Natural Yellow Beeswax
Beeswax is a natural wax made by honeybees and collected directly from the honeycomb. Usually around 10lbs of honey yields 1lb of beeswax. The wax in the honeycomb is originally white, but typically yellows after exposed to pollen. It is melted then filtered for purity leaving the natural color and aromas preserved.
Beeswax locks in moisture and protects skin. It has anti-bacterial properties and vitamin A which aids in the natural healing process. With its water repelling properties, beeswax sustains sunscreen's action. It improves the duration and elasticity of Bee Smack lip balms.
Cocoa butter has been used for 1000’s of years and is derived from the cocoa bean. The beans are fermented, roasted and then separated from their shells. This yields about 55% pure cocoa butter. It is then pressed to separate the butter from the solids. At this point, the natural purified cocoa butter is deodorized if destined to be used in cosmetics. Otherwise, it is used as the primary ingredient in white and milk chocolate.
Other than food and cosmetics, cocoa butter is used in Pharmaceuticals. Cocoa butter is solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature. This makes it a great choice for suppositories that need to stay solid until inserted. Do not try this at home with your favorite chocolate candy. Especially the peanut ones.
Cocoa butter has high antioxidant properties. This makes it a great natural preservative. It is also an amazing emollient. Emollient is from the latin mollire, "to soften". So it is great for moisturizing, softening and lubricating the skin.
Natural Cocoa Butter (Pure Primed Pressed Natural Cocoa Butter) is an extract from the cocoa bean. This is the same cocoa bean used to make chocolate. In this simple form, it’s purified and left un-deodorized. Natural cocoa butter has a yellow / light brown color and has a chocolatey aroma. Because of the chocolate aroma, this form is usually not used in cosmetics. Probably for fear of being cannibalized by a hungry chocoholic.
Natural Deodorized Cocoa Butter is extracted from the cocoa bean, purified and deodorized. In this form, it’s left as it's natural color. It does not go through a bleaching process. The lack of bleaching retains more of the natural anti-oxidants compared to the white refined version. Because of the deodorization, most of the chocolaty odor is removed. This makes it preferable for most personal care products.
More on Where Cocoa Butter Comes From:
When the cacao tree matures, it starts to grow tiny white flowers. When fertilized, they will develop into a cacao pod.
The cacao pods are multicolored and shaped like a mango. The pods contain around 30 fruits and each fruit houses a cacao bean.
Once the cacao bean has been fermented and dried, it’s called a “cocoa” bean. In the same way a smoked, dried jalapeno pepper suddenly becomes a chipotle pepper.
Coconut palm trees (Cocos nucifera) can grow over 90 feet tall and gives us the coconut. Duh, right? The coconut is not actually a nut at all but is botanically a drupe. Drupes are comprised of a fleshy outer layer with an inner pit. Other examples include peaches, plums, cherries but also almonds and pecans. Coconut oil is extracted from the white part found inside the shell.
Virgin (Unrefined) Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is pressed from the fresh meat of the coconut, without high heat or solvents. It retains all the qualities of the coconut -- so it smells and tastes like coconut. It melts at 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Refined Coconut Oil
This type of coconut oil is made from dried coconut. It's then steamed to remove any impurities from the oil. This process reduces the coconut aroma and taste. You can cook with refined coconut oil without adding coconut flavor to your food or use it in skin and hair care products where the coconut scent may be undesirable. This version also melts at 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
92 Degree Coconut Oil
This coconut oil version has been hydrogenated to raise its melting temperature to 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of its other properties remain unchanged, including retaining much of its scent. When used in soaps, it tends to lather less than the lower melting temp versions. But in warmer climates, it’s great in reducing lip balm’s "melt-in-your-pocket" gooey mess. For this reason, we use a blend of virgin and 92 degree coconut oil in our Bee Smack recipe.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
This coconut oil version stays liquid at all inhabitable temperatures because it has been processed to remove most of its long chain triglycerides. So technically, this isn’t coconut oil any longer but a fractionated version of what nature intended. This version will never make it into Bee Smack lip balm, but we included it here because we’re OCD nerds. It does have value as a good massage oil and as a carrier base for other oils and tends to feel less greasy on the skin.
Shea Butter Benefits:
Pure Shea Butter usually comes from Africa where it’s used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. It has great emollient properties and can improve skin elasticity. It also is a natural sun block and has anti-inflammatory properties which is why we use it in Bee Smack lip balm.
Virgin Unrefined Shea Butter
Virgin Unrefined African Shea Butter is extracted from the Shea nut and left completely unrefined. This allows it to retain its certified organic status. Without filtering it retains its pale-yellow color and typical odor.
Refined Shea Butter
Refined Shea Butter is great for cosmetics and soaps. It’s extracted from the Shea nut and filtered to remove any impurities. This process also reduces the typical odor. The result is a creamy off-white soft solid.