The Holiday Glow: Beautiful, Healthy Candles

In anticipation of the holidays, I decided to replenish my candle supply.  As often happens when I’m making purchases for my home, something that I think will take a couple clicks on Amazon and a few minutes turned into an hours-long project.

Whenever I bring something new into my home, I always look to three criteria: healthy, beautiful, and to borrow Marie-Kondo’s words, “joy-sparking.”

Typically, it is the healthy piece that drives me to take a closer look at a purchase and inevitably leads to leaving a store empty handed and then diving deep into research – usually resulting in hours of scouring the internet and wondering, “why can’t something as simple as buying refills for my votives be simple?” By now I should know that buying healthy in today’s world takes an extra step… or two… or three!

Sometimes it is pretty frustrating having such high standards for each purchase. The other day I saw the most beautiful scented candles in mercury glass (btw, I learned that mercury glass has not been made with actual mercury for a very long time – it’s made instead with a liquid silvering solution. So unless it is a very old antique – no need to avoid it) BUT it had an added synthetic fragrance.

As much as I was tempted to just try a synthetic fragrance one more time because it was so beautiful, I know from past experience that I will only get a headache and sneeze every time I light it – plus there is the extra guilt of exposing my children to chemicals. Luckily, I found great alternatives, which I wanted to share with you. Hopefully, I can save you a few steps with the below information!

– In a nutshell, the healthiest, most healing choice for candles is  100% un-dyed, unscented, beeswax candles with a chemical-free cotton wick.

– Look for candles that are 100% free of paraffin. Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct and releases carcinogenic soot.

– Unlike paraffin candles and synthetic scented candles that actually put toxins in your home, beeswax candles are healing for your home. Beeswax candles release negative ions and purify the air by reducing indoor pollutants. They can even reduce allergies. Beeswax candles also have a lovely, natural scent so there’s no need for added fragrance.

– Beeswax can cost more than other candles, so a more affordable, but not quite as healthy, second choice would be or 100% soy or vegetable wax.

– While 100% soy is a better choice than paraffin, soy has some issues as well: even 100% soy candles must be processed with some paraffin, and you are likely supporting the production of GMO.

– Candles that use synthetic oils for scent can release microscopic, carcinogenic particles that cause health problems.

– Unscented candles are the healthiest choice, but if you want a scented candle make sure it is made with 100% essential oils, rather than synthetic fragrances.

– Lead wick cores were banned in 2003 because candles with lead wicks released five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children. So if you have some old candles around and are uncertain about the contents of the wick, you may want to dispose of them.

– Even if the wick is lead-free make sure it is cotton because metal wicks can release zinc and other metals into the air.

– Trim your wick to 1/8 inch to avoid extra soot and consider a candle snuffer.

These are the candles I chose:

Big Dipper Wax Works Harmony Pure Lavender in Apothecary Glass 3.2 ounces

Blue Corn Naturals 100% Pure Raw Beeswax in 8 ounce Glass (pack of 6)

Hand Poured Tea Light Beeswax Votives  in Ivory (pack of 36)

Hope you find this helpful… Happy holidays!

Want to research this topic further? Here are a few resources: Green America and Empowered Sustenance.

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