Last week, I discussed my unusual high school job: pouring beeswax candles at a Greek Orthodox Convent! Read about the healing properties of beeswax candles and the dangers of paraffin candles here. Did you know, for example, that many people find burning beeswax candles an effective treatment for allergies?
Soy vs. Beeswax Candles
Hands down, beeswax candles win the competition. They can effectively reduce allergies, asthma, and hay fever by releasing negative ions into the air. Although soy candles don’t boast medicinal properties, soy is clearly a better choice that paraffin candles… sometimes (read why paraffin candles are so dangerous here). There is a catch…
In the U.S., the term ”pure” on a label means only 51% of an ingredient (and that goes for food, too). Companies sell both “pure” beeswax candles and “pure” soy candle, which contain a combination of 51% beeswax/soy wax and 49% toxic paraffin. Look for the key phrase “100% Pure Beeswax” or “100% Soy” on candles.
But even 100% soy candles have some significant problems:
Soy candles contain paraffin
Interestingly, even a 100% soy wax candle must be processed with a small amount of paraffin. Potentially, burning a 100% soy candle will release small amounts of the carcinogens and toxins found in paraffin. Again, most soy candles on the market are not 100% soy, and contain a high percentage of poisonous paraffin.
Soy candles often contain fragrances and dyes
Additionally, many soy candles contain the same poisonous dyes and fragrances added to paraffin candles. (Granted, some low quality beeswax candles are dyed and fragranced, too, and they do not offer the healing benefits of 100% pure beeswax candles.) Interestingly, essential oils are not safe options for candle fragrances, either. A soy or beeswax candle scented with essential oils will release toxins, since combustion changes the molecular structure of these oils.
100% pure beeswax candles require no added fragrances or dyes, because the pollen and honey content of the wax offer a natural orange color and light, sweet fragrance.
Soy candles pose environmental concerns
More than 90% of soy is genetically modified! GM soy crops are heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides, causing harm to both the harvesters and the soil. So if you are buying soy candles, chances are you are supporting the production of GMO’s–which devastate our environment and our health.
Price: A Deal Breaker for Some
When you buy paraffin candles, you are spending money to poison your home. Beeswax candles, like I discussed, are a healing investment and worth the higher price tag. Soy candles–even 100% pure soy candles–cost significantly less than beeswax. Those who want a more affordable alternative to paraffin often go with soy candles. Although this is a personal decision, but I would rather go candle-free than settle for anything less than 100% beeswax.
Where do I get the beeswax candles?
Please read the UPDATE section on my beeswax candles post.
Questions about wicks or making your own candles? Please refer to that post, too.