Lanolin vs. Beeswax

By Blair Foy

Lanolin and beeswax benefit both skin and hair as part of your beauty regime. These natural products are increasingly popular as they are gentle on sensitive skin and damaged hair. With both being beneficial, it may be difficult to know what each does best. Lanolin hydrates and soothes dehydrated skin. Beeswax holds product ingredients together and creates a protective seal. With a bit of understanding, you will know when to use either lanolin or beeswax for skin and hair care.

Beekeeper tending a beehive
credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images
Beeswax starts in a honeycomb but can transform to be an important part of your beauty regime.

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Lanolin for Skin Care

Lanolin soothes, heals and protects damaged skin. Derived from the grease within sheep's wool, lanolin is a lipid- or fat-based product. This grease is what makes it so successful - lanolin is known to add 400 percent moisture to skin. It also adds a barrier to lock in this extra moisture. Lanolin has many skin care uses. It can be found in burn and wound care products, has properties to soothe nursing mothers and appears in many cuticle creams and lip balms. Many thick, overnight facial moisturizing creams use lanolin for dry skin relief.

Beeswax for Skin Care

Beeswax acts as an emulsifier in skin care. What this means is that it is added to cosmetics and lotions to bond all ingredients together -- for example, adding it to lotions like shea butter, glycerin or even lanolin helps seal skin to allow moisturizers to do their job. In cosmetics, beeswax is beneficial as it seals skin to ensure your makeup will last all day. Lip balms or lipsticks with beeswax are made to hold lip color for hours without fading.

Lanolin for Hair

With it's ability to deeply infuse moisture into skin, lanolin can also breathe life back into dried out hair. Shampoos and conditioners with lanolin additives can be used to treat spells of dry, stressed tresses -- these are particularly useful during harsh weather seasons. It can also help a dry scalp. Before bed, rub lanolin into your scalp -- keep in mind this could cause slight discoloration to your pillowcase. Shampoo hair in the morning and wake up to a refreshed and moisturized scalp.

Beeswax for Hair

Beeswax is primairly used as a styling product. Concentrated forms of beeswax are sold as natural styling waxes you can use to add definition and shape to your hair style. Whether women are trying to add shape and hold to bouncy curls or men want to use beeswax to help them style the perfect faux hawk -- beeswax can accomplish these looks. As a naturally derived product, beeswax is safe for color-treated hair.