Unveiling the Truth: Are Candles Bad for You? The Soy Solution

Unveiling the Truth: Are Candles Bad for You? The Soy Solution


In the pursuit of relaxation and ambiance during long winters, candles have seen a recent surge in popularity in Canada. In fact, statistics suggest that by 2028 the Canadian market for candles will reach USD 314 million. Now that’s a lot of candle lovers!

Yet, with their rise in popularity, so did consumers' desire to focus on sustainability and healthy products to bring into their homes.

Candles are no exception to this phenomenon – as even writing this article I noted the average monthly search results for “are candles bad for you” saw a search volume of 590 clicks per month.

So, are candles bad for your health? Let's delve into this debate, shedding light on the facts and uncovering the soothing potential of soy candles.

 Understanding Candle Concerns:

Before delving into specifics, it's crucial to address the concerns surrounding conventional candles.

 Traditional candles are typically made from paraffin wax, which is a byproduct of petroleum or in other words oil.

It first was produced in 1830 by a German chemist named Karl von Reichenbach while he was experimenting with the dewaxing process of petroleum.

Credits: Portrait of Carl Von Reichenbach, Wikipedia.org.

 It became a popular alternative to tallow candles in the 20th century due to the boom in the oil industry which generated a mass amount of it along with stearic acid which stabilized it.

This mass processing of oil greatly reduced the cost of paraffin and stearic acid, making paraffin wax cheap to mass produce and sell.

But as you can guess, with modern science and knowledge comes modern concerns.

Paraffin wax candles release chemicals like benzene and toluene when burned. These chemicals have been linked to respiratory issues and even carcinogenic effects.

 So if you’ve ever been victim to a headache from a scented candle, these chemicals are likely the culprit.

So What’s The Alternative?

Soy and vegetable wax candles.

Amidst the shadow of concern, soy candles emerge as a beacon of hope.

Soy wax was first developed in 1991 by Michael Richards – as an alternative to paraffin wax.

Michael Richard didn’t like the environmental impact of paraffin wax and beeswax was very expensive. So, he blended hydrogenated vegetable oils to create the earliest version of vegetable wax.  

Credits: Yan Krukau, Pexels.com.

Crafted from natural soybean oil, these candles offer a cleaner, safer alternative to their paraffin counterparts.

Here's why soy candles shine:

  1. Clean Burn: Unlike paraffin candles, soy candles burn cleanly and emit minimal soot. This means fewer harmful particles are released into the air, promoting better indoor air quality, and reducing respiratory irritants.
  2. Non-Toxic: Soy candles are free from the toxins and pollutants found in paraffin candles, making them a healthier choice for you and your loved ones. With no harmful chemicals lingering in the air, you can breathe easily and enjoy your candlelit moments without worry.
  3. Renewable Resource: Soy wax is derived from soybeans, a renewable and biodegradable resource. By choosing soy candles, you're prioritizing your health and supporting sustainable practices that benefit the environment.

Soy candles stand as a testament to the power of natural alternatives. With their clean burn, non-toxic composition, and eco-friendly nature, soy candles offer a guilt-free way to enhance your home environment and indulge in moments of relaxation.


So, to answer the question: “Are candles bad for you?”

Yes and no – it’s highly dependent on what the candle is made of. If you’re concerned about the health qualities of your candles avoid waxes like paraffin and reach for vegetable alternatives like soy wax.

In the modern-day candle market, there are so many healthy alternatives that previously didn’t exist for use, and thanks to modern production they’re relatively affordable.

So, light up your life with soy candles and embrace the warmth of wellness.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.