoliating Scrub
Honey Avocado Rescue Mask
Chamomile Dream Ultrarich Body Cream
Some Products We Make With Beeswax:
Skin Doctor Salve
Zinc Rescue Cream
Herbal Night Cream
Skin Doctor Lip Therapy