How bad is beeswax?

Bee lavender

Turns out, pretty bad! Well there’s a suprise.

I suffer from eczema flare ups that have seen so bad in the past I’ve had to take antidepressants to cope with the constant itching and sleeplessness and, well, outright despair. Skin Salvation from Pure Potions got rid of the eczema on my face literally overnight. I’ve used it on my face everyday for over three years now.

It contains beeswax which means it’s not vegan, which is bad for me, and worse for the bees.

Once again my ignorance is astounding – I had zero idea how honey and beeswax are made or even what they are. Honey was the last animal product I gave up as I thought bees enjoyed making honey and not eating it would damage their livelihood. No really, I genuinely thought that; they have worker bees so surely they enjoy working to make me honey?

Well, a little research has brought up these horrifying facts about bees kept for large commercial honey production. These are taken from the ever-shocking PETA website:

  • Queen bees often get their wings snipped off so they can’t leave the hive and are repeatedly artificially inseminated
  • When queen bees are moved to other hives, they are protected by bodyguard bees who either die on the journey or are killed by the bees in the new hive
  • Bee keepers pinch the honey the bees have been busy making and replace it with cheap manufactured substitutes which are unlikely to sustain the bees through winter. I find this kinda outrageous – imagine working all summer to make delicious meals and puddings to see you through winter, only have someone nick it all, sell it for a tonne of money you’ll never see and give you gruel to live on instead.

Honey is food to keep bees alive through winter. I literally had no idea that’s what honey’s for.

It gets worse. Turns out honey is actually bee vomit! It’s made from regurgitated flower nector, not as I foolishly¬†hopefully thought, made by the bees tiny little hands wringing juice out of the pollen they’ve collected.

Beeswax is made from wax from the bees’ glands. So in a way I’ve been moisturising my fave with the bee equivalent of ear wax for three years.

None of this is good news. I don’t want to go back to the dark days of eczema as honestly, it was probably the lowest I’ve ever felt on my life. Here are some pics of my burning, flaky skin from three years ago to see what we could be dealing with here:

Eczema face
Old lady eyes and crispy red face
Eczema arm
Just a touch sore

So what to do? Do I stop using the cream and find something different? Do I keep using the cream and feel guilt-inducing and more than a little bit grossed out every time I put it on?

I think I’m going to email Pure Potions and find out where they get their honey from. Even if it’s from the happiest, most well-kept bees in England, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep using it, bit it’s worth finding out.

If I stop using the cream and my eczema comes back, what if I have to take a load of medication and chemical-filled creams to get rid of it? That won’t be good for the environment either but at least it’ll be better for bees.

If my eczema does come back, would I be able to handle the mental strain of eczema after not sleeping for more than four hours at a time for. a. whole. YEAR?

We have a large garden so one thing I can do, regardless of what happens with the cream is plant some more flowers that bees love. They are all over our lavender bush and I love lavender too so that’s a good place to start.

Bee lavender
Wonder if it’s this particular bee’s gland wax I’ll be rubbing on my face tonight 🤢

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