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What to Avoid In Candles (And What to Look For)

What to Avoid In Candles (And What to Look For)


By Emma Carey


I love candles. I would use them 24/7 if possible. However, I’ve heard that some candles can be toxic and cause damage to the environment. I don’t want to give up something that brings me so much joy and pleasure. But I also don’t want to contaminate my lungs and kill planet Earth! What do I do?! No worries, my friend, just like you, I wanted a candle that was:


  • Long-lasting
  • Free of toxins
  • Sustainable
  • Vegan friendly

Check out the top five things to avoid when going on a candle spree and four things you need instead.


What to Avoid


Parrafin Wax


Parrafin wax is made from petroleum (think Vaseline), coal, and oil shale. It’s widely used in the corporate candle industry because it’s cheap to make and fast-burning. That might sound like a good thing, but your candles will be burning out faster than you can replace them.


Paraffin usually contains bleach and byproducts of animals to harden it. Ew. If that wasn’t enough to put you off, it’s also bad for the environment because it releases toxic fumes, such as black soot. It clings to furniture, like your sofa and the carpet, polluting the house. The fumes in paraffin can damage the lungs if you consistently breathe them in. It can aggravate asthma and allergic reactions because it gets in your eyes and lungs, causing irritation. Yikes.

Synthetic Fragrances


Synthetic fragrances are artificial and usually made in a lab—for example, a replication of the scent of vanilla rather than a vanilla pod. They are often overpowering and smell ‘chemically’. Chemicals don’t always have to be bad because everything is a chemical. However, in the case of synthetic fragrances, your body’s way of telling you the scent is offputting.

Super Cheap Prices


When you’re picking out a candle, the super cheap ones are a warning sign that you’re wasting your time and money. Low-priced candles typically contain synthetic fragrances and paraffin wax which burns very quickly. That means they don’t last long and you could go through a whole pack of candles pretty speedily depending on how often you light them. Before you know it, you need to purchase more. You’ll spend more money and create more waste in the long run. Instead, look for high-quality and affordable options, such as our candles at Essence No.1! Check out the full range here


Animal Testing


Unfortunately, there is no ban on using animals to test products, and candles are no different. Animals may be used to check if a scent irritates them, and some fragrances are toxic to animals. A lot of candles also contain animal fat or byproduct. If you want to relax knowing no bunnies were harmed in the making, then check that your candles are cruelty-free. 


Plastic Packaging


Plastic is not good for the environment. It’s pretty wasteful and, as you probably know, lots of it ends up in the sea. However, many companies use plastic to protect candles before purchase. It is hard to avoid plastic altogether, but you can look for candles using alternatives (such as glass) or ones with minimal plastic packaging.


What You Should Look For Instead


You might be wondering, ‘Do I need to stop using candles altogether?’ Of course not! If you’re a candle lover and bring joy into your life, giving them up is not the way to go. Know what to avoid? Let’s see what you should look for in a candle.


Soy wax

Just like paraffin, candles use soy wax because of the low melting. It’s made from soy plants and is non-pollutant. It evaporates without creating a cloud of smog in your home when it burns.


What’s more, it’s a slower burning wax than paraffin. Soy burns between 30-and 50% longer than paraffin wax.


If you love candles but bulk at higher prices, see it as an investment in yourself and your bank account. Soy wax reduces pollutants on the planet and saves you money in the long run. Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Essence no.1 proudly produces soy wax candles that are far better for your health than paraffin. Check out the full range here.


Essential Oils


Essential oils are incredibly concentrated oils of plants. They smell better than synthetic fragrances, but some essential oils have real benefits for your health. For example, orange can purify the air in your house, and rosemary can help improve concentration. Lemon is one of the best scents to reduce depression, and lavender helps with sleep and anxiety. Essential oils are a great alternative to synthetic fragrances, and Essence No.1 uses a beautiful blend in each candle for the best experience. 


Keep in mind that essential oils are still a fragrance. So if you have any sensitivity, then opt for a non-scented candle. Some essential oils are toxic to pets, so check before buying a scent that could harm your beloved family friend.


Sustainable Packaging

Candle jars made from glass or other eco-friendly material are pretty to look at and better for the planet. I love glass candle jars because they’re easy to recycle, and you can reuse them for lots of different things. For example, to make your own candle. You can also keep trinkets inside or use them to make firefly jars. Find out how to reuse your candle jars for some exciting and inventive ways to give them a new lease of life.


Cruelty-Free & Vegan Friendly


It’s always a win-win if you can find a vegan-friendly version of the product you love. Vegan means there are no animal parts (of any kind!) in the candle, and vegan candles pair hand in hand with no animal testing. We’re proud to say at Essence No.1 that our candles are both cruelty-free and vegan friendly.


Enjoyed reading this post? Check out our Essence No.1 shop or 6 Ways Candles Help Your Mental Health.