The Hidden Truth About Toxins in Candles + How to Find Non-toxic Candles

With spring in bloom, it’s a great time to do a little spring cleaning – with your candles.

Wait, what? 

Yep, hidden toxins might be lurking in your everyday products – especially candles. If you’re an avid candle lover, it could be one of the biggest culprits in diffusing toxins + chemicals into your air. 

Yes, it’s true, and we hate it as much as you do! Who doesn’t love to unwind with a beautiful aromatic scent and the calming glow of a flickering candle? 

But with a broken regulation system + greenwashing galore, it’s hard to come by non-toxic candles that are truly non-toxic. Our community has spoken loud and clear – we hear you! You want more access to our non-toxic candles year-round. 

Done. ;)

If you haven’t tried our non-toxic candles yet, you’re in for a treat. We’ve searched far and wide for only the best ingredients + safe scents to give you the purest experience possible (for your home and your health). 

So let’s tackle the misconceptions about candles + why yours might be full of toxins or chemicals. And most importantly – why you can trust our non-toxic candles to not only keep you + your loved ones safe, but to also benefit your overall well-being.

The Truth Behind Most Candles (Even if You Think They’re Non-toxic)

We wish this part wasn’t necessary, but it is. Sadly, many candles are quite misleading in their “formula” or “ingredients.” Even those that may claim they’re non-toxic candles. Here are the biggest hard truths you need to know about conventional candles.

Ingredient Labels Are Not Required

You may have noticed already, but candles don’t have ingredient lists. This isn’t good news. It means they can essentially put anything in their candle, mislead consumers with the label, and never get in trouble for it. 

There are regulations enforced by the Federal Trade Commission – even on the safety of candles. But only for the most obvious safety concern: burning in a responsible way, with supervision, away from children or flammable objects. (Umm… duh.)

There’s not a lot of information on why ingredient transparency isn’t enforced. But similar to many of the FDA loopholes for toxins in products, candle companies are allowed to get away with providing the bare minimum. 

Under the Fair Packaging and Label Act, the only information that has to be disclosed is the “statement identity.”1 This usually includes generic terminology that only identifies it as a candle (major eye roll).

So despite the powerful grip of nostalgia an old favorite candle scent implores (volcano scent, anyone?) if you don’t know what’s in it, you can’t assume it’s safe. A non-toxic candle with full transparency is the only way to go.

Most Candles Use Harmful + Fake Fragrances 

If you’ve been around PP for a little while, you know we aren’t shy to speak up about the dangers of synthetic + chemical fragrances. The FDA has created many loopholes within the personal care industry over the years. They make it far too easy for companies to hide toxic ingredients – often within their fragrance blends.

→ The word “fragrance/parfum” is a proprietary term used on labels to protect the “secret formula.” So even if candles were required to include ingredient lists, you still wouldn’t know if the fragrances are safe or not. 

The truth about fragranced products: most fragrances are formed from synthetic chemicals. Burning these chemicals inside your house can have untold effects on your health.

Fragrance formulas often contain endocrine disruptors like phthalates that interfere with your hormones or reproductive system. 

Here’s a prime example of “fragrance” being used as a loophole: natural deodorants and hand soaps that claim to be “clean” yet contain a secret blend of fragrance ingredients that have no transparency – or regulations. Consumers are being tricked left and right.

Candles are no exception. 

All of these reasons + more make it a clear-cut answer for us. If we don’t know exactly how a candle is fragranced, we have to assume it’s unsafe. It’s one of the big reasons we felt inspired to create non-toxic candles that would be safe for everyone.

Essential Oil Candles 

Many people want to jump to the conclusion that “essential oil candles” are probably safe, right? Wrong. But we totally get why! In theory, it sounds safe.

But many candles that claim to be naturally scented with essential oils are only *partially* telling the truth. In simple terms: Yes, they may use a few drops of essential oils. But they may also contain a majority of (or be mixed with) synthetic fragrances. 

Candle companies use deceiving greenwashing phrases like:

  • “Naturally scented with essential oils”
  • “Contains natural essential oils”
  • “Essential oil-based fragrance”

Here’s a simple way to decipher candle labels: if it doesn’t specify ONLY essential oils, and have them clearly labeled on an ingredient list, there is no way to confirm that they are non-toxic candles.

To better understand how candles + other products might be greenwashed, check out this guide to greenwashing.

Toxic Wax + Wick Choices 

The first candles were made with animal fats like tallow.

Today, they’re often made with paraffin wax which is created from petroleum…yikes.

Similar to avoiding petroleum-based products for slugging, you don’t want to be burning candles that have origins in petroleum.

Your lungs are an important detox pathway. They can’t function optimally with an onslaught of chemicals and heavy soot created by paraffin candles. Chemicals like toluene and benzene are quickly dispersed into the air wherever you burn a paraffin candle.

