Can You Be Allergic To Scented Candles? Let's Find Out!

Updated on May 31, 2021

A simple product like a scented candle might not seem too dangerous (other than the open flame of course), but in fact you may experience a number of allergic reactions. 

Can You Be Allergic To Scented Candles?

Can you be allergic to scented candles? Absolutely yes! Fragrance oils, perfumes, and soap all have known allergensd, as well as artificial scents using irritant chemicals. 

Aromatherapy candles can be a great way to relax and ease stress after a long day of work, but getting a runny nose or watery eyes thanks to emissions from candles can occur. 

Some fragranced candles are also known to attract mice, so it is clear that modern candles aren't as simple as they appear to be on the surface! 

Synthetic smells and organic compounds can be found in a single scented candle, and the chemical nature of these scents can be irritating for human inhalation. 

Traditional candles, that being non-scented candles, don't usually set off candle allergies. That being said, standard paraffin candles still pose a fire risk if you mishandle them. 

Allergy Symptoms

You may suffer from skin irritation, itching, and redness due to a mild form of allergies from perfume, soap, or any chemicals and oils found in emissions from candles.

While unscented candles tend to be fine, exposure to candle smoke in excessive amounts is still a health hazard and should be avoided, whether allergic or not. 

If you have an existing health condition or allergy, avoid anything other than unscented candles as these are less of a serious health threat but still let you enjoy the candle burning experience. 

Irritating chemicals from synthetic fragrances and allergies can also cause a runny nose, and watery eyes. In many ways, this resembles hay fever and pollen allergies. 

Strong fragrances can trigger an eye watering response on their own, and this is a natural reaction to fragrances too strong to biologically handle. 

Toxic chemicals are much rarer these days, but can still be found in some very cheap and off brand candle manufacturers. Lead containing candles aren't commonly sold after all. 

Still, allergenic candles are beginning to find a market for themselves, with candle wax that aims to reduce the negative health effects of artificial fragrances and organic compounds. 

Allergy Symptoms

Allergies to Fragrance Oils

A natural fragrance is more than likely going to use fragrance oils. These are usually plants and other organic matter pressed into a strongly scented oil, which burns to release the smell stronger. 

While not toxic chemicals, a sensitive nose can still take issue with this aromatic scent and produce hay fever symptoms. 

A stuffy nose caused by strong scents is uncommon, and a runny or stuffed up nose point toward an allergy more than unwanted chemicals in a natural candle. 

An itchy nose can also occur, even if you're burning organic beeswax candles in a well ventilated area, clueing you into a potential allergy. 

Fragranced candles are thankfully unlikely to cause anaphylaxis, meaning that a candle allergy will not be fatal and can easily be managed with proper care. 

Soap and Perfume Allergies

A perfume is a combination of fragrant essential oils and other ingredients that give off an aroma. Perfume is used to scent cosmetics, body lotions and toiletries.

Although most people enjoy wearing perfume, some people experience a mild form of allergies from certain scents. Including those used in the manufacture of candles. 

People with allergies to perfume should consider the effects of wearing fragrant substances on their health, but also the impact of candle burning. 

Most perfumes have a chemical formula that contains a group of seven or more essential oils. This is then paired with synthetic scents and toxic chemicals. 

Soaps are made from natural ingredients, making them a valuable commodity- especially considering how common soap is in most homes.

Soaps are primarily composed of three main ingredients: fatty acids, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide.

These are dangerous chemicals if not manufactured correctly. They are also composed of glycerin, sodium chloride, and sodium carbonate.

Soap and Perfume Allergies

Allergies to soap occur when people's skin no longer reacts to soaps; this is known as soap protein intolerances.

The major cause of soap allergies is protein sensitivity, which happens due to an individual's body growing accustomed to certain protein sources in soaps.

Are Scented Candles Bad For You? Let’s Find Out!

Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay - so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions :) (pun intended ;) )

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