It’s chilly out there, folks! Here in Vancouver, we’re battling more snow than I’ve personally seen in a while, and while snow is beautiful to look at, it’s not exactly ideal for commutes. On frosty days like these, there’s nothing I love better than cozying up in my living room with a fragrant candle, hot chocolate and a book.
When it comes to selecting a candle, it can be easy to reach for the one with the prettiest scent and the nicest packaging, but according to Melody Lim, founder of eco-friendly soy candles Mala the Brand, there are certain health-related factors we should be aware of first! Here are Melody’s tips for selecting the perfect candle for your home:
Wax, Wax, Wax!
Avoid purchasing candles that use paraffin wax. Paraffin candles, made from a by-product of petroleum, are most commonly used in mass-produced stores as they give incredible throw (the scent that emits when burnt) for a lower amount of fragrance (cheaper to make).
The downsides of paraffin are that it can be toxic to animals and even humans when burnt. Remember that nasty soot that was left on your wall when you were done burning that candle? Yeah, that’s paraffin for you! Stick with soy or beeswax, it burns cleanly.
Cheaper, mass-produced candles often use synthetic fragrances that contain harmful chemicals such as phthalates, since they give off a strong smell. Phthalates are chemicals used to soften PVC plastic and as solvents in cosmetics and other consumer products.
If consumed in large quantities, they can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system. Instead, choose companies that use only phthalate and paraben-free fragrances combined with essential oils for the safest burn possible.
Certain cotton wicks can contain traces of metal, such as lead, and this is because the lead that it is laced with makes them stand up straighter, therefore causing the candle to burn better. The problem is that the lead then vaporizes into the air where it can be inhaled. Look out for wood wicks instead, or ask the company you’re buying from if their wicks contain lead.