Are Soy Candles Safe?


              There’s nothing better than settling in for the night with candles all around you, filling the room with a relaxing fragrance from a crackling wick. Surely, there is something special about the soothing smell and familiar ambiance that a candle provides while you’re curled up in your favorite blanket and reading a new book. Candles are lovely, but we all know that they don’t last forever. When you’re shopping for candles, it’s easy to grab the cheapest, most accessible ones you can find. Unfortunately, those affordable candle options are probably unsafe to be using. Who would have thought choosing your next candle would be such a crucial decision? Luckily, in reading this article, you will find that it does not need to be a difficult decision. Yay, we love life hacks!


              The most common types of candles you’ll see are paraffin wax and soy wax. While they  may be low-cost and convenient, they should be avoided for a number of reasons. Soy candles are regularly advertised on the market as safe, vegan and eco-friendly. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but this is not always the case. Candle companies don’t want people to know that these products can contain harmful chemicals and are causing detrimental destruction to the environment.  


If you’ve been a soy candle fan, don’t worry. You won’t have to give up candles entirely. Fortunately, there are other options! Without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details and dive into why many soy candles are unsafe, as well as what would be a healthier, alternative solution to them.


What are Soy Candles?


              If you have a large candle collection, chances are that you have owned at least one soy candle product. Hey, we’ve all been guilty of it at some point, but who can blame us? Soy candles are misguidedly advertised as eco-friendly and the word “soy” is typically associated with being a healthy choice. Even though they are a widely distributed and popular product, that doesn’t mean they are the best or, for that matter, the safest choice.


              Soy candles have become the alternative to mass-produced commercial candles that are made of paraffin wax. Paraffin is awful for the environment, as it is derived from petroleum. Yes, the same petroleum used to fuel cars. Do you want that in your house or around your beloved family and pets? Probably not. When you’re burning a candle containing paraffin wax, it is releasing toxic carcinogens into the air. Paraffin is made from coal and shale, which are not things that should be emitted into your breathing space! Overall, paraffin wax and mass-produced commercial candles that contain it should be avoided.


So, what is a soy candle? Soy candles are made from soy wax, which comes from soybean oil. At first glance, this sounds like a great, viable option. After all, soy is a renewable resource and can be made completely vegan. A 100% pure soy wax candle would be fine, however, commercially produced candles typically have paraffin wax in them, primarily because soy has such a low melting point.


Soy Candle Production


              In theory, a candle made from soybean oil should be safe, but the process in which they are made is likely harmful to you and your surroundings. In fact, the whole production process is completely mechanical. Before soybeans are turned into soybean oil, which is then made into soy wax, they go through various chemical treatments. Grab your cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s explore this further together.


Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from soybean oil that has been harvested from soybeans. Seems simple enough, right? The beans are harvested, cleaned, cracked and rolled into flakes. After that, they are hydrogenated to create the soybean oil. Once the soybeans are turned into soybean oil, the oil is bleached and deodorized, barely resembling the natural soybean at all. Lastly, the soybean oil is made into soy wax. It is important to point out that the soybean oil is heavily processed by the time it becomes wax. Soybeans are a natural product, while soybean candles are not. Whew, glad we got that covered.


Soy wax has such a low melting point on its own, that even if you are purchasing a soy candle from a small, reputable business, additives can be added so the candles will retain their desired shape while burning. If you just had a flashback of the Wicked Witch of the West yelling, “I’m melting!”, same. Okay, back on topic - Soy candles also need an excessive amount of fragrance oils, being that they do not hold scents well. They can contain bleach, paraffin and other toxins that may not be listed on the label. Moreover, most candles are dyed using chemicals. Yuck, more chemicals.


Given these facts, soy candle makers are commonly very secretive about their production process, most likely because their customers would find out that the practices they use are less than ideal. Talk about shady! When you burn soy candles, you could be unknowingly releasing dangerous chemicals into the air and breathing them in. They can also cause harm to your skin, depending on what’s in them.


The Controversial World of Soybean Farming


              Another thing to consider with soy wax candles is the fact that there are many issues with how the soybeans are farmed. It is possible to find a small, locally sourced vendor growing their own soybeans and making candles, however, this is uncommon. You might have better luck finding a needle in a haystack, and who honestly wants to do that?


              Soybean farms use pesticides and fertilizers which will make their way into the wax. Furthermore, soybeans are usually genetically modified. This makes the seeds more resistant to the harmful chemicals they use, such as strong herbicides. When purchasing a soy wax candle, you can never be confident that it is 100% soy, as there are chemicals and additives that you, the consumer, are not made aware of. We can probably all agree that being kept in the dark is no fun!


