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“THE HISTORY AND BENEFITS OF BEESWAX
HISTORY OF BEESWAX USAGE
Beeswax is a natural substance generated and secreted by honey bees that use it to develop their honeycombs. Beeswax is comprised largely of fatty acids, hydrocarbons, and esters. The wax is hard and breakable when cold but soft and pliable when heated or exposed to human body temperature. Because Beeswax does not spoil, become rancid, or otherwise expire, it can continue to be reheated and reused.
Like the varying colors of honey, the color of the wax depends on the age of the bees, the flowers from which they gather the nectar, the region of flower growth, and the purity of the honey. Beeswax ranges in color from almost white to black, although it is typically a shade along the yellow spectrum, appearing to be bright yellow, butterscotch yellow, or light amber. These colors are due to the pollen, resin, and gum content in the originating honey. These elements are also responsible for contributing to the agreeable scent of both the honey and the wax.
While Beeswax is commonly known for its light-bearing ability and for thus being a source of heat, historically, it has also been valuable for its versatile applications, which include culinary uses, such as food flavoring and food storage. For example, it continues to be used to coat or glaze cheeses in order to create an air-tight seal to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Used on some types of fruits, Beeswax prevents the loss of water while protecting them from gathering dust and from being scratched, bruised, or bitten by insects.
2000 years ago, in China, the significance and potency of Beeswax was discovered and chronicled in one of the country’s most eminent medical books, known as The Shennong Book of Herbs. The record highlighted the positive effects that Beeswax was reputed to have on the circulatory system, energy levels, and wound healing. It was also reported to have an anti-aging effect on the appearance of the complexion.
There are 3 main types of Beeswax: Yellow, White, and Absolute. Yellow Beeswax is the natural, unrefined, and raw wax derived directly from the honeycomb. White Beeswax is the result of Yellow Beeswax undergoing a filtering/purifying/bleaching process. This is the type that is used in cosmetic formulations, food preparation, and in pharmaceutical products, such as ointments, soft-gel capsules, and in coating for medicinal tablets. Beeswax Absolute is the result of treating Yellow Beeswax with Alcohol.
Used in aromatherapy, the smokeless and lengthy burn time of Beeswax makes it a valuable ingredient in aromatherapy candles. Beeswax candles are also reputed to exude the aroma of honey – which can range from sweet, fresh, or floral to warm, robust, savory, or spicy – and they are also reputed to help facilitate the elimination of airborne pollutants, such as bacteria, dust, allergens, and odours. When pure and natural essential oils essential oils are added during the production phase of natural homemade candles, the resultant products are known to have enhanced fragrances. Furthermore, they are believed to promote overall physical and mental well-being by invigorating the body with increased energy, reducing stress, strengthening focus, helping decrease physical pain, and regulating blood pressure.
Used cosmetically, such as in lip products, moisturizers, and eye makeup, Beeswax hydrates, conditions, soothes, and calms the skin. Without clogging the pores and preventing the skin from being able to breathe, Beeswax creates a hydrating, long-lasting protective barrier to protect it against environmental pollutants as well as the harsh effects of the elements. Its exfoliating and reparative properties combined with its vitamin content helps promote the skin’s regeneration and rejuvenation by helping diminish the appearance of the signs of aging, including spots, wrinkles, and skin damage. Used in natural product formulations, Beeswax offers its scent, which may be characterized as mild, warm, sensual, floral, woody, rich, “oriental,” or a combination of these descriptions, depending on the preferred Beeswax. Refreshing, restorative, and gentle enough for use on even the most sensitive skin, Beeswax is known to soothe itchiness and irritation, to nourish, and to soften dry, cracked, broken areas, making it ideal for use in lip balms. Used in hair, Beeswax contributes shine that promotes the hair’s luster, making it valuable for use in hair products that promote the look of sleekness, such as pomades.
Its regenerative quality and anti-inflammatory property work in conjunction to help decrease the irritation, redness, and inflammation characteristic of acne, while its anti-septic effect further facilitates the healing process. Beeswax has a similar effect on skin afflicted with eczema and psoriasis, soothing the itchiness and working to prevent further irritation or infection. By promoting the growth of newer skin and by contributing softness, Beeswax leaves the complexion looking renewed. When applied to stretch marks, whether they are caused by a fluctuation in weight or by pregnancy, Beeswax is known to help diminish the appearance of these often-unwanted marks, when used in combination with carrier oils and butters.
Used medicinally, Beeswax makes an ideal ingredient in salves meant for treating scrapes, minor cuts, minor wounds, and burns, among other abrasions. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects help to prevent harmful bacteria from entering the body through chapped and broken skin, which is especially common in dry climates and which makes it valuable for use during the drier times of the year. By providing the skin with a layer of protection against external irritants, including harsh and extreme weather conditions that can cause roughness and dryness, Beeswax moisturizes the skin to restore its natural radiance and smoothness. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Beeswax also benefit those who suffer from topical allergies or other discomforts, such as eczema and rosacea.
