Paraffin treatments are known to be softening to the skin in the spa and cosmetic industry, but exactly how beneficial is paraffin to our health? How does it pair against beeswax? We took a closer look at the production, uses, and benefits of both waxes.
Paraffin is a white, soft solid wax that is made from petroleum. Yes, it is made out of the same substance your car’s gasoline comes from. It is primarily used for lubrification, electrical insulation, candle-making, the food industry, and the cosmetics industry. Your local grocery store most likely carries liquid paraffin under the names “Bakers wax” and “canning wax.” No matter how you spin it, it is still paraffin wax. Paraffin is essentially a chemical preservative that may be bleached before used in skincare and cosmetics to rid it of any sludge-like colouring. On the other hand, beeswax is a natural product that comes from the bee hive. It is used in the same industries as paraffin, but since it does not naturally contain pesticides or harmful chemicals, it is the true healthier choice. Beeswax has a natural honey scent and is not heavily processed. In fact, it is the most natural of all the waxes, including soy. You can find everything from beeswax candles to cosmetics filled with the benefits of beeswax. (source)
How is paraffin and beeswax processed?
Paraffin is quite literally a “bottom-of-the-barrel” product as it is the last product to be processed from petroleum. Yes, even after asphalt (also known as black top and road tar)! Due to the nature of paraffin, it may potentially contain formaldehyde and vinyl chloride. Do you still want to slather on that face cream? On the other hand, beeswax is produced from the bee hives where the worker bees build the honeycombs. These incredible worker bees have eight wax-producing glands on their body that produce the beeswax. Worker bees will build the honeycomb in the hive, and also produce honey. Additionally, beeswax is naturally white in colour but becomes yellow or brown from pollen oils and propolis, which further enhance the benefits of the beeswax and honey. (source, source)
Did you know? Bees fly 241, 402 km (or 150,000 miles, equivalent to 6 times around the Earth!) to produce one pound of beeswax. They don’t call them busy bees for nothin’! (source)
In the food industry, both paraffin and beeswax is applied to fruits and vegetables to help protect them from mould, loss of moisture, and to add a glossy shine to the produce. However, only one option is natural while the other is not easily digested by the human body. This means it will pass right through our system – lovely! Can you guess which option that is? If you guessed paraffin, you are absolutely correct. Have you ever picked up an apple from the grocery store and noticed it was sticky to the touch? This is because paraffin is naturally sticky and coats the skin of several fruit varieties. On the same note, paraffin is added to chewing gum and to candies to add shine. While beeswax is also used for food industry purposes, it is a more gentle option since it is a pure form of wax.
When it comes to burning candles, buyer beware: many paraffin candles are filled with synthetic fragrances, chemicals, and pesticides. Due to this, those who suffer from asthma or allergies may become extremely irritated. Plus, the chemical residue from paraffin candles can also stick to walls, curtains, and the area surrounding the burning zone. Beeswax candles, however, are clean burning. While paraffin emits soot as it burns, beeswax does not. It has anti-bacterial properties that make beeswax perfect for individuals with asthma or allergies. When you burn a beeswax candle, the air fills with the aroma of natural honey rather than synthetic smells. Plus, beeswax can purify your air as they give off negative ions. This means the negative ions will partner with pollutants in the air, thus removing things like dust, dirt, etc floating in our air. (source, source)
To learn more about Wedderspoon’s range of beexwax candles, click here.
The cosmetic and spa industry uses both paraffin and beeswax, not only in skin treatments but in products, too. Paraffin is commonly used in facials, manicures, and pedicures as a moisturising application. However, some side effects of paraffin include vomiting, headaches, and in extreme cases may lead to benzene pollution. For individuals with sensitive skin, heat rash may develop if paraffin is applied topically, as well as break outs and swelling in those with sensitivities to chemicals. As if that’s not enough, paraffin may encourage numbness and hinder circulation in those who are diabetic. On the other hand, honey is a luxury treatmeant at the spa with the ability to soften and protect the skin due to it’s gentle moisturising properties. This friendly alternative is anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, germicidal, and anti-bacterial. The beeswax acts as a natural thickening agent to skin creams and butters, and is rich in Vitamin A (which aids in cell reconstruction). (source, source, source)
Finally, when it comes down to choosing between paraffin and beeswax, it’s all about making proper choices to benefit your health. Self-education and awareness is the first step to forming the best decision. Fortunately there are plenty of products on the market that use safe ingredients and no harmful chemicals or pesticides. Nurturing your body with beneficial products that are organically sourced and free of dangerous chemicals is paramount. Wedderspoon offers a line of body care products that incoporate beeswax, which we know is a more healthy alternative when paired against paraffin. Now, start digging through your bathroom cabinet and make some room for beeswax!
We are offering 10% off our Organic Manuka Beeswax Tealight Candles! They are the perfect way to light up the Holidays and make wonderful gifts to friends and family.