When it starts to get cold outside nothing feels cosier than settling down to your favourite rom-com with a couple of scented candles however as a vegan I want to know whether the candles I choose are vegan and cruelty-free – so are soy candles a good option?
As a general rule soy candles are vegan and cruelty-free as the wax comes directly from soybeans. When choosing your candle, however, care should be taken to check that the wick, container and packaging also hold the same vegan and cruelty values as the wax itself.
Let’s get into a little more detail.
Vegan Candles – The Options
In my opinion candles are adorable elements of decor that not only enhance the room’s appearance with their varied designs but also release lovely scents and produce a relaxing atmosphere of dim light.
There is nothing more relaxing than unwinding with a glass of your favourite beverage in a room with dim lighting and the scent of your preferred fragrance.
If you’re like me and care about the environment including the wonderfully diverse animals we share our lives with then you’re probably looking for a substitute for traditional candles manufactured from petroleum or animal products, such as beeswax.
If you’ve done any kind of research so far some vegan alternatives you may have come across would most likely include candles with paraffin wax, palm wax, coconut wax, soy wax, or a mix of these ingredients.
Of course, paraffin wax is vegan since it is not of animal origin, but reports of it being harmful to your health and the environment should put us off.
After all, it’s obtained as a by-product in the production of gasoline.
Palm wax is also a vegan alternative, but growing palm trees has a very negative impact on the environment. Due to the large amount of space required for palm fields, forests are often destroyed (deforestation) causing a huge impact on wildlife in those regions.
Another potential vegan and cruelty free option is coconut wax however by nature it is softer than other waxes and therefore must be mixed with paraffin wax or similar harder waxes in order for the candles to have a good consistency.
And so what about soy wax, Is it really vegan and cruelty-free?
Are Soy Candles Vegan Friendly?
Soy wax is made from the grain of the soybean plant and therefore if the wax part of the candle is 100% soy then yes, you can be sure it’s going to be vegan and cruelty free.
By the way, if you are unsure about whether a candle you bought is made from soy then I’d encourage you to check out my other article “How to Tell if a Candle is Soy” next.
Soy wax is biodegradable, thus the environmental impact of its manufacturing and use is much less than candles made from alternative materials and it also burns cleaner than paraffin wax, with less soot released into the environment.
Of course, there is a chance that certain non-vegan materials may be present in soy candles or the packaging they come in.
Unfortunately, it is not always evident which ingredients were used in the manufacture of candles, so it’s worth paying attention to what is written on the label and avoiding producers who do not have clearly defined components and ingredients on their labelling.
I have heard of some horror stories where manufacturers do not list ingredients and falsely use the terms vegan and cruelty-free as a marketing ploy – these are always worth avoiding.
Furthermore, candles labelled as soy blend typically contain admixtures of other, more hazardous waxes such as paraffin wax. Due to the disadvantages of other types of waxes described above, only candles manufactured entirely of soy wax should be considered vegan.
Other Benefits of Soy Candles
There are many reasons why soy wax candles are an excellent substitute for traditional candles.
As we’ve already discussed they are completely natural, vegan and cruelty free as well as far safer for your health because they don’t produce pollution, poisons, or carcinogens making them less prone to cause allergies.
As a side note, if you do suffer from allergies I’d encourage you to read another article I wrote called “Can Soy Candles Cause Allergies”
Soy wax has no negative environmental impact because it is obtained from the fast-growing and low-demanding soybean plant.
In addition to the advantages described above, it is water-soluble, making it much easier to remove stains!
Furthermore, it has a lower melting point than paraffin wax. As a result, soy wax burns cooler and lasts longer than other forms of wax which extend its life so you can enjoy the lovely scents for much longer.
So, in addition to being vegan, healthy, environmentally friendly, and cruelty-free, soy candles are also practical and long lasting as well!
Products Featured in this Article
Wax and Oils Soy Wax Aromatherapy Scented CandlesWax & Oil candles are free from any harmful chemicals or additives. They contain NO pesticides, NO herbicides, and NO genetically modified materials. Our Packaging is 100% recyclable and the foam inserts are made from 65% recycled ingredients.
Are Candles OK for Vegans?
The majority of candles are made from paraffin wax which is not made from animal or animal derived materials and are considered ok for vegans. Candles made from palm, coconut and soy wax are also vegan options however care should be taken to ensure all ingredients of the product hold vegan values.
An important point to note when buying candles is that beeswax is now commonly used to harden candles and clearly adds a non-vegan element to the product which can be easily disguised.
Stearic acid and tallow are typical animal byproducts used in candle manufacturing. Another commonly asked question is whether stearic acid is suitable for vegans.
Well, the truth is… it depends.
It is often derived from the fatty tissue of pigs, cows, sheep, and other animals but it can also be derived from coconut, obviously making it vegan in that instance. If the origin of the stearic acid is not clearly specified on the label, such items should be avoided.
Are all Candles Cruelty Free?
Candles that contain ingredients produced without involving cruelty to animals are considered cruelty free. Candles that are considered cruelty free are those made from paraffin, palm, coconut and soy wax even though deforestation can occur as a direct result of producing these types of candles.
Beeswax candles are sometimes confused as being cruelty free however we should take a closer look.
Bees’ work is utilised in the manufacturing process. To construct their hive, bees generate beeswax which is used to create the little chambers (honeycombs) in which honey is stored or young are raised.
By removing the comb, the bees lose much of their home as well as their food supply as the honey in the comb is also taken.
Furthermore, the procedure of extracting wax and honey is hazardous to bees, and many die as a result.