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Name: Robert
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Question:
Could you please tell me what you can use to soften pure bee's wax so that you could use it in a lotion or a salve.



Replies:
Robert -

A quick serch of the data base of the listserve BEE-L brought up tow postings that might be useful to you. Sources and cites are likely lost in cyberland. Try these out with wisdom and caution.

Have you thought of using propolis salves? These predate the drug companies by hundreds of years.

Good luck.

Larry Krengel


Beeswax is usually used as a binder in lotions and is not very often the ingredient that makes the lotion unique. Be that as it may be, this recipe for Moisturing Vitamin E Cream uses more wax than most and might be what you're looking for. It is from Jeanne Rose's "Herbal Body Book."

(4 oz. olive oil, 3 Tablespn beeswax, 2 oz. Orange water, 5000 units vitamin E, 5 drops oil of Orange flower or Orange peel

Melt the oil and the wax in the top of an enamel or glass double boiler, remove from heat, add your Orange water, and stir thoroughly. (you can get Orange water in the grocery store, or at health food stores or gourmet places) Pierce 10 capsules of 500 units of vitamin E and squeeze the contents into the cream. Add your essential oil and stir continuously until cool. This cream is very moisturizing and emollient. It is nice for rough, dry, or chapped complexions and should help promote healthy looking skin.)

There are far more recipes for beauty products that use honey than I have found use beeswax, but I hope this serves.


Recipe 1:

6 oz. mineral oil (also called liquid paraffin)
2 oz. beeswax
8 oz distilled water
2 TSP borax (I don't know if that's teaspoon or tablespoon)

In a double boiler, heat oil and wax to 160 F. At the same time in a sauce pan, heat the water to 160 F. When both reach this temperature, add the borax to the water, stir briefly until it's dissolved. Maintaining the temperature, pour the borax-water solution into the beeswax-oil solution while stirring briskly. Turn heat off and continue stirring for at least 5 minutes. When the mixture has cooled to 140 F, pour into containers and let cool.

Recipe 2:

1/4 cup beeswax
1/4 cup almond oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon pollen
1/4 cup petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline)
1/4 cup glycerin
2 tablespoons liquid lecithin

Melt the beeswax and petro jelly together in a double boiler. Add the rest of the ingredients, heat and stir for 4-5 minutes until smooth. Pour into containers and let cool. (Hardens as it cools.)

Recipe addenda:

One can substitute other ingredients: use refined olive oil instead of mineral oil or petro jelly; add lanolin (sheep body oil, which makes a pretty good hand lotion all by itself); add fragrant oils like lemon rind oil to make it smell nice.

I have not made any of these yet myself, but I have found that one needs a few different bottles of handlotion, of different consistencies, to have smooth skin. The really hard, gooey materials like beeswax and lanolin are best as a moisture barrier when you work with your hands or get them wet a lot. THe lighter, runnier materials like glycerin, olive oil, and mineral oil are best for lightly coating dry hands to condition the skin. Some of the best ingredients for this last purpose are unpronounceable chemicals found in commercial hand lotions. But beeswax lotion in my opinion is one of the best for heavy-duty use.

IMPORTANT CAUTION:

Wax is flammable like crazy. You must be alert when heating it so it doesn't catch fire. Use a double-boiler.

A double boiler is one pan set inside another one. The outer pan is filled with water. The inner pan holds the wax mixture. Heat the water in the outer pan to cook the stuff in the inside pan. The bottom of the inside pan should not sit directly on the bottom of the outside pan - there should be water between them. One person says he uses a "wax pan" set inside a frying pan.

Larry Krengel



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