If you’re a fan of candles but notice that you start to sneeze, have itchy eyes or a stuffed-up nose every time you’re near a candle, you might be allergic to them. No worries though, we’re here to help!
Below, we’ll provide you with all the details you need to know about hypoallergenic candles and candle allergies. We’ll answer some frequently asked questions, give you some product recommendations and provide some information on candle allergies.
Read on to find out more!
Can Candles Trigger Allergies?
While candles do smell nice, the fact is they can trigger breathing allergies in sensitive individuals. One in five people has reported having symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and more from candle allergies!
What’s The Main Cause of Candle Allergies?
If you’ve got a candle allergy, you’re most likely allergic to the scent from the candle. Fragrances used in personal care and beauty products are among the top contributors to allergies (both skin and breathing allergies).
However, if you’re already sensitive to environmental allergies, such as pollen or pet dander, it may be a matter of a more generalized sensitivity to airborne particles. When you smell a scented candle, your tissues react to these scents as if they’re allergens and mimic an allergic reaction due to a hypersensitive immune reaction.
Other Less Common Causes of Candle Allergies
While the main cause of candle allergies are fragrances, when candles are burned they can also release toxic compounds – also known as VOCs into the air. These carcinogens can cause allergies and even asthma attacks.
Be on the lookout for candle brands using synthetic or toxic fragrances! Also, avoid paraffin wax candles, opt-in for natural wax instead.
Another cause could simply be an allergy to smoke. In this case, you might also be sensitive to other types of smoke from cigarettes, fires and more.
What Are The Symptoms of Candle Allergies?
Some symptoms that you can experience if you’ve got fragrance sensitivity or smoke allergy include:
How Can You Treat a Candle Allergy?
The best ways to treat acute candle allergies at home are to take nasal antihistamines or nasal corticosteroid medications. If you’re having a severe reaction, seek medical help immediately. Perhaps the best treatment, however, is to keep all fragrances – including scented candles, out of your environment.
What to Look For in Hypoallergenic Candles
If you love candles and would like to purchase ones that don’t trigger your allergies, hypoallergenic is the way to go. Here’s what to look for in a candle product that is truly hypoallergenic, and not just because there’s a marketing brochure that says it is!
- Choose a candle that has no artificial colors and is made of 100% natural wax (beeswax is best though soy wax is another alternative)
- For wick candles, choose one that has a cotton wick
- Look for lead-free wicks otherwise
- Choose a fragrance-free candle, or
- Choose a candle scented with pure essential oils
- Look for candles with a smokeless burn
Top-Rated Allergy-Free Candles
If you’re looking to replace your current candles, here are some hypoallergenic candles to get you started.
Wax Oils Aromatherapy Scented Candles
Melt Candle Company
FAQs – You Ask, We Answer
The below are some answers to some of the common questions we’ve received about candles and allergies.
What happens if you use an expired candle?
If it’s a scented candle it would have completely lost its scent or the scent itself would have weakened. Candles that are left openly displayed will also lose their scent quicker than container candles that are kept enclosed. It is usually safe to still burn them however it is worth checking with the manufacturer first.
How long do candles stay good for?
Candles are usually good for about one to four months. Beyond that, they’ll probably still be fine but you’d need to store them properly to maximize their scent.
Do candles clean the air?
It depends on which candles you purchase. In fact, certain candles can release dangerous chemicals into the air like benzene and toluene. Pure beeswax candles on the other hand will release no smoke and can clean the air as they release negative ions.
Is it okay to leave candles overnight?
No, you should not be sleeping with candles that are burning. It doesn’t matter if they’re contained as jars can be knocked over and you run the risk of setting your house on fire.
Are candles toxic?
Scented candles usually contain paraffin wax – which can release toxic compounds into the air. Not only are these candles harmful to the environment, but they’re also not great for your health.
Can you get carbon monoxide poisoning from candles?
Candles can produce levels of carbon monoxide so you should never leave your candle burning in a room that is completely enclosed.
Can scented candles irritate the eyes?
Yes, scented candles can cause allergic reactions beyond just breathing allergies, including itchy and watery eyes. It may simply be an allergy to smoke though some candles also release harmful chemicals into the air which can also irritate sensitive eyes.
Why do candles make me cough?
When a candle burns, chemicals can sometimes be emitted into the air and the tiny little particles can get into your lungs and cause everything from coughing to wheezing. If you’d like to use candles in your home, it’s best to opt for a hypoallergenic option mentioned above.
We hope that this article was helpful and gave you a comprehensive overview of both hypoallergenic candles and candle allergies and that you’ll be able to find a hypoallergenic candle that best suits your needs!