If you remember one thing you read today, make it this one: Dry air loves healthy lips — and not in a good way. Dry air leeches the moisture from your lips like a lecture from an angry person sucks the fun out of a room. When you add extremes in temperature to that dry air, look out — either extremely low or extremely high temperatures can put real muscle on that bully, and then you’re in for a bad time. And by ‘a bad time’, we mean uncomfortably dry, chapped lips.
But is there a form of armor you can use to protect your lips from the two-front assault of extreme temperature and parching dry air? Actually, there is. It’s been our most prized possessions for thousands of years, from the warrior’s bow string to the scholar’s quill, from the greatest artworks of antiquity to modern thread. That armor is known as Cera Alba, but we more commonly know it as beeswax.
The protection it offers for human goods — and human lips — is the same protection it offers to the bees who produce it. It starts with honey. Through natural processes, worker bees turn honey into wax. It’s what their hives are made of, providing the bees and their young with protection from the weather (which is where we humans got the idea of using it for the same thing.) More than that, though, it stores the pollens and other nutrients their young need to survive.
So what does beeswax do for us humans? Essentially, the very same things: It provides a soft, natural barrier against the loss of moisture while it stores and delivers the other good stuff we infuse it with, like coconut oil, almond oil, and natural moisturizers such as Shea butter.
The best things for bees are also some of the best things for us human beings. Beeswax is just one of them, and that’s why it was our first pick, way ahead of petroleum based products. You wouldn’t find petroleum jelly in a beehive, and that’s why you won’t find it in our lip balms.