Burn a Candle and Breathe Easy


Candles come in all shapes, sizes and smells.  I get excited when I find a scent I love and can’t wait to burn it at home and have the lovely smell fill the house.  However, not all candles are created equally and some can actually release unhealthy toxins into the air of your home.  We created this guide to help you choose candles wisely and enjoy them without worry.

The most important things to take into consideration when choosing a candle you plan to burn indoors are:

  • The Wick
  • Type of Wax
  • Scent

Let’s start with the wick.  Lead wicks were outlawed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2003 so no need to worry there.  However, other metals can be used in the core of wicks when company’s want it to stand upright. When buying a candle look for a solid cotton wick.  Trim it back a bit between burns to minimize soot.

Choose a non-toxic, vegetable-based wax such as soy or beeswax over paraffin which is petroleum based.  Natural waxes will burn cleaner and release less toxins than their paraffin wax counterparts have been proven to do.

Lastly, scent.  Choose candles that are fragrance-free or scented with essential oils rather than artificial fragrance.  Essential oils are extracted from plants, while synthetic fragrances are man-made with chemicals. VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are harmful chemicals found in higher concentration in synthetic fragrances.  Exposure to VOCs can cause allergic reactions and damage vital organs.  A study done by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that 37% of the U.S. population have negative reactions to synthetic fragrances. Limit your exposure to harmful chemicals by burning candles near an open window or somewhere with good ventilation. 

Here are some Love Local approved, independently owned, candle companies which we highly recommend!

Light Shine Candles

Gold & Ivy

Lite and Cycle

Rosmarino Candles

Discover these brands and other makers who are creating health conscious, sustainable products on Love Local.

Author Details

Jen Culler Liepis

Jen is the founder of Love Local.