The Pure Luxury of Beeswax Candles and Why They Are Worth It!
Posted by Andrea Vetter on
There is something visceral about lighting a candle. It evokes ancient memories of sitting around a fire, heating food, making it more digestible, the flames warding off the cold and protecting against predators. Fire was precious, and still is even in the electric age. A candlelit dinner transforms a basic meal into something spectacular and romantic. Candlelight is much more flattering than harsh fluorescent and LED lights, and the flickering light and shadows add an aura of mystery and adventure.
Beeswax has been used since Neolithic times for many uses, but the earliest recorded forms of beeswax candles were created by the Egyptians. During the Middle Ages tallow was commonly used in candle making, until it was discovered that beeswax burned clean, smelled better than tallow, and didn’t place soot in the air. Beeswax candles quickly became a luxury item for the wealthy and the churches. Several monasteries kept beehives for honey, and the wax for candles, adding sweetness and light to their lives.
Even today beeswax candles are considered a luxury item. There are several reasons for that. Pure beeswax remains one of the most expensive waxes for producing candles.
Paraffin is the most inexpensive candle wax, and the easiest to add colorants and scent too. Unfortunately, it is a byproduct of the petroleum industry, and while it might smell nice while burning and fill the room with strong fragrance, it is also filling the room with toxins. It’s likely the fragrance oil is also petroleum based, a double whammy of toxins like benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde. If a person is sensitive to fragrance, paraffin candles can cause headaches and nausea , and the worst-case scenario, an asthma attack. Burning paraffin candles or using wax melts is not a pleasant experience for many people.
Soy wax is popular with modern candlemakers and touted as a natural product. It is also inexpensive, softer than paraffin, and is often molded into shapes, or poured into a container. While it is biodegradable, unlike paraffin, it is still a byproduct of the soy industry, and undergoes a process transforming soybean oil into a wax through hydrogenation. More fragrance oil is needed to scent a soy wax candle. The soot production and carcinogenic compounds released by paraffin and soy-based candles are similar. Soy candles are not recommended for people with soy allergies and are also likely to trigger an asthma attack, especially if they are heavily scented.
If you’re trying to create a romantic interlude or relax in a bath surrounded by candles, an asthma attack or headache will ruin the purpose of the moment. If you’re burning a candle because the lights are out, a headache is only going to make the situation worse. Cheap candles might look pretty, but are they really worth it?
Beeswax is a natural wax. The process from beehive to candle is simple. The wax is rendered, while time consuming, isn’t complicated. The wax is melted, separating it from any honey and pollen that remains in honeycomb, and filtered through a screen. The wax is poured into different sized blocks, or formed into small pellets. No chemicals or additives are used in making beeswax, and it is left with a delicious honey scent. It is not a cheap byproduct of other processes in wax making, and is one of the more expensive waxes used in candle making, but it is well worth it.
The benefits of beeswax candles are:
- Quality over quantity: Beeswax has a higher melting point than other waxes, and burns more slowly. One 4oz beeswax candle often last longer than three 4oz paraffin candles.
- Canned sunshine: A beeswax candle flame burns at the same spectrum as the sun. While they won’t prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), beeswax candles will brighten a room on a gray day, and add a bit of cheerfulness.
- Negative Ions are positive vibes: Burning a beeswax candle releases negative ions into the air, which is a good thing. Negative ions can improve your mood, quality of sleep, and enhance concentration. This is beneficial if you are trying to relax or create a sensory experience.
- Breath easier: Beeswax helps cleanse the air. Even better, no nasty toxins are released in the air as it burns, especially an unscented candle. A light honey scent might fill the room, but a beeswax candle is less likely to induce an asthma attack or headache.
Burning a pure beeswax candle is a luxury, but it is well worth it. It isn’t overindulgent, but a comforting treat, and should be part of everyone’s self-care routine. Everyone deserves a little luxury in their life.
If you would like to purchase a beeswax candle check us out at: https://www.electricbluebeebop.com/collections/candles
While we prefer unscented candles, we do offer a variety of candles scented with natural fragrance and essential oils. Unlike a paraffin or soy candle, our scented candles are more personal and less intrusive. We like to think of our scented candles as more of a soft whisper than an assault on the senses some candles produce.