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Choosing Healthier Candles and Incense

Posted by Kylie on January 17th, 2013

Candles 1 Many people love burning candles and incense in their homes for the scent and atmosphere they create. Unfortunately, research shows that this isn’t the healthiest practice for your indoor air. According to a recent environmental study, candles and incense give off a high level
of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), damaging indoor air quality. This is due to the ingredients in many of them, particularly petroleum and fragrance.

Fortunately, there are less harmful ways to replace your habit of burning candles and incense—in fact, you can even improve your indoor air with some of these healthier alternatives!

Healthy Alternatives

If you don’t want to give up the practice completely, here are a few healthier options:

  • Beeswax candles: Beeswax actually purifies the air when burned by acting as a natural ionizer, making it the healthiest type of candle you can use. It also gives off a faint honey-like smell. According to Care2, “Beeswax candle fuel is the only fuel that actually produces negative ions, which not only helps remove pollution from the air but increases the ratio of negative ions to positive ions, the ideal and necessary scenario for clean air.”
  • Essential oil ring diffuser: Essential oil diffusion can be a healthy replacement for incense. Be sure to use pure, high quality oils like eucalyptus, tea tree, and lemon. All of these are refreshing, air-purifying options.
  • Potpourri: If your goal is to add fragrance to your space, consider a natural, chemical-free potpourri to replace your candles and incense. A ceramic warmer can be used to strengthen the smell. Just be sure to change and refresh it often to keep your home smelling fresh.

Switching to low-VOC alternatives will improve your indoor air—and ultimately, your health. Personally, I enjoy using essential oils; what’s your favorite option?

Photo Credit: “Candles1” by Rob “NinjaPotato” on Flickr. CC Licensed.

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