WTF is Candelilla Wax and Why Do We Use It In Our Lip Balm?

By Maria Lota Palomar 01/07/2022 3 Minute Read

Want to hear a not-so-fun-fact? Bees have to fly the equivalent of six times around the earth just to gather enough pollen to create a single pound of beeswax for their honeycombs. Talk about a true labor of love. But your drugstore lip balms definitely don’t care. To get beeswax, humans have to destroy the entire beehive by boiling it in water, and stealing their beloved home. Luckily, we discovered that there’s a plant-based replacement to beeswax that actually works much better to emulsify, moisturize and nourish your lips - all without bothering the bees. That’s where Candelilla Wax comes in.

1. It doesn’t get moldy like beeswax does

We hate to mention another not-so-fun-fact but the beeswax found in 99% of ALL lip balms and lipsticks gets moldy. That’s why it’s so cheap. However, this low price comes at a big cost. Compared to other plant-based waxes, beeswax has the shortest shelf life. Candelilla wax, on the other hand, can  naturally bind cosmetic ingredients and has been used for over 100 years in skincare products. It’s from a plant source instead of an animal derivative, which makes it more durable, fresh, and longer-lasting.

2. It’s more hydrating and easily absorbs into your skin

To say beeswax is hydrating and “locks in moisture” would be untrue (it’s actually a common misconception). Beeswax is “hydrophobic,” meaning it repels water instead. Not convinced? Simply run water over a beeswax candle and you’ll quickly see that the water slides right off. Candelilla wax has the opposite effect. This means your lips can get the deepest healing at a cellular level. It has a fattier texture, making it more nourishing, and it’s the perfect barrier to prevent moisture loss from the skin (bye parched, scaly lips). Not to mention, it also helps spread the other plant-based ingredients in our balm because of its natural thickening and emulsifying properties, which prevents oils, like coconut and grape, from separating.

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3. It’s way less cruel than beeswax

You might think that candelilla and beeswax are interchangeable to use in lip balms, but candelilla is the vegan, natural alternative that’s sustainable and ethical to use (talk about guilt-free). Candelilla wax is a vegetable wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla plant grown in northern Mexico and Texas. With just a quick google image search, you can find this pale green plant with white flowers at its base. As demand increases for beeswax, more bees have become mishandled, mistreated, and mass-transported. The queen bee, at the center of this dilemma, has to have her wings cut off so she can’t leave the hive just so she can make more wax. By using candelilla, no harm is done to our bee friends (and we think that’s the real bee's knees).

4. It’s a powerhouse wax

Candelilla wax has become an indispensable component in clean beauty products. It’s versatile and effective, as the superhero ingredient in balms and lotions, to protect the skin from harsh environmental stressors. It’s rich in nutrients and bursting with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E to promote cell regeneration, hinder sun damage and prevent your lips from cracking. It goes on smooth, fights premature aging and is non-comedogenic (it won’t clog your pores), plus, it adds a subtle glossy finish to your lips.

5. It’s allergen friendly

When we create all of our products at Long Wknd, we want to ensure that they are accessible and inviting for everyone. This means being inclusive and taking allergies into top consideration. That’s why we leave out gluten and tree nuts, among a few. When choosing the ingredients for our balm, we quickly discovered that Candelilla is the perfect choice: you can use it if you have an allergy to bees, pollen or honey. It’s hypoallergenic - and beeswax is not.

We’re so happy to leave the bees undisturbed so their population can thrive, all while delivering the highest quality lip balm to our community. That’s why we choose to leave the beeswax behind. When you use our lip balm you can rejoice knowing you’re honoring the bee’s plight everytime you drench your lips in our harmless, soothing, lip balm.

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