GUIDE: Natural, Vegan Candles

Candles are an amazing way to add a relaxing ambiance, a romantic glow, or a fresh scent to any room…

But did you know that many conventional candles contain harmful ingredients like paraffin, benzene, toluene, lead, parabens, and other artificial fragrances that have been linked to asthma attacks, allergies, eczema, and even lung cancer, with regular exposure?


Paraffin is a petroleum waste product that releases toxic chemicals including benzene and toluene when burned. Benzene is a known cancer-causing agent, while studies have shown that toluene can have harmful impacts on the central nervous system.

Lead is another potentially harmful substance to watch out for in conventional candles. When burned, candles with lead-containing wicks can release lead into the air in amounts  higher than considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Imported candles are more likely to contain lead.

Natural Alternatives

But candle-lovers rejoice! There are some great natural alternatives that are better for your health and the environment. While beeswax and soy-based candles have both been ok’d for health, we favor the vegan option – soy.


Soy candles typically have a longer burning time than their paraffin counterparts, and by buying them you’re supporting farmers…not the oil industry.

Mrs. Meyer’s makes a nice collection of soy-based candles in scents like Lavender, Basil, and Lemon Verbena. Each candle comes in a cute re-usable jar, has a lead-free cotton wick, and burns up to 35 hours.


Plantlife makes an amazing line of aromatherapy candles in scents like Frankincense & Patchouli, Tangerine & Lavender, and Cinnamon Spice. They are made with a mixture of four plant waxes designed to burn longer than soy-based candles. And with a clean-burning cotton wick, these candles are healthy for your body and rejuvenating for your senses.

Soy Basics Seeds have an all-cotton, lead-free wick, and the company does not engage in animal testing. Best of all? The come in an amazing variety of fragrances, including Cherry Blossom, Lavender Sage, and Vanilla Bean, among many others.


Fresh Wave makes a line of unscented soy candles designed to help eliminate odors in the home. These candles are all-natural, and safe to use around people, pets, and food. The Fresh Wave Odor Neutralizing Kitchen Soy Candle is, as the name suggests, great for use in the kitchen.

Finally, Greenfire Massage Oil Candles are the perfect accompaniment to a romantic evening at home! Light the candle to enjoy the scent…then use the melted soy and vegetable-based waxes as a healthy and luxurious massage oil. Scented with essential oils, not chemicals, these candles come in great fragrances like Lavender Sandalwood Vanilla, Orange Carrot Coconut, and Peppermint Eucalyptus Basil.

Image Credit: reinvented reality/Flickr