The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to exhibit:
COSMETIC: Hydrating, Softening, Smoothing, Non-Comedogenic, Protective, Smoothing, Regenerative, Strengthening, Conditioning, Soothing, Collagen-Enhancing.
MEDICINAL: Anti-Allergenic, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral, Protective, Regenerative, Strengthening.
What Are the Medical Uses of Chinese Wax?
The term Chinese wax carries some ambiguity. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there are several herbs and compounds that use the term. Chinese tree wax, Chinese throughwax, fruit from the Chinese wax leaf privet and the Chinese wax gourd are all used in TCM. Since these herbs may all be abbreviated simply as Chinese wax at times, it is important to be sure which meaning is correct.
Chinese insect-wax or tree wax is excreted by insects and gathered from trees. Traditionally, it has been used to treat internal parasites and hoarseness. Some practitioners believe that it helps to mend bones and treat nervousness. Chinese tree wax is not widely used even in TCM and has not experienced much use as an herbal remedy outside of China.
Chinese wax may be used to describe Chinese throughwax, a herb also known as hare’s ear or bupleurum. Unlike Chinese tree wax, Chinese throughwax is used in many TCM formulas, especially those made to treat liver dysfunction. The herb has transitioned well into Japanese herbal medicine, or Kampo, as an ingredient in formulas used to treat lingering cold and flu symptoms.
Due to Japan’s scientific stance on traditional herbalism, Chinese throughwax has been the subject of intense testing. Several of those studies have found that the herb improves the effectiveness of many modern synthetic drugs. For example, although through wax is a mild anti-inflammatory when given alone, it truly shines when given in conjunction with cortisone steroids. Along with greatly increasing their effectiveness, the herb has also been shown to reduce the damage of steroids to the adrenal gland.
Practitioners of herbal medicine in both Japan and China were probably unsurprised by the revelation of Chinese throughwax as a “helper” herb. Both kampo and TCM have used the herb for centuries in conjunction with other plants to treat conditions ranging from mild congestion to life-threatening malaria. Traditionally, the herb has also been given to women to regulate menstruation and decrease the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
The use of the Chinese wax leaf privet as a source of medicinal herbs further adds to the ambiguity surrounding the term. The fruit from this plant is used in many formulas to promote extended youth. Often, formulas made from Chinese wax leaf fruit are used to darken hair and increase hair growth overall. Conditions associated with aging, such as arthritis and general muscle aches in the back and knees, are also treated with the herb.
The Chinese wax gourd is incorporated into traditional Chinese medicine as a healing food. When eaten, the gourd is said to reduce phlegm and remove toxins from the body. It is also believed that the gourd may act as a mild diuretic. As such, it can help to improve urinary tract function by increasing urination and stimulating the kidneys and bladder.
Microcrystalline Wax – Why Is Microcrystalline Wax Used?
What Is Microcrystalline Wax?
Microcrystalline wax is a type of wax that is used in skincare and cosmetic products to thicken and improve the texture and consistency of the formulations. Microcrystalline wax is a wax that is produced by de-oiling petroleum. While it may seem concerning that a skincare product is derived from petroleum, the ingredient is safe and is highly refined. Many skincare ingredients such as petrolatum, paraffin, and some silicones are derived from petroleum and don’t influence their safety or efficacy.
Microcrystalline wax is used in products such as lipsticks, eye makeup, foundations, nail products, some skincare products, sunscreen, fragrance, and hair care. It is used to improve the texture and consistency of a product, making it thicker or more easily spreadable. The texture and consistency of products is an important part of the formulation process as it helps to improve the sensory feel of the product as well as improving its efficacy through spreadability.
THE GOOD: Helps to improve the texture and consistency of a product.
THE NOT SO GOOD: Like any ingredient, it can cause allergies for some people, however, irritation and sensitivity are rare with this ingredient.
WHO IS IT FOR? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.
SYNERGETIC INGREDIENTS: Works well with most ingredients.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Nothing to keep an eye on here.
Why Is Microcrystalline Wax Used?
Microcrystalline wax is used to thicken the lipid or oil part of the formulation. This helps not only to improve the spreadability of the product but also helps to emulsify the oils. When two or more oils are mixed they will often separate out or split after some time. This is where emulsifiers come in, as they help to keep the oils mixed together and prevent splitting.
Improving the spreadability of a product can help deliver the key ingredients evenly across the skin. This is why microcrystalline wax is used in some formulations. It also helps to lessen the fragility of stick formulations, such as a stick blush or deodorant. Microcrystalline wax is considered to be a more flexible wax, making it useful in thick or semi-solid products that need to spread evenly without breaking.
Is Microcrystalline Wax Safe?
