"There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
- Edith Wharton
This week, The Weekly Beet burns toxins out of your home. Mary Kent lights a match, exposing the truth on waxy, wicked candles.
Used throughout history for light, decoration, and ritual ceremonies, today, candles have reached a new level for their healing effect in our daily life. Candles are now seen in every spa, department store, health food store, healing center, home, trendy event, or dinner party, and have quickly topped the gift list of $50 and over. With brands like Diptyque, Votivo, and Manuel Canovas, it's as if the candle has become "the" status symbol for the house. The Egyptians were among the first to naturally produce candles by dipping reeds into animal fat. But, unfortunately over time, candles have become industrialized and made with paraffin, a petroleum based by-product of refined gasoline that when burned releases carcinogenic, black soot filled with toxins such as benzene and toluene into the air. To top it off, many paraffin candles include harmful additvies and dyes to enhance the color and smell. Even worse, paraffin candles are made with zinc, tin, or lead wicks, which can cause lead exposure. There's obviously nothing too healing or stylish about toxic, paraffin candles!
Here are our top 10 tips to buying candles:
- Look for 100% vegetable (soy) or bee based waxed candles.
- Avoid paraffin waxed candles.
- Avoid gel based candles.
- Make sure the wick is made of cotton or hemp.
- Avoid candles with metal wicks.
- Choose organic candles if possible. Click here to read more.
- Read labels. Avoid candles that contain chemical
and fragrances. Many companies are not required to disclose toxic ingredients in their candles. The American Lung Association says: "Refrain from burning scented or slow-burning candles that have additives."
- When buying scented candles, candles containing essential oils are best. Choose lavender for relaxation, rosemary for revitalization, and eucalyptus for purification.
- Remember to choose a color that goes with your mood. Click here for a list.
- Look for a few of our favorite brands such as Pacifica (Persian Rose is the best), Ergo, Lumia, and Natural Magic.
It's time to burn the candle from a healthy end. Don't miss a
Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PPS. Check out Yamile Linderman, founder of Entertaining Lifestyles, on Ladies Who Launch.
PPS. Check out Ear Candling.