Cool candles

Candles have been around for centuries. Their original purpose was to give light. Since the invention of electricity, candles have been continued to be used to add atmosphere and provide ambience in our homes. These days we even add fragrances to them which we think makes our homes smell nicer. Little do we realise how important the ingredients of these candles are to our health. Let me teach you about these ingredients so you can make up your own mind.

Paraffin wax

*paraffin wax is a waste product created when making petrol from crude oil

*candles made from this can release chemicals that are harmful to humans but in minuscule quantities

*will burn quickly so the candle won’t last as long

Soy wax

*made from soybean oil

*hydrogenated (the process of making the oil into a solid) by the a heavy metal catalyst (often Nickel)

*bleached to remove colour and most of the scent of soybeans

*may release the pesticides and herbicides used to grow the soybeans

*will burn slower than paraffin wax so will last longer

*soy candles are almost always scented to mask the smell of the soybeans

*the scents added to soy candles are either synthetic (with toxic chemicals that are no good for our bodies) or essential oils (these should not be near flames – see below)

*these melt quite fast so will always be found in jars to contain all the melted wax

Bees wax

*made by bees in the process of producing honey

*often has a yellow tinge depending on the amount of pollen in it

*darker yellow candles burn faster with more smoke

*lighter yellow candles burn slower with less smoke

*good quality beeswax has been filtered (using water and mesh, not chemicals) to remove the dust to allow for a cleaner burn

*beeswax is a natural ioniser – they absorb germs, fragrances, dust and mould spores from the air in your house

Candle Scents

*if your candle has a scent to it you need to know how that smell was created

*if the label doesn’t say it was created using essential oils, it is likely to be scented with synthetic fragrances which we know are detrimental to your health and mess with your body chemistry

*If your candle contains essential oils you should know that heating essential oils is not recommended

*heating essential oils leads to oxidation

*oxidation of essential oils alters their chemical make-up, converting the constituents into different substances, changing the aroma and diminishing the beneficial properties

*if you want to enjoy a special scent from nature in your house, use an essential oil in a diffuser

My Recommendation

*ask enough questions so you know exactly how the candle you are buying is made, what ingredients it contains and what it will be releasing into the air of your house

* make the best choice for you and your family

*in my house we burn a beeswax candle to purify the air and calm the atmosphere down in the evenings

*I use a diffuser to atomise essential oils so we can breathe them in while in their natural state and still get their therapeutic benefits.

*use natural, filtered beeswax to get the best result if you want to make your own beeswax candle.