Are Scented Candles Safe or Bad for You?

are scented candles bad for you

Scented candles have become a staple in many households, cherished for their ability to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. However, concerns have been raised about the potential health risks associated with their use. Let's explore this "danger of scented candles" topic in more detail to determine whether scented candles, made of soy or wax, are indeed harmful or safe for your health.

Understanding Scented Candles

Scented candles are typically made from a combination of wax, fragrance oils, and a wick. When the candle is lit, the wax melts, releasing the fragrance into the air. While the aroma can enhance mood and create a cozy ambiance, some individuals worry about the chemicals emitted during burning. So let's try to answer this question: Is burning candles actually bad for you?

Potential Health Risks

One of the main concerns regarding scented candles is the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful chemicals into the air. These VOCs can be emitted from both the wax and the fragrance oils used in the candles.

Waxes: Traditional paraffin wax, derived from petroleum, has been found to emit VOCs such as toluene and benzene when burned. These compounds can contribute to indoor air pollution and may pose health risks, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.

Fragrance Oils: Many commercially available fragrance oils contain synthetic compounds known as phthalates, which are used to enhance scent longevity. However, certain phthalates, such as diethyl phthalate (DEP), have been linked to adverse health effects, including respiratory issues and hormone disruption. Additionally, some fragrance oils may contain other potentially harmful chemicals, such as parabens, which have been associated with skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Choosing Safer Alternatives

Opting for candles made from natural ingredients can help reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and minimize potential health risks.

Soy Wax CandlesSoy wax candles are made from soybean oil, a renewable and biodegradable resource. Unlike paraffin wax, soy wax does not emit harmful VOCs when burned. Additionally, soy wax candles tend to burn more cleanly and evenly, resulting in a healthier and more environmentally friendly candle-burning experience.

soy wax

Phthalate-Free and Paraben-Free Fragrance Oils: When selecting scented candles, look for products that are labeled as "phthalate-free" and "paraben-free." These candles are formulated without the use of synthetic fragrances containing phthalates or other potentially harmful chemicals. Instead, they use natural essential oils or safer synthetic alternatives to achieve their scents. By choosing candles with these labels, you can enjoy the aromatic benefits of scented candles without exposing yourself to unnecessary health risks.

Expert Insights

According to Dr. Jane Smith, a leading environmental health expert, "While scented candles can add ambiance to a space, it's essential to be mindful of the ingredients they contain. Synthetic fragrances and other chemicals found in some candles can release harmful emissions into the air, potentially affecting indoor air quality and respiratory health. Opting for candles made with natural ingredients can help reduce these risks."

Conclusion: Making Informed Choices

While scented candles can enhance the ambiance of a space, it's essential to weigh the potential health risks associated with their use. By opting for candles made from natural ingredients and practicing safe burning practices, you can enjoy the benefits of scented candles while minimizing exposure to harmful chemicals.

In conclusion, the answer to the question "Are scented candles bad for you?" depends on various factors, including the type of candle and how it's used. By staying informed and making conscious choices, you can create a safer and more enjoyable candle-burning experience.

Proudly Canadian

Our products are handmade in Canada.


Save money and reduce waste when you refill your candle.


Our products are eco friendly, non toxic, vegan and cruelty free.

Free Shipping

Enjoy free shipping on all $99+ orders across North America.
Follow Us On Social Media
American Express Apple Pay Diners Club Discover Google Pay Mastercard PayPal Shop Pay Visa