              Sadly, the soybean farming industry is heavily linked to the deforestation crisis. Massive amounts of forest areas have been cleared for the commercial soybean industry. Most soybean farming is done in South America, destroying forests and habitats for wildlife. This now becomes a matter of ethics. Morally, we owe it to our planet and to future generations to preserve the vitality of our forests.


Why Soy Candles are Unsafe


              If you burn a soy candle in your home, you clearly do not need to be overcome with feelings of shame and regret, but the overall impact from their production is something to consider. Just because a product is coming from a farm, doesn’t mean it’s natural. As previously mentioned, the mechanical processes used to turn soybeans into soy candles emits nasty toxins into the air that hurt the environment. With so many of us making the switch to organic products, the depth of harm that most soy candles cause could come as an unwelcome shock to you. Although ignorance is bliss, it helps to stay well-informed, especially in matters of health and safety.


              Being that soy candles have a low melting point and do not hold fragrances well, additives and extra fragrance oils are used. Not to mention, the fact that the oil is bleached during the processing of the candles. While soy starts off as a vegan, natural product, the process from start to finish adds a plethora of chemicals, ultimately making it a harmful product that is unfit for any household.


              Soy wax candles do burn cleaner than paraffin wax candles, but commercial soy candles generally have paraffin as an additive, making it impossible to avoid. It’s also a wise decision to be aware of the dyes used in the candles, as they can potentially be dangerous to you if burned or even touched.


              Another thing to consider is the type of wick used in a soy candle. The wicks should not expel chemicals when they are burned, so be sure you are mindful of that when choosing your candles. Want to know more on that matter? Check out our blog on wicks to see what’s right for you.


              So, what can candle enthusiasts choose to be environmentally friendly and health conscious? How can you buy candles you feel good about? Well, there are safe candles out there, such as coconut apricot wax candles.



Say Hello to Coconut Apricot Wax


              All of this information about soy wax is concerning, we know. Now that we’ve rained on your parade, here’s an umbrella. To avoid adulterated soy wax candles and paraffin altogether, a coconut apricot wax candle is exactly what you need! If you want an ethically sourced, superior wax alternative, it’s time to consider coconut apricot wax. In case you are wondering how we could be so sure, here are the facts:


              Coconut apricot wax is made from cold-pressed coconut meat and is 100% all-natural. There is no mechanical process used that releases those pesky chemicals into the environment. Coconut apricot wax candles also hold scents much more efficiently than soy candles, and do not need to be filled with chemicals to produce those wonderful, long-lasting fragrances that you love. It is a tried and true, sustainable replacement for soy wax. When you buy coconut apricot wax candles, you’re buying an eco-friendly product you can trust will be the better, healthier option.


              In purchasing a coconut apricot wax candle, you’re getting a luxury product. It’s not the type of candle you can find on the shelves of any store. Coconut apricot wax candles are sold by small, local sellers, like us, who take the time and care to give you an all-natural product with nothing dangerous hidden inside. Not only that, but you’ll be happy to know that you are supporting a small business that takes pride in what they do and stands behind what they sell. With absolutely no hidden agendas, you can be assured you’re getting a quality, natural product.


A Quick Recap


              To sum it up, soy wax candles are not the eco-friendly, vegan candles they are so often advertised as. It’s important to take what you’ve learned from your research and buy sustainable candles that won’t cause damage to you or the environment. When you buy soy wax candles, you’re inadvertently supporting the deforestation that exists as a result of mass soybean production, which is destroying the South American rainforests. Not cool!


              Soy wax candles may claim to be all soy, but they only need to be 51% soy to be considered a soy wax candle. The other 49% is typically made up of toxins and additives that are harmful to you and our beautiful planet. Upsetting? Absolutely. This is all the more reason to make sure you aren’t being lured into purchasing soy wax candles just for their affordable prices.


              When you buy from Luxe Intuition, you’re getting a quality product that has been ethically made to perfection. Candles are meant to provide a relaxing, serene experience and you should feel good about the products you’re investing your hard earned money into. Next time you’re lighting your candles to unwind from the long day in a hot bubble bath, let our Moonlit Zen or Eunoia coconut apricot wax candles be what comforts you.


              Without a doubt, coconut apricot wax candles are environmentally sound and an excellent alternative to soy wax or paraben candles. Candles are a luxury item and buying one you feel good about is sure to make the experience that much more enjoyable. Protect yourself, preserve our world, follow your intuition and try our Luxe Intuition coconut apricot wax candles!


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