7 Reasons Why I Ditched Candles
When you think of candles 🕯️, how does it make you feel? Snuggly? Warm? Nostalgic even? 🥰
I used to be OBSESSED with candles. I had them in every room. I used them daily! My husband used to get so concerned because we would come home to find candles burning that I had forgotten to blow out before leaving 😬 YIKES!
Those feelings you feel when burning candles are usually linked to those smells. The limbic system (the emotional center of your brain) is strongly linked to scent. Scents are connected to memories good + bad, so when we smell them it can bring back those same feelings that are imprinted on your limbic system. So cool, right?!
Well, the reality is that the air fresheners and candles we buy are full of toxins that are as harmful or more harmful than smoking a cigarette. 😮
Even the cleaning products we use are full of chemicals that might not be on the label but end up off-gassing into the air or onto our skin.
Here are some truths for you...
🕯️ I used to buy scented candles.
🛋️ I used to have a bottle of scented toxins that I sprayed our furniture with.
🦠 I used to have a can of scented toxins that I used as an air freshener.
🧺 I used to get scented laundry detergent - you know, the kind that would keep our clothes scented for weeks.
I thought that was a GOOD thing. Turns out... I just didn't know better!
So, believe me when I say that I've got ZERO judgement here, mkay?
Over the years, we've gotten rid of so many of the chemical-filled products in our home and switched them to all-natural products. We switched out our:
- dish soap
- hand soap
- hand purifier
- laundry detergent
- dryer sheets
- body soap
- skin care
- & deodorant
And now I get an instant headache whenever I walk through the grocery store past the cleaning supply and laundry section. 🤢 My nose and brain used to deal with that every. single. day, so my body was used to it. YUCK! I used to have nearly daily headaches and wondered why. 😔 So crazy to think back on!
Think about how exposing our bodies to those chemicals EVERY DAY can affect us long term!!!
I hear people say all the time "yeah but I'm exposed to such a small amount." - while that may be true for ONE product, unfortunately when all of the products we use have little amounts of toxins in them, that adds up to a WHOLE LOT overall! 😞
It's really hard to avoid ALL toxins in today's world, but we CAN avoid many, and therefore lessen the burden on our body! And we can start here with candles.
SO LET ME SHARE WITH YOU MY 7 REASONS FOR DITCHING CANDLES...
1. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the air inside our homes and businesses are 5x MORE polluted then that of the outdoors in even the most polluted areas.
2. Half of the deaths among children under five years old are related to lower respiratory infections that can be directly linked to "particulate matter" present in indoor air pollution (primarily from household solid fuels).
3. Many candles contain artificial scents and dyes, which release additional chemicals when burned.
4. Toxic chemicals that may be present in the paraffin mixture and released through burning include:
5. Two of the biggest contributors to indoor air pollution are:
- the burning of fossil fuels (like stoves, fireplaces, and candles)
- and the off gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals released into the air when we bring products into our home that contain them.
6. The FDA doesn't require manufacturers to list the chemicals included in fragrance additives, meaning if you see the label on a product, it probably contains VOCs that can produce formaldehyde in your home.
7. Fragrance is a cute word for synthetic chemicals. In fact the word fragrance in an ingredient list can be a proprietary word to hide more than 2,000 synthetic ingredients. Synthetic fragrances are known endocrine disruptors (AKA hormones - which take part in controlling our body), and can also have carcinogenic effects (AKA cancer).
Synthetic scents or “fragrance” represent an unidentified mixture of ingredients including carcinogens, allergens, respiratory irritants, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic chemicals and environmental toxicants. These artificial scents can be found in all kinds of body care and cosmetic products, as well as candles, air fresheners, cleaning materials and laundry detergents.
It's Seriously Mind Boggling!
In general, there at least 3,000 ingredients that could possibly be used to form a product’s scent. That’s according to the online “Transparency List” put out by the International Fragrance Association, an industry trade group. It may seem unbelievable, but the FDA does not even currently require fragrance and cosmetic makers to disclose exactly what they are using to scent products.
If companies are using truly natural ingredients, then why be shy? Many will say that their formulas are proprietary and they don’t want other companies copying them. The FDA website also states how the agency cannot legally require companies to warn about allergens in cosmetics like they do with food.
Are you wondering why companies would continue to use synthetic scents if they’re so bad for our health? The answer is straightforward — they are cheaper. Synthetic scents can be an extremely cheap way to give everything from shampoo to lotion to candles a desirable scent.
Unfortunately, just because you enjoy a scent, doesn’t mean it’s good for you."
So you may be asking yourself, what can I use instead?
🌷 I still want my home to smell lovely.
🥰 I still want to feel cozy.
🏻 I still want those nostalgic memories.
...You can still have all of that!
Let me introduce to you... the wonderful world of essential oils and diffusers!
Essential Oils are my favorite way to experience the scents I love, but with benefits, not harmful toxins.
Diffusing essential oils can:
- clean the air you are breathing
- be emotionally uplifting
- and support our body systems
They are multi-use, so the same bottle of orange essential oil can be used both in the diffuser and applied topically to your skin.
There are so many low-cost oils that can be combined into the most delicious scents! And... most diffusers have a candlelight flicker mode!
Here are some of my all time fav combos:
- Lavender, Peppermint, + Lemon
- Ylang Ylang + Orange
- Lime + Vanilla
- Frankincense + Lemon
- Spruce + Peppermint
Not to mention, there are HUNDREDS of pre-mixed blends that smell incredible AND are chock-full of wellness benefits for you and your family! I have so much more to share with you, but for the sake of this blog length I will end with those.
If you EVER have questions about essential oils, they are my JAM, so message me and we can chat more! I can get you some wicked deals on my absolute favs too 😉❤️ learn more HERE.
If you still occasionally want the ambiance of a REAL flickering candle on a cold night. If you're interested in trying to make a beautiful, safe candle yourself, it is doable!! Beeswax candles are amazing and smell great!
A tradition in our home is to have a candle burning at the dinner table during the winter months and to do so SAFELY, we purchased beeswax candle making kits. Not only is it safe and allowing us to keep our tradition, but it's so much fun! The kids love decorating their own candles and then watching them burn throughout our dinners.
Skip the essential oils when making your beeswax candles... burning them changes the constituents of them and will not offer any benefits. Plus the smell just doesn’t really pack a punch with the beeswax modality.
What you will need:
- You can purchase beeswax candle making kits right on amazon. They come with everything you need and are relatively inexpensive. These kind you simply roll and go!
- You can dip your own beeswax candles with beeswax pellets, a double boiler, mason jars, wick stickers, and wicks. which I personally have no experience with, so HERE is a great blog post from another mama on how to do that.
These are plain candles, so you can keep on diffusing your essential oils for lovely smelling scents! ❤️
Another option would be to make simmer pots. However I think this blog post is long enough, so maybe ill save that for another blog or your googling pleasure. 😉
I hope this was helpful to you!
Until next time,
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DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any information provided to you on this site is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. I am not in any way diagnosing, treating, prescribing, or claiming to cure anything. Any and all medical ailments/treatment plans should always be consulted with your physician. This information is my own personal experiences and personal research. You should always do your own research and decide with your physician what is best for you.
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