Well, another branch out of the beekeeping hobby! 2023 saw us render significant amounts of beeswax from the 14 frames we harvested. In addition to the soap we make and the jackets I rewax, beeswax is also a great product to use in lip balm. After several attempts and experiments, I have settled on a winning formula. It makes a very firm balm which stays on the lips for many hours, smells amazing, and has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. As always, 100% natural, home-grown, and self-harvested ingredients.
Our beeswax is from a mix of brood and virgin comb, obtained through crush and strain technique. Commercial beeswax mainly comes from the cappings of the honeycomb, which is essentially a very thin layer of wax used to seal off honey. Our comb has previously stored brood, pollen, nectar, honey, perga, propolis and other enzymes. In addition, because we do not treat out bees with any products, there are no toxins dissolved in the wax. Beeswax is known to be anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It also smells amazing. Woodwise lip balm contains approximately 30% beeswax.
Read about our beekeeping ethos here.
Coconut oil locks in moisture and is a great skin and hair conditioner. We purchase our coconut oil from one of the largest suppliers of soap supplies in the UK, and they all come from sustainable sources.
We grow our own Marigold, also known as Calendula flowers, harvest and dry them, and then infuse them in oil for several months. Calendula oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties (even if the biochemical pathways are not yet fully understood). They probably inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ), COX2 and even prostaglandins.
Propolis can be considered the innate and external immunity of the honeybee colony. It lines the inside of the hives and is deposited in all small gaps and cavities. It is a sticky, resinous substance which is obtaind and metabolised from bark, buds, and leaves of plants and tress. They range from light yellow to dark brown and black in colour. Propolis has potent anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal proporties. It also smells amazing.
Propolis oil is obtained through a multi-stage process and is labour intensive. First, propolis is harvested from the hives through several methods. We only harvest excess propolis. Then, it is dissolved in alcohol for several weeks. Following that, the propolis-alcohol solution is mixed with oil to make an emulsion. Finally, the alcohol is allowed to evaporate, creating a suspension of propolis and oil.
Lanolin is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep (and other animals). It is also known as wool wax, wool fat, or wool grease. It is vital in helping sheeps maintain waterproof-ness. It is a highly effective emollient, and studies have shown that its effects last many hours.
Packaging and labelling
Woodwise lip balm comes in aluminium tins, which can be reused or recycled. We do not use plastic lip balm tubes. Our daughters age 6 and 3 both help with the labelling, so you may notice that they are often off-centre. Details about the logo can be found here: http://www.markzytan.com/woodwise-honey/