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, a group responsible for evaluating the safety of skincare and cosmetic ingredients has reviewed the research available for microcrystalline wax. The Expert Panel concluded that microcrystalline wax is safe for its current uses and in the current concentrations in which it is used. The Expert Panel reviewed any newly available data in 2003 and reaffirmed the above conclusion.
Fully Refined Paraffin Wax
Paraffin Wax is a solid substance derived from either one of Petroleum, Coal, or Shale. It constitutes of a mixture of Hydrocarbon molecules with anywhere between twenty and forty Carbon atoms. It has a very unreactive nature. Fully Refined Paraffin Wax contains less than 0.5% Oil and are made free of impurities and decolouration by hydro-treating or clay-treating them. As the refine grade of Paraffin Wax goes down, the Oil content increases up to 1.5%. Fully Refined Paraffin Wax is free of water and odour and is deemed a food grade substance. It has a clearly defined crystal structure and is hard and brittle in appearance. It has good physical stability and cannot be deformed easily.
Three major industries that use Fully Refined Paraffin Wax are the Cosmetics, Medical, and Food Industries. The Candle Making Industry also uses Fully Refined Paraffin Wax.
-Common items manufactured that use Paraffin Wax are Lipsticks, Cream, Oily Papers, and Chocolate.
-Candles made using Fully Refined Paraffin Wax are of the highest grade and are the most expensive.
It is also used for Lubrication applications and for Electrical Insulation. Plastic Bottle Cap Liners are made using Paraffin Wax. These liners form watertight seals to prevent water from leaking out when the bottle is overturned. Chewing Gum bases contain Paraffin Wax because it helps to bind the ingredients in chewing gum and to impart it with ‘chew’ characteristics. Paraffin Wax is also used in pigment binders for manufacture of Crayons by serving as a medium to transfer the pigment in crayon to the desired substrate.
CERAMIC COATING VS. WAX: WHICH IS BETTER?
The question gets asked a lot: what’s the difference between a ceramic coating and a wax ? It makes sense that there’s confusion around the topic – terms like these are often used interchangeably and most people were taught to understand that a wax IS A sealant and both of them are a form of coating. In a lot of ways that’s true, but as detailing technology continues to evolve, paint protection materials have become more advanced and distinct differences between these terms have begun to emerge.
Waxes, sealants & ceramic coatings have distinct advantages and are specifically suited for different applications. In this write-up we’ll go over some of the common misconceptions, the definitions of each and hopefully help establish an understanding of how these terms are different and when it’s best to use each of them.
What is a wax?
Wax can be a diverse blend of materials that are referred to as “”malleable solids”” – basically a substance that can change form from a solid to a liquid at ambient or slightly elevated temperatures. Wax serves as a protective, sacrificial barrier between your cars paint and the environment.
What is a ceramic coating?
A more recent development in detailing technology has been ceramic-based paint protection. (You’ve probably heard numerous terms/names, most commonly ceramic coating, silica, quartz, silicone-dioxide or even SiO2). This new ceramic material acts very differently from a wax in the sense that it will actually generate a curing property once applied to a surface. This curing creates a chemical bond with the surface on which it’s being applied, in this case our car’s paint. Once they’re applied & cured, ceramic-based protectants are extremely resistant to water, soaps, and of course environmental pollutants.
Ceramic protectants (coatings) provide a much higher durability than wax. They resist heat, UV rays, environmental contaminants & harsh detergents much better than wax.
Wax on the other hand simply sits on top of the paint’s surface. It does not create the chemical bond like we find with ceramic coatings.
When and how often should I apply a wax or ceramic?
Waxes & sealants are protectants – they should always be the last thing you apply to your vehicle’s paint. How often really depends on the type of driving you do and the punishment your car’s paint endures. With protective wax, a good rule of thumb is once every 4-6 weeks for general-use cars that are parked in a garage or covered. You’ll want to step up the frequency if you live in an area with overly-harsh weather conditions, or if the vehicle spends a majority of time parked out in the elements.
Durability and length of protection are really where ceramics shine (pardon the pun). It can depend on the type of coating you choose & the conditions your car or truck lives in. That’s more than double the amount of time when compared to a wax. Some coatings even boast years of paint protection, but those can be a little more difficult to apply and we’d suggest consulting a professional if you choose this route.
Regardless of which method of paint protection you use, it’s important to reiterate that durability will vary depending on your specific storage conditions & the environment your vehicle lives in.
For some, it might boil down to the simplest question: Which is better? Well, it’s honestly up to personal preference. When we get asked, our first response is typically “”How is the car is used?””
If you’re headed to a car show or maybe a photo shoot, wax can be an excellent option. It provides a warm glow and depth to your vehicle’s painted surfaces, and will protect for a decent period of time.
However, if the car is your daily driver, sees lots of time on the road, maybe gets parked outdoors most of the day while you’re at work – you might want to consider switching to a ceramic coating for your protection needs. The ease of use paired with its low maintenance needs make it the clear choice for cars that get driven on a daily basis.