Relaxing with a fragrant, warm, and cozy candle is one of the ways to destress at the end of the day. But if you are pregnant and wondering whether the burning candle is safe during pregnancy, read on. Also, find the best, non-toxic and natural candles for pregnancy that you can use guilt-free.
Pregnancy is stressful and tiring, and there are many things to do in the first, second, or third trimester. So, if you are relaxing at the end of the day by lighting a candle and buddle bath, I don’t blame you.
I am sure you have changed from pregnancy-safe non-toxic makeup, lotion, shampoo, lip balm, and night cream to a non-toxic pregnancy pillow, but have you ever thought about the safety of using candles during pregnancy?
If you have not, it is time to look at the brand of candle you are using and read the list of ingredients on the candle box. Many commercially made candles are petroleum-based paraffin wax and loaded with toxic chemicals.
So, if you are a frequent or occasional candle user during a bubble bath or to keep your house smelling good, you are breathing toxic chemicals, which may not be good for the health of you and your baby during pregnancy.
Pregnancy-safe, non-toxic candles should be free from petroleum-based paraffin wax, artificial fragrance, and metal or lead wick. Fortunately, many brands make safe, non-paraffin-based candles or wax melt (beeswax, soy, or coconut-based wax) that you can use to relax or keep your house fresh during pregnancy.
In this blog post, we talk about whether the use of candles is safe during pregnancy and best non-toxic and natural candles for pregnancy, and much more.
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Is it safe to use a Candle during Pregnancy?
Scented candles are a luxury, and there are many benefits of burning candles. It can help reduce stress, and depression, improve mood, promote better sleep, and keep your house smelling fresh.
However, depending on the candle you are burning, it may not be safe for you or your baby. Especially when burned, petroleum-based paraffin wax-based candle and scented candle releases a toxic chemical into the indoor air, which may not be good to breathe in when pregnant.
Moreover, when petroleum-based paraffin wax candles with fragrance oils are burned, it releases carcinogens like benzene and toluene (which is neurotoxic and hormone disruptor) into the indoor air.
While research study denies any adverse effect of burning a candle during pregnancy because of short-term exposure, it still pollutes indoor air; when you are burning a candle while bathing, you are breathing in concentrated toxic chemicals circulating you.
For example, if you are using an aromatherapy candle made of petroleum-based paraffin wax, it will release carcinogenic soot while burning. Breathing in these toxic chemicals can aggregate symptoms if you are sensitive to smell during pregnancy or have asthma or lung issues.
Artificially scented candles are also not safe to use during pregnancy. This is because the toxic chemical hiding under the name of ‘fragrance’ is phthalate. Phthalate is a toxic chemical; exposure to it has been linked to damaging the kidney, liver, lung, and reproductive system.
Another concern of using a candle during pregnancy is the metal or lead wick of the candle you are using. Lead wick or metal wick is used in a candle to keep the wick upright when the surrounding wax liquefies during burning.
So, is it safe to use Candle with a Metal wick during Pregnancy?
Metal core wicks in modern candles are made with either zinc or tin, which is considered safe and non-toxic. But there is still a concern of metal wick releasing heavy metal into indoor air when the candle is burning.
Is it safe to use a candle with Lead Wick during pregnancy?
The major concern is using a candle with a lead wick, whether you are pregnant or not. This is because lead vaporizes when a candle burns, and you end up inhaling lead. And if you are a frequent indoor candle burner, you may increase your blood level of lead.
So, you want to avoid candles made of lead wick during pregnancy or otherwise.
But how do you find out whether your candle contains lead or not?
You want to purchase a candle that says ‘lead-free’ on the label. You can also conduct a Lead test for new or existing candles in your house. Rub the tip of the candle wick on a piece of paper; if it leaves a grey mark like pencils, it contains lead. If you have lead candles, you need to get rid of them as they are not safe to use during pregnancy or otherwise.
You want to look for a candle that is made of natural wax- beeswax, coconut, or soy wax, and has a wick made of cotton, paper, zinc, or other non-metallic materials.
