Non Toxic Living: Candle Edition

My favorite time of the year is fall through winter. I love staying in with the fire place on, hot chocolate, the Christmas tree lit & fresh snow outside. Candles have always added to my “cozy” vibe in the way they remind me of the holidays. When September rolled around every year, I would stock up on everything apple, pumpkin & anything that smelled like a cookie! About a year ago, I learned about the toxic chemicals put into candles & how they can negatively impact our health. As you burn a candle, it burns down & disappears from the jar, all of that soot, artificial fragrance, formeldahyde, acetone, benzene & toluene (known carcinogens & actually seen listed together in diesel emissions) are not only released into the air, but also attach themselves to the fabric in your home: furniture, carpet, bedding etc even when you can no longer smell the fragrance. Studies done in 2018 & 2019 found that these toxic chemicals impact our reproductive system, endocrine system & are linked to cancer & developmental toxicity. This doesn’t stop at candles.. this also includes air fresheners (plug ins & aerosols) & wax melts. When you read the word “fragrance”, it is actually an umbrella term for 3000+ ingredients chemically engineered, so you truly never know what it is that you’re putting into your home. You can read more about that here.

What can I do?

Look for options that are pure & safe! Avoid words like “fragrance”, “natural fragrance”, “aroma”, & “essential oil blend” & always check ingredients. A natural candle company I love is Basic Bee Candle Co! The owner makes them with 100% pure bees wax & essential oils, since she’s a bit newer, she only has 3 candle options currently. I personally only know of Basic Bee as a natural candle option, so when I’m not using their candles, I go for diffusing oils to add different fragrances to my home.

What is an “essential oil”?

An essential oil is the potent, aromatic substance produced by distillation or cold pressing of plant material (stem, flower, leaf etc). Each essential oil is made up of, sometimes a few and sometimes hundreds of constituents that lend each oil to have different types of therapeutic benefits. You can search for essential oils in the US National Library of Medicine to read thousands of studies done on essential oils & their ability to help improve sleep, reduce pain, ease stress, kill bacteria, & more. It’s cool!

Diffusing oils not only smells great, but also helps to cleanse the air, & can support your body at a cellular level by boosting immunity, mood, emotions, lowering stress & helping sleep. I tossed all of my candles last fall, started diffusing oils & I will never turn back. I actually found some wax melts in a box last month & decided to use one to see how I would feel, within 30 minutes I had a massive headache & started coughing. To make sure it wasn’t a coincidence, a week later I tried it again & had the same symptoms. Our bodies can actually become “nose blind” to certain chemicals & when you completely remove them from your lifestyle, your body will KNOW when something contains chemicals or not. Our bodies are smart, there’s a reason I got a headache & started coughing.. my body was trying to tell me it didn’t like what was in the air!

How do I find high quality oils?

Look for brands that are 100% pure, sustainably sourced, free of synthetic fragrances & fillers. I love brands that let you know where the oil was sourced, how it was sourced & whether or not the farm had used pesticides on their plants. Look for brands that 3rd party test for purity, this will be in the form of a GS/MS analysis & is extremely important. In the United States, it’s legal for companies to put only 5% of oil into their bottle, fill the rest with synthetics & label it as “100% pure” to sell it in stores.. It’s scary when you think about it! You never truly know what you’re putting into the air. Avoid oils that are sold in grocery stores or places like TJMaxx for this reason.

Brands I love:
Young Living: PROS: Uses seed-to-seal stamp ensuring that no synthetics are added, uses corporate owned farms to maintain high standards, has a collection of FDA approved oils, lots of products for cleaning, haircare, skincare, makeup, cooking etc. Has a monthly Essential Rewards program that gets you free oils when you spend a certain amount. It’s a great option if you’re slowly wanting to ditch & switch products every month for healthier options like your laundry soup, dish soap, body lotions etc.

CONS: unable to download & see GS/MS report to ensure purity of the batch, is a Multi Level Marketing company making the products more expensive. MLMs sky rocket prices because not only does the company need money to continue running, they also need to pay their consultants their bonus’ & commission. In order to get discounts, you’re required to become a member, this means buying a starter kit, which runs $100+. Monthly purchase is required for their Essential Rewards program. Promotes ingestion of oils, read this blog post on why I started to view this as a con: Is It Safe To Ingest Essential Oils?

Eden’s Garden: PROS: Woman founded, owned & operated, voted #1 non MLM essential oil company, sustainably sourced, no synthetics added, can download the GS/MS report to view the quality & purity of the oil you’re purchasing, easier on the wallet (price comparison ex: EG 5ml Lavender oil = $7.95, YL 5ml Lavender oil = $12.50, the average price difference is around $5-$7 comparing each oil). Has a rewards program that saves you money with purchases, no monthly purchase is required to receive rewards. They have a free referral program that anyone can be a part of! If you sign up through my link, you’ll receive 50 points towards a purchase & so will I! Eden’s Garden Referral Link

CONS: Does not have FDA approved oils, not as many products outside of oils available, does not own their own farms, does not label as organic or Non GMO, does not have as many oils available.

I’ll let you decide which option is best for you, YL is the company I started with & still use, but I order from EG most of the time now. A lot of the oil blends are similar & I can tell that EG’s are pure. I was skeptical at first since everyone I know who uses YL raves so heavily about it but I’m so thankful a friend told me about EG!

I’ll be making a post soon about holiday blends to make your house smell as yummy as a bath & body works candle! Stay tuned 🙂

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