Many cosmetics products contain beeswax, particularly those advertised as all-natural and suited for sensitive skin. Aside from thickening qualities in facial creams, moisturizing lotions and lip balms, this honey byproduct collected from beehives plays a more prominent role in various herbal salves. A beeswax salve can easily be made at home to help stop itching and burning that arises from bug bites, allergic rashes or sunburn. Aside from the obvious ingredient, these thick concoctions are often rich in various plant oils reputed to have moisturizing, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Making a beeswax salve starts with heating any number of plant-based oils in a pan over medium-low heat. Some of the more popular oils used in folk salve remedies are jojoba, coconut, almond, canola and olive oils. Herbalists may also add other effective ingredients to this type of salve, such as mashed plantains, chickweed, vitamin E and comfrey leaf. Essential oils from flowers might be added for a pleasant aroma or perhaps a known insect repellent like citronella.
Once these oils are mixed and heated, beeswax is slowly added until the liquid thickens into an ointment-like consistency. One recipe uses about 2 oz. (about 56.7 g) of beeswax for nearly 5 oz. (about 141.8 g) of assorted oils. Some thinner salves use a five-to-three ratio of oil-to-wax. To test whether the consistency is correct, a small amount of beeswax salve can be poured onto a plate. Once it cools, it should have the approximate texture of spreadable butter.
Before the salve cools and hardens completely, all the other ingredients should be stirred through. The medley possibilities are rich, from frankincense or cloves used to ease congestion to patchouli or sandalwood used for aromatherapy. If adding other ingredients changes the consistency, more beeswax or more oil can be added to thicken or soften the salve. Once the mixture has been poured into a bowl and cooled completely, it can be distributed to small jars for use.
Other at-home cosmetic products can be made from beeswax and these oils, only in different proportions. A beeswax balm perhaps uses the most beeswax, which has been scientifically proven as a natural skin protector. When lotion or cream is being concocted from beeswax, less beeswax will be added to the oil. Ingredients renowned for moisturizing or anti-aging like aloe vera or cocoa butter will predominate in beeswax lotions, not the anti-itching or antiseptic ingredients of a beeswax salve.