Overall, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that burning a candle is harmful during pregnancy, but you need to be careful and take some precautions to use a candle.
Things to consider when using Candles during pregnancy
Not all candles are created equally and are safe to use during pregnancy. Here are things you need to consider when using candles during pregnancy.
Avoid petroleum-based paraffin wax candles
The candles made of petroleum-based paraffin wax are toxic as they are not clean burning and are not biodegradable. When burned, they release toxic chemicals like benzene and toluene, which are carcinogens and hormone disruptors.
Furthermore, when paraffin wax is mixed with artificial scent and burned, it produces soot which ends up releasing more carcinogenic organic compounds into the indoor air.
You also want to avoid candles synthetically scented as hidden toxic chemicals under the name of ‘fragrance’ is phthalate, which is released into the air when the candle is burned. You want to avoid breathing in phthalate as it can damage the liver, kidney, lungs, and reproductive system.
When shopping for a candle, look for a phthalate-free candle (aka artificial fragrance). Candles that contain 100 percent essential oil for fragrance are safer to use during pregnancy.
Use a candle made of Natural Wax
When pregnant, you want to stick to only certain types of candles only. First, only buy candles that are made of natural wax. The safest wax for candles includes beeswax, coconut wax, soy wax, or vegetable wax.
Some companies are more environmentally conscious and use safer ingredients in their candles, while others use “wax blends.” You want to be careful of greenwashing that manufacturers use wax blends and are not transparent about the ingredients used in “blends.” Most of the time, “blends” are a mix of paraffin and other natural wax.
Also, look for wood, cotton, paper, or non-metallic wick candles.
Burn a Candle in a well-ventilated area
Regardless of the candle, you are burning, proper ventilation of the room is very important. If you are burning candles while bubble bath, make sure to keep your exhaust fan on and keep the window open. This will minimize the amount of organic compounds or chemicals inhaled.
Watch out for any symptoms
If you are sensitive to smell during pregnancy, you may need to watch out for any symptoms caused by exposure to a burning candle. You may experience nausea, headaches, itchy eyes, sneezing, or coughing. If you experience any of it, blow out the candle and go outside to get fresh air. These symptoms are temporary; once the candle is blown out and the environment is clean, you will feel better.
5 Best Non-toxic and Natural Candles for Pregnancy
There are several brands that make non-toxic and natural candles that are equally good in alleviating your mood, relieving anxiety or stress, or keeping your room fresh or for whatever purpose you are using it for.
Best non-toxic Candle with Beeswax for pregnancy
Beeswax is the healthiest wax to have in your candle. Pure beeswax candles act as natural air purifiers. As they burn, they remove harmful toxins, bacteria, dust, pollen, and food odor from indoor air.
For pregnancy, pure beeswax candles should be used if you like to burn them for a long time to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals or any general side effects of burning candles.
1. Lemon Orange Blossom Essential Oil Candles from Fontana Candle Co.
Fontana Candle Co. is known for making non-toxic natural candles. Their non-toxic candles are made of only a few ingredients. All the candles from Fontana Candle Co. are made of Beeswax, coconut oil, essential oil, and a wooden wick.
The candles made by this company is Made Safe certified, meaning that candles are free from known toxic and safe for human, animals, and the ecosystem.
Candles from Fontana Candle Co. are scented with essential oil only, so you do not need to worry about breathing in phthalate when you are burning them.
While I love the Lemon Orange Blossom Essential oil Candles from Fontana Candle Co., you can find other scents like lavender, wildflower citrus, spiced later, cinnamon orange clove, blue tansy and bergamot, peppermint twist, citrus peel, pine, and many more. However, beware of scents that contain essential oil not safe to use during pregnancy, like eucalyptus oil and rosemary oil.
You will also find unscented candles if you prefer no scent at all.
Fontana Candle Co. candles are free from toxic chemicals, preservatives, or stabilizers. So, they do not hold well in extreme heat.
The candles are available in 6 oz., 9 oz., 14 oz jar and have a burning times of approximately 20 hours, 25 hours, and 40 hours respectively.
