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Non-Toxic Candles: What Are Your Options?

Acacia Accents started with a mission to create a natural and aesthetically pleasing candle. We realized that more and more people have stopped buying candles because of all the toxic ingredients that so many candles contain. We loved (and still love) candles and had a hard time thinking about giving them up. After a ton of research and experimenting, we were pleasantly surprised to find that there are many natural candle options. However, we also found that there are a lot of hidden toxins in many candles.

Common Toxins in Candles

Many candles do contain many harmful toxins that are dangerous to people and animals. We have listed some of the more common toxins found in many candles below. If your candles contain any of these ingredients, then the candles you are burning are bad for you. 

Paraffin Wax

One of the most common toxins found in many candles is paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is a mixture of chemicals that are byproducts of the petroleum production process. Not only is it found in many candles but it also found in many beauty products. When burned paraffin wax will release many harmful chemicals into the air. Paraffin wax is the main culprit for large amounts of soot around the rim of candles. Or even worse soot on the ceiling of your home. 

Synthetic Fragrances

Another culprit for candle toxins is fragrances. Many times the fragrances that are used to make candles contain a lot of dangerous chemicals. These chemicals make candles smell stronger. One of the worst chemicals that many fragrances contain is phthalates. Surprisingly, phthalates are used in many household products. The CDC found that phthalates have been linked to many different health problems. 

Lead Wicks

Lead wicks are not as common anymore. However, once in a while we will still see a wick that is made with lead or another kind of toxic metal.

Natural Alternatives

Even though many candles contain toxic chemicals, it is possible to find candles that are natural and clean-burning. Natural candles tend to me more expensive because they are made with natural and high quality ingredients. However, expensive candle does not mean it is a natural candle. There are some really expensive candles that still contain paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances. The best way to ensure that you are burning natural candles is to check the ingredients in the candles. Smaller business tend to be more open and transparent about the ingredients in their candles. Here are some key things to look for. 

Natural Wax

One of the most important things to look for in candles is that they are made with100% Natural Wax (like Soy or Bees Wax). We personally prefer soy wax. Not only is soy better for the environment because it is a natural resource but it also burns 50% longer than candles made with other waxes. Candles made with 100% soy wax also produce little to no black soot when burned.

Essential Oil Fragrances

The most natural type of fragrance is essential oils. Buying candles scented with essential oils is a great way to ensure that the fragrances in your candle are natural. It is important to note that candles scented with only essential oils have a much lighter fragrance throw. Also, some essential oils are not safe to burn. Thus, many companies (like ours) use a mix of essential oils and natural fragrances in our candles. 

Phthalate-Free Fragrances

Another important thing to look for when purchasing candles is phthalate-free fragrances. Even though 100% essential oils are great, research has shown that certain essential oils will have little to no fragrance throw if used by themselves in candles. Also, natural candle fragrances are specifically formulated to be burned in candles. So, sometimes they are actually safer and more natural than essential oils. The most important thing to look for is that the fragrances are phthalate-free. 


So in conclusion, even though many candles are bad for your health and environment, there are candles that are natural and safe for your home. It is so important to take the time to look at the ingredients in the candles you buy. A high-quality candle is definitely worth the investment. Here are a few of our favorites below.