Things to look out for:
💀 Paraffin wax: The toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes and are as dangerous as second-hand smoke. They are also one of the most common bases for scented candles. Paraffin is a by-product of petroleum which is bleached, coloured, and scented with yet more chemicals to make it into a candle. You don't want to be doing any deep calming breaths when this is lit, that's for sure!
🔥Wicks: Make sure you opt for a cotton or wood wick and always lead-free. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, whhhhat?!
⛔️Fragrance: No matter what the product, stay away from anything with ‘fragrance’ – this is a cocktail of chemicals that companies don't legally don’t need to disclose. Any candle worth your money will be scented with essential oils, not ‘fragrance’.
Cleaner wax alternatives:
🐝 Beeswax: completely safe to use and has the added benefit of helping clean indoor air. Beeswax candles emit negative ions, which help reduce positively charged ions (often generated by electrical devices) in the air. Positive ions carry everything from dust to pollen to toxic mould, so it’s important to reduce them.
🌱Soy-based waxes: a great option if you want a vegan-friendly candle. Just be careful of the source of your wax as some areas do not harvest soy using sustainable or organic practices.
Photo credit and shout-out to Mala the Brand. This is a beautiful one-woman show startup here in Vancouver. Her candles are super clean and sustainable, so if you're looking to switch yours out, go check her out!