Candles are a great way to set the mood and fill a home with light and pleasant aromas. Unfortunately, very few candles are labeled with their ingredients or their vegan status. Most candles are made primarily of parafin, with the addition of a small amount (up to 10 percent) stearic acid to harden the wax and provide opacity. Parafin is vegan and derived from petroleum, but stearic acid is usually produced from animal fat. While coconut-based stearic acid is easy to find, most candlemakers opt for the cheaper animal-based version, since slaughterhouses produce this byproduct by the ton.
Some premium candles are made from beeswax, which is obviously not vegan.
It’s wise to assume a candle isn’t vegan unless the label indicates otherwise. Luckily, vegan candles are fairly easy to find—although they’ll likely cost more than the cheapest commodity candles.
- 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)