As much as I love the smell of apple cinnamon on a cold winter day, I always find my allergies on overdrive, a sign that those beautiful scented candles may be toxic. I’m generally sensitive to most smells, which is why I’ve always preferred the lighter scented candle over room fragrances. But more and more I’m finding myself becoming intolerant to even the lightest scented candles, which probed me to begin reading the labels to find out exactly what might be causing my sensitivity.
If you read the list of chemicals present in a typical candle, you’ll likely find paraffin wax as a main ingredient along with fragrance or scented oils. When burned, paraffin can emit toxic chemicals such as toluene and benzene. So irrespective of whether or not you suffer from asthma or allergies, conventional candles could negatively affect your health, particularly with long-term use. If cleaner indoor air is what you’re striving for, here are 5 Reasons You Should Switch to Eco-Friendly Candles:
1. Cleaner Indoor Air: Candles are often used to “freshen” indoor air or remove offensive odors, but burning conventional candles can be doing the exact opposite, exacerbating allergies or worse. Additionally, there was a time when a candle’s wick was made out of lead, which release harmful gasses when burned. While illegal now, it is important to read labels carefully, and if you’re not certain, peel back the outer layer to ensure the wick is not lead-based before burning. Tip: Look for candles made from beeswax which can reduce dust and allergens in your home.
2. You’ll Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: The same gases and chemicals emitted from your car have been traced back to conventional candles. Burning an eco-friendly candle made of soy, honey or beeswax can help you on your path towards a greener way of living.
3. Your Candles Will Burn Longer: Scientifically speaking, soy candles burn longer than paraffin candles because soy wax is softer and does require as much heat to melt. The wick used in soy candles does not burn as hot which results in a longer burning time, sometimes up to twice as long.
While there are several eco-friendly candles available, I find that soy candles are easy to find and relatively affordable. Walmart recently introduced Burt’s Bees’ Soy Candles and I am absolutely loving them! Comprised of a natural soy wax/coconut oil blend, the brand uses natural fragrances and lead-free wicks to ensure a clean burn. Additionally, the packaging is environmentally friendly and when your candle has exceeded its burn time, you can upcycle the glass jars.
Walmart is just introducing several Fall scents that would be ideal for intimate gatherings at home or a Friday night soak in the tub. My current favorites include Lavender Fields, Farm Fresh Apple, and Vanilla Honey. You can find Burt’s Bees candles at your local Walmart for under $10.