If you're like me (and Beyoncé), burning a candle in every room, every day of the year is not a fantasy - it's a reality. As a self-professed home fragrance fanatic, I delight in the feelings I get when I walk into a room and am greeted with the sweet, savory or sassy scent of a premium scent.
However, there is a secret sauce to finding the right balance of scent and safety, and in candle making, it starts with the wax.
I believe soy wax is hands down, the best wax for candles today. It is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans, 100% renewable and grown in the United States. Widely heralded as eco-friendly, soy wax candles are also carbon neutral (no black soot), sustainable, contain no animal or insect products, long-burning and blend exceptionally well with fragrance and essential oils.
There are several other varieties of wax commonly used in candle making. Let's check out a few of them:
Paraffin Wax - Most candles in the United States are made with paraffin wax, which is known to produce highly toxic carcinogens like those found in diesel fuel fumes. These carcinogens have been linked to cancer, allergies and indoor air pollution. Paraffin wax candles are also known to produce black soot, that sticks to your walls and furniture when the candle is burning.
Palm Wax - Derived from oil palms, this Southeast Asian imported wax is an all-natural and renewable resource. However, over-harvesting has caused some serious environmental concerns about the sustainability of palm wax causing many U.S. distributors to stop selling it.
Beeswax - As you've probably heard in the news, bees are in danger of extinction due to an increase in Colony Collapse Disorder - when worker bees suddenly disappear from the hive. This phenomenon has raised concerns among farmers, bee enthusiasts and animal (insect) protection groups alike, causing a push for the preservation and protection of the bee population and their hives.
Gel Wax - A chemical concoction consisting of mineral oil and resin. This rubbery, translucent mixture isn't wax at all. As the name states, it's a gel that's prone to catch fire due to the excessive heat it generates.
Candles should not only smell good, but be good for you. Choose soy candles that produce a safe, long-lasting sensory experience, ambiance in your home and relaxation in your mind, body and spirit.