Beeswax vs petroleum jelly for TEWL

How is beeswax compared to petroleum jelly for TEWL?


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited July 17
    It's not as good.

    Reportedly, 5% Petrolatum blocks 98% moisture loss.  Beeswax is considerably less (my guess would be 20%).  See this write-up. Doesn't compare beeswax but there is no reason to think it works better than lanolin or mineral oil.

    "Petrolatum in a minimum concentration of 5% reduces TEWL by more than 98% followed by lanolin, mineral oil, and silicones which only reduce TEWL by 20–30%"
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Silicones are gas permeable, they 'breath' and that's why they, although being more hydrophobic than mineral oils, don't keep moisture sealed in ;) .
    Waxes seem like a good candidate but they are solid and hence, you'll have to  add enough oil to form a continuous flexible film and then it'll be impossible to really quantify how much TEWL reduction is due to wax, oil, or the combination of the two. In a standard emulsion, wax will likely form tiny crystals/flakes within the carrier and these can't form a vapour tight film. Waxes may however reduce skin penetration of carrier oils and thereby increase the efficacy of the oils with regard to TEWL reduction.
    An exception would be liquid waxes such as jojoba. I don't know how well that one works...
  • @Perry thanks
  • @Pharma is it better for carrier oils to penetrate the skin or to stay on surface of the skin? 
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