When we're shopping for candles, the fragrance is usually the main factor we consider, however have you ever taken a moment to consider the wax? Our handy guide below includes everything you need to know about candle wax and what the difference is between soy, beeswax, paraffin wax and more.
What Is Candle Wax?
Wax is essentially your candle's fuel. When heated it melts, evaporates and releases the fragrance in your candle. There's plenty of choice when it comes to wax, and it's important to know exactly what's included in each one to ensure it's right for you.
What Is Paraffin Wax?
Paraffin wax, also known as mineral wax, is often found in your typical candles found in supermarkets and mass produced candles like Yankee Candles. Paraffin candles tend to have a slightly higher scent throw and hold colour well.
This wax is made from the leftovers of crude oil refinement. While it uses up part of the oil that would otherwise be discarded, it's not something that we would ideally like to be breathing in.
Unknown to many, paraffin is actually toxic and when burnt, releases harmful gases linked to asthma and lung cancer. For this reason, we strongly discourage using paraffin candles & wax melts.
What Is Soy Wax?
When the research around paraffin wax and it's dangers became known, a healthier alternative was found.
Soy wax is made from the oil of soy beans. It offers a cleaner burn and is non-toxic. If you research soy wax, you'll find lots and lots of information on it being 'eco-friendly'.
While soy wax is an excellent alternative to paraffin wax, it generally isn't as eco-friendly as you would be led to believe.
To be labelled as a 100% soy candle, a candle only has to include 51% soy! It's also typically mass produced and due to the increase in popularity, soy production often causes deforestation and displacement of small farmers and indigenous communities.
Again we believe that soy wax is far better than paraffin wax as it is non toxic, and is certainly is more eco-friendly, however it is usually not as good for the environment as commonly stated.
What Is Beeswax?
The use of beeswax dates back to the Egyptians who would often dip papyrus leaves in the wax to burn.
Beeswax offers a healthy clean burn which can actually help to purify the air. That said, it's not always the best wax to use for scented candles due to its natural honey aroma which sometimes doesn't blend well with other scents. Because of this it is often blended with other waxes such as soy and coconut.
There are plenty of sustainable bee keepers in the UK, however we personally prefer not to use beeswax and instead opt for a vegan alternative.
What Is Rapeseed & Coconut Wax?
As the name suggests this wax is made from rapeseed and coconut. We use this blend in all of our candles and wax melts for the reasons below.
It's a rather new wax to the market and therefore currently isn't used by many brands, however it offers a more luxurious finish with a high scent throw.
Coconut and rapeseed wax is a more environmentally friendly alternative to paraffin, soy and other waxes produced through intensive farming techniques.
This is partly because coconut is a sustainable high-yield crop giving it high marks on the eco-friendly scale. The coconut wax also offers a slow luxurious burn and excellent hot and cold throw.
Rapeseed wax also offers brilliant fragrance retention, scent throw, an extended burn time and a lower carbon footprint. The oils are also often used to create bio-diesel and other eco-friendly alternatives.
Together, the combination of coconut and rapeseed creates a soft, creamy luxurious wax with excellent scent throw and a long burn time.
If you're interested to know more about what's in our candles, check out our blog here.