Glitter can make your candles look that extra bit dazzling, and add a beautiful shimmer, but how practical is it to put glitter into your candles?
The answer depends on which glitter you use. Glitters can be made from crushed crystals, glass, metals, plastic, or powdered pigments. There is also the option to use shimmer dust, which is a premium grade cosmetic glitter that adds some shimmer and twinkle to your candle.
There are cosmetic grade glitters available that have been approved by the FDA, and these ones have been fully tested and are therefore much safer to use than many alternatives. Generally, fine glitters are much safer and more practical, as they are less likely to clog your wick: the larger, chunkier glitters may sink to the bottom of your candle, can clog your wick, and can present a higher fire hazard.
Mica powders are made from silicate minerals, and are used in the making of beauty, body, and candle products as they will float and swirl around in molten wax, adding shimmer and colour to the products. A small amount of mica goes a long way, and is used to decorate the outside of the candle as opposed to creating a blended colour. Generally, if you create colourless candles, decorating them with mica on the outside will add shimmer and pigment.
Another option is to coat the outside of your dry candle with glitter. Whilst this glitter will not actually be inside the candle, once the candle starts to burn, the glitter will mix in with the wax as it melts and therefore, it will still add some sparkle to the candle.
When making a candle using glitter, it is imperative to make sure the glitter is safe to burn. Cheaper or chunkier glitters have a low melting point (100 degrees Celsius), so they can clog up your candlewick and pose a fire risk when the candle is burnt. Conversely, more expensive glitters have a higher melting point (around 170 degrees Celsius), and can mix more easily with solvents such as gel wax or wax. Of course, for non-burning candles, glitter appears to be much safer to add into the wax.
Plastic glitters are usually made out of PLA or PET, and when they burn, the melted plastic can create dangerous fumes. For this reason, using plastic glitters is not recommended for use in candles. Instead, biodegradable glitters are available as an eco-friendly alternative that can reduce the number of toxic fumes produced from burning the glitter-containing candle.
There is a huge market out there for embellishing plain candles with beautiful glitters. However, when choosing a glitter to add into your candle, it’s important to ensure you check what the glitter is made of, and choose glitters that contain non-flammable ingredients, such as glass, crystals, or metals – these will not pose a fire hazard to the user, but will look just as dazzling in your candles!