Candles out, diffusers in

Trending swaps for candles, such as diffusers and essential oils, have provided not only a more safe but simple way to enjoy different aromas


Essential oils have been around for decades, but have only become popular after the harsh effects of candles were recognized. Courtesy of Pixabay.

            There is no avoiding the multitude of advertisements seen daily intended to persuade viewers to purchase diffusers or a kit of essential oils. However, many people are questioning why this new trend has become such a big deal. In almost every household, there is at least one candle laying around, yet many individuals are not aware of the harmful effects these scented objects have.  

            In fact, candles often release carcinogens, which are known to cause allergies, skin problems and asthma. Additionally, they contain hazardous chemicals such as paraffin, which may be harmful when inhaled. As stated by Annie Steinemann, environmental pollutant expert, what most people see to be as something that can simply improve the smell of their household can cause developmental difficulties to the body.  For this reason, many people are switching to using essential oils, which provide a healthier, cheaper and more enjoyable way to appreciate scents. 

            Essential oils are all-natural, unlike candles which contain synthetic fragrances that can lead to health-related concerns. To obtain the properties essential oils provide, a diffuser can be used to break down essential oils into mists to fill the air with pleasant smells that do not contain added chemicals. The elimination of harsh chemicals by a diffuser leaving no residue in the air not only leads to better health, but a better mood overall. 

            “Just the fact that one is chemically enhanced and the other is derived directly from nature should be enough reason to switch from candles to diffusers,” sophomore Mya Sepulveda said. 

            Rather than just a plain one-scented candle, essential oils can be combined in numerous ways to help achieve better-smelling aromas of one’s choice, as there are hundreds of available essential oils that can be mixed or be placed alone in a diffuser. If a certain smell becomes dull, one can easily dispose of the oil mix and just create a new one that appeals to their liking. 

            Moreover, essential oils contain a wider variety pertaining to stress-relieving purposes. In a moment of realization, it’s true that in most stores the only two scents categorized as therapeutic are lavender and eucalyptus candles. Despite them being very therapeutic, there is a whole array of scents such as chamomile, sage, cedarwood, bergamot orange and many more that have the same healing effects. With essential oils, there is always room for creativity and preferences. 

            “I love how fun diffusing is and that it’s up to me and my creativity to decide what blends I want to diffuse that day. With oils, I feel as if I’m able to listen more to my body and its needs, as I usually wake up already knowing exactly which oils my body is craving,” senior Pietra Tavares said.

            Additionally, apart from the health concerns candles bring, there are other safety hazards that the use of essential oils prevent, such as fires. Candles are extremely dangerous when it comes to open flame because all it takes is the knocking over of one candle to lose all valuable treasures. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 21 home candle fires are reported each day. With diffusers, there are no risks when it comes to open flame because diffusers do not require internal heat. 

            A surprising factor to many is that investing in essential oils can also lead to saving money. A candle lasts an average of 40 hours before running out, whereas a diffuser lasts several years and oil blends can last longer than two days. Although there are new organic and natural blends being used to make candles, the ‘organic’ label often causes the price to increase exponentially. Realistically, it comes out better to purchase a diffuser and a set of oils for almost the same price.

            Determining whether to use candles or a diffuser is an individual’s choice, but the factors that come with using each one should be something one takes into serious consideration. Although essential oils may bring hormonal changes, the small effects can vary depending the individual. The purity of essential oils reduces the health risks that candles unnoticeably bring. Even though purchasing a pre-made item is easier than doing the work itself, the hard work being put in may be worth it if it comes with advantages such as better health, better mood, saving money and a new way to explore creativity within.