Dimmed lights, soft music, romantic candlelight. What could be more relaxing? Everyone lights a candle once in a while. Because it creates a nice ambiance or because you have a date and you think you are cuter by candlelight. Or because an Apache helicopter crashes into some high voltage cables and your whole town is cut off from electricity.
Candles used to be a necessity (and still are when people can’t fly their helicopter around cables), but nowadays we mostly use them to create a pleasant atmosphere. You might feel a bit different about candles once you learn that there are a lot of ‘bad’ candles on the market.
Why you should throw out your paraffin candles
The most candles you can buy in stores contain paraffin. Paraffin is a by-product of the oil industry. It is the stuff that stays behind on the bottom of empty barrels of crude oil. To make candles of this residue, manufacturers mix paraffin with all kinds of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are added to give candles a beautiful color or pleasant scent.
The smoke of paraffin candles can irritate your lungs and can cause asthma attacks. You won’t notice anything if you burn a paraffin candle once in a while. The negative effects of this type of candle will be noticeable after burning multiple candles daily for years . Especially when you burn the candles in a closed off room. Paraffin candles can also discolor your ceilings, walls, and furniture.
You might think: I only get in trouble if I burn those candles for years! But why would you risk adverse consequences if there better alternatives for paraffin candles? I was very pleased with my stash of paraffin candles when the Apache crashed, and I was left in the dark, but I have decided to replace my candles with a healthier option.
Other types of candles
Candles made of stearin
Most candles are made of paraffin, stearin or a mix of the two. Stearin is made out of animal fat. Not a great option if you are vegan. Nowadays there is also plant-based stearin. Not to rain on your parade, but most of the time these candles also contain paraffin. Next!
Soy. Nothing wrong with soy candles, right? (right!?). Uh, yeah, sorry. Soy candles always contain a tiny amount of paraffin. Next to paraffin, most soy candles also contain synthetic colorings and fragrances. Another big problem with these candles is the disastrous way in which soy is grown and treated.
If I mention beeswax candles, I mean 100% pure beeswax
The only proper alternative for paraffin candles is beeswax candles. The candles are made from the wax that stays behind after the bees are done with their honey production. Beeswax candles come in different colors. The colors don’t exist because of added colorings, but because of the natural color differences in the beeswax. They range from a very pale yellow to a warm caramel brown. The colors don’t have anything to do with quality. Learn more about the process of making beeswax candles by visiting the website of The Beeswax Company.
If you want to pick a healthy alternative for paraffin candles, beeswax candles are the way to go.
Too bee or not to bee
Beeswax candles will give you more bang for your buck. They burn a lot longer than standard candles. They can burn up to 2-5 times longer than paraffin candles. Beeswax candles don’t drip.
Beeswax candles have a lovely natural scent and give off a soft light. The harvesting of beeswax doesn’t have adverse effects on our environment. There is some controversy  about harvesting beeswax because some people claim it to be harmful to bees. And something that is harmful to bees is, in the end, destructive to us humans . For this reason, most vegans don’t buy beeswax candles.
Top 5 beeswax candles benefits (and the con’s)
- Beeswax candles don’t contain chemicals
- Some people claim that beeswax candles clean the air. I couldn’t find any scientific research on this claim.
- They have a lovely, natural smell
- Beeswax candles burn longer than ordinary candles
- Beeswax candles don’t drip
- Beeswax candles are more expensive than other candles
- If you like brightly colored candles, you might find beeswax candles a bit dull
What to buy?
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