Why We Decided to Allow Soy Candles Scented With Essential Oils in Our Chemical Free Home
There are only a few things that are better company after a tense, long day at work, or chasing the kids around the house than a scented candle. (Like maybe a scented candle and a glass of your favourite wine....just sayin’)
It’s so nice to just sit in your favourite chair…
Take a few minutes and let the world solve its own problems for a while.
For us it was tough to give up scented candles but when we learned the dangers of traditional paraffin wax and artificial fragrances it just didn’t suit our new chemical free lifestyle.
That’s why we’re excited to discover soy candles scented with essential oils.
After all, smell is one of the most powerful sensory experiences we are blessed with. Smell has the ability to change our behavior, our mood, even our physiology.
Aromatherapy benefits of various essential oils are well documented, but even without scientific studies it doesn’t take long typically to acknowledge the stress reducing, relaxing, calming, anti-depressive benefits of enjoyable aromas from a scented candle.
When scented candles became a home trend the revelation that candles could be scented seemed to make producers compromise on the material they made the candles with.
For example – candles, as recently as 2003, had huge amounts of lead in them which when burnt and eventually inhaled created a very toxic environment to be breathing in...lead being a carcinogen and all.
Paraffin wax is still the most common kind of wax for candle making, a by-product of petroleum, with many concerns about it’s safety when burned and inhaled also.
Thankfully a new trend, of ‘clean candles’ has begun.
Candles made from organic, chemical free materials. This ranges from vegetable wax to soy and beeswax.
Let’s Talk About Soy Wax
Soy wax is, as the name suggests, derived from soybean. It is a much better alternative to some other organic materials from which candles are made (and in our opinion definitely better than potentially toxic paraffin wax although some references still suggest soy will contain trace amounts of paraffin; like anything there’s compromise)
Here’s what we really like about soy candles scented with essential oils...
Natural & Organic - The most important benefit of using soy candles is that they are completely natural, organic, and sustainable.
Slow Burning - And the most important selfish benefit of all is that soy candles burn much slower than other candles. In fact just one of our 7oz soy candles scented with essential oils can burn up to 50 hours when following the burn directions on the bottom of the candle.
Safer With Kids - Soy candles have a lower melting point than other forms of wax, so in addition to burning slower if you’re like us with small children melted soy wax also won’t scald the skin. (Although we still prefer to save them for after bedtime use; it’s nice to know in the event of the unexpected they are a little safer. PS. I also found this hard to believe at first so I had to test it on myself, try it you will be surprised.)
Affordable - Although beeswax candles burn slower still than soy candles of the safer materials soy’s availability makes it much more readily available and cheaper overall.
Biodegradable - Being a natural product (not a by-product of oil) they are biodegradable by virtue, so not only are they better for you they’re better for the environment.
Not all Soy Candles Are Equal/As Safe
Because there is a movement to healthier more chemical free living there are a growing number of options, but not all will do justice to your chemical free home.
It’s amazing how many “natural” soy candles are then scented with highly processed and artificial fragrances and oils. (Most commonly because some of these scents we’ve grown accustomed to (like Pumpkin Spice Latte) basically can’t be achieved with traditional essential oils, and other like Vanilla are exponentially cheaper to produce with artificial fragrance than natural.)
Still in Canada fragrances can be protected under cosmetic law which lets producers hide potentially harmful chemicals and ingredients in “proprietary formulas” which do not have to be disclosed to the consumer.
Essential oils by comparison are naturally extracted through a means of distillation, by virtue they are a much more natural compound.
The shelf life of essential oils can also be much longer than the competing fragrance oils. The shelf life range for most essential oils ranges between 2 and 5 years while essential oils derived from specific types of organic matter can have shelf lives of 15 years or more.
With the above being said, essential oils can also evaporate and dissipate much faster than fragrance oils and can hold their scent less than 12 months in candle form if not covered when not in use (which is why all of our soy candles with essential oils come with a lid to maintain the health of your candle and it’s scent for the duration of it’s life.)
My wife and I used to burn candles all the time, not realizing how potentially toxic all those artificial fragrances were (which is surprising given I’m so sensitive I could never walk down the detergent aisle at the grocery store) so it left kind of a whole in the comfort of our home that we’ve been pretty excited to fill with what we feel is a safer and more natural product in continual pursuit if the perfect chemical free home!,/p>