Natural candles vs. Paraffin candles

Life’s pleasures can often be small and simple, and for me nothing relaxes me more than settling down on a Sunday with the papers and an uplifting scented candle.

Like many of you, I avoid paraffin wax candles in favour of more natural alternatives. Here’s why:

Problems with paraffin:

Paraffin wax is a by-product of petroleum, and the main ingredient in most candles, ranging from the very expensive to the more affordable.

When burnt, paraffin wax gives off substances such as toluene and benzeneknown carcinogens that can build up to harmful levels in unventilated rooms.

A 2009 study led by Dr Amid Hamidi from South Carolina State University noted that, “The occasional paraffin candle and its emissions will not likely affect you. But lighting many paraffin candles every day for years or lighting them frequently in an unventilated bathroom around a tub, for example, may cause problems.”

If like me you prefer to err on the side of caution with these things, there are some gorgeous soya or beeswax candles brands around which have a much cleaner and longer burning time than paraffin.

My go to candles at the moment are by The Isle of Skye Candle Company. Their hand poured soya wax candles are made in the Scottish Highlands, and are available in a wide range of gorgeous scents – my favourite’s the Juniper!

The Isle of Skye Candle Company was founded in 2006 by James Robertson – he’s really passionate about the benefits of natural products, and wanted to provide a clean and environmentally friendly alternative to paraffin wax.

The Isle of Skye Candle Company also won ‘Best New Scottish Company’ at the Scottish variety awards in 2012 – I’d say they’re a great new British brand to keep an eye on!

Will you be making the switch to a cleaner candle?

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t know about that benefit – thanks for sharing! x

  • JeanineDC

    I also like that soy is easy to clean but usually prefer beeswax as I read that it generates negative ions when burned which we are sorely lacking since the advent of technology–in other words, it is healthy!

  • Anonymous

    Beeswax is also a great alternative – lovely smell when they burn too. x

  • Katerina Kulikova

    Also, as it is water soluble, usually pretty glasses used for soya candle can be used further. easy to clear off the remaining soya wax.

  • Anonymous

    I know! That is one of my favourite aspects of soya wax – I like to use mine to store cotton wool pads or cotton buds. So pretty! x

  • http://www.onezerosixkids.com/ Chi@106

    I’ve been using non-paraffin Neom and L:A Bruket candles but I’m always on the lookout for new soy/beeswax candles to add to my burgeoning collection. Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll certainly check out The Isle Of Skye! :)

  • Anonymous

    You should – they are gorgeous candles! The Sleep Sensation one is also lovely. x

  • JimmyChonga

    There is no toluene in paraffin – how can it emit toluene when a paraffin candle is burned?