Valentine’s day is around the corner and we know what it means- chocolate hearts, roses and a glass of bubbly. I often hear people screaming ‘’but we celebrate our love every day, not just on a specific day of the year’’ and I do agree that you should show your affection to your other half as often as you can, however, there is nothing wrong with having an extra day of doing it. I and my partner have booked dinner at Brighton’s The Ivy in the Lanes on the 13th as everything was fully booked the day after. I wanted to go to the cinema after, but there is nothing exciting on at the moment, so we will trust Netflix to bring out a romantic comedy. Aside from the previously mentioned chocolates, roses and drinks, what also fits in with Valentine’s day are candles, which is where my topic goes into…

Most people enjoy the atmosphere that candlelight gives. It is known to be relaxing and even healing. Imagine a bubble bath with some Epsom salts and lavender drops with candles surrounding-perfect Friday evening sorted, just make sure you blow them out later. Many companies have worked hard to get you hooked up on their scented, colourful products. It seems like they have every smell imaginable- cherries, peppermint, wood, beach, even cotton sheets and a black colour smell, whatever that means. Although I do love the concept of it, I do not appreciate the quality and health side of some of the brand candles as they have a few ingredients that we do not necessarily want to overwhelm our lungs with. It does not mean that every candle kills, it just means there are some candles that are better than others.

Formaldehyde. It is a colourless gas used in various products. In candles, it is released by limonene and is a well-known carcinogenic. The extent of long term exposure is not yet fully known. Short term effects can include dizziness, coughing, watery eyes etc. It is also found in household cleaners, fresheners, soaps etc.

Benzene is a colourless, flammable liquid that can be absorbed via skin or exposed by breathing. Long term exposure has been connected to cancer, leukaemia and breathing issues.

Paraffin derived from petroleum has been connected with mainly short term side effects including headaches, respiratory issues and nausea, however, there are a few studies suggesting long term effects like organ effects and connection to cancers.

Synthetic fragrance is associated with endocrine disruptors, which means those who are already struggling with hormonal imbalances/thyroid issues/autoimmune conditions better make a pass. It is also connected to allergic reactions, mood swings, headaches, nausea etc.

Lead-core wicks are not as popular anymore and most companies are using cotton wicks nowadays. High exposure to lead or prolonged exposure over years can lead to anaemia, organ and nervous system damage affects pregnant women etc.

Of course, there is no perfect candle, however, organic beeswax and soy candles with organic essential oils are a healthier version and they have become extremely popular these past couple of years. There are various small businesses that make them and the prices are very reasonable, which means you do not have to give them up for health reasons.

Enjoy your Valentine’s day and hope you are all feeling loved and cared for!

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