Topical Products - Bees Wax
Fratini F et al (2016). Beeswax: A minireview of its antimicrobial activity and its application in medicine, 9: 839-843. Asian Pac J Trop Med.
Summary: The study has concluded it would be appropriate to carry out further studies on the antimicrobial activity of beeswax alone and in combination with other natural products and particular with beehive products. It would also be interesting to investigate the antimicrobial activity of the individual substances that characterize the beeswax produced under different environmental and geographical conditions.
Abstract: Beeswax is the substance that forms the structure of a honeycomb; the bees secrete wax to build the honeycombs where to store honey. Thanks to its rich hydrophobic protective properties, the beeswax is in fact present within cosmetics and body products. Also, beeswax is used in the food industry: as a film to wrap cheese for maturing or as a food additive (E901) to give shine to the products. Exactly as the honey which it contains, beeswax is also characterized by several therapeutic properties of great interest to us; it is thought to be particularly effective in healing bruises, inflammation and burns. Recently, the interest of researchers has moved even on antimicrobial properties of beeswax although there are still few studies in the literature focused only on the action of beeswax. The few studies showed an antimicrobic effectiveness of beeswax against overall Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger; these inhibitory effects are enhanced synergistically with other natural products such as honey or olive oil. This minireview aims to be a collection of major scientific works that have considered the antimicrobial activity of beeswax alone or in combination with other natural products in recent years.
Anilakumar KR et al (2007). Bees wax polyphenols as suppressor of CC1--induced oxidative stress in rats, 51: 361-367. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol.
Summary: It is suggested that the polyphenols extracted from bees wax possesses antioxidative and hepatoprotective properties. Further studies are warranted.
Abstract: Bee's wax produced by honeybees is rich in polyphenols. As the polyphenols are thought to protect cell constituents against oxidative damage through scavenging of free radicals, the present work was undertaken to evaluate the effects of polyphenols extracted from beeswax on the oxidative stress induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in rats. The polyphenols extracted by 80% methanol from bee wax (PBW) were fed to Wistar rats at 100 mg/kg body weight and 200 mg/kg body weight for 14 days in order to study its antioxidative and antihepatotoxic effects against CCl4 (1.5 ml/kg body weight)-induced stress. On 15th day all the rats were sacrificed, blood was collected for serum and organs/tissues were excised for biochemical analysis. The results showed a significant decrease in hepatic antioxidant enzyme activities viz. catalase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and a significant increase in glutathione S-transferase (GST) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) by CCl4, probably due to the peroxidative effects. The prophylactic use of PBW at 200 mg/kg level resulted in a significant increase in CCl4-induced reduction in catalase, G-6-PDH, GSSGR and SOD. The hepatic levels of lipid peroxides viz. malondialdehyde, conjugated dienes and lipid hydroperoxides, enhanced by the administration of CCl4 were brought down by the ingestion of PBW at a level of 200 mg/kg. The hepatotoxicity caused by the administration of CCl4 was reduced significantly. Hence, it is concluded that the polyphenols from beeswax exhibit hepatoprotective and antioxidative properties in rats.
Teichmann A et al (2006). An in vivo model to evaluate the efficacy of barrier creams on the level of skin penetration of chemicals, 54: 5-13, Contact Dermatitis.
Summary: Vaseline and beeswax can be utilized as a ‘gold standard’ concerning the effectiveness of skin barrier substances.
Abstract: The reservoir function and the barrier function are important properties of the skin. The reservoir function is dependent on the barrier function which, however, needs support by protective measures, in particular under working conditions. Barrier creams represent a possibility to protect the skin. In the present study, a method was developed to investigate the effectiveness of reservoir closure by different formulations. Patent Blue V in water was used as a model penetrant. Its penetration, with and without barrier cream treatment, was analyzed by tape stripping in combination with UV/VIS spectroscopic measurements. The investigations showed that the stratum corneum represents a reservoir for topically applied Patent Blue V in water. Furthermore, the barrier investigations showed that vaseline and bees wax form a 100% barrier on the skin surface. The third barrier cream, containing waxes and surfactant, only partially showed a protective effect against the penetration of Patent Blue V in water. Strong interindividual differences were observed for this barrier product. In conclusion, it was assumed that the application of barrier creams cannot replace other protective measures and should be maximally used to inhibit low-grade irritants or in combination with other protectants or in body areas where other protective measures are not applicable.
Al-Waili NS (2003). Topical application of natural honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis: partially controlled, single-blinded study, 11: 226-234. Complement Ther Med.
Summary: A mixture of high molecular weight alcohol isolated and purified from bees wax, produces a significant reduction of exudate volume in carrageenan-induced pleuritic inflammation. It reduced leukotriene B4 and thromboxane B2 and diminished granuloma weight. In a mixture with a boric acid and zinc oxide ointment, bees wax has been used on patients with chronic eczema and psoriasis with improvement. Bees wax was used as ointment for skin burn care.
Abstract: Objectives: To investigate the effects of honey, olive oil and beeswax mixture on patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) or psoriasis vulgaris (PV).
Materials and methods: Twenty-one patients with dermatitis and 18 patients with psoriasis were entered for patient-blinded, partially controlled study; 11 patients with dermatitis used topical betamethasone esters and 10 patients with psoriasis used clobetasol propionate. Honey mixture contained honey, beeswax and olive oil (1:1:1). Mixtures A, B, and C contained honey mixture with the corticosteroids ointment in a ratio of 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1 respectively. Patients with dermatitis were subjected to controlled bilateral half-body comparison to evaluate the efficacy of honey mixture against Vaseline, or mixture A against Vaseline-betamethasone esters mixture (1:1) in patients using topical corticosteroid treatment. In patients with psoriasis, the effect of honey mixture was compared with paraffin in an individual right/left-sites comparison, or mixture A against paraffin-clobetasol propionate mixture (1:1) in patients using corticosteroid topical therapy. In dermatitis, body lesions on right or left half-body were assessed for erythema, scaling, lichenification, excoriation, indurations, oozing and itching on a 0-4 points scale. In psoriasis, lesions of selected site were assessed for redness, scaling, thickening and itching, on a 0-4 points scale.
Results: In honey mixture group, 8/10 patients with dermatitis showed significant improvement after 2 weeks, and 5/11 patients pretreated with betamethasone esters showed no deterioration upon 75% reduction of corticosteroid doses with use of mixture C. In psoriasis, 5/8 patients showed a significant response to honey mixture. In patients using clobetasol propionate, 5/10 patients showed no deterioration upon 75% reduction of corticosteroid doses with use of mixture C.
Conclusion: Honey mixture appears useful in the management of dermatitis and psoriasis vulgaris.