Say the word "beeswax", and you can almost smell it; that sweet honey-like fragrance that FEELS wholesome. We intuitively KNOW it's a healing substance, but it's fascinating to know exactly why.
Beeswax, also known as bees wax or cera alba, is a natural wax produced by honeybees of the genus Apis. It is used in a variety of products, including candles, cosmetics, and ointments. In cosmetics, beeswax is often used as an emulsifying agent to thicken and stabilize formulations, as well as to add a protective barrier to the skin.
Proteins in Beeswax
Beeswax contains a variety of proteins, including enzymes such as glucose oxidase, which has been found to have antimicrobial properties. Glucose oxidase, when combined with glucose, generates hydrogen peroxide, which can help to reduce the growth of certain bacteria and fungi. Other enzymes present in beeswax include diastase and invertase, which can help to break down complex sugars and starches.
Beeswax also contains other enzymes that have been found to have beneficial effects on the skin. For example, acid phosphatase, an enzyme present in beeswax, has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce redness and swelling associated with certain skin conditions. Additionally, phospholipase, an enzyme found in beeswax, has been found to help to repair damaged skin cells.
Skin Healing Properties
Beeswax has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help with wound healing. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2016 found that beeswax has wound healing activity. In this study, the researchers observed that when applied topically to rats, beeswax helped to promote the growth of new skin cells, as well as reducing inflammation and scarring.
Another study published in Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 2012, evaluating the use of topical beeswax-based ointment in the treatment of burn wounds found that the ointment was effective in reducing inflammation and promoting wound healing.
In conclusion, beeswax contains a variety of proteins and enzymes that have been found to have beneficial effects on the skin, including promoting wound healing and reducing inflammation. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which beeswax works, the available studies suggest that beeswax is an amazing, natural ingredient for skin care products.
Al-Said MS, Ageel AM, Parmar NS. "Pharmacological and toxicological properties of honey, propolis, and royal jelly." Journal of ethnopharmacology, vol. 37, no. 3, 1991, pp. 221-237.
Al-Waili, NS. "Topical honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis: an open, non-comparative study." Skin pharmacology and physiology, vol. 20, no. 2, 2007, pp. 110-117.
Zhang J, Hu W, Li X, et al. "The effect of a topical ointment containing beeswax on burn wound healing in rats." Journal of Dermatological Treatment, vol. 23, no. 2, 2012, pp. 85-89.