One of the first things I switched when I dove into the world of non toxic products was candles. Simple right? That’s what I thought, until I realized that (like everything else) not all candles are created equal. Burning candles is such an easy way to create ambience and to make your space feel cozy, and they make such a great gift. Here’s what to look for, and why you should buy non toxic candles, along with some of my favorite scented candles. If you happen to have any favorite non toxic candle brands that I haven’t listed here please share in the comments!
Why You Should Choose Non Toxic Candles
The most eye opening thing when I started researching non toxic candles was how price does not equate to safety. In fact some of the most expensive candles out there are literally polluting the air you breathe and can actually cause health problems. The EPA released a report in 2001 citing research that scented candles made with paraffin wax and synthetic fragrance are not only a source of toxic indoor air pollution, but have been linked to illnesses and skin irritation.
What Harmful Chemicals Are In Candles?
There’s a few main things to look out for in candles that are toxic and potentially harmful to your health. Paraffin which is a petroleum-based wax and used by many candle makers, releases carcinogenic soot when burned, which can be as bad as breathing in second hand smoke. Candles can often be a blend of paraffin and soy wax but only labeled as soy wax for example, so you want to make sure it’s labeled 100% soy, beeswax, coconut or vegetable wax based (or a combination of those). Lead has been banned in candles since 2003, but some wicks have a metal core, which may contain lead and other metals. It can be hard to tell just by looking at the wick if it contains metal, so look for candles with wicks that are made of 100% cotton (organic is event better) or wood. Unfortunately, because the FDA classifies fragrance as trade secrets companies do not have to disclose what “fragrance” actually means. Often times candles will have synthetic fragrance and can include toxic ingredients like phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor. Look for candles with 100% naturally derived essential oils, and phthalate-free.
The Best Non Toxic Candles
It’s probably not a huge surprise that my favorite non toxic candle is by Follain. I always have these on hand and I love to give them as gifts. They’re made from sustainable vegetable wax and an all-cotton wick and scented with essential oils. Follain Candle No. 1 has a scent of lavender and sandalwood that’s incredibly soothing but subtle. Candle No. 2 is a light and clean scent with hints of basil, fig leaf and lavender. Click here for 15% off automatically applied at checkout.
One of my absolute favorite non toxic candles for fall is their Santal Minimalist Soy Candle. Brooklyn Candle Studio uses 100% soy wax derived from American-grown soy beans, cotton core wicks primed with vegetable based wax, essential oils, and phthalate-free perfume oils. They are cruelty-free, 100% vegan and also focus on using recyclable packaging and shipping materials. This Woman No. 2 candle would look so chic on a bathroom or makeup vanity.
While I try to avoid shopping on Amazon as much as possible, it’s hard to resist one of their best-selling candles. Wild Beautiful Free makes their candles with organic coconut wax and 100% pure essential oils. They’re hand poured with organic 100 cotton wicks, vegan, and cruelty-free. The candles come in three scents: Citrus & Floral; Wildberry Rose & Winter Spice; and Lavender & Vanilla.
UMA Oils products are 100% organic and free from synthetic fragrances, preservatives, parabens, GMOs, and mineral oils. Their wellness candle is made from soy wax with essential oils of lavender, rose and sandalwood for a relaxing and soothing scent.
If you want to know exactly what’s in your candle, you’ll find it at Goop. Their ingredient list and sourcing is incredibly transparent. Goop Scented Candles are made with soy wax, 100% natural unbleached cotton wicks and natural fragrance. I’m partial to the Edition 2: Shisho candle which smells earthy and fresh scented with oak moss, palo santo and shisho leaf.
KEAP BK has a zero-waste, sustainable approach to non toxic candles. They use a sustainably sourced coconut-soy wax blend and they are paraben, sulphate, and phthalate free. Their fragrances are not 100% natural (they explain their approach here). Their candles are made ethically in Brooklyn, NY and their packaging is biodegradable and plastic-free.