As far as DIY staples go, I think beeswax might be the eggs of our DIY kitchen. It does so much (thickening, hardening, increasing staying power), is hard to replace, and ends up in so many recipes (though it is a pretty poor breakfast food). Beeswax was one of the first ingredients I ever purchased, and I’d never bee (groan) without it. So, since I have oodles and oodles of recipes that use beeswax, I wanted to take the time to feature some of my favourites—from a wide range of projects. From wood polish to perfume, beeswax is awesome. Let’s get making!
Before we dive into the project list I want go over beeswax 101. Beeswax is a honey-scented golden yellow wax made by bees. It melts around 63°C (145°F), which is higher than most ingredients we’ll work with (shea butter melts at 37°C [99°F]), but lower than two other common DIY waxes, candelilla (~70°C [158°F]) and carnauba (~82°C [180°F]). Beeswax is primarily used to harden and thicken our concoctions, and it also increases staying power (think of a body oil vs a body balm; one will stick around on your skin a lot longer). Beeswax can make concoctions sticky if used in high concentrations, which can be annoying or great (like in a sticky lip balm)—it’s just something to be aware of.
I’ve done some experiments with it, to see how beeswax performs when melted with liquid oil, and how beeswax performs when melted with coconut oil. The two experiments are surprisingly different, and definitely worth checking out to understand just how strong beeswax is. You can purchase refined and unrefined beeswax. I recommend the unrefined, honey-scented stuff for almost all applications—the only exception I’ve found so far are a few cosmetic recipes in my upcoming book, where the precision of the refined stuff is necessary. Try purchasing your beeswax locally; most beekeepers/apiaries will have some for sale, so just ask at your local farmers market.
Alright—onto our 10 recipes to make with beeswax!
I’ve got a lot of wood furniture and cuttings boards, and they need to be cared for. This furniture polish more than does the trick—it completely revives dull, dry wood, making it lustrous and rich again. The beeswax helps boost water repellency, preventing your furniture and cutting boards from drying out and cracking.
This recipe is one of my oldest, and still one of my most popular. It’s a beautiful blend of great-for-hair oils that have been thickened with beeswax to help you apply just the tiniest amount of it to your hair, leaving it hydrated but not of heavy or greasy.
There’s no need to spend a small fortune on shop bought beard balms when you can easily make your own! The beeswax in this formula thickens a great blend of liquid oils to make a beard balm that’s easy to apply and offers some styling power.
Solid perfume is super easy to make, and far less messy than its liquid counterpart. If you’re feeling extra creative you can always pour it into an old locket so you can wear it around your neck (this feels rather Victorian luxe to me!), and of course—you can make it smell like anything you want. I love this Steamer Trunk Solid Perfume, but the sky is the limit!
I love this stuff. This pink, rose-scented salve is one of very few creations that has made it into my bag, and it has been a lot of places with me. Perfect for hands and lips, and any other dry spots I might find, it’s part body butter, part lip balm, and just perfect. It’s not sticky, and absorbs into my skin quickly. Thanks to the beeswax it stays solid, even on hot days, so I never have to worry about it sloshing out of the container after a summer day spent rolling around my purse.
If you’re the proud owner of a twirlable, styleable ‘stache, you should have some ‘stache wax. And you should make it yourself so it can be precisely as strong as you’d like it to be. Yup. Score.
My new book has some amazing new lipstick recipes in it, but if you can’t wait for it to come out, you should definitely dive into some of the lipstick recipes I’ve already shared. This one is perfect for warmer days, coloured with a blend of red and yellow iron oxides. Want a brighter coral? Try using carmine instead of red iron oxide!
This lovely herb-infused salve is fantastic for healing salves; my testers all had great results fading scars old and new. The beeswax in this salve helps it stick around on the skin long enough to do what it’s supposed to.
Maybe you’ve heard of the shop-bought version? Why not make your own for a lot less? There’s a truckload of bee goodies in here—beeswax, of course, but there’s also pollen, honey, and propolis! You can also watch my video of this recipe if you want 🙂
This lovely lip balm is a favourite of mine. Hardened with just enough beeswax, it’s not at all sticky—it glides across the lips, hydrating them without any tackiness. LOVE.