2. Beeswax Candle Gift Box from Northboro
Beeswax Candle gift box from North is 100% non-toxic, natural, and handmade by small business owners in Canada.
This Beeswax candle is made off beeswax and naturally scented with wildflowers. The wick of this beeswax candle is made of cotton and paper.
The great thing about this beeswax candle is that it is a natural air purifier. As they burn, they will remove indoor airborne bacteria and harmful toxins. So, for those who are frequent candle burners, this beeswax candle is the healthiest option you have.
This candle also comes as a gift set. Each box includes
- 1 Round Pillar
- 2 Large Honeycomb tea lights
- 1 beehive
They also come wrapped with red ribbon, so if you are thinking of giving them as a gift for a baby shower to natural minded mom, this is a perfect set.
Best Non-Toxic Candle with Soy Wax for Pregnancy
Soy wax-based candles are another non-toxic option to use during pregnancy. Although, you need to be careful about green washing from the manufacturer. Keep in mind that the fragrance industry is not regulated, and manufacturers can label their product ‘Soy-based wax’ even when there is a small amount of soy wax is used in making the candle. So, make sure to check the ingredient list and choose the one that is made of 100% plant-based wax.
Another great point about soy wax is that it has a lower melting point and helps release essential oil quickly.
Here is the best non-toxic candle with soy wax
3. Cinnamon Clove Citrus Scented Candles from T&H
Cinnamon Clove Citrus scented candles from T&H are non-toxic and has a mild scent to create a relaxing ambiance in any room.
These candles are made from 100% plant-based soy wax and scented with cinnamon, clove, citrus vanilla, ginger, anis, and cedarwood essential oils to satisfy your senses and relieve stress. The wick of this candle is made from cotton so you can enjoy a clean burn and soot-free relaxation.
The candle comes in a handcrafted decorative glass jar with a silver lid, making a beautiful centerpiece anywhere in the house. It also makes a perfect gift for a gender reveal, baby shower, or housewarming.
The candles from T & H are one of the best non-toxic aromatherapy candles. These candles are the perfect way to relieve stress at the end of the day after a tiring day during pregnancy.
You will also find a variety of scented candles at T&H if you are not a big fan of cinnamon, clove, and citrus scented candles. I love this candle because I can use it to freshen up the room and use it as a stress reliever while bubble bath at the end of the day. This 3-wick candle is also long-lasting. It has a burn time of approximately 80 hours.
Like any other oil-scented candle, essential oil only fully releases when the wax pool is fully liquid, so you need to burn the candle for a long time before enjoying the aroma. So, if you have 15 oz soy candle, it can take up to 3-4 hours for the wax pool to liquify to the edge of the jar.
Best Non-Toxic Candle with Coconut wax for Pregnancy
Coconut wax is another safe wax to have in the candle. This wax is plant-based, burn cleaner, emits no smoke, and soot-free.
Coconut wax candles are a little better than soy wax candles as they blend seamlessly with essential oils, meaning that it throws scent nicely. In addition, it holds approximately 12% scent in its wax, so you do not have to wait for the wax to burn and liquify for the aroma like soy candles.
Even opening a jar of coconut wax, you will smell the aroma of whatever scent they carry. So, those wanting to freshen up their home or room should go for coconut wax candles over soy candles.
Here is the best non-toxic candle with coconut wax
4. AMARE Rose and Mint Candle from CandaScent Labs
CandaScent Labs are luxury candles you want to treat yourself to when pregnant. Unfortunately, quality costs money, which is a pure example.
CandaScent Labs candles are made with the purest botanical ingredients, free from toxic chemicals, additives, and preservatives. Candles are made of coconut wax and certified organic essential oils. The scents are gentle, soothing, and free from harsh, synthetic chemicals. The candle wick is made from cotton, so you do not need to worry about harmful chemicals released in the indoor air when you light your candle.
The Bulgarian roses, osmanthus, and mint in this Amare Rose and Mint candle will make you feel like you are standing in a botanical garden when you burn the candle in a room.
