Prior to our candle making journey, we used to think all scented candles are just the same… or are they?
The reality is, it’s not. Candles can be made with various types of waxes (paraffin, soy, beeswax, palm and etc). What is easily accessible in our market are usually made of paraffin waxes which are derived from crude oil.
For us at Borneo Candle Studio, we love working with 100% soy in our candles. So why do we choose soy wax and what are the benefits of burning one?
1. Plant-based & Natural
Soy wax is a plant-based vegetable wax derived from the oil of soybeans. Upon harvesting, the soybeans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated to form soy wax.
2. Sustainable & renewable
Compared to paraffin waxes which rely on crude oil supply and are non-renewable, soy wax and palm wax on the other hand being plant-based is of a renewable resource. Palm wax is highly accessible locally and costs only a fraction of soy wax but while it's also eco-friendly, there are concerns tied to deforestation surrounding palm industry in Malaysia & Indonesia (84% worldwide producers of palm) with visible impact. The rapid expansion of the soybean industry in certain parts of the world such as South America, the US and China has also raised similar concerns.
With this in mind, we use only 100% soy wax from US-grown soybeans with high commitments of sustainable sourcing and production by our suppliers.
Note: there is no organic-certified soy wax in the market due to the chemical changes in turning oil into soy wax flakes.
3. Non-toxic & burns clean
Paraffin wax is most commonly used in mass-produced candles available in the market. They generally give a stronger scent throw while using lesser fragrance hence are cheaper to produce and are readily accessible.
According to a study in 2009, paraffin candles were found to release potentially carcinogenic toxic chemicals (toulene & benzene) when burned. It also tend to release soot when burned thus staining walls & furniture and affects our respiratory system.
Soy wax candles generally burn clean with minimal to no sooting so you and your family can enjoy scents at home without such worries.
4. Burns longer
Soy wax has a lower melting point compared to other waxes, hence will burn up to 50% longer than other types of candles. You may assume paraffin candles are cheaper but you’ll likely get a more economical choice with soy candle’s burn time.
Soy wax is of plant-based origin. We don’t discredit other wax available in the market such as beeswax which also burns clean but it isn’t vegan-friendly.
Note: You may come across soy candles that are only labeled as ‘soy blends’ or just ‘soy’ which can be very ambiguous. This generally means there is a certain percentage of soy wax blended with other waxes (typically paraffin waxes) for improvements in scent throw and aesthetics - even with 10% soy wax blended, it can be labelled as 'soy candle'
We hope the insights from our research help you to make an informed decision when purchasing your next candle. Feel free to reach out directly to us if you have any questions!