A breakdown of natural, non-toxic candles
Natural waxes have been around for many years, but with increasing awareness around the dangers of more conventional paraffin candles, the demand for natural waxes has exploded.
Amid this rush of new candle ingrdients and wax blends, the confusion can escalate quickly.
In this natural candle guide, Artemis (Founder of Scents by Artemis), breaks down the different types of candle waxes to help you with your cosy-home purchases.
Soy wax is one of the most popular waxes. As the name suggests, it is derived from soybean oil.
As a result, it is easy to assume that it is eco-friendly, but the methods through which soy wax is sourced are often questionable.
Soy wax accounts for a lot of greenhouse gases, it has its share of responsibility in deforestation, and it is often grown with an abundance of pesticides and herbicides.
Making sure that the soya wax from your candle comes from a traceable source and is GM-free or organic is a big plus when it comes to caring for the ‘flame print’ of your candle.
Soy wax has a clean burn and does not release some of the dangerous toxins that paraffin waxes do. If the candle was well made, it doesn’t release any black soot, and it also has a much longer burn-time than paraffin wax.
However, the fragrance payoff from soy wax is often mild. If you prefer strong-scented candles, you might want to go for a soya wax blend instead, or some of the other waxes we’ll be talking about shortly.
Rapeseed wax can be cruelty-free and does not create toxins when burning.
One of its significant benefits is that it has the lowest carbon footprint compared to all the other natural waxes as it is produced in abundance in the UK and Europe.
Rapeseed flowers help towards pollination and are great for bees as long as the rapeseed is grown with minimum pesticides.
Rapeseed Wax is flexible to work with as you can blend it with other waxes and different fragrances easily.
It’s a personal favourite of mine as you can achieve the ideal scent-throw and blend it with other waxes to create the perfect candle.
Coconut Wax is more of a soft wax. It is derived from coconut oil and blends incredibly well with Rapeseed Wax. Compared to all the natural waxes, coconut wax has the best scent throw for candles which is why I use it in my candles. It holds fragrance from essential oils beautifully and burns clean.
However, coconut wax remains one of the most expensive natural waxes, and due to this, it has been overlooked by the candle industry. In my eye, it is one of the best waxes for candles, and the benefits outweigh the price.
Beeswax has been around the longest. However, it isn’t the most popular when it comes to scented candles as it has a honey-like smell and a yellow tone to it.
As well as the colour and fragrance, you don’t get a good scent-throw when burning a beeswax candle. If you want to give beeswax a try, I recommend purchasing one that is blended with coconut wax to get the most out of your candle.
A lot of beeswax candle-makers like to claim that beeswax candles are the purest and release negative ions which purify the air. This is simply not true.
If you’re strictly vegan and do not consume any animal-derived products, beeswax candles are obviously not a viable option for your home.
Despite all of these natural waxes, most candles are still made with paraffin wax because of its low price tag and how easy it is to stuff paraffin wax with artificial scents.
However, paraffin wax is a petroleum by-product of crude oil. It emits potentially carcinogenic fumes and is polluting to the environment.
From my experience, there are different ways of using natural waxes to gain the same strong scent throw without harming your surroundings.
You may pay a premium for natural candles, but when you consider the harmful ingredients in cheap paraffin wax candles, such as the wax itself, metal-based wicks and artificial scents, natural candles beat paraffin candles on any day.
In Scents By Artemis candles, I use a blend of Coconut and Rapeseed Wax. After trying a multitude of waxes and different wax blends, I found that a Coconut and Rapeseed blend gave me the best results.
Sustainability is at the core of what I want to do, and I was determined to use natural, cruelty-free ingredients that did not include toxins.
Ultimately, rapeseed wax and coconut wax allowed me to achieve those goals.
As a candle lover who used to buy cheap paraffin candles, I can honestly say Vegan Candles (made with natural wax) can be just as amazing. The additional benefits of a clean home without soot, black smoke and chemicals make natural candles a no-brainer for me.
My name is Artemis, and I am the founder of Scents By Artemis — an all-natural home scents company. I aim to produce strong-scented, all-natural luxury products that will look and smell beautiful in your home without harming the environment.