The difference between vegan wax and beeswax
Beeswax is very popular – particularly in natural cosmetics. Not just because it creates a good consistency, but also because it locks in moisture, protects your skin and keeps it feeling silky. Yet, despite all its positive properties: beeswax is and will always be an animal product. This fact is particularly relevant for vegans. Because if you’re hoping to avoid animal products entirely, you can’t make any compromises when choosing your cosmetics.
Why is wax so good?
There are hardly any cosmetics that don’t contain wax. The reason: wax is great for providing consistency. Creams or lotions have a firmer consistency and can therefore be applied in a better way, thanks to waxes. This particularly applies to creams, balms, pastes, lotions, lip care products and mascaras. Wax also has many soothing and protective properties:
- It locks in moisture.
- It forms a protective layer on the skin and protects it against harmful environmental influences.
- It increases the elasticity of the skin.
- It keeps the skin soft and smooth.
- It smooths small wrinkles.
Beeswax – you can do without it
Beeswax is excreted by honey bees and helps the bees build their honeycombs. The honeycomb not only stores the honey, it also houses the young bees. This means that wax is vital for bees and is therefore of greater significance. In order to extract beeswax, the comb is spun, the wax melts and is reformed. Beeswax is therefore not only an animal product, it is also a product which is crucial for the survival of the bees. Cosmetic beeswax generally comes from China.
If you want to avoid beeswax you should look for natural cosmetic products that contain plant-based waxes. These are in no way inferior to beeswax in terms of care and protection. On the contrary: as their original function is to protect plants against heat, UV rays and drying out, they have many positive properties which are great for the skin. They are also – in contrast to classic beeswax – odour neutral.
If you want to avoid beeswax you should look for natural cosmetic products that contain plant-based waxes.
The best plant-based alternatives
The most common vegan waxes include candelilla wax, carnauba wax and myrica wax. They are all plant-based and are especially suitable for cosmetic use. They are also suitable for people with allergies as they are skin-friendly and contain no perfumes.
Berry wax (Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera) is extracted from the fruits of the lacquer tree. The wax is a mixture of vegetable fat and free fatty acids. The special feature of berry wax is what improves the shelf life of ingredients in cosmetic products. In addition, it has made the skin’s properties smooth and supple.
Candelilla wax (euphorbia cerifera cera) is particularly well known . It comes from the leaves and branches of the candelilla bush, which grows principally in North Mexico and the Southwest of the USA. The shoots of the bush are cut and heated to extract the wax. Candelilla wax has a high melting point and is very hard at low temperatures. It also feels pleasant on the skin, is not sticky and binds well with other oils. It is used not just in skin care products but also in hair care products since it gives the hair a beautiful sheen and makes it easy to comb.
Carnauba wax (copernicia cerifera cera) comes from the leaves of the carnauba palm, which is also called wax palm. It originates from Brazil, where it grows up to 15 metres high and has fan-shaped leaves. The waxy layer that coats the leaves is removed after drying the leaves and is then melted down. Carnauba wax is one of the hardest of all plant-based waxes and has a very high boiling point. Due to this property, it is primarily used for lipsticks and eyeliners, as well as for mascara. But it is also used in skin and haircare products.
Myrica (myrica cerifera) is a wax which is extracted from the fruits of morella rubra shrubs. They are grown, cooked, the raw wax is skimmed off, filtered and then processed. What makes it different: myrica wax is considerably softer than carnauba or candelilla wax. Due to its gel-like consistency, it is lighter and less filmy on the skin than beeswax. If a harder consistency is required, such as for lipsticks, a combination of other plant waxes is often used. It is used in skin and haircare products.
Rice wax (Oryza Sativa Bran Wax) is a vegetable natural wax, which is produced during the production of rice oil. It is characterized by its slightly yellowish color and slightly crystalline substance, is mainly used for cosmetic purposes due to its fat content and usually saponified. Due to its high fat content, its contained enzymes and the vitamin B content, the wax is particularly nourishing and moisturizing. These properties make it a perfect component for soaps and creams.
Sunflower wax (Helianthus Annuus Seed Cera) is one of the innovative waxes and is considered to be the best known alternative to beeswax. Sunflower wax is derived from the oil of the sunflower, which originally comes from North America, but today is widely grown in Europe. This property makes the sunflower wax a particularly sustainable alternative for us. Sunflower wax has an excellent oil-binding capacity, which makes it a pleasant protective film on the skin. Microfine sunflower wax particles form synergies with keratin: a natural repair effect is set in motion which nourishes the skin and hair.
Conclusion: Wax is Wax.
Beeswax has many great characteristics that can have positive effects for the skin and hair. But if you want to avoid animal products, there are many very good plant-based alternatives that match beeswax in terms of care, protection and consistency. This is why in our STUDIO BOTANIC HANDCREAM and COLD CREAM we only use vegan wax. Ultimately, it’s “just” a question of ethics- whether you prefer beeswax products or wish to go for those with vegan waxes.