Updated: Apr 15
If you've ever wondered whether buying beeswax candles is any different to soy candles, then let me help you with some detailed information.
Beeswax comes from beehives where the bees produce both honey and wax. The wax is made to hold the honey and their young. The honey is made when a bee collects nectar from nearby flowers, ingests it in one of two stomachs, brings it back to the colony, where a worker bee takes it, and regurgitates it into the comb. Honey is their food. The wax is their protection. During honey and wax collecting, conscientious beekeepers carefully separate the two as they take proper care of their bee colonies. Large scale production may not be so diligent. There's also the very real issue of colony collapse disorder, climate change, pesticides, fungicides, and sustainability. At Lakeshore Harbour Soap, we do use some beeswax in our products, but lean more towards soy, coconut, and candelilla wax.
Soy, Coconut and Candelilla waxes
Vegans are especially opposed to beeswax, therefore making soy, coconut and candelilla waxes preferable. Soy, as long as it's organic and GMO free, is a great alternative plant-based product. Coconut wax is made from the flesh of the coconut and usually mixed with soy to make a harder candle. Candelilla wax comes from the leaves of a shrub found in Southwest US and Northern Mexico. All of these are great alternatives to beeswax.
It's important to note, that the next time you read the label on a candle, avoid buying anything with paraffin. It's a petroleum based wax that's simply isn't great to burn. Let's continue to make eco and healthy decisions.