5 benefits of beeswax candles - for you, your home + the planet
As more people become aware of the hidden chemicals in everyday household objects and products, many of us are looking for more natural alternatives. For candle lovers, this might mean swapping your paraffin wax candle for a natural wax one instead. Not sure which wax to choose? Read on to discover the benefits of beeswax candles, for you, your home, and the environment...
What is beeswax and where does it come from?
Beeswax, also known as cera alba, is a natural wax produced by honey bees. This substance is secreted by the wax-producing glands on the abdomens of worker bees. It is then deposited in or around the hive to make thin sheets called 'scales'. The bees cleverly use this substance to build up the hexagonal 'comb' in the hive, which effectively holds honey and provides shelter for maturing bees or a queen's eggs.
According to Mother Earth News: 'Beeswax consists of at least 284 different compounds, mainly a variety of long-chain alkanes, acids, esters, polyesters, and hydroxy esters.' However, the exact composition of each piece of beeswax depends on the location from which the wax was sourced.
Why is beeswax used in cosmetic products?
Beeswax has become a desirable ingredient in many products across the beauty, food, and homeware industries. This is largely because beeswax is a natural, food-grade substance, meaning it is safe to use on skin or in products that come into contact with food.
It also has a melting point of over 60 degrees Celcius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), possibly explaining why it has become a popular choice among candle makers.
Is beeswax suitable for vegans?
Because beeswax is produced by bees, it is an animal product. This means it is not suitable for those following a vegan diet or lifestyle. However, synthetic beeswax is currently being developed in labs, which might provide vegans with a beeswax alternative that is not produced by animals.
Because animals are involved in the production of beeswax, when buying beeswax candles (or any beeswax products), make sure you look for companies that use ethically sourced beeswax. Bees are essential for the continuation of our planet, so it's important that we all do our part to protect them!
5 benefits of beeswax candles
1. Beeswax candles are slow-burning
Beeswax has a high melting point of over 60 degrees Celcius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). Because of this, a beeswax candle will burn more slowly than a paraffin candle, which has a melting point of roughly 46 degrees Celcius. This means any beeswax candle you buy will take much longer to finish burning, making them much better value for money!
2. Beeswax doesn't release toxins when burnt
Candles made using mineral waxes like paraffin can release a whole host of toxins, carcinogens and allergens into the air when burnt. Not to mention, they also produce lots of soot, which can turn your walls and ceilings black.
Beeswax candles, on the other hand, do not release any nasty chemicals when burnt, thanks to their natural composition. These candles will also produce far less soot, which will help to protect your home from unsightly discoloration.
3. Beeswax benefits your health by purifying the air
Beeswax candles are already doing us a favour by not polluting our air. But, what if we told you these candles go one step further and actually reduce air pollution? Research has shown that beeswax candles can purify the air of toxins, pollution, dust, and allergens.
How? Well, when beeswax candles are burnt, they release negative ions into the air. In contrast, air pollution particles have positive ions. As we all learnt in high school science class, opposites attract. Therefore, the negative ions from beeswax are able to bind with these positive ions, and remove them from the air.
4. Beeswax is naturally scented and coloured
Unlike many candle waxes, which are unscented and white, beeswax candles naturally posess a desirable scent and colour. The subtly sweet, earthy scent of beeswax is perfect for anyone who doesn't like strong, overpowering scents. Plus, the soft yellow colouring of beeswax creates a gorgeous, orange glow when the candle is lit. No need for artificial colours or fragrances!
5. Buying beeswax benefits local beekeepers and small businesses
Lots of local beekeepers create their own products using the beeswax and honey made by their bees. Unlike common paraffin wax, which is predominantly used by larger corporations for mass-produced candles, beeswax candles are often handmade by small, independent businesses.
So, by switching to beeswax candles, not only will you be benefiting your health, home and the planet: you'll also be supporting local businesses!