For decades, many a romance has started in the flattering glow of candlelight. And in recent years, scented candles have come to represent the ultimate in hostess and holiday gifts. In fact, you may have received one just yesterday. But like all good things, there has been progress. Firstly, scented candles have become regular consumer goods and the prices have become much more acceptable. And for me, the Air Wick Gentle Color Changing Candle ($6.99) has upped the ante with “new technology”—yup, even a candle can have this—because it actually changes color when lit! It’s quite magical. Okay the secret is that it’s run by an LED on the bottom that reacts to the heat of the candle and sets off these color changes, but let me tell you, show this to anyone—and they will be putty in your hands.
So recently, as I basked in the glow of the colors of the rainbow, it occurred to me that if a candle has flattering flickers—and everyone looks better by candlelight—what other benefits can they have for the skin?
I asked an expert. “Cinnamon is a useful aromatic scent for relief from stress and tension, proven to decrease frustration by 25% and increase alertness by 30%,” explained Dr. Marina Peredo, a New York-based, nationally recognized board certified dermatologist. “It invigorates and helps in promoting a sense of positivity.” The wonderful benefit of reducing stress is that the muscles of the face don’t tense thus leading to frowning: so much better for your skin. Little wonder my Cinnamon and Mulled Wine Air Wick Gentle Color Changing Candle is so mesmerizing and relaxing.
“Studies have proven that exposure to a lavender scent helps to significantly lower anxiety levels, fight feelings of stress, restlessness, anxiety, depression and pain,” said Dr. Howard Sobel, a board certified cosmetic dermatologic surgeon, practicing in Manhattan. “It also helps to restore balance, feelings of rejuvenation and clarity.”
A delicious one for relaxation is L’Occitane Lavender Candle ($25). “Basil is also helpful during periods of stress and insomnia and the herb promotes mental clarity, concentration, and increases enthusiasm, explained Dr. Sobel. Check out the Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Candle ($65) for these wonderful side effects.
Another invention in the world of candles is OSKIA Vitamin Massage Candle (£34.50). It is really quite ingenious: as it melts, you can massage it into your skin. With a base of coconut oil, skin-smoothing vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and essential fatty acids, it is the ultimate way to smooth and soothe. The other benefits? “When you are stressed, the scent of coconut may help to slow your heart rate and recover from high blood pressure after a challenging task,” explained Dr. Peredo. And what could be more challenging than the holidays and and a house full of guests? If you can do anything to keep the peace—and it comes in the shape of a scented candle—so much the better and in the long-term, fewer wrinkles, then that’s a welcome side-benefit of the huge market of scented candles.