Are Candles Vegan?
Simply, most candles are not vegan. Often candles use Stearic Acid or Beeswax in order to harden the candle and improve the scent throw. Vegan Candles will be made from Soy, Coconut or Rapeseed Wax or a blend of those natural vegetable waxes.
Vegans burn candles and finding out if the candle you’re purchasing is vegan friendly or not is challenging. But, we’re here to help you understand what makes candles vegan and what doesn't.
Let’s get to it!
How do you know if a candle is vegan?
The quickest way to find out if your candle is vegan is by checking the ingredient list.
Non-vegan ingredients to avoid in candles
The two main ingredients in candles which you should actively look out for are animal fats and beeswax. Though they’re added to harden the wax and provide opacity, they’re anything but vegan-friendly.
Whilst beeswax is a natural wax, it uses bee labour in production. Bees produce beeswax in their hives and in order to forage this, the honeycomb within the hive is also removed. Not only are the bees an unpaid labour force, but they also lose their source of food. That’s why candles with beeswax in it are not vegan friendly.
When these ingredients are directly mentioned on the candle, they’re easy to spot. But, sometimes animal derivatives aren’t clearly labelled as such.
Animal derivatives in candles
Common animal-derived ingredients in candles include Stearic acid and tallow. One of the most commonly asked questions we hear is: Is stearic acid vegan friendly? Candles with Stearic Acid in them are often not vegan. Stearic Acid is a fat derived from pigs, cows, sheep and more. Somewhat confusingly, it can also be derived from coconuts (vegan friendly), but if it’s not explicitly stated, then we’d steer clear. Better safe than sorry.
Vegan Candle ingredients
How to make vegan candles? Super simple. You just need vegan wax, wicks, essential oils and packaging.
Vegan Candle wax
Vegan candles will usually use a wax base of either soy, coconut, rapeseed or a blend of 2 or 3 of these. Soy wax is our go-to wax for vegan candles. I often hear people ask if soy wax is vegan, and it is. Soy wax is a vegetable based wax made from soybeans. The beans are harvested, cleaned and rolled into flakes. Once done, soybean oil is extracted and hydrogenated making the vegan-friendly soy wax that we know and love.
Vegan candle wicks
Which candle wicks are vegan? Candle wicks can be made from cotton or wood. As cotton is derived from the cotton plant, it is vegan. Another vegan-friendly option is wood. Wooden wicks have the added benefit of a soothing crackling sound as you burn them. Think fireplace vibes, minus having to physically chop your wood.
Vegan scented oils
Vegan candles can be made with essential oils and fragrance oils. Whilst fragrance oils are man-made and synthetic, essential oils are distilled directly from plants and natural substances. We’re here for natural wax candles with 100% essential oils
Surprising parts of candles that aren’t vegan
Vegan candle labels
Let’s go a step further. Did you know that oftentimes, the glue used in stickers and sticker tape is derived from animals? Yep, you read that correctly. If you’re truly going to check your candle, it’s best not to leave this element off your list. Vegan candle labels, although a niche, are a very much growing one.
Finally, let’s talk ink. Did you know that ink can contain animal bone char, glycerin, animal gelatin or shellac? Yep, you read that right too. Unsure why all printers don’t just stick with vegetable based ink now but rest assured, all of our labels are powered by vegetables and water.
Benefits of buying a vegan candle
There are lots of benefits of buying vegan candles.
- No animals were harmed in the making of them
- Research suggests that paraffin candles can emit carcinogenic compounds. It’s best to steer clear of carcinogens, no?
- Soy wax candles tend to burn cleaner
- Soy wax is a renewable resource that is good for you and better for the environment
- Soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin and beeswax candles and will emit your favourite scent for a longer period of time.
- If like me, you love to reuse your jars - soy wax candles can be easily cleaned out with soap/water. Check out this handy guide on how to clean candle wax out of your jar
So, if you’re out in the market searching for a vegan candle or tealight, we got you.
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