Beeswax is a common ingredient found in beauty products, but it’s not one you’ll ever find in a Kinder Beauty Box. That’s because we love our bee friends! These fascinating insects work hard to make their wax and their honey, and we think it’s best to simply leave them alone. Bees are harmed and sometimes killed in the collection of beeswax. Here’s why you should avoid it.
1. We depend on bees for survival.
Bees are responsible for pollinating plants and thus keeping the majority of the world’s crops alive. Without buzzing buddies flying from flower to flower, crops would die off and food would become scarce. The loss of bees would be devastating to the human race, which makes it extra disturbing to know that bees are actually on the endangered species list! Their populations are dwindling, and we don’t need to put any extra stress on these animals by keeping them captive and exploiting them for their wax—especially when there are alternatives like soy wax, paraffin, and carnauba wax readily available.
2. Bees need their wax.
Worker bees produce wax through special glands on their abdomens and deposit the wax into the hive. Other bees chew the wax and form it into a comb with hundreds of hexagonal cells that are used to either store their food (honey) and to raise their young. So basically, beeswax is what makes up the bees’ entire complex home and keeps their food and babies safe. Taking a bee’s wax would be like someone taking away the walls of your house and everything you need to keep your family safe and protected, and nobody wants that.
3. Bees are hurt or killed in beeswax and honey production.
Honey is another ingredient you won’t see us using at Kinder Beauty. That’s because honey and beeswax are problematic in the same ways and they’re harvested at the same time. Many commercial beekeeping operations put profit above the welfare of bees. They take too much of the bees’ honey and replace it with sugar-water, leaving the bees malnourished and at risk of disease, which could cause death of the whole colony. They also force the bees to live in unnatural environments, transport them all over the country in trucks, and use equipment that carelessly kills bees or tears off their limbs and wings. Some beekeepers in the commercial industry cut the wings off of a new queen bee in order to prevent her from leaving the hive, or deliberately kill an older queen to make room for a new one. These cruel tactics are exploiting the bees’ collective desire to store honey for survival and to protect their queen and their young at all cost. Bees exist for their own reasons—they’re not here for us to take advantage of and use for lipstick, mascara, or any other product.
You can help bees simply by checking the ingredients on cosmetics before you buy. If the label says “beeswax” or “cera alba” on it, just put it back on the shelf. More and more companies are learning that you don’t have to mess with nature to create natural, high-quality beauty products, and are refusing to use beeswax.
To make shopping for cruelty-free and vegan beauty products even easier, subscribe to Kinder Beauty! Each month we’ll send you a variety of products that are free of beeswax or any other ingredient that hurts animals or the environment. You can also gift a box, and show your friends and family how easy it is to be Kinder. Have more questions about beeswax or other ingredients? Let us know in the comments!
Kim Johnson is a writer and social media strategist with 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector working for animal protection organizations.