Both Cera Alba and Bellina are derived from beeswax: a secretion of bees (Apis Mellifera) that forms the structural part of the cells in which honey is stored.
It is obtained directly from the honeycomb and takes the form of a yellow, unctuous mass (yellow wax), which is then purified and bleached to give white wax (Cera Alba) by prolonged exposure to UV light. Unlike petroleum waxes such as paraffin or petrolatum, it does not clog pores when formulated correctly.
As it consists of a mixture of water-repellent lipids, it exerts a protective action on the stratum corneum, where, by forming a natural film, it prevents excessive water loss by the skin.
A bit of history
Ointments based on beeswax, useful for joint pain, wounds and burns, are also reported in the Ebers Papyrus (ca. 3500 BC), by the Greco-Roman physician Galen (ca. 2150 BC), and in ancient traditional Chinese medicine texts such as the ‘Shen Nong Book of Herbs’ (ca. 2100-2200 BC). Source: Rit T., Behrer R. (1999). Beeswax Through the Ages. Bladel: Koster Keunen Holland BV.
It has been used since ancient times for its antimicrobial properties in traditional European and Asian medicines. Its preservative effects are perhaps behind its use in the embalming and mummification practices of the ancient Egyptians and Persians or for modelling the death masks of the ancient Romans.
Recent scientific studies have in fact confirmed the use of wax as an antimicrobial agent. A crude beeswax extract has indeed shown inhibitory effects against Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger (Beeswax: A minireview of its antimicrobial activity and its application in medicine. F. Fratini, G. Cilia, B. Turchi, A. Felicioli; Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine Vol. 9-6, 2016, 839-843).
Beeswax is a fatty substance used in cosmetics as a thickener or emulsifier. It has protective and moisturising properties. It forms a soft protective film on the skin and is ideal as an emollient for sensitive, irritated and chapped skin.
Its functions (INCI)
- Emollient : Softens and smoothes the skin.
- Emulsifying agent : Promotes the formation of intimate mixtures between immiscible liquids by modifying interfacial tension (water and oil).
- Film-forming agent : Produces a continuous film on skin, hair or nails.
- Perfume agent : Used for perfumes and aromatic raw materials.
Cera Bellina, whose INCI name is Polyglyceril 3-beeswax, is a hydrophilic beeswax derivative with incredible gelling capabilities.
It is obtained by converting the free fatty acids present in beeswax into polyglycerol esters. Its solubility is very similar to that of beeswax and it can be used in a similar way to beeswax, but is found to have a greater gelling capacity even at low rates of use.
Bellina also has incredible compatibility with almost all cosmetic ingredients. The addition of Cera Bellina helps to give any lip balm, lotion or emulsion a soft and gentle texture.
Due to its ability to inhibit the crystallisation of oils, Cera Bellina also works well as a co-emulsifier and thickener.
This raw material is therefore useful to achieve the desired consistency and texture in a cosmetic product. Furthermore, like all waxes, it has protective, film-forming and emollient actions.
The cosmetic functions of bellin wax are:
- Gelling agent for vegetable and mineral oils and for esters.
- Stabiliser for emulsions.
- Thickener in anhydrous products.
- Dispersing agent for pigments in decorative cosmetics.
- Prevents crystallisation, syneresis and reflux of fatty acids in sticks.
- Acts as a co-emulsifier at low HLB.
- Imparts a smooth and velvety touch to products.
- Prevents lump formation in sticks and anhydrous products.
- Similar solubility and safety level as beeswax.
Cera Alba and Bellina are contained as the main ingredient, together with honey, in BIOACTIVE LIP CARE. A lip care treatment with long-lasting moisturising, nourishing and regenerative activities. Try it!