The Problem With Scented Candles (and what I use instead!)

toxic-scented-candles-plus-natural-alternative

I am big on delicious smells, which is why I used to be a scented candle and Scentsy junkie.  I didn’t know what they were made of, and frankly, I didn’t care, because they made my house smell good and that’s really all I wanted.  About four years ago when my family was suffering ill health and I was turned on to the idea that what we put into our bodies actually has an effect on us, I went way down the organic food and wellness rabbit hole.  I learned that it’s not just what we put into our bodies that can cause problems, but what we put on to our bodies, what we drink and even what we breathe.

My research led me to countless articles on the hidden toxins in our homes, so after we got rid of all the pesticide-laden food and GMOs in our cupboards and fridge it was on to our personal care and household items.  I was a bit distressed when I learned that most scented candles and wickless candles (like Scentsy for example) are highly toxic.  I was so bummed, because like I said before, I love love love delicious smells, and I was addicted to the ambiance and experience the candles created for me.  However, after learning what I learned I was unwilling to subject my family to the toxins and had to part ways with my Scentsy burners and scented candles, even the pumpkin spice ones and the ones that smelled wonderfully like apple pie.

So, what did I learn about scented candles that had me so wigged out?  For one thing, most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned—both of which are known carcinogens, meaning, they may cause cancer.  Environmental pollutants expert Anne Steinemann,  who is a professor of civil engineering and the chair of sustainable cities at the University of Melbourne says that these chemicals can cause damage to the brain, lung and central nervous system and they can cause and contribute to developmental difficulties.  Those are pretty big consequences just to make your home smell nice.

In addition to the toxic choice of wax, most scented candles are made even worse with the use of mysterious, synthetic fragrances.  As I mentioned in a previous post, “fragrance” in most cases is treated as “proprietary information” by the FDA and doesn’t have to be disclosed.  Steinemann said for some people, the effects are “immediate, acute and severe,” while others may not realize they are being effected until they gradually develop health issues.

Chemistry professor Ruhullah Massoudi of South Carolina State University says that “For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma.”  Often times when people develop health issues over time, like asthma for example, they don’t think to link it to their scented candle use or their exposure to environmental toxins and the problem persists.

So what’s a girl to do?  Have a house that smells stale or—dare I say—boring???  Nope, don’t worry.  You can still have yummy smells, and even ambiance.  Diffusing therapeutic grade essential oils from Young Living has completely replaced my scented candle addiction, and besides smelling ah-mazing they have the added benefit of supporting my family’s wellness, both physical and emotional.  And because of Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise I can rest assured that we are only inhaling the concentrated life force of organically grown plants with zero pesticides or mystery “fragrance.”

When you grab a Premium Starter Kit (PSK) you get 11 different essential oils to play around with plus a diffuser so you can smell them all day long in your home or office.  I use different PSK  oils to help me achieve different things.  When I am in relaxing mode I diffuse lavender into the air, especially at bed time, because it goes to work at the cellular level in the body to calm the nervous system, making for a great night’s sleep.  Stress Away is another PSK oil I love for this purpose.  It does for me exactly what its name suggests.  In the morning, I like to use lemon and peppermint together in the diffuser to awaken my mind and oxygenate my body so I am ready for the day.  When the weather is cool and I am looking forward to the holidays, I use Thieves in my diffuser.  Its warm, invigorating scent is reminiscent of fall and winter treats baking in the oven, and it has the added benefit of supporting the immune system during “cold season.”  There are 6 more oils in the PSK that do other wonderful things for me too, but I highlighted a few of my favorites for the diffuser.  When you are ready to ditch your scented candles and grab your 11 essential oils, diffuser and more you can use this link to order your PSK.  If you have any questions please connect with me through any of my social media accounts, listed below.  I could talk oils all day!

Are you already diffusing Young Living essential oils?  What are your favorite oils to put into your diffuser?  Let me know in the comments!

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Email: crystal@thejoyfuloilers.com

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