So what is in our products?
The herbs, honey, waxes, plant oils, mineral and clay ingredients used in the Beauty and the Bees products have been used by humans for centuries without the harmful side effects increasingly evident in today’s chemical-laden world. Each ingredient has been specifically chosen because it is natural and has a history of benefiting the body is some special way. We choose local products as often as we can to support our local industry and to reduce our impact on the environment. In addition organic and certified products are sourced whenever it is possible to do so.
All our ingredients are listed on the product labels and some sound so good you will be amazed they are for external use only!
What is NOT in our products?
Beauty and the Bees do not use synthetics, petrochemicals, detergents, harsh chemical scents, chemical preservatives, or any other ingredient that is known to be harmful to humans or the environment.
Animal Testing? NO we don’t!
All of our products, and importantly all ingredients, are tested only on humans (not animals) and have been since people began using these natural ingredients to care for their bodies thousands of years ago, so you can be absolutely sure that no animal has suffered to produce your product.
Below we have started to list the individual ingredients that we use with some relevant additional information. We hope that you will find this to be a valuable resource. Please check back in the coming weeks if the information you are looking for is not currently displayed because we will continue to add more as time allows.
Handmade herb infused oils
We hand make all our own herb infused oils such as Marigold (Calendula officinalis), etc. using only certified organic Australian olive oil, plant oils and herbs to produce the most potent results. We macerate them (i.e. softened by soaking in a liquid) at a very low temperature for a month, which maximises the extraction of the beneficial properties from the plant material.
Tasmania’s unique Leatherwood honey and beeswax
These ingredients are bought raw and unprocessed (not bleached with peroxides as in mainstream commercial products!) direct from the hive. Made from flower nectar, these uncontaminated, organic gifts from nature have been produced by bees for over 220 million years, and used by man for millennia for their powerful healing properties. Containing many useful trace elements, they are valued in skincare for their natural wound healing, soothing, emollient, softening, protective and moisturising qualities, as they nourish and gently ‘polishing’ the skin. The colour and aroma of the products – like fine wine – directly reflects the varying seasons of the year and resultant differences in the wax and honey. Honey is increasingly being recognised as a potent wound healer with research under way world wide.
Mount Wellington spring water
Soft, clean and pure from Hobart’s ancient deep wellspring.
Australian certified organic/biodynamic plant and nut oils
Certified organic oils (Biological Farms Australia, National Association for Sustained Agriculture) are 100% guaranteed chemical-free and are the highest quality oils available. This means that they are guaranteed to have been grown without synthetic chemicals of any kind, in soils uncontaminated by pesticide residue etc. for at least ten years. Purchases are made from small family/cooperative plantations where possible.
We use only the finest vegetable and nut oils; butters; and waxes which closely resemble the natural oils produced by human skin, and which work in harmony with the human body.
Olive oil (certified organic BFA)
Green and aromatic, it has a warming soothing, penetrative quality. The olive tree (Olea Europa) has been cultivated for thousands of years for its precious oil. Indeed it was so valued for its medicinal and cosmetic qualities that it was mentioned in the Bible. Ancient Greek mythology tells of the olives divine beginnings when Athena, goddess of peace and wisdom, planted a tree ‘capable of giving a flame for lighting up the night, of soothing wounds, of being a precious food, both rich in flavour and a source of energy’. Ancient cultures used it to maintain the skin‘s suppleness; heal abrasions; and soothe the drying effects of wind and sun.
The Beauty and the Bees cream formulae is almost identical to those of the philosopher-doctor Galen, who made the first cold cream in 650BC.
Scientific studies have shown that olive oil has a regenerative action on skin tissue. It regulates the natural moisturising factor by attracting moisture and preventing moisture loss from the skin, while still allowing the skin to breath. It also smooths and softens; tones and firms; and heals and stimulates. All this from a highly revered tree that often lives for 700 years!
Siam Benzoin gum/resin
Siam Benzoin gum/Benzoin Sumatra gum is a vanilla scented balsamic resin which comes to us in its natural state (crystalline ‘tears’) from the Styrax Benzoin trees grown in Thailand/Sumatra. This is one of our most precious skincare ingredients and is used in all our moisture creams.
For thousands of years it has been included in incense, perfume and medicine for its antiseptic properties; to help to improve elasticity and to protect the skin; soothe and heal cracked skin; calm redness, itchiness, irritation and eczema. My grandmother got me hooked on this fabulous skin healer when, at age 2, I fell spectacularly off my little tricycle. She washing my grazes with a delicious milky wash containing this magical stuff.
Once old enough she showed me how she took the amber like crystals and dissolved them in gin over a period of months to make her own “tincture of benzoin”, a staple of our herbal medicine chest. She let me make some with her and that was that – I’ve been making it and using it on my skin ever since!
At Beauty and the Bees we use sugar cane alcohol (and drink the gin) but make it the same old fashioned way with those wonderful jewel like pebbles of raw benzoin straight from the tree. This way we can ensure that we get the high quality that we need for our products.
Sodium borate (Borax)
Sodium borate (Borax) is a naturally occurring mild alkaline mineral salt usually sourced from California, USA. It is used as a water softener; limited preservative; and an aid to emulsification and stabilisation of cream formulations.
Also known as lye or caustic soda, this strong alkali is listed as an ingredient because we believe in listing ALL of the ingredients we use during the manufacturing process. However this ingredient is solely the catalyst for the natural cold pour saponification process – in other words the alkali reacts with the oils to form the soap. True natural soap cannot be made without it, but none remains in the final product as it is all used up in the reaction. Our natural hand-made soaps are produced in this way with no free alkali remaining once the manufacturing process is complete. All our soaps are made in this way and the sodium hydroxide is not harmful because it has been “neutralised” during saponification.