Vegan candles are relatively easy to find, but you’ll need to go out of your way to find them. Most candles are not vegan.
Oftentimes, it’s impossible to determine the vegan status of a candle. That’s because no laws require candle-makers to list their ingredients.
Parafin is the main ingredient in most candles. Unfortunately, parafin alone is too soft to make a good candle. So most candles also contain a small amount (up to 10 percent) of stearic acid to harden the wax and provide opacity. Parafin is vegan and derived from petroleum, but stearic acid often comes from animal fat. While coconut-based stearic acid widely available, most candlemakers opt for the much cheaper slaughterhouse byproduct.
Some premium candles are made from beeswax, which is naturally a hard wax and doesn’t need stearic acid. But beeswax is obviously not vegan.
Unless the label indicates otherwise, you should assume it’s not vegan. Luckily, vegan candles are fairly easy to find—although they’ll always cost more than the cheapest candles. Some higher-end candles carry a vegan certification or other emblem on the label.
- GoodLight Natural Candles
- Happy Bee Soy Candles
- Pura Botanica
- Soy Tealight Candles
- Yankee Candle Co. (candles are all vegan except for their beeswax taper candles)