Have you ever wondered how candles are made? If your answer is yes, don’t worry. You’re in the right place.
Candles are very fascinating objects that have existed for way longer than most people would believe. They operate on a very simple mechanism that has served them well for thousands of years; whereby their flame is sustained by the flammable components present in their wax. Candle wax can be obtained from different sources like petroleum (paraffin wax), beeswax and plant waxes (such as soybean, carnauba and palm). In the case of scented candles, these waxes usually contain essential oil.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are basically oils or typically oily components that are obtained from plants. They are quite popular and significant in a lot of fields, because they contain the natural “essence” or flavor of the plants. This usually includes the scent of the plants, which is usually captured inside the oil in highly concentrated volumes.
Essential oils often require the investment of a lot of time, effort and some money; because the procedures used in extracting them from plants are quite demanding in this regard. Also, the tools and reagents employed in obtaining them are sometimes expensive.
One important thing to note about essential oils is the fact the amount obtained is usually very small, compared to the quantity of plants or plant materials processed. This is another reason why the process of extracting them is relatively expensive.
TYPES OF ESSENTIAL OILS
There are numerous types of essential oils, which can be obtained from various plant sources around the world. Over ninety of them are well known, and about ten are extremely popular; particularly in the field of aromatherapy, where the scent or natural essence captured in the oils are used to relief stress and manage anger issues, among other uses.
The top ten most popular essential oils used around the world include the following:
Essential oils derived from chamomile are one of the most popular in the world. They are believed to aid relaxation and boost a person’s mood. This type of essential oils is also used in the treatment of wounds and other ailments such as arthritis. They are also used to improve an individual’s sleeping pattern.
This is one of the major essential oils that is believed to work well for stress relief. It is also claimed to treat dry skin, acne, skin inflammations and other skin diseases.
This famously known type of essential oil is commonly used in the treatment of headaches and digestion issues. They are also used to improve a person’s mood.
- Tea tree
This essential oil is said to boost a person’s immunity and help them fight off infections and diseases.
Essential oils gotten from sandalwood are popularly known to improve a person’s focus or attention span. It is also believed that this essential oil can calm a person’s nerves.
Essential oils obtained from roses are believed to reduce anxiety and improve a person’s mood. Rose or rosehip oil is also used for moisturizing, hydrating and firming up a person’s skin.
Essential oils extracted from Jasmine are quite popular. They are believed to help with libido issues, childbirth and depression.
This essential oil is believed to ease nausea, energize a person and improve their digestion. It is also used to treat headaches, muscle pain, inflammations and itching. Due to its refreshing aroma, essential oil from peppermint is typically added to mouthwashes and cosmetic products like soap. This essential oil also has some antimicrobial properties which makes it beneficial in the treatment of certain bacterial and fungal infections (if only, to a small degree).
Bergamot is commonly used in the treatment of eczema and other skin issues. Therefore, essential oils gotten from them are typically used for the same purposes. They are also used to provide relief from stress.
Ylang-Ylang is a popular type of essential oil that is usually used to relieve nausea and headaches, as well as skin infections.
WHY DO CANDLES CONTAIN ESSENTIAL OIL?
Although, candles have existed for a very long time, they were primarily used as a main source of indoor illumination. So, when electricity was discovered – and the electric light bulb was invented – the sales of candles dropped tremendously as people moved on to bigger and much more sophisticated things (i.e. the electric light bulb).
Yet, candles did not go extinct. And recent years has seen a marked increase in their demand globally. This isn’t as a result of some newfound technological innovations about candles; instead it is all thanks to the growing popularity of scented candles.
Scented candles are a type of candles that give off pleasing scents and aromas when lit, because they contain essential oils. These kinds of candles are very important tools in aromatherapy.
HOW MUCH ESSENTIAL OIL DO YOU PUT IN A CANDLE?
Scented candles tend to have good cold throw (i.e. the distance a candle’s scent travels before it is lit) but many don’t produce decent hot throw (i.e. the way a candle’s scent travels after being lit). This situation then begs the question: “How much essential oil do you put in a candle?”
Experts recommend about 30 – 40 drops for a single eight-ounce candle. However, adjustments need to be made in some cases, where certain kinds of candle wax are used.
In the art of making scented candles, essential oils are usually added into the candle wax, while it is melted form. Therefore, apart from the type and concentration of essential oil used, the biggest impact to the strength of a candle’s aroma comes from the type of candle wax used.
Beeswax and soy wax do not generally have good cold throws or hot throws, therefore, more quantities of essential oils are usually required, when they are in use. With these kinds of waxes, essential oils of much higher concentration are also more suitable (when making scented candles).