Candle additivesAdditives, as the name implies, are miscellaneous substances that can be added to a paraffin base in order to achieve a particular effect.
Additives can serve multiple purposes:
The additives that are used most frequently in candlemaking are stearic acid and Vybar™.
Most of the time, microcrystalline waxes are not used as a base wax but rather as an additive.
Mineral oil is used a lot as well, for example to achieve the Snowflake effect.
Another additive that can prove very useful is the UV inhibitor. A tiny quantity (0.1%) in your wax formula helps reduce color fade caused by UV rays from sunlight and artificial light. The UV inhibitor blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
If you don't live in the United States and, therefore, cannot easily obtain the huge range of special wax blends available to our american friends, be prepared to use lots of different additives in order to compensate this lack of choice. I will sometimes talk you into adding very peculiar substances to a wax formula and this will probably make you wonder if I have bats in the belfry.
For instance, to achieve a low shrinkage wax formula (used with container candles where you want the wax not to shrink away from the container walls), you might have to use:
In the United States (and that's the only place I've heard of where it's available), you will find an additive called Universal Additive (UA), whose formula is kept secret, that contains all the required additives needed to make certain types of candles. If you're not in the United States, you'll probably have more success looking for unicorn droppings.