Are Your 'Vegan' Candles Actually Vegan?

Are Your 'Vegan' Candles Actually Vegan?
Have you ever found yourself perusing candle labels or online listings, intrigued by the claim of vegan candles? As conscientious consumers, it's crucial to delve beyond the surface and understand what exactly makes a candle vegan-friendly. In today's world, where ethical considerations guide purchasing decisions, the term "vegan" carries weight beyond just dietary preferences.

Let's embark on a journey to demystify vegan candles, unraveling what sets them apart from their non-vegan counterparts and empowering you to make informed choices as a discerning buyer.

What Does "Vegan" Mean?

Before diving into the specifics of vegan candles, let's clarify what it means to be vegan. Veganism isn't just a diet; it's a lifestyle choice aimed at reducing harm to animals as much as possible. This commitment entails abstaining from the use of any animal products or by-products, including not just meat and dairy, but also items like eggs, honey, and gelatin.

What Is In A Candle?

A candle may seem like a simple creation, but it's composed of several key components, each of which plays a crucial role in its performance and characteristics. Understanding these elements is essential to grasp what makes a candle truly vegan.

(1) Candle Wax

Traditionally, wax for candles could be sourced from both animal and plant origins.

Animal Derived Waxes

Animal-derived waxes include beeswax - which is still very common in today's market, and tallow (rendered animal fat) - which is not as common anymore. 

Plant Derived Waxes

Eco Soy Advanced Soy Vegan Candle Wax

However, in modern times, the majority of candles opt for plant-based waxes, such as soy, coconut, or vegetable wax. These alternatives offer a cruelty-free option without compromising on quality or performance.

(2) Candle Fragrance

Animal Derived Fragrances

It's essential to be vigilant, as some fragrance oils may contain animal-derived ingredients like musk or civet, obtained from animals through less ethical means.

Plant Derived Fragrances

Calming Lavender Candle Fragrance Oil

Vegan candles typically use fragrance oils derived from plant sources, such as essential oils extracted from flowers, leaves, or seeds. 

It is also important to note that no animal testing should be done with these fragrances. 

(3) Candle Wicks

Animal Derived Candle Wicks

Even the humble wick of a candle can have implications for its vegan status. Did you know that wicks were once occasionally crafted from animal-derived materials? 

Plant Derived Candle Wicks

However, modern candle wicks overwhelmingly use plant-based fibers like linen or cotton, ensuring they align with vegan principles.

How To Ensure You're Purchasing Vegan Candles In The Modern World

As the world moves more towards veganism, most candles now a days can be considered vegan candles but there are still a few things to look out for!

Here's a checklist to consider when looking for Vegan Candles

  1. Wax Type: Use soy wax, coconut wax, or vegetable wax for candles. Avoid beeswax.

  2. Fragrance: Preferably use essential oils for scenting candles, although note that they may not always provide a strong scent. If using fragrance oils, ensure they are cruelty-free and not tested on animals.