Scented Candles + How They Impact Your Hormones

Scented candles are a very popular staple in many households. For good reason too, they create a cozy ambiance, enhance relaxation and add to your decor. However, there's growing concern about whether candles impact our health when it comes to hormones.

To save yourself time… yes, candles can potentially impact your health, and more specifically your hormones. But no, not all candles will harm you so please do your due diligence when buying your next candle and make sure the brand has these clearly written on their website or labels.

1. Phthalates + paraben FREE fragrance oils
2. 100% soy wax
3. Lead free wicks

The concern about candles affecting hormones primarily revolves around the ingredients used in their production. Many conventional candles, including some your favourite scented candles contain paraffin wax blends and synthetic fragrances. When burned, these materials can release potentially harmful chemicals into the air!

Phthalates: Commonly used to make fragrances last longer, phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. They can mimic or interfere with the body's hormones, but mostly estrogen.   

Paraffin wax: A petroleum byproduct, paraffin wax can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when burned. Some VOCs have been linked to respiratory issues and other health problems.
Lead wicks: While less common today. Some candles still use wicks that contain lead which can cause severe health problems, including hormonal disruption!

How Scented Candles Might Affect Hormones

The endocrine system which regulates hormones, can be sensitive to environmental toxins. When we burn scented candles, the chemicals released can be inhaled and potentially absorbed through our skin. Here’s how some of these substances can affect our hormones:

Disruption of Hormonal Balance: Endocrine disruptors like phthalates can interfere with the production, release and function of our natural hormones. This disruption can lead to imbalances that affect everything from mood to reproductive health.

Impact on Reproductive Health: Chemicals such as phthalates have been linked to reproductive issues in both men and women. Studies suggest that exposure to high levels of these chemicals can affect fertility and development.

Respiratory and Immune System Effects: While not directly related to hormones, poor air quality from burning certain candles can stress the respiratory and immune systems. A compromised immune system can indirectly affect hormonal health.

Start making Safer Choices

To enjoy the benefits of candles without the potential health risks, please consider the following tips:

Choose Natural Waxes: Choose candles made from natural waxes such as soy, beeswax or coconut wax. These materials burn cleaner and produce fewer pollutants. Some of your favourite brands use a “soy blend” so they can market it out as a soy candle, however they are still blended with paraffin waxes which can contribute to potential health risks!
Select High-Quality Fragrances: Look for candles scented with essential oils or natural fragrances that are phthalates + paraben FREE. These do not contain harmful chemicals compared to the synthetic scents.
Check the Wick: Ensure your candles have wicks made from cotton, hemp, or other natural materials to avoid exposure to heavy metals. Like I mentioned earlier these are less common however it’s a good way for brands to cut costs and essentially sell their candles for less.
Support Eco-Friendly Brands + Small Businesses: Smaller Canadian candle brands may be more expensive however we care what we put in our candles and your homes! Cheaper isn't always better when it comes to our health.

While the potential for scented candles to affect hormones exists, making informed choices can significantly reduce the risks. By opting for natural waxes, phthalates + paraben FREE fragrances and lead FREE wicks, you can enjoy the comfort of candles without compromising your health! Always remember to burn candles in well-ventilated areas and follow candle safety guidelines!

But in the mean time make sure to prioritize your well-being and always spread love, laughter and awareness!

Happy candle shopping!