UPDATED (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11, 2020 10:02 PM)
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The natural wax derived from honeybees, also called cera alba, is a versatile substance that can be used for a variety of creative projects. Rich in vitamin A, it’s a favored ingredient for homemade skin-healing and protective balms, lotions, and sunscreens. You can also melt it for candle making, use it as a medium in encaustic painting, or create lost-wax castings. Depending on your project, one form of raw wax might be better to use than another, and our picks below will help you whittle down your options.
1. Sky Organics White Beeswax Pellets
This beeswax from a small, family-owned company is an excellent base ingredient for DIY products, from candles to skin-care indulgences. The ivory pellets are cosmetic grade and consistently clean, having been processed in small batches and triple-filtered. They also have no unpleasant smell and hold fragrances well, and their near-colorless appearance makes them easy to tint or use in encaustic painting. Pellets also melt quickly, making them an especially convenient form of beeswax.
2. Better Shea Butter Texas Beeswax
This yellow beeswax from apiaries in Texas is a responsibly sourced option that can be used for a variety of projects. Rich and filtered, it has a slightly smoky-honey smell that can be disguised with essential oils if you wish. This beeswax comes in one solid brick, which you can grate or cut up (with some effort), but the easiest way to use it would be to melt it at one go. In our book, this is a great pick if you want to make multiples of one product at once; otherwise, you can melt the brick, sculpt your own smaller wax disks or cubes as the wax rehardens, and save them for another creative session.
3. Beesworks Yellow Beeswax Bars
If you like the idea of beeswax in pre-weighed form and don’t want to deal with dividing a large brick, consider the stuff in bars. This cosmetic-grade beeswax comes in 1-ounce pieces so it’s simple to use exactly the right amount for your recipe. (The bars are also easy to cut if you need some fraction of an ounce.) We also like their size as you can use an individual bar to condition small things like thread or the stiff joints of wooden antiques. Once heated, they melt relatively quickly and have a smooth, almost satiny consistency. In solid form these blocks have a noticeable smell.
4. Stakich Yellow Beeswax Block
Resembling a package of American cheese, this dense, somewhat flat square of beeswax can be cut up into smaller bars with greater ease than cutting up a wax brick. While you could use it to make candles, it does have a smell that might overpower your blend of essential oils. But this is a high-quality, debris-free wax that would be great for waterproofing garments and gear, from boots to backpacks. We also recommend using it as a furniture polish to treat wooden objects and give them a soft, low-luster sheen.
5. Beesworks Beeswax Pellets
If you like the cheery yellow of beeswax, this is a great pellet option for creating bright and natural-looking products. It is almost as good as the Sky Organics product and also more economical. The pellet sizes are consistent so they melt uniformly, and the results mix well with other ingredients to make candles, body butters, and the like. It does have a noticeable smoky aroma that some people might find off-putting, but the right essential oils should mask this small flaw.