Saturday, 8 November 2014

Are scented candles safe?

Have you ever stopped to think about what you are burning when you light a candle? We look at what is in our food, what is in our beauty products but how often do we think exactly what our candles are made of? I for one had just gone with the conclusion that we were just burning wax and not thought much further. However after visiting Australia I have started to think a lot more about the environment and wondered whether or not scented candles were harmful to the environment. I did a quick Google search and one of the first things to appear in my search was the dangers of scented candles to our heath. I had not even considered that they may have an effect on our health, but I delved deeper and was surprised by what I found. 

The candles that have an effect on your health are those made from paraffin wax. The idea that candles made from paraffin wax (from petrol) were toxic came from research conducted in 2009 by South Carolina State University. Both the Daily Mail and the Telegraph ran articles on this story. When you look directly on the University's website the candles they tested were non-scented, not dyed or pigmented. Therefore this information extends to all paraffin wax candles whether scented or not. 

I cannot seem to find out whether high end brand candles like Jo Malone use beeswax, soy or paraffin. Something tells me though if they used beeswax or soy they might promote it more, but I may be wrong! Even though the experts in these articles say that limited use of these candles doesn't pose a risk to your health they do say you should only burn the candles in a well ventilated room. Looking again to the Carolina State University's website a clear quote is:

"The paraffin candles we tested released unwanted chemicals into the air. For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma,” Massoudi, a chemistry professor in the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences.

Your best bet is to do some research and to make sure you only buy beeswax or soy-based candles. Therefore I 
have searched the internet and found some candles just as beautiful as the paraffin ones but better for the environment and you! I've put some in the collage for both my UK and US readers, hence the £s and $s. Do let me know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below. Also, thank you for still reading even though I've had a bit of a break recently!


1. Montane Designs, The San Fran Birthday Candle, $19

2. Flamingo Candles, Asian Pear and Plum, £12

3. Northumbrian Candleworks, Fresh Green Apple, £17.99

4. Highland Soap Co., Juniper and Lime, £12.95

5. Mason and Soy, French Pear, $32

6. Sweet Bee Honey, Beeswax Candle Trio, $28

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