Nontoxic Candles: Why You Should Care + My Favorite Brands
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Happy Women’s Wellness Wednesday! I hope you’re enjoying this series as much as I am. I love talking about topics that aren’t necessarily mainstream conversation and of course sharing knowledge that I’ve learned over the years. Today’s discussion around clean burning, non-toxic candles is actually something that I’ve covered before. I have received several requests for it though, so I thought it was worth covering again. When I first brought it up, it was centered around holiday candles, so today I’ll talk more season-less, as candles are fun to enjoy year-round.
“Clean Burning Candles” are kind of a buzz word and those, along with words like “natural” and “nontoxic”, are not regulated by the FDA. Anyone can make these claims and it doesn’t actually mean anything. What DOES mean something is an ingredient list. The sad part? Ingredient lists aren’t a requirement for candles, so most brands don’t list the formulation / what is actually in it. This is because they are allowed to keep “trade secrets” // don’t have to give up their scent formula. There are several brands I used to really like that have good wax and wicks, but still use harmful fragrance, so they are a no go for me. Typically I’m able to figure this out because the “natural fragrance” ends up giving me a headache. No thank you!
Not sure what I’m talking about // need some nontoxic candle guidance? Here are 3 things to look at when buying a candle and WHY:
Wax composition. Most candles are made out of paraffin wax. Paraffin is a chemically processed wax that is often contaminated with carcinogenic compounds. If you are burning a paraffin wax candle in your home, you are actually spreading a pollutant and breathing it into your lungs. Knowing this, I also don’t do paraffin wax treatments at the nail salon anymore. Now that I know it is a cheap wax made from petroleum, it doesn’t even appeal luxurious to me, so I’m not tempted at all.
What to look for instead: 100% natural soy (not genetically modified), 100% beeswax, or vegetable based wax (ie coconut)
Wick composition. A lot of the cheap candles have what looks like a normal wick, but they actually have a wire inside of them. When you light these, you are literally burning metal and releasing toxins that can cause behavioral, reproductive and neurological issues, in addition to hormonal imbalances. No thank you!
What to look for instead; 100% unbleached cotton wicks or wood wicks
Scent source. I did a whole blog post on perfume and why fragrance is bad here. Candles are really no different from perfumes. Besides just causing headaches, fragrance can also cause hormonal imbalances and has been linked to some cancers.
What to look for instead: Organic essential oils and natural ways of getting fragrance*
All that to say, I recommend going with brands you trust and know already. Most of these candles are just repeats of brands that I previously shared, but they are still good to share / know! I know we are talking about seasonless candles this go-around and these would be great for a Valentine’s Day gift. Just saying ;)
Goop. I’m obsessed with the Goop brand and these candles are 10/10.
Uma. So zen and smells wonderful!
Skylar. They took away their candle offering for a while and I was so sad. I’m so glad they are back. They are wonderful!
Lite + Cycle. An OG in the nontoxic candle space.
Primally Pure. So far they have only launched one candle (for holiday), but I’m hoping they will come out with new ones each season. Try them yourself for 10% off with discount code ELLEMULENOS.
Satya + Sage. I love this scent combo!!
Sheva Rose. This one smells amazing and would be perfect for spring.
Lohn. New to me, so I haven’t smelled, but the packaging is great!
Element. A sweet family business with strong candle game.
Milk and Honey. Milk and Honey Spa is about to open in Los Angeles and I’m so excited. They are based in Texas, but also have an online presence. You can try their candles (or anything else), for 15% off with code ELLE15.
Follain. I love the Follain brand along with all the other brands they sell. Their candles are no exception! Get 10% off your purchase with ELLEMULENOS.
Overall you should 100% consider cutting fragrance from your home and beauty products, which is why I wanted to bring this topic up for Wellness Wednesday. You can read more about this topic here. Candles are a pretty easy place to start the purge in your home! Now, one might decide that burning anything inside (candles, fireplaces, etc) isn’t for them and there are studies that agree. Another topic for another time. Hah! One of my favorite ways to add scents to my home is through a diffuser. To be honest, I do this far more than lighting candles. I typically use Now Foods brand essential oils, along with some from Saje, Primally Pure and Branch Basics (they sometimes make a blend). I haven’t tried it yet, but Campo is on my list. I also have been really enjoying burning Palo Santo in the morning before I begin working. This is the Palo Santo holder I have and this is the wood I buy. You can learn more about the ritual here. For quick bursts (especially before guests arrive), I like to use room spray in addition to diffusers.
Have a favorite nontoxic candle I missed? Let me know so I can check it out!
Side note - Don’t forget about birthday candles!! Conventional birthday candles are typically paraffin wax. Here’s a good option for your next cake that is beeswax.