Creating a buzz: Are bee product-containing goods in or out of fashion?

The vogue for vegan is seeing beauty move away from beeswax, honey and other bee-derived ingredients, but many brands are still championing our busy, buzzy little friends

For millennia the humble bee has been an unknowing icon to the human race. While they flit from lavender to foxglove and honeysuckle in search of nectar and pollen, we have obsessively used them as a design motif on everything from perfume to luxury handbags, city emblems and emperors’ garb. But it's not just their adorable bulbous bodies that have caused a buzz; humans also undoubtedly have a sweet tooth for their honey.

But, within the beauty industry, there has been increasing debate over the use of honey and beeswax within cosmetics. On the one hand, rising stars hair care brand Gisou and skin care player Farmacy celebrate natural honey extracts, on the other hand, legacy brands are ditching the sweet stuff altogether.

Last month, when The Body Shop pledged to go vegan by 2023, the ethical-focused company said it would remove all animal derivatives in its products, which, in its case, was honey and beeswax. Meanwhile, rival brand Lush announced that it will no longer be using eggs in its beauty products due to animal welfare concerns in 2019, yet honey-based hair care remains widely available.

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