Candles are an essential part of any self care routine, and create a lovely cosy atmosphere round your home, especially in the winter. There are however a large amount of candles on the market today made from paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances, which may pose a health risk - both to ourselves and to the environment. Heres why choosing natural candles is so important, and what to look out for when purchasing them.
Paraffin wax vs Soy wax
The majority of scented candles on the market are made with paraffin wax and are actually a huge source of indoor air pollution. They release chemicals that are considered just as dangerous as second-hand smoke. Paraffin is a petroleum waste product and has to be deodorised and chemically bleached before it can be made into wax. Burning paraffin wax creates highly toxic benzene and toluene (both are known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes.
At Corinne Taylor, we use only Soy wax to make our candles, as we have found that it is the cleanest, plant based wax available which also produces a beautiful scent throw and flame. Soy wax is a natural, renewable resource which is also biodegradable and cleans up with plain old soap and water. Whilst Soy wax is derived from soybeans, paraffin wax is derived from petroleum (a refined gasoline product). Most importantly, as it is completely natural it does not release any harmful substances into the air when burnt - it also has the added bonus on burning much slower than paraffin making your candles last much longer!
Synthetic fragrance oil vs essential oil
Another important factor to look out for is how is your candle is scented. Most candles are scented with synthetic fragrance, including many Soy wax candles. Burning a candle with 100% natural essential oils is the only way to get a truly natural fragrance, which not only smells beautiful, but also provides therapeutic benefits when burnt. Burning synthetic fragrance is simply more unwanted chemicals to breathe in which can be damaging for health, especially to those suffering with asthma and allergies. We only ever use essential oils in our candles as well as every single product that we make.
Metal wick vs natural cotton
Some candles, usually paraffin, also use a wick where the cotton is wrapped around another material such as metal, producing a toxic soot, which may also lead to lung problems. We use a natural cotton wick coated in soy wax, which will allow for a clean and steady burn.
Always choose quality over price
It is so important for the health of yourself, your family and the environment to choose natural candles and do proper research before purchasing them. Where they may cost more than paraffin, you can relax in the knowledge that your home is free from toxins, and in my opinion they smell so much nicer as well!
Some other ways to keep your home clear of toxins and keep the air fresh are switching to natural cleaning products such as ecover, keeping house plants in every room and using a Himalayan Salt lamp. You can also use an essential oil diffuser to diffuse pure essential oils around your home or use a natural room & linen mist made with essential oils.