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Clean Fragrances, Non-toxic, Natural vs Synthetic - Which is the best?

Clean Fragrances, Non-toxic, Natural vs Synthetic - Which is the best?

When you finally find time to relax and enjoy the fresh fragrance of your favorite candles or enjoy your favorite scent when you spray on some fragrance from Stone Candles, do you ever take a minute to think about how it is produced?

Healthy Fragrance Oils vs Natural Fragrance Oils

The keyword here is healthy and safe. There is a common misconception that anything natural is also healthy. This isn’t always true, especially when we’re talking about fragrance used in burning candles. Not all-natural oils are healthy non-toxic oil, and not all products labeled natural are 100% natural. Keep in mind that even natural oils can cause irritation, photosensitivity, or trigger various reactions, and many times the synthetic version can offer a cleaner burn and can be more sensitive to the skin than the natural versions. This leads us to the reason that the best products are intentionally made to be safe, clean, and non-toxic which is much more important than simply being a natural product. As a consumer I want to be a non-toxic buyer who understands what is the safest least harmful ingredient. 

Many companies only label their products as “safe and natural“ as a part of their green marketing strategy to get more sales and we have found this is commonly overused and doesn’t represent Safe Clean and non-toxic. Luckily, there are some amazing emerging brands like Henry Rose that do not only promote natural claims but a nontoxic healthy claim which we have found is the new mentality that the public needs to join. 

At Light 4 Life private label manufacturing company, they strongly support and advocate natural products but it is time to go beyond this and really focus on clean products that are not made with any “dirty” ingredients. Many synthetic ingredients are also safe and can be even more effective than the natural versions; especially when you are burning them in a candle. For Example the synthetic fragrance molecule was intentionally designed to burn in a candle and tends to burn true, clean and effective. Where some natural oils can sometimes have a burning scent to them. This is a sign that the natural oil may be burning and when this happens there could be a harmful chemical change occurring and hence our reason for wanting to clarify this information about healthy synthetic vs natural ingredients in our products. 

Non-toxic or Healthy Fragrance Oil

Your definition of “safe” might be different from the manufacturer's definition of safe which is why you should always check the ingredients used for the products you are using.

Nontoxic, healthy, natural perfumes are those that use oils that are cruelty-free, gluten-free, and made without harmful “dirty” synthetic and natural chemicals.


If you’re looking for something hypoallergenic, there is no fragrance synthetic or natural that can make this claim because every individual is unique to what they may be allergic to. The only True Hypoallergenic products have to be scent-free. Also, we have found that most allergic reactions are more commonly found in the natural ingredient rather than synthetic ingredients which is why the synthetic version tends to offer a more hypoallergenic option for sensitive shoppers. 

In the US, there is no required label regulation on allergens, but in Europe, there is an EU Allergen regulation that requires all products to list all the ingredients that have been flagged to cause or be linked to allergic reactions. At Light 4 Life and Stone Candle they believe in transparency and the EU allergen certificates can be found attached to every fragrance for customers to reference at any time. 

How do you know if your perfume is made of a clean, non-toxic fragrance oil?

Some manufacturers use the term “non-toxic” or refer to a “no dirty list” for products that are free of phthalates, sulfates, parabens, and other regulated ingredients. In the US labels only require the fragrance to be labeled without the breakdown of all the ingredients. This is where you may want to dig deeper into the full allergen statement that will flag these ingredients that may be harmful. 

Here are some tips on how to make sure you’re getting clean, non-toxic fragrance oils:

  • Check EU allergen statement 
  • Check the SDS or MSDS 
  • Check the IFRA to understand the level of fragrance used in the product
  • Depend on government regulation that ensures quality safe products like California Prop 65 and that products are made to the EU regulation which is much more cohesive than the US standards. 
  • Make sure there are no contaminants, or cheap fillers in the mix.
  • Cross-reference each ingredient with environmental groups such as
  • See if the company takes care of the communities, ecosystems, and agricultural practices related to their source of ingredients.

What ingredients to avoid when finding a clean, non-toxic fragrance oil?

The key is to make sure your fragrance oils are made with no extenders or other ingredients that might be harmful to your health. Some toxic ingredients in oils include carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, neurotoxicants, allergens, and other chemicals of concern.

Here are a few examples:

  • Phthalates - help make scents last longer but are hormone disruptors linked to reproductive birth defects in baby boys.
  • Octoxynols and nonoxynols - are also known as persistent hormone disruptors.
  • Benzene derivatives, formaldehyde, and toluene - these are known carcinogens.
  • Lyral and Lilal were just flagged by the EU in 2019 and might be the 2 most recent regulated chemicals banned from European products and Light 4 Life and Stone Candles have also banned them from their formulas even though the US didn’t require this. 

These are some most commonly used ingredients in fragrance oils. We have included a link to the entire list of harmful ingredients and we will discuss more information within this article so keep reading.

Essential Oil Vs Natural Fragrance Oil vs Fragrance Oil Safe Essential Oils

Essential Oils are made from 100% organic plant matter. The reason why they are called "essential" oils is that they are the essence of a particular plant, root, or flower —which is also why they contain the strongest scents of plants. They are extracted through steam distillation or solvent extractions and have a lot of natural medicinal and aromatherapeutic benefits. 

