the buzz on beeswax and candelilla wax: exploring the differences, benefits, and functions in cosmetic products


The world of cosmetics is filled with an extensive range of ingredients, each with its unique properties and benefits. Two popular waxes often utilised in cosmetic formulations are beeswax and candelilla wax. While both serve similar functions, they have distinct characteristics that make them stand out. In this blog, we'll delve into the differences, benefits, and functions of beeswax and candelilla wax in cosmetic products.

  1. Beeswax:

Source: Beeswax, as its name suggests, is derived from bees. It is secreted by bees to build honeycombs and provides natural protection against moisture and harsh elements. Beeswax is commonly used in cosmetic products and is known to be one of the best skin softening ingredients.


- Moisture Locking: Beeswax is an excellent emollient and humectant, sealing in moisture and preventing dehydration. It forms a protective barrier on the skin, helping to retain moisture and softness.

- Skin Protection: The barrier formed by beeswax serves as a shield against environmental stressors. It helps protect the skin from pollutants and harsh weather conditions.

- Soothing and Healing: Beeswax is known to possess anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it beneficial for soothing irritated or inflamed skin.

Functions in Cosmetics:

- Thickening Agents: Beeswax's natural thickening properties make it a valuable ingredient in various cosmetic products. It adds viscosity and stability to formulations, improving their texture and consistency. It can withstand a higher melting point, making it perfect for products such as lip balms.

- Protective Coating: The film-forming nature of beeswax helps create a protective barrier on the skin, reducing moisture loss and enhancing the longevity of the product's effects.

- Recommended usage: Use between 1-20% in a wide variety of products such as body butters, lip balms, facial balms etc.

  1. Candelilla Wax:

Source: Candelilla wax is derived from the leaves of the Candelilla shrub (Euphorbia cerifera), native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. It is obtained by boiling the leaves and stems of the plant and then filtering out the wax.


- Vegan-Friendly: Candelilla wax is a popular choice for vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics due to its plant-based origin.

- Skin Protection: Candelilla wax, similar to beeswax, forms a protective barrier on the skin, guarding against external aggressors and locking in moisture.

- Non-Comedogenic: Candelilla wax is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog pores. This makes it suitable for oily and acne-prone skin types.

Functions in Cosmetics:

- Rheology Modifier: Candelilla wax is often used as a rheology modifier in cosmetic formulas. It controls the texture, consistency, and spreadability of products, ensuring a smooth and easy application.

- Thickening Agent: Just like beeswax, candelilla wax adds thickness and stability to cosmetic products, making it an ideal ingredient for creams, lip balms, and lipsticks.

- Binding Agent: Candelilla wax acts as a binding agent, helping ingredients in lipsticks, hand balms, and other solid cosmetic products adhere together, resulting in their desired shape and form.

- Recommended usage: Candelilla wax can be added to products from 1-30%, and as it provides a glossy finish it is a perfect addition for lip products.


While both beeswax and candelilla wax offer similar functions in cosmetic products, they have distinct characteristics that make them unique.

Understanding the differences, benefits, and functions of these waxes allows cosmetic formulators to make informed choices based on their desired product attributes and target audience preferences. Whether you opt for the natural richness of beeswax or the vegan-friendly properties of candelilla wax, both waxes serve as versatile and valuable ingredients in enhancing the performance and benefits of cosmetic products.

Want to see the difference in colour/texture for yourself? Check out our vegan and non-vegan lip balms to compare candelilla wax to beeswax!

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