The rapid decline of the Bee has been widely publicised. The escalated use of pesticides and the disappearance of wildflowers are key contributors to the decrease, with some areas losing up to80% of their bee populations.
Bees play a vital role in our ecosystems by supporting the growth of plants and flowers through pollination, and can be attributed to an estimatedthird of the fruit produced in the UK. In total it is claimed that the impact of bees is worth a staggering£700million to the UK economy!
But it’s not all doom and gloom, there are lots of simple steps you can take to support bees. You may be surprised to hear that being mindful of the skincare ingredients that are in your cosmetic products is one of them.
In this blog you will learn more about the role Bees and the products they produce play in the skincare industry, and how choosing sustainable and bee-friendly ingredients can help.
Bee Products Are Commonly Used Skincare Ingredients
Bee’s produce 5 substances which can be found in skincare and cosmetics. These are: Honey (including Manuka Honey), Bee Propolis, Royal Jelly, Beeswax and Bee Pollen.
The use of Bee products on skin ailments is documented to go as far back as3000 years ago, having been associated with the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. Today you will find Bee-based products in a plethora of popular cosmetics. Many of which you may use daily, such as lip balms, mascaras, moisturisers and skin creams. Honey and Beeswax are by far the most popular and widely used Bee products in modern skincare.
The Benefits of Using Honey in Skincare
Dubbed“Liquid Gold”, Honey is a popular ingredient choice due to its extensive benefits for the skin and over all wellbeing.
As a natural humectant, Honey is excellent at keeping the skin hydrated and moisturised. It also has antibacterial properties which help to give a clear, blemish-free and youthful complexion. Honey can be used on all skin types and is particularly soothing to sensitive skin.
Beeswax is a Versatile Skincare Ingredient
Beeswax is a particularly beneficial natural ingredient to include in creams and balms, as it helps to give a thicker consistency.It is also an occlusive which creates a layer on the skin that will slow down transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and creates a protective barrier against external aggressors. Beeswax can also be used in massage blends, lipsticks and cleansers.
Create your own homemadeBeard Balm using Beeswax orOrganic Beeswax. It is softening and conditioning to the face, leaving the skin feeling hydrated.
Why Choose Bee-Friendly Skincare
It is demanding work for the Bee’s to produce the substances we harvest from them, so we should be choosing to enjoy their wears responsibly.
Using Bee-friendly products is one of the easiest ways we can help to protect our Bee populations. Fortunately, the Bee products used in the skincare industry can be safely harvested from hives.
Creating your own homemade skincare and cosmetic is one way of ensuring you are only using sustainably sourced ingredients. There are also lots of options available on the market for bee-safe cosmetics. A quick internet search brings up a wide choice of specialist and independent skincare brands who promote bee-friendly cosmetics. You may be surprised to see some of the larger high-street brands pop up too.
How Are Skincare Ingredients Bee-friendly?
Sourcing the Bee products which are used as wonderful skincare ingredients can be done in a way which is kind to nature, the Bee’s and their hives.
Beeswax can be sustainably harvested from the caps which seal honey into the honeycomb. These need to be removed in order to extract honey from the hive frames. Taking just the caps ensures the structure of the hive remains untouched and can continue to be used by the Bees. It is also the purest form of Beeswax.
Bee’s create Honey as a source of food. Therefore, it is imperative that it is only collected when the hive has extra available. This means there is enough remaining to feed the Bee colony.
Royal Jelly is created by worker Bees to feed the larvae in the hive and can be time consuming to harvest in bee-friendly way. The process involves the use of a decoy Queen Bee and plastic cups to collect the Royal Jelly. It must be timed precisely to ensure there is enough to harvest and to feed the larvae.
Bee-Friendly Botanicals, Carrier Oils and Essential Oils
We can have a positive impact on our precious Bee’s through our choices of natural skincare products which do not directly come from their hives too.
Plants and flowers favoured by Bee’s are also commonly used as natural Botanicals, Carrier Oils and Essential Oils. With the loss of their natural habitat, Bee’s will be attracted to areas where their favorite flowers are growing for food and shelter. Their help with pollination is often welcomed by the growers and farmers too.
Other Ways You Can Help to Support Bees at Home
Choosing Bee-safe skincare is only one of the ways you can help our little black and yellow friends. Another easy option is making small changes to your garden at home.
Bee’s enjoy a range of flowers for nectar, which they forage for between March and October. Planting more flowers would help to encourage Bee’s to visit your garden. If you have the space, you could also leave an area of garden to go wild and allow long grass to grow. Another tip would be to purchase or make an insect house using natural materials.
Any help no matter how small will go a long way to saving our precious Bee populations, ensuring they are around for many generations to come.
World Bee Day is an annual campaign hosted on the 20th May which aims to raise awareness of the declining Bee populations. More information on how you can support Bees can found on theofficial website.