Can Candles Make You Sick?

Toxins From Candles

The holidays and scented candles seem to go hand and hand.  It may be the ability to reminisce and bring back childhood memories with certain holiday scents. It may be the default hostess gift for your local Toxins From Candlesgatherings, or that you just like the cozy feeling candles can bring during winter months. Whatever the reason be sure to think twice about what candles you are buying or lighting them this year.

Why does it matter? 

Candles made from Paraffin, create benzene and toluene  along with acetone when they are burned. These  are known carcinogens. In addition, most are created with toxic fragrances that emit additional toxins in to the air when burned.  Breathing in these toxins can affect the central nervous system, as well as cause headaches, drowsiness and aggravate allergies and asthma. Studies show that candles do not need to be lit to emit toxins in your home.  Wicks that contain heavy metals can contribute further to the pollution.

What are your Options?

Moving away from paraffin wax candles leaves you with beeswax or soy candles. Not all soy or beeswax candles are created equal.  Many companies carry “pure” beeswax or soy and in the United States that can mean 51%. That leaves you with 49% of toxic paraffin in your candles. Be sure to read your label to find the phrase “100% pure beeswax or soy”.


Toxins From CandlesLooking further at soy candles, you should know they may also contain many artificial fragrances and dyes. Unfortunately GMO’s come into play here as well. More than 90% of soy is genetically modified, Purchasing a soy candle, is supporting the production of GMO’s.

What about beeswax candles?

If you practice a vegan lifestyle this is a no. If you are not-beeswax candles are the safest and most natural candle choice and actually include some benefits.  Beeswax candles are a natural air cleaner. Beeswax candles won’t go rancid like soy candles can. People with allergies and asthma have reported improvement with the burning of beeswax candles. Burning beeswax supports the beekeepers. Keep in mind, we need honey bees to pollinate food crops.

What are your options?

Knowing paraffin candles were toxic, I assumed soy candles and beeswax candles were created equally. Since I am very against GMO’s I would skip the soy candles at this point. If you are also vegan that would rule out beeswax. My personal option is an essential oil diffuser. There are no risks of having flames anywhere. You get the emotional and aromatic benefits of the scents without including any of the toxins.



The Difference Between Fragrance Free and Unscented

Toxins in fragrance can still be found in products labeled unscented!

We have come to love scents. Scented candles, a new car smell, perfumes, body washes, dryer sheets…almost any item you find in your house likely contains the simple word “fragrance” on the end of the Fragrance and Unscented Toxinsingredients.  About 95% of the chemicals in commercial fragrances contain petrochemicals.

What is in Fragrance?

Fragrance is one word, however it is not “one” ingredient. The word fragrance is trade protected (due to a loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging Act of 1973: and can contain any number of over 3,100 chemicals. Many of these have never been tested for safety.

Is Fragrance Toxic?

Some are known to be toxic to the immune system, respiratory system, reproductive system and organ toxicity.  They can cause asthma, eczema, migraines, and other sensitivities. Many of the fragrance ingredients are phthalates (a known carcinogen). Phthalates can result in kidney and liver damage, early breast development, and birth defects. Parabens is another common possibility. Parabens are known to Does your products smell amazinginterfere with hormone production.

Knowing your body absorbs everything put on your skin within seconds you want to be careful about what you are applying. Toxins accumulate in our bodies over time so the key is to cut out and eliminate those we can control. Go through your daily routine in your head and consider how many items you have applied with toxic ingredients (shampoo, soap, hand soap, perfume, body lotion, detergent residue on clothing, cleaning products…the list is endless.

What can you do?

Read your labels. Next time you think about buying that can of air freshener, perfume, scented body lotion or wash-check the label.  If the bottle is scented by using essential oils that is what will appear on the label. If the bottle is scented with a combination (see previous blog post about lavender essential oil) you will find it written on the label.

What if your bottle says it’s Unscented?

This is tricky. Unscented means that fragrances have been added to cover up other scents. If you are looking for no toxic fragrances added you want your label to say “Fragrance Free”

There are simple solutions.

