Paraffin and Soy Candles VS. Beeswax Candles

Posted by Laura Butler on

With the Christmas season on the horizon, people have already started shopping for various decorations and creative interior solutions. Candles are one of the most popular home decor items that form an integral part of many events ranging from family parties to romantic dates. They come in many shapes, sizes, and scents - each with their own benefits and negatives. Choosing the right type of candle is important, but it’s difficult to know where to begin. Below, we outline the reasons why you should choose Beeswax candles over the mass-produced paraffin, or soy alternatives.

beeswax pillars


What Are Candles Made of?

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, most mass-market decorative candles are actually made from crude oil processing by-products. Modern refineries create all sorts of outputs including kerosene fuels, petroleum, and paraffin wax fractions. On paper, paraffin seems like a solid production material with a long history of use that doesn’t demonstrate any hidden threats. However, the recent Clean Air Strategy report says otherwise.


So, What Is the Problem with Paraffin?

It turns out that traditional paraffin candles do unfortunately, have some serious downfalls. Let us consider some of the key report findings:

  1. Like most petroleum-based products, paraffin contains traces of benzene, toluene, and other chemicals that have a controversial reputation in terms of their health safety.
  2. Effectively, candles act like small combustion engines heating paraffin wax and stimulating the emission of smoke.
  3. Similar to car emissions, the particles produced by burning paraffin candles have some detrimental effects on our health. They can trigger asthma and allergies and can reportedly be cancerogenic in cases of frequent use.


Why Do People Still Use Paraffin Candles?

Despite their downfalls, many people still purchase and buy paraffin candles. But why? Below is a simple comparison with the next best alternative to paraffin products, beeswax candles.




1. Beeswax candles are hypo-allergenic and do not cause adverse health effects.

1. Beeswax candles are comparatively expensive.

2. Beeswax is reported to produce a light and pleasant smell while also releasing negative ions purifying the room air.

2. It actually takes 8 pounds of honey to produce a single pound of beeswax.

3. Beeswax is a renewable resource as opposed to paraffin produced from quickly depleting oil reserves.

3. The choice of scents can be limited when you compare it to that of paraffin candles



Are There Any Downfalls of using Beeswax Candles?

If you are shopping for traditional pillar candles, you may encounter the following problems:

- Paraffin or soy candles are mass-produced by thousands of manufacturers, making them widely available from any major store. With beeswax candles, may have to purchase from local beekeepers, online shopping websites such as Etsy or specialised shops.

- The majority of beeswax candles have a honey scent. The material itself does not hold artificial or natural fragrances very well, which can limit your shopping choices. Finding a direct alternative to your favourite berry-scented paraffin candles from IKEA might prove a challenge.

- Shopping for beeswax candles can be expensive compared to mass produced paraffin candles.


Why You SHOULD Buy Beeswax Candles

Although we have outlined a few downfalls of Beeswax candles, there are SO many reasons why you should buy them over paraffin alternatives.


We do not use candles for lighting anymore

Think about it: people invented the cheaper paraffin wax in times where electric lighting was not available in most areas of the world. However, in 2020 this isn’t an issue faced by most of the world. This means that you can consider beeswax items as a luxury decor element that will only be used when you feel like it, which makes the cost of use less significant.


Unique candles create a unique atmosphere

In most situations, candles are used to create a specific mindset and mood. This is exactly what high-quality candles are ideal for. When you light naturally-scented beeswax pillars, you immediately notice the impact it has in creating a cosy, warm ambience.


There is science behind beeswax superiority

 Of course, burning a single paraffin candle during Christmas is unlikely to give anyone serious health issues. However, some concerns voiced by beeswax proponents have been confirmed by scientific studies. If you or your guests have allergies, sensitivities or breathing issues, these can be intensified by exposure to or the prolonged use of paraffin candles.

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