As the nights start to draw in, I’m starting to think about candles. Home fragrancing is possible in a myriad of ways, but nothing beats a candle for both ambience and fragrance. I absolutely adore candles. I unashamedly love browsing candle displays in shops. Who can resist having a sniff of candles with such enticing names, like “fluffy towels”, “bourbon wood barrels”, and “aloe water”, just to see if they smell as good as they sound?
Me and candles, we have a long history together. I enjoyed my first visit to a candle factory aged 7 years old, where I dipped my first candle. Dabbling in candle making at home for the last decade or so, I started by buying all the kit – paraffin wax pellets, stearic acid, artificial fragrance, and colouring.
The dangers of paraffin wax candles
When the health risks of scented paraffin wax candles came to light, and soy wax became available, I rid myself of all my unhealthy candle making supplies, and replaced them with soy wax and essential oils.
But then I learned soy wax candles aren’t a healthy option either
A few years later, it became clear that soy is not a healthy, eco-friendly choice either, due to genetically modified soy and toxic pesticide use on soy crops. From Empowered Sustenance: “if you are buying soy candles, chances are you are supporting the production of GMO’s – which devastate our environment and our health”.
Soy candles may also be cut with other types of wax, unless the packaging specifically states the soy wax is 100% pure.
Enter beeswax candles
Beeswax candles make a great alternative to soy wax candles. Beeswax candles even have positive health benefits, since they release negative ions which purify the air. Read why beeswax candles are superior to other candle wax kinds.
So, what about scented beeswax candles?
Did you know that even beeswax candles fragranced with essential oils aren’t a completely healthy choice either? Me neither! It makes me really quite sad, but it makes sense.
The safest candles have no oils at all, since combusting any kind of oil leads to the emission of dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Doesn’t sound great for a family home, as PAHs are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.
So how do we scent our home and enjoy candles in a safe and healthy way?
The safest way is to use unscented beeswax candles. They have a mild honey-like aroma which is subtle but pleasant.
Use a diffuser for fragrance and health benefits
We use beeswax candles alongside an essential oil diffuser, and invested in some pure essential oils.
An essential oil diffuser will fill the room with gorgeous fragrance, and diffusing essential oils provides many health benefits. We bought a diffuser during my pregnancy with Jonah and haven’t looked back.
Breathing in essential oils from a diffuser can help lift postpartum depression, and help the entire family relax and have a good night’s sleep. Not to mention the antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of essential oils that work to keep family and home safe and healthy.
Here are some essential oils that are safe to use around babies 3 months plus that we blend and use in our diffuser. When using a diffuser around children, it’s recommended to only have the diffuser on for an hour, twice a day.
- Ylang ylang
- Rose otto
- Tea tree
- Sweet orange
Read more about using essential oils around children.
We found it easy to swap scented candles for healthier alternatives like beeswax candles and an essential oil diffuser. As much as I love my candles, I’d rather not take the health risk, especially now we have Jonah.
How about you?
Are you a candle lover? How do you like to fragrance your home? Let me know in the comments!