And though soy candles are often cited as an eco-friendly and safer alternative, watch out. Soy is one of the biggest monocrop industries and it’s wreaking havoc on the earth. The earth’s soil was not designed for single crops. The healthiest soil comes from rotating, diverse plants + animals grazing. Soy processing also usually involves hexane, which is also a byproduct of gasoline refining. Hexane is a neurotoxin and hazardous air pollutant.1

→ Staying away from chemicals like these is a great preventative measure for cancer. Instead, opt for non-toxic candles made from pure oils + waxes that are processed naturally.

Waxes aside, some candle wicks are coated in questionable chemicals or unstable oils to make them last longer. No thanks. We prefer our candles to burn cleanly + safely.

At Primally Pure, we believe in transparency with all of our products. It’s one of our core values + principles for creating only the purest, most potent, and safest products. You deserve to know what’s in your products – all of them. 

Especially products that burn into the air you breathe inside your home. 

So let’s take a look at why our non-toxic candles are different. 

Primally Pure Non-toxic Candles 

We want to give you the full transparency you deserve as a consumer + just as a human being, right?! Here’s everything you’ll find in our non-toxic candles – no secrets

→ Beeswax 
The perfect medium for wax in non-toxic candles because it’s not harmful and it also comes with benefits. Our beeswax: 

    • Is filtered naturally, without solvents
    • Purifies the air with negative ions that attack odor + bacteria
    • Leaves no soot behind after burning
    • Remains stable at room temperature (unlike other waxes affected by temperature)
    • Is hypoallergenic for those with sensitivities
    • Has one of the highest melting points of waxes, so they last longer
    • Is a renewable & sustainable resource that respects the environment
    • Supports ethical production practices
→ Coconut Oil 
Blended with our beeswax, coconut oil stabilizes our wax formula for the perfect, clean burn in a non-toxic candle. Our coconut oil also:
    • Purifies the air to remove dust, pollen, and allergens
    • Repels insects naturally
    • Has a high smoke/burn point
    • Is certified organic
    • Is sustainable + fair-trade sourced
→ ECO-wicks 
A high-grade wick is an important aspect of a quality, clean burn in a non-toxic candle. The wicks we use minimize common issues like mushrooming (the wick balling up at the end), soot, and smoke. Our wicks are:
    • Made of cotton in a flat braid
    • Durable and rigid with paper filament
    • Self-trimming and clean burning

→ Essential Oils 
When we say essential oil candles, we really mean it. Our ingredient list, clearly detailed on our website, ensures you know exactly how we’re scenting our non-toxic candles. With ONLY essential oils. ;) 

And even better than just a nice smell? 

All our essential oils are chosen for their emotional + medicinal benefits, as well as sustainably sourced (local) origins. And they are organic and wildcrafted wherever possible.

Here’s the exact essential oil blend you can find in our two non-toxic candle scents:

Cool Citrus Breeze Essential Oil Candle 

Inspired by southern California summers, this scent holds sweet herbal notes paired with bright citrus, flower blossoms, and a touch of woodsy delight. The essential oil blend purifies the air + supports a healthy nervous system.

This essential oil candle only contains the following organic oils: 

  • Bergamot: supports mood, reduces stress, + contains antiseptic properties

  • Sweet Marjoram: calms, comforts, and positively impacts the nervous system

  • Tangerine: promotes happiness and ease, plus anti-fungal + antiseptic benefits

  • Spearmint: cleanses and energizes, promotes focus + positive emotions

  • Neroli: soothes, grounds, and has anti-bacterial + anti-inflammatory properties

Sweet Floral Sage Essential Oil Candle 

Inspired by light floral aromas and herbs reminiscent of spring – brimming with antibacterial + antimicrobial properties to detox + refresh your space.

This essential oil candle only contains the following organic oils:

  • Pink Grapefruit: refreshes, relieves tension, and provides antibacterial + antimicrobial benefits

  • Wild Lavender: balances the emotional body + soothes mental stress, and detoxifies with antibacterial + antifungal properties

  • White Sage: stimulates and supports a clear mind, calms the nervous system + clears negative energy

  • Palo Santo: relaxes the nervous system and feelings of anxiety + provides cleansing properties

That’s all you’ll find in our non-toxic candles. Just real, restorative + safe ingredients. 

We’ve done our part to ensure you can indulge in a safe + non-toxic ambiance. You deserve it.

We Hope You’ll Love Our Non-toxic Candles as Much as We Do

With clean ingredients, transparency in every aspect, + carefully selected essential oil blends, you can have your cake and eat it too. (Though don’t try eating our candles, even if they smell that delicious.) ;) 

Our non-toxic candles, like all our products, were made to give you the confidence to live life boldly and in full health. Whether you’re shopping with us or somewhere else, your safety is important to us, so we hope this guide was helpful in navigating the world of candles. 

Enjoy a safe, ambient glow with our new year-round non-toxic candles. And let us know what you think.




  1. The Cornucopia Institute | Dirty Little Secret in the Natural Foods Industry: Toxic Chemical Use  

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