When it comes to skin and hair products, honey, beeswax, and royal jelly are much-buzzed-about prized ingredients. But what about those endangered busy bees behind the goods?
While it’s true that bee populations, including those of honeybees, are being systematically diminished by almost 50 percent by climate change, human invasion, and, yes, even stress (according to New York Magazine), beauty products made out of beeswax, honey, and Royal Jelly aren’t culpable for the seemingly imminent extinction. “The proportion of wax and honey used in cosmetics is a very small amount,” Norman Carreck, Science Director of the International Bee Research Association, tells Yahoo Beauty. Beeswax is a much more sustainable product than paraffin wax, made from petroleum, and honey is a much more sustainable product than sugar, made from sugar beet.” Through cross-pollination, the honeybee contributes to many industries that have contributions in the beauty industry. For example, in the January 8, 2010 issue of Science, Carreck notes, “The California almond industry alone is worth $2 billion annually and relies on over 1 million honey bee hives for cross-pollination.” In the United States alone, the number of hives has decreased from six million after the Second World War to only 2.4 million nowadays.
Photo: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu A native of Ethiopia, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is the founder of soleRebels, a line of colorful footwear that pairs Ethiopian craftsmanship with western design. The handmade, fair-trade shoes are made entirely in her native country and sold in 55 others. Alemu, who was recently named a Forbes Woman to Watch, takes pride in spreading her Ethiopian culture and style across the globe. Doing beautiful things to uplift and empower other people is the ultimate expression of beauty.” Unlike the United States, Amelu’s native country doesn’t celebrate stress, and that laid back attitude encourages a positive outlook that she says contributes greatly to overall wellness and health. She also comes from a rich tradition of do-it-yourself beauty.
Many of the contents of our refrigerators are promising starts to a whole new skin care regime. If you have aloe juice, add to a spray bottle and refresh you skin, says Rianna Loving, esthetician, natural skincare expert and founder of Orgo Beauty. Or add a piece of the plant to a bottle with filtered water and create you own infusion in a spray bottle. Papaya Papaya’s enzymes act as an exfoliant, by removing dead skin cells and breaking down inactive proteins, says Dr. Jennifer Lee, M.D., of REN Dermatology in Franklin, Tennessee. Papaya can also help even out skin discoloration.