There are many types of candles out there. They are of different shapes, sizes, for different uses and from different materials. There are various reasons why people choose to go vegan, but whatever your reason may be for this choice, “Is this candle vegan?” is a question you’re sure to ask when trying to acquire a new candle.
Vegans also burn candles and trying to figure out if the candle you’re purchasing is vegan or not can pose a challenge. It all comes down to knowing what material the candle is made from. Is it from an animal source, plant source or synthetic material?
HOW TO KNOW IF A CANDLE IS VEGAN
Most vegan candles would probably say something like “100% vegan friendly” or “Sourced from plants” on their boxes or whatever containers they come in. However they choose to say it, most companies would definitely want to make it known to you that their product is vegan and hence, a good choice for you.
But if it is not conspicuously written, the quickest way to know if a candle is vegan or not is by checking the ingredient list if it has one. And if it doesn’t, you could inquire directly from the producers or distributors. Conducting chemical tests on your candles is one way to determine if it is from an animal source or not.
But of course, this option is not very feasible for the average person and is certainly not as quick as just checking the ingredient list and you can only do it after you’ve purchased it. Alternatively, you could make your own candles at home. This way, you’re certain of its composition and the source of the components.
So you’ve checked the ingredient list of your candle and you see it clearly stated there that your candle is made from a certain wax. There you go, now you know the material your candle is made from but, is it vegan or not? Unless you’re familiar with these chemicals or materials, just knowing their names will not exactly give you the answer you’re looking for.
WHICH MATERIALS ARE USED IN NON-VEGAN CANDLES?
The two main ingredients used in non-vegan candles are beeswax and animal fats. Beeswax is of natural origin but it employs the labour of bees in production. It is a natural wax produced from the honeycomb of the honeybee and other bees that comprises mainly esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols. Bees produce beeswax in their hives and in order to forage this, the honeycomb within the hive is also removed.
Another animal-derived ingredient used in candles is Stearic acid. Stearic acid is used in candles to make translucent wax more opaque, increase burn time and retain fragrance. It is a fat derived from cows, pigs, sheep and other animals. It can also be derived from coconuts, but if it is not explicitly stated, you can assume it is non-vegan.
Tallow is another non-vegan material that is used in the making of candles. It is derived by rendering suet which is the fat of cattle or sheep.
WHAT ARE VEGAN CANDLES MADE OF?
Vegan candles are made from plant-derived waxes, petroleum-derived materials like paraffin and basically, any material that is not animal-derived.
Some common types of vegan candles are:
- Paraffin Wax Candles: Made from paraffin wax, also known as petroleum wax which is a whitish solid derived as a by-product when crude oil is refined to gasoline. It is made up of hydrocarbons. It is tasteless, odourless, and although, the chemicals released when paraffin wax is burned is said to be toxic, it is the most commonly used and least-expensive wax in candle making.
- Soy Wax Candles: Soy wax is a 100% natural plant-based wax derived from soybeans. It is produced by dehulling the soybeans and making them into soybean oil. The soybean oil is then hydrogenated to get the soy wax. It comes in several forms, including the popular soy wax flakes. Due to the absence of soot and toxins released in the air, soy wax candles have a better scent profile than paraffin wax candles.
- Palm Wax Candles: Palm wax is also a natural wax. It is plant-based and is produced by hydrogenating palm oils. Palm oils are derived from the fruits of palm trees. Palm wax holds and disperses fragrances better than soy, and the fragrance maintains evenly throughout the burn of the candle, and it resists melting in hot summer months since it has a higher melting point than paraffin or soy.
- Gel Wax Candles: Gel wax is transparent to translucent. It is a rubbery wax composed of mineral oil and polymer resin with the consistency of jelly. It is capable of burning almost twice as long as paraffin wax.
- Coconut Wax Candles: Coconut wax is perfect for those who enjoy using their candles for aromatherapy. It has a superior scent throw and burns slower than other waxes which means you can produce long-lasting and strongly scented candles using this wax. It is non-toxic and burns the cleanest compared to other waxes because it emits no smoke and is soot-free.
- Rapeseed Wax candles: Rapeseed wax, also known as Canola Wax, is derived from the oil of the rapeseed plant. It is one of the most versatile waxes available today, and it’s a particularly good choice for making candles thanks to its superb fragrance retention, scent throw and extended burn time.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF VEGAN CANDLES?
● They are eco friendly. Coconut wax, soy wax and other plant-sourced waxes are renewable resources that are better for the environment.
●They have a much better scent profile. Vegan candles especially coconut wax candles and rapeseed candles have very impressive fragrance retention and scent throw.
● They are the best choice for aromatherapy.
● They are cruelty-free and no animals are harmed in their production.
● Vegan candles burn slower hence, they last longer. A coconut wax candle is the best choice for long-lasting use.