Candles have been used for over 5,000 years for light, aid in night travels and for religious ceremonies. Today, candles are used for much more than just light. According to the National Candle Association, “candles are used in 7 out of 10 homes in the US” and “sales are estimated at $2 billion annually.” Whether you choose a candle to soothe the senses, for decoration purposes or to simply give a nice gift, it is very important to look at the composition of the candles to ensure quality and safety.
The Pure Candle, a local candle manufacturer based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida invited us to learn more about the candle process and their safe and clean products. There are four elements in candles: wax, wick, fragrance and colorants. These elements determine the quality and safety of the candle you are bringing into your home.
When it comes to the wax, there are several different types used in the production of candles. There is paraffin and tallow wax, which are very common and inexpensive but not the best choice. Both of these types of wax can release carcinogenic soot when burned. The soot can cause respiratory problems and aggravate existing conditions. The other two options are palm and bees wax. Palm Wax although a very clean source, is made from Palm Oil, which has a bad reputation because of deforestation issues in countries where the industry is not controlled. Beeswax is the most expensive and cleanest wax but it is very difficult to experience the magical scents of plants and flowers because of the strong natural scent of the beeswax. That leaves us with Soy wax, which is essentially made from hydrogenated soybean oil. Soy wax is biodegradable, non-toxic, long burning but also a renewable source.
Most candle manufacturers would probably say it’s the wick that makes the candle and not the shape, color or fragrance. The main function of a wick is to deliver fuel (wax) to the flame. The wick acts like a pump, drawing the wax up to the flame. The NCA says, “Approximately 80 percent of the wicks manufactured in the United States are made of all-cotton or cotton-paper combinations. The remainder consists primarily of metal- and paper-cored wicks. Lead wicks were banned from the U.S marketplace in 2003, and for several years before that were found primarily in inexpensive foreign candle imports.” When looking for your candle, make sure they are lead-free wick candles and preferably made in the USA (where regulations are enforced).
The majority of consumers would say that the fragrance of the candle is the most important factor when choosing the right one. “Most scented candles contain a combination of natural and synthetic fragrances. These fragrance materials may be derived from essential oils or from synthetic aroma chemicals,” per the NCA. Because of the toxins associated with synthetic fragrances, we must be very careful that they are not only pleasing, but will burn safely and properly. In the late 1980’s, the National Academy of Sciences reported that 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.
Color is the second-most important factor in the consumer’s decision to choose the right candle right after fragrance. There are two popular ways that candle manufacturers color candles. There are pigments, which are microscopic color particles that are used to coat the outside of a candle. These pigments do not bleed or dissolve but the particles will clog a wick if burned. There are also dyes, which are available in either liquid or powder form and gives candles its translucent color. Unlike pigments, dyes do not clog a wick, as they are easily combustible. According to the NCA, “Both pigments and dyes are safe when used as intended, and there are no known health concerns with either type of colorant.”
With thousands of different candles, it is very important to look at each of these elements and make sure the one you choose is safe for your home. The Pure Candles contain essential oils extracted from plants indigenous to their native regions. Combining these exclusive oils with soy wax creates the cleanest and healthiest candle incomparable to any other. Their aromatherapy candles and luxury candles contain only plant-based ingredients, thereby emitting NO toxins or carcinogens. Each soy candle is hand-poured and packaged mindfully and environmentally in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Many local hotels and spas have teamed up with The Pure Candles to create their very own aromatherapy candle for their guests.
To learn more about The Pure Candles or to create your own private label candle, visit http://thepurecandle.com.