Calm and relaxation are often found in the small things – it’s no wonder why candles are one of the most popular items around the world to light up and take in.
Candles of all different types of scents and styles make their way into our spaces as décor, aromatherapy, self-care, romance, celebrations, odor neutralizers and more in our regular routines. The lighting of candles has been a practice for thousands of years, and most people have seen, purchased or blown out a candle at this point – so what more could you need to know other than the date for the next big candle sale?
What to Know About the Wick and the Wax
Back in the early, early days, candles were made from animal tallow, plants, and insects; now most candles in the United States are made using paraffin wax, which is petroleum-based and a byproduct of oil refining. While we always want to be careful when burning anything indoors, burning paraffin candles can release toxins that pollute your indoor air. What does that mean? Unfortunately, toxic fumes such as benzene, toluene and formaldehyde also come with their use; chronic exposure to these pollutants can lead to side effects including lung inflammation, allergies, asthma and even contribute to health risks like cancer.
The great news for candle-lovers like us is that the same way there are more clean beauty and skin care products available now, clean candle alternatives can light up your home and your energy without the unwanted extras. When crafting the Simply Luxurious Collection we took all of this into consideration and crafted a candle that is non-toxic, yet has an ideal burn time of 60 hours.
Plants, Vegetables and Bees to the Rescue
Candles made from pure soy (such as our Boca and Aspen candles), beeswax, palm oil or coconut wax are all safe and natural options for adding balance to your environment. Along with being non-toxic and non-allergenic, they are also known to burn cleaner and longer – but make sure the labels or product description say 100% natural or pure since some plant-derived candles are blended with paraffin wax since it’s cheaper. Other non-organic ingredients are also often added for color, fragrance or to alter the burning process.
Pure soy-based candles burn more evenly and can be kept in the fridge in between uses to prolong burning times. Beeswax-based candles increase negative ions, also known as nature’s air purifiers, and produce a glow that is reminiscent of natural moonlight. Both are completely safe to burn if not blended with paraffin or artificial colors and can boost serotonin levels, increase alertness, improve moods, and have decreasing effects on anxiety and depression.
What’s in the wick of your candle also matters. The candle industry stopped using lead as the main ingredient quite a while ago, however some candle wicks still contain this hazardous material. Mostly though, candle wicks are made of metal, cotton, or a combination of both – metal is incorporated to help keep the wick straight, often with use of a tiny wire. It serves a function, but when lit and burned can also emit heavy metals that can disrupt your health and overall self-care. Sticking with plant-based is the way to go for your best wick, and you’ll want to look for 100% cotton, hemp, or wood for lighting your clean candle.
To Scent or Not to Scent?
You can still take in relaxing and seasonal scents without taking in any toxic gases as long as the smell-good candle is made from 100% pure or naturally derived essential oils. Candles that are truly clean will be transparent about what goes into creating their scent – other scented candles can use ingredients made of petrochemicals that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that easily turn into gas at room temperature. In fact, the fumes released into the air by synthetic fragrances have been compared to the chemicals released by exhaust fumes.
Our Simply Luxurious candles are fragranced by high grade essential oils, not artificial fragrances you’ll find in most commercial candles.
You don’t need to do a complete overhaul of the candles currently sitting around your home or other spaces, just like with clean eating you can still give into those other options from time to time and still be safe. The key is to be mindful as you continue buying, burning, and gifting candles to others.
Bonus Tips for Stress-Free Candles
- For optimal burn, trim your candle’s wick to at least 1/8 inch after each use; this also helps reduce soot
- For best safety, always light candles in well-ventilated environments but avoid drafty areas
- When possible, let your candles burn at least four hours before putting them out, or they could burn faster with the next use
- Pair your candle with bath time for an even more stress-free experience. Add drops of a favorite essential oil to a warm bath and soak, or burn your natural candle as part of your shower and skin care routine
- Get creative with your candle’s container and reuse or repurpose it for a variety of things