When inhaled, the combination of Rose and Mint essential oil releases the feel-good hormone knowns as endorphins and dopamine, which means that it will help you relieve stress and anxiety and fight off depression. Also, all CandaScent Labs’s candles are rich in Beta-Caryophyllene, which is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, analgesic, and antioxidant properties, which help you keep your body in homeostasis. In addition, the mint essential oil is a natural decongestant that clears airways and promotes circulation.
One of my favorite non-toxic candles from CandaScent Labs is Rose and mint. So I bought it once, and I am obsessed with it.
CandaScent Lab’s candles are made in California from sustainably sourced, 100% plant-derived, organic, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and free from synthetic ingredients and paraffin.
5. Coconut Wax Lavender Candle form Chaoiselle
If you are looking for an affordable coconut wax candle, I highly recommend the Coconut wax Lavender candle from Chaoiselle.
Candles from Chaoiselle are made from only two ingredients: 100% Coconut wax and organic Lavender essential oil. These candles are free from artificial fragrance, preservatives, and phthalates and have a wooden wick that has a soft crackling sound while burning.
Coconut wax is created by the hydrogenation process after cold press extraction of coconut oil from coconut meat. The hydrogenation process makes coconut wax cleaner and longer-lasting wax than soy.
The soft aroma and crackling sound of a wooden wick when the candle is burning help create a calm ambiance in a room.
Is wax melts okay to use while pregnant?
If you do not want to burn candles when pregnant, you can use wax melt to make your home smell good or relax. The ingredients of wax melts decide whether they are safe to use during pregnancy or not.
If the wax melt is made of paraffin wax and scented with artificial fragrance, then they are not safe to use during pregnancy. This is because wax melt with paraffin contains benzene which is not safe to inhale during pregnancy.
But if you use beeswax, soy wax, or coconut wax-based wax melt, which are scented with essential oils, then they are safer to use during pregnancy.
The great thing about wax melt is that they are soot-free ( do not provoke coughing, asthma, or any lung issues), flame-free, environmentally friendly, and safe for pets if you have them around.
Can candles cause a birth defect?
There is no scientific evidence of candles being harmful to pregnant women or causing birth defects as low concentration of chemicals and shorter duration of exposure.
However, a candle made with petroleum-based paraffin wax and scented with fragrance oils can release carcinogenic organic compounds like benzene and toluene, neurotoxic and hormone disruptor. So, it is best to avoid paraffin-based and artificially scented candles when pregnant to be safer.
Is peppermint oil safe while pregnant?
While many aromatherapy experts recommend avoiding peppermint oil during the first trimester of pregnancy, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim. However, a study published in 2013 suggested that peppermint oil is used only for aromatherapy. It helps reduce nausea in pregnant women. So, it is safe to use peppermint oil-scented candles while pregnant.
Is Yankee candle safe for pregnancy?
No, Yankee candles are not safe to use during pregnancy. They are made of petroleum-based paraffin wax and artificial fragrance ingredients, so when candles are burned, they release toxic chemicals like benzene and toluene, which are considered neurotoxic and hormone disruptors.
Although, the wick of Yankee’s candles is made of cotton. But that is not good enough to make this product safe to use during pregnancy. Also, they are not transparent about the fragrance ingredients used in their candles. So, avoid Yankee’s Candle whenever you can.
Are Bath and Body Works candles safe for pregnancy?
Sadly, Bath and Body Works candles are not safe to use during pregnancy. Just like Yankee’s candles, Bath and Body Works candles are made of petroleum-based paraffin wax; artificial fragrance and wax bled make them unsafe to use during pregnancy.
Also, they are not transparent about the ingredients used in their products, so avoid using Bath and Body Works candles during pregnancy.
If you love relaxing and distressing with candles, it does not have to end when you are pregnant. However, you need to be careful in choosing candles that are safe to use during pregnancy. First, choose the candles made with beeswax, plant-based soy wax or coconut wax, essential oil for fragrance, cotton, paper, or wood wick. The healthiest wax to have in your candle is beeswax, followed by coconut wax and soy wax. They burn clean and soot-free, and you can light them as long as you like without worrying about inhaling harmful chemicals.
Good Luck, Mama!!