Oh, those sweet aromas of the ocean breeze, strawberry fields, and citrus bliss. Light that wick and your home is instantly transformed into a place of beautiful aromas, happiness, and comfort. Your guests will feel instantly at ease and welcome. Although some will get an instant headache and need to leave as soon as they can politely finish their cuppa and chat.
Unfortunately, many of the candles created these days are full of synthetic ingredients and fragrances.
Most of the time they are either low-grade fragrance essential oil blends or completely synthetic aromas. However, because they are candles and for sale in shops, we believe they are ‘safe’.
I remember last Christmas walking through a local shopping centre and seeing department stores selling cheap candles, reed diffusers, and even essential oils, that are nothing more than synthetic or low-grade quality. I stood and thought that consumers are drawn to clever marketing, and cheaper prices, thinking they are doing the right thing purchasing these for gifts for others, are in fact possibly contributing to potential respiratory, skin, cognitive, and even worse conditions for their recipient. Many also contain phthalates which is a major contributor to hormone issues - so if that’s you, get rid of those candles and air fresheners!
There are some wonderful people out there who are really paying attention and ensuring they are making candles that don’t have lead wicks, don’t use paraffin and petroleum ingredients, and find a way to ensure they are using a premium grade essential oil as the fragrance, however, there are so many that just are not.
A while ago I had the pleasure of mentoring a mum on clean living, and as we talked through different products in her home, she had an ‘aha’ moment when we started speaking about the candle she had proudly displayed and lit to create a warming environment in her home. What she hadn’t mentioned to me initially, was her daughter was having major headaches, and they could not pinpoint why. They had seen some doctors, and there was no outcome. When I helped her understand the ingredients in that candle she blew it out straight away and put it away in her garage, along with some other fragranced products we found. I told her to leave them in there for a month, notice the difference in her home, and if there wasn’t any she could just get them back out again and re-start using them if she wanted to. She did that, and within a week she contacted me and told me that her daughter was no longer having headaches. This continued until the end of the month when she ditched those products, and now is happily using products I suggested, and reporting back that she is now living in a calm and healthy household - with no headaches.
It is well worth the effort to do your homework on the ingredients in the products you are using, however, candles and air fresheners can be the trickiest to find full ingredient listings for, so often it is put in the ‘too hard basket’ or the ‘it’s only one product’ basket by people. My suggestion to you is that if this happens to you and you can’t easily find full ingredient listings - then move on to another product that discloses. Even some products that have ‘No phthalates, no fragrances’ written on their labels, may have been greenwashed and instead contain other harmful ingredients. You are the gatekeeper of your home, so you are the one who can protect it against potentially harmful ingredients coming in…..so be the best gatekeeper in your street, and do your homework.
The subject of ‘scent’ in candles is one that is most important to people because that is the selling point of many companies. Who doesn’t want their home smelling like ‘Sweet Vanilla’, or Strawberry Fields’, or ‘Baked apple pie’. Then there are the lavender fields, and the citrus aromas’.....Many people are more aware these days, and instead, choose those that say ‘containing real essential oils’, and that is most definitely a step forward, however again you don’t always get what you pay for…..sometimes ‘oils just ain’t oil’s….(if you remember the Castrol advertising back in the day).
When I explain to people about the supposed ‘essential oils’ used in many of the candles, this is the easiest way I can explain it, from an excerpt from my book:
Grade C – This one can be called ‘Perfume or Fragrance Grade’. Generally, it is much the same as Grade B, however, filler, synthetics, and other chemicals can be used in the process. If you have wax block scented products, scented candles, air plugins, fresh air sprays, and other products like this—this is where they come into our basic grading explanation. The scary part of this grade is that manufacturers are allowed to keep some of the ingredients secret in case other companies copy, think the term ‘trade secret’.
So what do I recommend to people to create that warm or uplifting environment? A top-quality diffuser and premium essential oils. It wasn’t until I discovered these that I found a whole new world when it comes to mood management as well.
These days I no longer use scented candles and air fresheners —because we have diffusers with our essential oils all over our home. A drop of oil costs us only a few cents, so after the initial purchase of the diffuser and oils, they last a very long time. We use them for
uplifting while homework is being done,
calming when necessary and at bedtime,
to remove odours around the home,
to boost moods and a whole lot more!
We even have one that is a
white noise machine all in one!
It was the final piece to our puzzle when we needed to find a solution for 13 years of sleepless nights for our daughter. Oh, how it felt to finally start sleeping through the night! Pure joy.
There are so many diffusers available these days in all sorts of places. My advice is to purchase a diffuser from the supplier of your essential oils. They will ensure that it is covered under warranty for the quality of their oils. For example, I always encourage people when using oils that are the premium quality like the ones I use to purchase a diffuser from the same company, as purchasing from a regular store means cheaper plastic, breaking down, and the diffuser may not last as long as you wish from your investment into it.
Just remember, as I said earlier, not all oils are pure. This was a huge learning curve for me and one I speak of in my book, however for now just know this - I see the clever marketing these days because of the companies that have jumped on the essential oil band-wagon due to its popularity, with products saying ‘with the aroma of essential oils’ or a picture of a lavender field that leads you to think there are top-quality essential oils in there! Many are no more than synthetic fragrances made to smell like real deal essential oils! Then there are also essential oil companies being created off the coat-tails of world leaders because oils are so incredibly popular, however many companies don’t have the farms, history, and expertise to distill to the standards you should expect. Please don’t be tricked! This is a reason why you want to have complete confidence in the transparency of the company selling you the products you are putting on and in your body. Your skin is your biggest organ, what you put on it, you are putting in your body. Your family is relying on you to bring good healthy options into their environment.
I did the homework because I was on hyperalert for my daughter, and there was only one company that had full transparency and could satisfy my long list of questions with good solid answers that had proof behind them.
If you want to know more, click here - and it will take you to a section of my website devoted to these little bottles of magic that have made the world of difference in my home.
If you want to do a little more research, my book is available here.
I hope this has brought you some guidance and alerted you to the fact that not everything you read is accurate, not all ingredients are disclosed on products, and those that aren’t disclosing many at all may in fact be hiding something from you. This is so incredibly important for your own well-being and that of your children.
When you know better, you make better choices. You can now do that!
Have a fabulous day!