Soy Candle Confessions
I’ve seen many articles that tout how you can only trust a candle isn't made with paraffin if its label reads 100% soy.
But, there are a few things to consider here.
- Does that really mean that other candles that don’t mention they’re 100% soy aren’t just as good natural choices?
- Is it making an accurate statement to say that a candle has to be labeled 100% soy to get a pure, natural wax option?
Let's look at the answers to these questions.
First Things First.
There's a reason that a candle maker might put emphasis on their candles being 100% soy. This is because there's a demographic or sect of candle buyers who prefer to burn natural candles.
Candle makers who market to this particular sect of buyers, intend to advertise that their candles are made with soy for the sole purpose of winning the business of these "natural conscious" candle buyers.
Here's The Problem The Natural Conscious Buyer Has With Soy Candles.
Soy wax, while being the most popular of natural waxes used in candles, can contain additives that may even include paraffin wax.
That's right. Soy candles actually can include some form of paraffin wax. Since paraffin is petroleum based, it's considered by many natural conscious candle buyers as pretty inferior (since it's debated to have potential toxic properties).
Having such an element as an ingredient in a soy candle would be completely against the reasons this sect of buyers would make a candle purchase. For this reason, soy candle makers who don't add paraffin to their candles want to make it completely clear to buyers that there is NO paraffin in their candles.
So What Am I Saying Here?
Natural candle makers want to set the record straight, in their marketing, that candles are likely to have impure additives in them if they don’t advertise "100% soy" on their packaging.
Does that really mean that candles that don't advertise 100% soy have inferior products in them?
What about all of the other great naturals that are awesome additives to soy and don’t compromise the quality of the candle for the natural conscious buyer?
Let’s look at an example.
While not 100% soy, a coconut wax and soy blend, used by many luxury candle brands (Voluspa) today, would stay within the realm of natural wax. It would be a clear example of a candle that doesn't say 100% soy, yet it doesn't contain inferior paraffin that natural conscious buyers wouldn't want in a candle.
Massage candles are candles used in aromatherapy (example Earthly Body Massage Candles). They're made with natural wax and essential oils. These candles are also made with natural oils, such as shea butter, coconut oil and almond oil alongside of either soy, beeswax or both. They're a sensational candle option that offers a low melting point and won’t burn off essential oils as quickly as its higher melting point counterparts.
Here's The Thing.
The natural oils in massage candles give such a creamy, smooth consistency that it makes them a perfect moisturizing agent for dry skin. If they’re safe enough to smother on your body, why wouldn’t they fit into the category of naturally acceptable? Yet, again, they're not 100% soy so they wouldn't be labeled as such.
So you see, just because a candle label doesn’t state that the candle is 100% soy doesn’t mean that it’s made with paraffin. Yet, many soy candle makers will make a very distinct claim that you should always make sure that your candle is labeled "100% soy."
The "Other" Problem With Making Assumptions About 100% Soy Candles
A candle that says it's 100% soy is marketed as such to ensure you that there is no paraffin in it. However, you really can't assume that a candle that doesn't state that it's 100% soy actually contains paraffin. Candles that don't profess that they're all soy aren't necessarily unnatural choices.
Not to mention...
Since, the FDA does not require that a candle label specify its ingredients (as it does the bath and body industry), candle labels will likely NOT have this information prominently displayed on the label.
But Watch This.
Even if you do have a candle that's labeled as 100% soy, it's not going to mention the hidden additives it may have in it that aren't soy or vegetable based.Now isn't that also misleading?
Making assumptions about the ingredients of a candle is not exactly a safe or even reliable way to buy candles, particularly if its ingredients are a major concern for personal or health reasons.
Here's The Truth To Consider When Buying Natural Based Candles
Honestly, avoiding candle makers out there who don’t label their products 100% soy or 100% any other type of wax is an option, but unless you do the homework and get a better understanding of what you’re really getting in your purchase, you could be eliminating some crazy good (and reliably green) candle options out there.
On the other hand
Going solely by the label "100% soy," you may just end up with other additives (that aren't paraffin but just as alarming) that you have no clue you're getting in your candle.
What should you do?
Do your homework. Search the candle site. Ask questions. Get to know your candle maker. Ask if any additives are used in her candles and, if so, what additives are being used. Get a confession from your candle maker. It's the best way to know if you're getting what you really want in your candle without making far off assumptions.