Note: Be careful when purchasing essential oils in the market because some manufacturers add other ingredients like odorless solvents that act as extenders, to help them maximize their profits.

Caution is advised when using any essential or fragrance oil because they have also been known as allergens, irritants, and prone to airborne contact dermatitis. Many essential oils still have hash acids that can burn the skin such as orange oil. They are also extremely concentrated and tend to be more harmful to aquatic life so just because they are natural never pour large amounts down the drain. 

Safe Natural Fragrance Oils

Natural Fragrance Oils are created in a lab and take all the molecules from nature and it is created by isolating natural aromatic components from essential oil. This is a perfect example of how an essential oil can be made healthier in a lab by synthesizing the aromatic molecule and discarding the other harmful component found in the essential oil version from nature like the acid found in orange, lemons, and grapefruit which tend to burn your skin. 

Safe Fragrance Oils

Fragrance Oils are also created in a lab. They are made by mixing highly concentrated synthetic and/or natural aroma compounds. Although they may contain traces of essential oils, their purity can be highly questionable but on the contrary when designed correctly can be clean, safer, and less toxic than essential oils that come from nature. 

Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Guidelines

The problem with the fragrance industry is that companies have no legal obligation to disclose what their fragrance is made of. For the longest time, these ingredients are considered proprietary so there is no way of being 100% sure. Good thing this all is about to change.

California's Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020

The California Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2019 (SB 312 – Leyva) has been signed into law in October of 2020 and will commence on January 1, 2022.

According to the law, there are almost 4,000 fragrance ingredients declared by the International Fragrance Association and over 3,000 flavor ingredients designated by the International Organization of the Flavor Industry which include ingredients that may be classified as carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, asthmagens, neurotoxicants, allergens, and other chemicals of concern — and this is why it now requires cosmetics companies to publicly disclose a list of each toxic fragrance ingredient or flavor ingredient to the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control.

This is the first law passed in the U.S. to require the disclosure of fragrance or flavor ingredients in cosmetics and professional salon products, due to increasing evidence that hazardous fragrance and flavor ingredients harm our health and the environment.

Proposition 65

Prop 65 is a regulation approved by California voters that require businesses to provide warnings on whether the product contains significant exposures to chemicals that may either cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive and health hazards. This initiative was approved to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals.

Clear and reasonable warnings should be placed on products, packaging, signage on the store, distribution of notices, or instructions that come with a product if it contains any of the over-800 chemicals that the California Air Resources Board considers harmful. It ensures that people are provided all these details so they can make informed decisions about whether or not they want to risk exposure to these chemicals.

EU General Products Safety Regulations and the Cosmetic Products Safety Regulations

The General Product Safety Regulations require specific wordings to be used on the label or the cover of cosmetic and aromatherapy products and the like. It has to indicate weights and measures, a batch number and use-by date, a common name and full botanical name of the essential oil or product name, directions for use, contraindications where applicable, and specific warnings like “do not take internally” and “keep away from children” and the like.

To offer full transparency this information is publicly posted on and www.light4lifecause.comas EU allergen statements so customers can see this info in the US equally to the strict European guidelines. 

What is the best type of oil to use for fragrance, candles, and in general?

When we talk about the best oil, it's not always about what’s cheaper or what scent stays longest. The best oil is a fragrance oil that checks out all the items on the “No Dirty” list. They should be Paraben Free, Phthalate Free, Lyral Free, Lilal Free, Formaldehyde Free, and Sulfate Free. If you want to be specific, here's a list of harmful ingredients based on California’s Prop 65 initiative.

The best oil can also be determined by brands who are considerate of their customers by being transparent and correctly labeling their products with information like the Common and Latin Name of the oil, the Country of Origin, how the item was grown, the type of extraction used, Date of Distillation and the Safety Considerations.

One perfect example would be products from Stone Candles like fragrances, essential oil, and synthetic oils because they are free from carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and other potentially hazardous chemicals often found in fragrances. The brand follows California’s Proposition 65 which regulates substances. It also follows the European protocols and restrictions since a lot of Stone Candle products are being distributed in the EU. Stone Candles takes the extra mile by checking all the technical documents including IFRA, EU Allergen, and EU SDS.

Be careful where you purchase your oils, especially if the brand is not familiar to you. For your peace of mind, only purchase from trusted brands like Sephora and yours truly that have a strong “no dirty list” policy. At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide what you deem safe for you and/or your body but please remember to look at what is safe and not only what is natural. 

Stone Candles

Stone Candles creates innovative new candles that offer the cleanest burn on the market. Their candles come in various sizes, scents, and fragrances that are made paraben-free, non-toxic, non-GMO, and are never animal tested. Stone Candles works with Light 4 Life which aligns itself as a philanthropic company that at the core of its business help employ people with developmental disabilities to help give them an opportunity with employment and help them reach their greatest potential.

The Clean Fragrance of Stone Candles

Stone Candles use non-toxic and non-GMO materials on all their products. Their proprietary coconut wax is all natural and their hand soap and lotions are with organic ingredients. You’re not only making yourself smell great and feel good, but you’re also keeping the world safe and healthy.

Are you ready to relax and give yourself an olfactory treat? Check out our products! You can also check out Stone Candles and rest worry-free knowing that your purchase made a difference.

Ready to launch your own brand using clean healthy safe ingredients then Light 4 Life private label would be the best place to start.

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