Though you wouldn’t bat an eyelash at them now, “clean” candles are a relatively new trend. Before the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of lead in candle wicks back in 2003, the poisonous ingredient ensured they’d stand up straight—yes, really. “You'd light it, and then you'd immediately be breathing in lead emissions, which would cause elevated levels of lead in the bloodstream,” explains Tara Foley, founder of Follain. Moreover, some candle brands still use refined paraffin—a petroleum-based wax that may release carcinogenic soot when burned—and synthetic fragrance, which can emit potentially dangerous VOCs.
What should you look for in a clean candle?
This is why many are turning to clean candles when it’s time to cozy up for the evening. For those shopping around, Foley recommends looking for candles made from vegetable wax (like soy, beeswax, or non-GMO corn). “If it doesn't list a plant or vegetable wax, you should assume that it's a paraffin wax,” she explains, adding that the wick should always be cotton, and preferably organic. “If you see a wick that's coated in a heavy coating, inquire as to what the coating is,” says Foley, noting that it could be coated in paraffin. “As a customer you have a right to ask questions. You just need to know what questions to ask.” To start, continue reading. Ahead are seven cleaner candles that are still ultra chic.
The grapefruit and lemon fragrance might be bitter, but it'll leave you feeling sweet. Better yet, it features a soy wax—and transparent information about what goes into its scent.
You'll enjoy this plant-derived lavender fragrance as it burns. Then, once it's empty, you can reuse the terracotta tumbler for a succulent or two.
Who said Instagram favorites can't also be clean? Each Boy Smells candle is made from a coconut and beeswax blend as its base.
Gwyneth Paltrow's Edition 01 Goop candle is made from soybean wax, essential oils, and unbleached cotton wicks.
This aromatherapy-inspired candle helps you mellow out. It's made with soy wax and essential oils of lavender, rose, and sandalwood.
This best-selling Amazon candle is made with organic coconut wax blended with 100 percent pure aromatherapy-grade essential oils and an organic cotton wick.
Available in vanilla, peppermint eucalyptus, and lavender, this trio of candles is made with soy wax and cotton core wicks, and housed in 100 percent recyclable tins.