Allergic Reaction to Beeswax?

After recently finding a wonderfully written and informative dermatology blog (zizaidermatology.wordpress.com), one of the first posts I read was about the author struggling through a rash around the mouth and discovering an allergy to beeswax (http://zizaidermatology.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/am-i-allergic-to-beeswax/), specifically the Bee Propolis that occurs in the wax.

This post couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, as I think beeswax might be a big trigger for some of my own current skin issues.

I recently purchased two Badger Balm products because I was looking for 1. a good lip balm, and 2. a good soothing natural moisturizer for the spots on my face that get really dry.  I purchased the Creamy Cocoa lip balm, and the Badger Balm Baby Balm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I diligently read online reviews, and read nothing but good stuff about these things.  And I thought, “Yay!  Beeswax is all natural.  This should be good!”

When I put on the cocoa butter lip balm, my lips felt a little tingly and itchy.  Nothing really major, but it just wasn’t as pleasant as I anticipated.  So, after one use, I put it away and thought maybe I would try it again later on.

Then I moved on to the Baby Balm.  It’s only got 5 ingredients, all natural things, but it’s primarily composed of beeswax.  I did do a patch test on a dry spot on my knuckle – no ill effects the next day, so I figured I was good to apply the stuff to some of my facial rashes before bed to heal and soften them.

This is what happened (I’m tilting my  head back in these pictures so that the rash can be fully seen):

This is the rash I’ve been dealing with on my neck. This is the “BEFORE” picture – it’s flared, but it’s not too bad and red and it can be easily covered with concealer if needed. It has very clear borders and is pretty much right in the center.

This is the same neck rash the morning after having applied the Baby Balm (with beeswax as the main ingredient). Terribly red and flared!

I don’t have a Before and After picture of my face available to post, but let’s just say the results were about the same.  This was two days ago and my face is still recovering.  I look like I have very unhealthy skin and I feel about the same.  People at work are giving me concerned looks and asking me if I am okay.  So.  Judging by this experience, I do not react well to beeswax.  Which then got me thinking.  A LOT of mascaras contain beeswax.  You need something waxy in it to get it to stick to the lashes.  I went online and checked the ingredients for my current Almay Get up and Grow mascara.  Yup, beeswax.  Swell.

Which THEN got me thinking about when these rashes around my eyes and on my face all started.  Things began with a little spot under my left eye that started around July of 2011, and then gradually got worse over my face in the last, oh, maybe 6 months or so.  It was really weird, because I don’t remember changing any of my facial products, but all of a sudden it was like my skin became extremely sensitive and I couldn’t use my previous moisturizers AT ALL.  I can’t remember exactly when, but one day when I went to the store to buy mascara, my normal type was out (I used to use Almay Triple Effect – which incidentally does NOT have beeswax), so I got this Get up and Grow stuff instead.  I have to wonder if these events coincided.

(And, okay, I know mascara and makeup in general is not the best thing for sensitive skin.  I know this.  This is why I read reviews and ingredients like a hawk, try and search out non-irritating products, and wear quite minimal makeup.  I gotta at least look human at work, as I’ve tried to do NO makeup and was sick of the stares and comments, so I just wear mascara and concealer right now.)

Today’s evening activities will involve a trip to the store for a new, NON-BEESWAX-USING mascara.  I’m either going back to the Almay Triple Effect, or trying a new Tarte one (gifted Amazonian Clay mascara, which uses rice bran wax, carnauba wax, and candelilla wax instead of beeswax).  It is HARD to find a mascara with out beeswax, but I’m making the switch tonight and hoping this will eventually clear up a lot of my problems!

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6 thoughts on “Allergic Reaction to Beeswax?

  1. Celiac and Allergy Adventures says:

    Oh wow. I don’t think I’ve ever reacted to Beeswax before, but I’ve heard that Calendula and Chamomile can cause problems for people with pollen allergies. I tend to stay away from both in general. I hope your skin gets better soon! I get eczema in that same spot 😦

    • Ugh, good to know. I don’t have real bad nasal allergies, but it wouldn’t surprise me to be allergic to pollen. (The biggest thing that helped my nasal allergies was trying to completely eliminate dairy, actually. TRYING being the operative word as I do get tempted by pizza every now and then). 😉 Meanwhile I think I will invest in turtlenecks and scarves to cover this thing up until it calms down, LOL!

      • Celiac and Allergy Adventures says:

        Eliminating dairy is a realllllly tough one for me with all my other food allergies. It’s like, the one thing I can eat 🙂 I sometimes do try to cut back though because like you said, it makes sinuses worse. I’ve had surgery on my sinuses twice already and don’t want it again.

        LOL, scarves do wonders to hide things 🙂

  2. I don’t blame you for eating dairy! I’ve read a lot of your blog posts and it’s crazy what you have to deal with when you go grocery shopping, go out to eat, etc. And Sinus Surgery sounds NO FUN!

    I DO sometimes buy a ‘vegan cheese’ called Daiya cheese – they have it at Whole Foods or maybe other stores near you. Here is a link to telling about the ingredients, I read them and I don’t THINK this has any bad stuff that you can’t eat. It DOES have pea protein, my brother is allergic to nuts like you, but also allergic to peas (go figure), do you react to peas?

    http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2011/12/daiya-vegan-cheese-ingredients-allergen-information/

    I’ve tried all three flavors and they melt really well. I like making ‘mac and cheese’ with a mix of the ‘cheddar’ and the ‘mozzarella’ (you could make it with gluten free noodles) which is very tasty.

  3. […] line.  Also, in light of my recent findings that I appear to get dermatitis from both aloe and beeswax, it was super good news that this next mascara has neither.  Seriously, it is next to impossible […]

  4. […] an allergy/sensitivity to both Beeswax and Aloe Vera makes it VERY challenging to find mascara, as I’ve recently found.  Almost […]

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