Beeswax can be found in many of the things we use every day. From foods such as baked goods, jelly beans and chocolates to modeling clay and lipstick, beeswax is everywhere. It provides lubrication in machinery, sweet tastes in foods, and it hardly ever spoils or goes rancid, which makes it ideal for these uses. If you have an allergy to beeswax, or if beeswax is not readily available in your area, you can use a beeswax substitute.
Candelilla wax is extracted from the leaves of a plant native to the southwestern United States and to Mexico. This wax is often used as a substitute for beeswax in lipsticks and lip balms, creams, lotions, salves and soaps. This wax has many of the same lubricating properties, but it is harder and less pliable than beeswax.
If you are making your own cosmetics or body soaps and decide to use candelilla wax as a substitute for beeswax, use half as much candelilla as you would beeswax. Candelilla will harden much faster than beeswax, so if you use too much you risk making the product unusable.
Carnauba wax is extracted from a palm tree that grows in Brazil. Carnauba wax is often used for car, truck and boat waxes, but is also included in lipstick, lip balm, creams and wax candles. Carnauba wax is often used in conjunction with either beeswax or candelilla wax, acting as a hardener to stiffen candles or solidify lip balm. However, it can be used on its own as a substitute for beeswax.
Much like candelilla wax, you will need to use less carnauba wax than beeswax. Carnauba wax hardens twice as fast as beeswax, so reduce the amount of wax used in your recipe by at least half when replacing beeswax with carnauba wax.
Soy wax is an important alternative for environmentally conscious or vegan consumers. While most cosmetic products use at least some animal waxes (such as beeswax), soy wax offers a non-animal-based solution to help with the cosmetic creation process.
Soy wax is all-natural and can serve as a substitute for beeswax. It is most commonly found in candles, but it can also replace beeswax in lip balms, lotions, body butters and other cosmetics. It is no harder than beeswax, so it can be used in equal amounts in recipes.
References and ResourcesBunnysbath.com: Ingredient Glossary
TheSage.com: Fixed Oil Formation
RusticEscentuals.com: Candlemaking Supplies