When you think of candles, how does it make you feel? Warm, inviting, cozy, relaxed? Let me tell you, I used to LOVE candles! There is something about them that feels so special right?
Most of these feelings are evoked because of our sense of smell. The limbic system (the emotional center of your brain) is strongly linked to scent. Specific smells are connected to happy memories and change our emotions instantly. That is why the love for all things candles runs so deep. The smell of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls or apple pie does me in every…single…time.
But the reality is that the air fresheners and candles people buy that are pumpkin or fall-scented are full of toxins that are as harmful or more harmful than smoking a cigarette. Even the cleaning products we use are full of chemicals that might not be on the label but end up off-gassing into the air or onto our skin.
I used to buy scented candles… the Yankee candle of the month… I used to have a bottle of scented toxins that I sprayed our furniture with. I used to have a can of scented toxins that I used as air freshener. I used to get scented laundry detergent – and dryer beads that would keep our clothes scented for weeks! I thought that was a GOOD thing. I just didn’t know any better! So, believe me when I say that I’ve got ZERO judgement here.. okay?
Now that we’ve gotten rid of as many of the chemical-filled products in our house (we switched out our household cleaner, dish soap, hand soap, hand purifier/sanitizer, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, shampoo/conditioner, body soap, toothpaste, lotion, makeup, skin care, and deodorant), to all-natural essential oil infused products. I get an instant headache whenever I walk through the grocery store past the cleaning supply and laudry section. My nose and brain used to deal with that ever. single, day so my body was used to it. Think about how exposing our bodies to those chemicals every day affects us long term!!!
FACT: The Environmental Protection Agency says the air inside our homes and businesses is five times more polluted than that of the outdoors.
FACT: Half of deaths among children under 5 years old related to lower respiratory infections can be directly linked to “particulate matter” present in indoor air pollution (primarily from household solid fuels).
FACT: Two of the biggest contributors to indoor air pollution are the burning of fossil fuels (like stoves, fireplaces, and candles)and the off-gassing of Volatile Organic Compounds (chemicals released into the air when we bring products into our home that contain them).
WHAT TO DO?
- Check your labels on your air freshener, laundry detergent, household cleaner etc… for the word “FRAGRANCE”. The FDA doesn’t require manufacturer’s to list the chemicals included in fragrance additives, meaning if you see the label on the product, it probably contains VOC’s that can produce formaldehyde in your home.
- Check the labels of your shampoos, conditioners, perfumes and similar products for phthalates. These are hormone-like chemicals linked to reproductive and developmental problems in animals and humans.
- Then, switch out those products with healthier versions of them Avoid being fooled by greenwashing marketing that make the labels and branding of products look like they’re more natural than they actually are. We use Young Living products and save 25% every time we order. And… my mama brain can feel secure knowing that Young Living has the same Seed to Seal guarantee they have for their oils as they do for every product they sell and I’m limiting the amount of exposure our family has from toxic ingredients.
- Get yourself a diffuse and essential oils. Not only will you be scenting the air with something that is actually healthy for you, but you’ll also be purifying the air vs covering it up with synthetic fragrance. Once you have your starter bundle, you can slowly start switching out all of the products in your home, get 25% of retail price, plus get 10% back in free store credit… and eventually 25% back in free store credit.
Know better. Do better. Feel better.
Let’s do this together. I’m here to help walk you through it every step of the way!!
THE PROBLEM WITH CANDLES…
Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes!
In the U.S., candle wicks are supposed to be made of cotton or paper, but not all countries have the requirements. Studies have found that as much as 30% of candles we buy at the store contain heavy metals in the wicks, like lead. I never knew that before I started doing some research!
Many candles also contain artificial scents and dyes, which release additional chemicals when burned. Other toxic chemicals that may be present in the paraffin mixture and released through burning include: Acetone, Trichloroethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Tricholoroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene. Some of the toxins are found in other products such as paint, lacquer and varnish removers – that’s potent and powerful stuff.
Not to mention Fragrance! Fragrance is a cute word for synthetic chemicals. In fact the word fragrance in an ingredient list can be a proprietary word to hide more thatn 2,000 synthetic ingredients. Synthetic fragrances are known Endocrine Disruptors aka hormones, which is what control our bodies, and also can have carcinogenic effects aka… CANCER!
Let’s talk about fragrance, or parfum or perfume or a million other names. Synthetic scents or “fragrance” represent an unidentified mixture of ingredients including carcinogens, allergens, respiratory irritants, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic chemicals and environmental toxicants. These artificial scents can be found in all kinds of body care and cosmetic products, as well as air fresheners, cleaning materials and laundry detergents and even your deodorant. According to the Campaign for Safer Cosmetics, hair products are especially problematic. More than 95 percent of shampoos, conditioners and styling products contain fragrance as an ingredient. I’m sure you’ll agree we all want our hair to smell good, but we could definitely do without the use of toxic ingredients. Research done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name brand fragrance products. But it doesn’t stop there… none of these chemicals were actually listed on the label! In general, there are at least 3,000 ingredients that could possible be used to form a product’s scent. That’s according to the online “Transparency List” put out by the International Fragrance Association, an industry trade group. It may seem unbelievable, but the FDA does not even currently require fragrance and cosmetic makers to disclose exactly what they are using to scent the products we use. If companies are using truly natural ingredients, then why be shy? Many will say that their formulas are proprietary and they don’t want other companies copying them. The FDA website also states how the agency cannot legally require companies to warn about allergens in cosmetics like they do with food. Are you wondering why companies would continue to use synthetic scents if they’re so bad for our health? The answer is straightforward… they are CHEAPER. Synthetic scents can be an extremely cheap way to give everything from shampoo to lotion to candles a desirable scent.
Essential Oils are a beautiful way to experience the scents we love with much healthier benefits!
Diffusing oils can clean the air you are breathing, be emotionally uplifting, and support our body systems. They are multi-use, so the same bottle of Thieves oil can be used both in the diffuser and applied topically to the skin or even ingested!
There are so many low-cost oils! Use 4-6 drops of your desired oil in Young Living’s diffusers and enjoy a lasting scent throughout the day. Plus you can change the scents as often as you like.
My goal is to educate others to lead a more toxin free lifestyle. Please slowly ditch and switch your household for you and your family. I am here to help!!