Candles make a moment. That’s why fancy cafes use candles at their dinner tables. The ambiance they create is undeniable.
Candles play a big part in our evening meal. It’s a rule at dinner we eat as a family, and we make that time as special and pleasant as we can, such as lighting a candle. Every night with my family is a special occasion - and lighting a candle makes it so :)
A candle can be so nice and romantic too. I use both soy and bees wax in my home. From distant spaces I will use both, but close proximity or long burns where I am near it I tend to use bees wax ( did you know that they are a natural air purifier? )
In our shop we make sure that all candles are Fair Trade or locally made.
They make a beautiful heart felt gift. A candle gift that says "you are worth special moments". In fact when I give candles as gifts that's exactly what I write on the gift card. I LOVE receiving candles too.
In store I get asked all the time – Which one is better soy or bees wax.
So here goes with me trying to explain soy vs beeswax candles. So we can burn candles that are right for you and your needs.
Firstly, why are ‘normal’ (Paraffin) candles bad for air quality?
Most (cheep) candles are made with Paraffin wax (or a mix of Paraffin and another wax), and Paraffin is essentially a by-product from the refining of lubricating oil. So, when you start burning a paraffin candle in your home, you also release toxins such as toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein and soot. These toxins – that are quite the same as the toxins you get from burning diesel fuel – end up in the air of your home. **YUCK** . This is particularly not a good situation when your home is not well.
That is why we stock only soy or beeswax candles. Because these candles are less polluting.
Now to answer the question- What is healthier: soy vs beeswax candles?
There are three mayor difference that make beeswax preferable ( for health reasons):
1. Many soy wax candles will still contain (a bit) of paraffin and pesticides. Otherwise they cant work as well. And most of the times it is hard to identify how much paraffin there is in a soy wax candle. A candle advertised for as a ‘soy wax’ candle can very well still have quite a part of paraffin in it.
The majority of soybean crops are genetically modified and are grown using pesticides. Some soy wax manufacturers process their soybean oil to filter out any genetically modified material as well as any "potentially present herbicides or pesticides" (source: www.ecosoyabrands.com). Unfortunately, most soy wax manufacturers do not do this this though (to my knowledge) which means a good portion of soy wax candles have the potential to emit chemicals into the air from herbicides and pesticides.
2. Beeswax candles clean the air by releasing negative ions into the air. These ions bind with toxins, thereby improving the air quality. In fact, some people with allergies are very positive about the effect beeswax candles can have. I use in my bedroom beside me before I sleep and it helps with my sinus.
3. Beeswax candles tend to be more natural, because no colour and scent needs to be added. Beeswax candles already have that delightful honey colour and a subtle smell of honey.
Note: To colour a soy wax or beeswax candle or to give it a perfume, something needs to be added, and that can very well be artificial.
Which wax is best for scented candles?
A beeswax candle already has a nice honey smell to it. However, you can also sent your soy candles yourself with essential oils. If you just melt the wax down, you can mix it with the essential oils you prefer. And that’s lots of fun 😊. So if you like to play with the candles scents soy is better.
Which candles (soy vs beeswax) are best for the environment?
Soy wax comes from soybeans, and soybean production involves a lot of pesticides and a lot of water, and promotes rainforest deforestation. And many soy is genetically modified.
Beeswax comes from bees – and since bees are under pressure, it can be helpful the environment to buy bees products. My view point is that the more request there is for bees products, the more bees farms and the more bees there will be. The process of making a beeswax candle is bee-friendly ( I have checked).
That means that beeswax mostly is the best choice for the environment.
As an addition to that: we would argue against using tea lights in aluminium cups, due to the waste of the cups.
What is cheaper: soy vs beeswax candles?
Quite some bee-work is needed to make beeswax, and that makes it the most expensive of the three alternatives (paraffin, soy wax and beeswax). It is however also the most natural option. So you are also buying a more qualitative product.
A good quality soy though will burn for longer with same sized candles. So if you want a very long burn then soy maybe the way to go.
So now you might be thinking "Oh no! My paraffin and soy wax candles are toxic? What do I do now?" First of all, the waxes are not harmfully toxic (as far as I know). Both waxes have to pass a series of tests and meet certain standards before they can be marketed as a wax that is safe for use in candles.
The key is...MODERATION. When it comes to your health, this is the rule for just about everything...medicine, junk food, alcohol, chocolate...all of these things are fine in moderation. If you burn your candles in a well ventilated room, with a properly trimmed wick that doesn't kick up a lot of soot or smoke, chances are you will never see any negative effects on your health from (the not so healthy type) candles.
Hope that answers your question 😊. At the end of the day just be considered and mindful with your purchase.