The 3 P's of Bad Candle Ingredients

The 3 P's of Bad Candle Ingredients

The 3 P's of Bad Candle Ingredients

You've probably heard lots of us in the candle industry talk about different buzz words related to candle ingredients. Finding yourself overwhelmed? You're not alone! It's easy for us to get caught up in our own little world and forget that the average consumer doesn't really know what we're talking about. So let's break it all down, shall we? 

1. Paraffin. I use soy wax for all of my candles, but the most common type of wax in mass-produced candles is Paraffin wax. It's also the stuff they put on your hands and feet at spas, but that's a topic for another day. What is it? It's a colourless solid wax derived from coal, oil shale or petroleum. Why do candlemakers use it? It's been around the longest. It's also cheaper than soy or coconut waxes and gives off the most scent. 

Paraffin is a contentious ingredient. The National Candle Association and the FDA claim that paraffin is a safe ingredient. Other studies have produced findings that show a level of concern: 

Ruhullah Massoudi, a chemistry professor at South Carolina State University, and undergrad Amid Hamidi found that candles made with paraffin gave off a variety of nasty chemicals, including toluene (a benzene derivative, which is a known carcinogen).

My personal stance is that I will never use paraffin. Regardless of the toxicity claims, it's not a renewable, sustainable ingredient, and I don't feel comfortable burning it in my home so I'm not going to suggest you use it in yours. 

It's also important to note that if a candle says "soy wax blend" it very likely has paraffin wax. There are no regulations on the percentage of wax needed to make a claim about its composition. Therefore, that candle could be 99% paraffin with 1% soy and claim a soy wax blend. 

2 & 3. Parabens and Phthalates. Parabens are preservatives used to increase the shelf life of candles, and phthalates are compounds that help bind different fragrances together. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has concluded that phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. These can wreak all kinds of havoc in our bodies. Because of that, I only use fragrance oils that are free from paraben and phthalates. 


Rest assured when you purchase your candles from me, they're free of these 3 P's. I only use soy wax and clean burning fragrance oils, along with a cotton wick. 

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1 comment

I burn wick + bear candles every day and it’s comforting to know that the ingredients are safe and won’t cause harm

Kathy Angelow —

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