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How To Shop For Clean-Burning Candles

Everything from skincare to home-cleaning products has received a well-deserved eco-friendly upgrade — and the sustainable-living buck doesn't stop there. A rise in clean-burning candles has also made us keenly aware that what goes into those bougies matters a lot more than we thought. Let's break it down below, from base to fragrance and wick.

Many cheap candles are crafted with a paraffin-wax base — an ingredient derived from petroleum which, as we know, isn't great for the environment. Luckily, there are many sustainable swaps for paraffin including vegetable-derived options (like beeswax), coconut, and soy. The next component to consider is fragrance. Synthetic scents aren't just cloying or headache-inducing, but certain artificial compounds can be harmful when inhaled — for example, "parfum" is a catchall term that can include toxic compounds not disclosed on the ingredients list. And finally, the wick: oftentimes crafted with metal cores, or with metal fibers woven into the wick itself, this vital part of the candle can actually contribute to air pollution inside your home. So, to avoid potentially toxic particles, look for 100% cotton wicks (wood ones work well, too!) that are much safer to light up inside your space.

Ahead, we've lined up 11 clean-burning candles worth adding to your eco-conscious shopping carts.

We’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team.

Frères Branchiaux Love Jones Organic Soy Candle

This isn't just any candle brand. Frères Branchiaux was founded by three brothers (aged 13, 11, and 8) who handcraft the organic soy candles themselves — and donate 10% of proceeds to local Washington, DC homeless shelters.

Frères Branchiaux Love Jones Organic Soy Candle, $, available at BLK + GRN

NaturalAnnie Essentials Soy Candle

Ever notice black smoke is rising from the votive? Ensure that you're not breathing in soot or debris by trimming the candle wick after every use — it should be about 1/4 inch tall to ensure a clean, smoke-free burn.

NaturalAnnie Essentials Soy Candle, $, available at BLK + GRN

Homesick Summer Camp Candle

Scent and memory are intimately connected, which is something Homesick has totally tapped into with its nostalgic collection — including this new one that evokes summer with grassy, citrusy notes.

Psst, check out their candle safety page for best practices on keeping your candle (and home) in good condition.

Homesick Candles Summer Camp Candle, $, available at Homesick Candles

DorothyBCo Vanilla & Amber Soy Candle

Another Etsy find is DorothyBCo's shop, which stocks small-batch, soy candles — this woody gourmand scent caught our attention, made with a lead-free cotton wick and phthalate-free essential oil fragrance.

DorothyBCo Vanilla & Amber Soy Candle, $, available at Etsy

Brooklyn Candle Studio Japanese Citrus Minimalist Candle

These made-in-Brooklyn candles are crafted with 100% soy wax and lead-free cotton wicks — and are free of phthalates and petroleum for a burn you can really feel good about.

Brooklyn Candle Studio Japanese Citrus Minimalist Candle, $, available at Brooklyn Candle Studio

Alexandra Winbush September Sixth Candle

Alexandra Winbush's beautifully made soy candles are temporarily sold out, but we just had to give the new brand a shoutout.

BTW, the Black, female-owned company is already a celeb favorite.

Alexandra Winbush September Sixth Candle, $, available at Alexandra Winbush

Follain Candle No. 1

Clean beauty retailer Follain's in-house brand spans skin care, body, and a select range of nontoxic candles made with vegetable wax and a cotton wick.

Follain Candle No. 1, $, available at Follain

Free People Gardenia + Cedarwood Candle

Free People's artisan-crafted beeswax-and-soy candles are perfect for creating a calm atmosphere in any space.

Free People Gardenia + Cedarwood Candle, $, available at Free People

Canceled Plans 10 oz Candle

Come for the chic labels and relatable names, stay for the clean-burning experience. Canceled Plans' candles feature an all-natural base of apricot and coconut wax, so you can rest assured you won't be feeling a headache hours later.

Cancelled Plans 10 oz Candle, $, available at Urban Outfitters

Anecdote Comfort Glass Candle

These coconut-soy wax candles are hand-poured in California and available in a variety of elevated scents made from phthalate-free fragrance oils.

ANECDOTE CANDLES Anecdote Comfort Glass Candle, $, available at Anthropologie


"None of your beeswax," may have been a popular grade-school #burn, but, as it turns out, the ingredient actually makes for an excellent non-toxic candle base. These miniature candles (made from locally-sourced beeswax) are perfect for keeping in your bathroom for a little serenity now.

DandyRootsBoutique 2oz Beeswax Candle Handpoured Mini Mason Jar, $, available at Etsy

from refinery29
How To Shop For Clean-Burning Candles How To Shop For Clean-Burning Candles Reviewed by streakoggi on June 15, 2020 Rating: 5

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