Bee Conscious Cosmetics
I have been hibernating like my honeybees this winter. It is my first time in five years living in a colder climate, and I have become pretty inactive… on the surface. But underground, I am nurturing my roots, preparing for spring, so that I may grow forth with strength, beauty and new life.
Winter provides deep inner reflections and observations of self and the world around us. As I continue to expand in my own understanding of our interconnectivity with all things, I feel called to bring to light a caution in our consumption of all products coming from honeybees, not just honey. To be a consc
ious consumer requires the ability to apply action to our knowledge; to not just acknowledge the inconsistencies in our lives, but to passionately address them in ways that determine our daily decisions.
One decision you may have already made through your love for honeybees is to only consume local, raw, sustainably-harvested honey. This is one of the most important first steps in supporting the survival of honeybees. Know your beekeeper, or at least their methods and where their bees are sourcing their nectar. I have found that most local beekeepers love to talk about their bees with you, and how good their honey is. I swear their honey will taste even sweeter when you hear the love and joy a beekeeper has for their bees.
Once you find your honey, and you connect even more with honeybees, you may start to see signs of them everywhere! Honey soaps and shampoos, beeswax lip balm, royal jelly night cream…to name a few. How easy it may be to want to consume everything you find associated to honeybees, because those products must be good for you if they are coming from bees, right?
I often hear people rave about Burt’s Beeswax products, and recently during a short time working in a natural health store I was exposed to another brand called The Naked Bee. Both of these companies have done an amazing job with marketing their
products as bee-friendly, without actually stating that in their product descriptions. The “natural” look of their products lets the consumer assume that the ingredients must be good for nature and good for us. This is genius advertising to misdirect the masses. When, in fact, if you see that a food or product uses any bee products: wax, honey, propolis, royal
jelly, pollen, venom… Bee Aware!
Whether it is something you consume internally (as a food, drink or supplement), or externally (just on your skin or hair), these products still need to be accountable for sustainable ingredients, especially when harvested from our precious honeybees. When I see beeswax as an ingredient, I don’t think: “oh good, they are supporting bees”, I think: “what bees are they harvesting this from that are providing enough beeswax to supply an entire cosmetic line?!”
Do you really want honey in your hair products or beeswax on your lips? Make your own!
Remember that local beekeeper you talked to before who supplies your love-filled raw honey? I bet they have some beeswax laying around they might sell you too, if you ask nice. Homemade honey and beeswax cosmetics are one of the funnest, feel-good, empowering projects you could create for yourself, you and your partner, or an activity for the whole family. Shoots, you could even make it a party and invite your friends to do honey facials and double boil beeswax into lip balm.
So, the main advice here is to educate yourself as a consumer, read your labels on cosmetics as well as food, and apply the knowledge you have on what to buy that’s best for your body AND the bees. If you are already supporting a local beekeeper with their honey sales, ask them about what other bee products they may have available. Let your creativity buzz and discover the joy of making your own bee-inspired cosmetics. Winter is the perfect time to play this way and and below is an easy lip balm recipe to get you started!