Whether you are a candle enthusiast or first-time candle buyer, it is important to understand what you are burning in your home. There has long been discussion about which form of wax is more beneficial for the air, your health and the environment. We are going to touch on three of the most common forms of candle wax used in the industry.
The first and easiest form of candle wax to explain is bees wax, derived from honey bees this form of wax is the most naturally occurring and longest used wax in history. Although bees wax does not emit any toxic chemicals into the air, it is an animal by product. There are many benefits to using candles made from bee wax, some studies have even stated (not proven) that bees wax can purify the air. However, being an animal product, it is less sustainable to use bees wax in candles as there are other natural options out there.
Another incredible natural option is soy wax, (which is what our candles are created with) made from the soy bean, this natural, sustainable option has so many benefits. It will not release any harmful chemicals into the air, it has a lower melting point (so the wax is less likely to burn should it be spilt) and it is plant based. Soy wax also works better with essential oils which helps to keep your candle in its most natural form.
Soy wax can be hard to work with, which is why many candle makers will mix it with paraffin wax. We prefer a little challenge over anything dangerous for our customers.
Now, the part you all came for, the unnatural and in my opinion, somewhat dangerous form of wax. Paraffin wax found in ALOT of candles worldwide (you would be surprised by how many large companies use paraffin wax to keep their candles looking and smelling perfect). So, what are the benefits of using paraffin wax in your candles? It has a higher melting point than soy wax, so it is harder to melt in transit and there is more consistency for shipping. It will not change colour when using different fragrance oils, and it will hold a strong scent throughout the lifetime of the candle. It is easier to work with than bee and soy wax and creates a stronger scent.
I must admit, these benefits had me excited when researching, but when digging deeper I was immediately turned off paraffin wax (and threw out every candle in my house created with paraffin wax). You see, paraffin wax is a derivative of petroleum.Yes, that’s right, petrol. If you have a paraffin candle burning in your home, you are ultimately burning petrol fumes, which are toxic. There have been many studies conducted that found burning paraffin wax candles gives off harmful fumes which are linked to asthma and lung cancer. (South Caroline State University, 2009).
You can often smell the difference between soy and paraffin wax, soy has little to no scent when not mixed with fragrance oil, whereas paraffin wax has a very plastic, unnatural scent. Once you have smelt it, you will usually be able to tell which candles are created with paraffin wax.
This article has not been created to cause fear, it has been written to inform and share the facts associated with candles to ensure you are a well-informed consumer. If you are ever in doubt of what the candles you are purchasing contain, always contact the company. If there is nothing to hide, they will be upfront with their ingredients, just like we are.