For many of us, one of the best ways to relax after a hard-working day is to light scented candles. Candles have the magic to create the perfect ambiance by instantly lifting the mood and bringing about a sense of calm in a room. They are known for their soothing and healing properties, often used by (mainly massage) therapists, to create a peaceful ambiance. Moreover, the sheer act of lighting a candle, its graceful glimmer, and the gentle glow it creates, helps ease and soothe the mind.
However, most of the scented candles are made from paraffin wax. This colorless solid, derived from petroleum, coal, or shale oil, can release cancer-causing chemicals that can be dangerous, especially for people with respiratory conditions. But does that mean that all candles are toxic? The good news – ?bsolutely not! You do not have to give up candles altogether or even spend a lot of money on them. The best option would be to choose wax candles, especially the ones that are made from 100% beeswax with cotton wicks, which are the most preferred among candle-lovers.
Read on if you want to know more about what makes beeswax candles such an attractive, non-toxic, and eco-friendly sustainable option.
What Exactly Is Beeswax?
Beeswax is the natural wax formed by the native honeybee. It is used in the construction of the combs in which the bees raise their young and deposit pollen and honey. It contains mainly esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols. Beeswax has been used for a variety of products such as candles, paint, or a skin softener.
Why Are Beeswax Candles so Great?
Beeswax is used primarily in its original state. It is the purest and most natural of all waxes, including vegetable waxes like soy candles. After extracting the honey, the only processing that happens is filtering. Since beeswax is not a by-product of the oil industry, no additives, no bleaching, or hydrogenating is taking place in its production. Simply put, beeswax candles do not require chemical processing.
One of the best features of beeswax candles comes from the fact that beeswax is a natural air purifier. When beeswax candles burn, they release negative ions that carry away the positive ions, which typically carry dust, dirt, pollutants, and any other contaminants in the air. This binding helps eliminate dust, odors, and mold in the atmosphere, easing allergy and asthma symptoms, and improving breathing for anyone nearby. So, pure beeswax candles are suitable not just for those with allergies or sensitivities to scents, but also for everyone.
Beeswax candles have colors of the natural honey-toned rainbow. They burn with a bright flame similar to the light spectrum of sunlight, releasing a faint honey scent for a long time. They do not produce soot or smoke at all. These candles get their scent from the nectar and honey that was initially stored in the honeycomb. Therefore, the smells of beeswax candles change slightly depending on what the bees were pollinating. In any case, their aroma is plentiful. What is also impressive is the fact that beeswax candles naturally burn up to three times longer than paraffin. The reason behind it – its density is 0.958, and no additives are used in their production. Beeswax candles are also drip-free.
Additionally, beeswax is considered to be “green” wax. Its making requires only substantial flowering fields and forest. This process, at the same time, supports the crop pollination for healthy and multifarious foods. Thus, natural beeswax candles are ecological and environmentally-friendly, from a natural, renewable, and sustainable source. And the process of collecting and processing beeswax does not pollute the surrounding environment in any way.
Finally, while beeswax candles are typically seen as more expensive per candle, they generally are much more cost-efficient if you take into consideration their burning time. Consequently, you will not only save money but also you can help support the incredibly important work of U.S. beekeepers!
Why Should You Avoid Paraffin Candles?
The regular candles are made from a by-product of petroleum refining – paraffin, a black sludge, already filled with numerous toxins. More carcinogenic chemicals are added to change the color to white and to solidify it. To make this waste product more appealing and marketable, the chemists mix it with artificial dyes and synthetic fragrances, which also generate toxins. As a result, when these candles burn, they produce toxins that may cause respiratory irritation and allergies.
Additionally, paraffin candles leave streaks of black residue and stains on home interior surfaces. For this reason, candles used in churches must be white and 100% beeswax to keep the icon-paintings undamaged. Also, when it comes to efficiency, paraffin candles are not as efficient as beeswax candles since they have a short burning period.
People concerned about the environment should also be aware that paraffin candles originate from a non-renewable resource – petroleum. Using paraffin encourages the discovery, collection, refinement, distribution, and consumption of crude oil, along with all the damages that these processes cause to nature.
Beeswax candles were the preferred type of candle by royalty, nobility, and the Church because of its pleasant aroma and beautiful light. It is even today, the favorite kind of candle for many candle-lovers. Beeswax candles are the most durable and long-lasting candles you can buy for your pleasure and make your home feel more comfortable. They burn brighter, cleaner, and longer, than any other type of candle. If this is not enough for you, remind yourself that beeswax is most importantly non-toxic, naturally dripless, and renewable. And, contrary to popular beliefs, beeswax candles are often similar or less expensive than paraffin candles.