I make my own perfume with an essential oil combination I like. No toxins and I get the benefits of the aromatherapy my choice of oils brings. While some people still want a scent to their items some are safer than others.  Natural Fragrance Oils are produced using only pure essential oils and aromatic isolates derived solely from natural, raw botanical sources. They are free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, glycols, petrochemicals and/or other solvents.  They can be plant based so they are vegan friendly as well.

It can be overwhelming to try and change too much at once.  Instead, think about the next time you need to purchase new soap, etc and replace it with a safer brand.

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Cancer Links to Personal Care Products

Links between cancer and personal care products are known, but nothing has changed.

You have a busy life.  You want it to be easy-hit Target and grab all your products. I love Target-but I have found there are very few personal care products (only one: my shampoo) that I can buy there-and trust me-I have a talent for shopping at Target!  What’s the problem? The ingredients to many products on the market.

If it goes on your body, it goes in your body.

60% of what goes on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream. That statistic goes up if you are applying to genital or under arm areas. What exactly are you absorbing?  Over 80,000 chemicals are permitted for use in the United States that have never been tested for safety. Many of the chemicals included in your personal care products (INCLUDING baby care products) have been direLinks between cancer and personal care productsctly linked to cancer, hormone and thyroid disruption and more.

Many people take the tone “everything is bad for you” or “It’s only a little bit” or “I turned out fine” While those statements can be true let’s break it down a little more:

“Everything is bad for you”

Yes. The air we breathe, the cell phones we use, a lot of the food we eat etc. What is most important to remember is that toxins are cumulative. They build up in your body over time. Since there are a lot that we are unable to avoid, it’s important to cut out the ones we can.

“It’s only a little bit”

Also true…until you add up every product you are applying to your body each day (some multiple times). Then include your exposure to antibacterial soaps and cleaning products that are also being absorbed through your skin. Add those days, weeks, months, and years together and you have contributed to your toxic load significantly.

“I turned out fine”

We all want that to be true. Unfortunately, it is my guess everyone reading his knows multiple people that suffer from thyroid conditions, cancer, or reproductive issues. Many more so than previous generations. Perhaps we are not turning out “fine” as a result of all these products-convenient or not.

Take a minute-print out our free list of toxins in skin care products. Put it in your bathroom and each time you pick up a product glance at the ingredients and see what is on the list. The results may shock you.

Woman holding bottle of shampoo in cosmetics department

Toxins in Products
Create a positive impact on your health today by
checking your products for common toxins.



Baby Powder Toxins

Yes, Baby Powder contains Toxins!

It was shocking news several months ago when a judge had found a well-known company guilty of Baby Powdercausing a 49-year-old woman’s fatal ovarian cancer. The cancer was linked to her daily use of baby powder. There was a brief panic and shock, and then most people seemed to forget and the same baby powder still sits on shelves today, and used by many.

What’s the situation?  Why is that same powder sitting on popular store shelves with an unchanged formulation?

There is still a debate, that has been taking place since 1971, over whether or not there is a link between talc and cancer. Despite various studies, a concrete link has been hard to find.  A variety of studies that do in fact show an increased risk, but never a double blind study to eliminate other possible factors.  Cancer links aside-it has been proven that if the powders are used on sanitary pads or in the genital area, that the particles have been found inside the body within 30 minutes.

What is in baby powder?

Most baby powders contain two ingredients: Talc powder and fragrance. Both of those ingredients are considered toxic.  (link: ) Many Talcum powder suppliers added warnings to their products a decade ago. Surgical gloves have stopped being “dusted” with it. Baby Powders have not yet followed suit. Unfortunately sometimes it takes too much time for studies and safety regulations to catch up. Remember when everyone wanted antibacterial soap? Now we know better, but are still awaiting it’s complete removal from the store shelves and company formulations.

Do we need baby powder?

You won’t find any in my house these days, but if you want an alternative there are plenty! An easy, cheaper and safer alternative:

Arrowroot Powder.

Add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil 

Store in a jar with a shaker top out of reach of children.

(Inhaling powder is dangerous no matter the type!)