I noticed recently that there are Canadian made candles that to the untrained consumer might appear to be beeswax. They are almost the color of natural beeswax but they are paraffin. They claim to be long burning which is also a characteristic of beeswax. Since they are paraffin, to be long burning they have an additive, either polymer or something similar. Polymer is the fibre often found in your carpet. Does that sounds like something you want your family to be breathing?
There are also paraffin candles out there blended with beeswax. A reminder that if the label doesn’t say that the candle is 100% pure natural beeswax it most certainly isn’t. Manufacturers can say their candles are beeswax even if only a portion of the wax is beeswax blended with another less desirable wax. This concerns me so I want to be sure that you know the difference.
Here is a list of things to look for to ensure that the candle you are purchasing is 100% pure beeswax and not a candle made with a beeswax/paraffin blend or paraffin wax.
- Pure beeswax is very hard and heavy compared to paraffin or blended candles. It feels substantial when you pick it up and you can feel the weight in your hands.
- Pure beeswax candles develop "bloom" over time. You can polish it off and it will come back in a matter of weeks or even days. The whitish film is an indicator of purity and is cherished by candle connoisseurs. Candles mixed with other waxes will not develop bloom.
- Pure beeswax candles have a much richer color than blended wax or paraffin that is colored to look like beeswax.
- Pure beeswax candles have a delicate honey scent. Some companies will use synthetic scent in their blended candles to imitate a natural honey scent.
Why would you be concerned about buying a paraffin candle?
Paraffin contains the following chemicals: acrolein, benzene, ethanol, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, toluene, styrene, benzene, ethyl benzene, naphthalene, benzaldehyde, didecyl phthalate, and acetone.For more information on why you want to avoid paraffin please read our article What is Paraffin?