In this post we take a look at the two best selling candle waxes today - paraffin and soy, and check them against their health and environmental credentials, which we hope makes clear why we use soy wax here at Wickpy.
We spend around £2 billion a year on candles in the UK and our desire to burn wax shows no sign of stopping.We light candles to create a mood, for the glow, scent, aesthetic and message, and many of us are interested to know how our candles may be impacting us.These days we are becoming increasingly conscious of the effect we are having on the environment, recently learning that our world's glaciers are melting at accelerating levels.
Made from crude oil, the wax itself is removed from the oil by solvents to give it good fluidity at low pouring temperatures.
Many candle-makers argue that paraffin wax is a by-product of the oil industry and its use is therefore justified because it is not directly contributing to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.
From a health perspective, paraffin contains benzene, a known carcinogen. Some argue that candles are tiny and therefore it’s just a tiny amount. This may be true but is it worth the risk?
Benzene has been banned in the UK for many uses.
"Before its toxic nature was realised, benzene was previously used in cosmetics (for example aftershaves), domestic (cleaning) solvents and in the process of decaffeinating coffee. Its use in such consumer products or processes is no longer permitted." (source: gov.co.uk)
Soy wax is made from soybean oil which is derived from, you guessed it, soybean plants.
Again, solvent extraction is used to separate the oil from the solids.
The oil is then bleached and hydrogenated to make it into a wax.
Soy wax contains transfats and is a by product of the agriculture industry which means that some solids are used as cattle feed, which won't work for everyone.
Soy wax produces less soot and has less toxic chemicals than paraffin, making it a healthier option for the home.
There is no denying that soy production has its pitfalls as rainforest is routinely cleared for the production of soybean to meet a growing global demand for meat products.
To address this concern, we source our wax from soybeans produced sustainably in Europe.
Here at Wickpy, our aim is to enjoy safe, clean candles that contribute positively to our bodies, minds, society and the planet.
As candle makers, we want to eliminate carbon from the air to enjoy the aromatherapy qualities of our soy essential oil candles.
For this reason, we include soy wax as our wax of choice for the candles we make and the craft kits we create.
To make a soy candle, be sure to check out the store for our full range of Soy Candle Kits.
To learn how to make a soy candle, check out our informative guide.
Choose a candle making kit with natural soy candle making supplies.
For every Wickpy Candle Kit you purchase, we plant a tree in re-wilding projects with our partners, Ecologi. Check our progress so far here and thank you for your continued support.