Are Crayola Markers Vegan?

Art supplies are so much fun to work with, and although they are often non-toxic to ensure they are safe to use, they aren’t always vegan-friendly. One of these are Crayola markers. While they are safe for everyone, they are not vegan due to the different ingredients that are added during the production process.

crayola markers

We take a closer look at why crayons and Crayola markers aren’t vegan, and what they are made of. 

Are Crayola Markers Vegan?

Crayola is a hugely popular brand with kids and adults around the world, and it has been around for over a century.

However, crayons and Crayola markers are not vegan for a number of different reasons.

Crayola pens contain glue, tempera paints and watercolors as well as animal products, such as bone char, gelatin, beeswax, bug shells, cow’s milk and eggs.

These ingredients are used to bind the pigments and paint. They also make the color look brighter and ensure that the paint adheres to paper.

Crayola has said in the past that their products contain animal by-products but they do not test any of their products on animals.

Why Are Crayola Markers Not Vegan?

Crayons have a very distinctive smell, and many children can recognize it instantly.

Crayola markers contain stearic acid which is derived from beef tallow, also known as beef fat. This is what gives crayons their waxy texture.

This is what makes Crayola markers not vegan-friendly.

But why do Crayola add stearic acid or beef fat into their markers? The answer to this question is relatively simple.

Stearic acid does not just give the crayons a distinctive smell, but it also makes them stronger, so the markers last for longer.

Stearic acid itself is a saturated fatty acid which comes from the fat of a cow. At normal room temperature, this fatty acid is a solid wax.

If you put stearic acid together with some other ingredients, it becomes an ideal hardening agent which is perfect for strengthening crayons.

The stearic acid in a product can keep it stable and strong. That’s why, you can find this ingredient in other wax products, such as candles, detergents and soaps.

As a rule of thumb, stearic acid can also be made with vegetable oils instead of animal fats.

However, it is unlikely that Crayola markers are made with stearic acids from vegetable oils because the company has said that they do use animal by-products.

This means that the stearic acid in crayons is most likely derived from animal fats.

What Other Ingredients Are Non-Vegan In Crayons?

Crayola doesn’t make its ingredients list for its crayons public, so there is no official version of what crayons contain.

However, it is most likely that they also contain color pigments and paraffin wax. This will account for the majority of the weight of each crayon pen.

The rest of the markers are most likely made up of stearic acid or animal tallow which gives crayons their distinctive aroma.

It is said that all Crayola marker colors contain the same ingredients with just a few variations. However, even the exact color pigments are a trade secret.

There could also be ingredients such as almonds, legumes, peanuts, tree nuts, latex and milk casein in Crayola markers.

What Other Ingredients Are Non-Vegan In Crayons?

Although crayons are labelled as non-toxic, there are some questionable substances that could be dangerous.

One of these components is paraffin wax which is made from oil shade, petroleum or coal.

The paraffin wax inside each crayon is melted and the manufacturer then adds the color pigments.

Then the markers are cooled for a few minutes to allow them to turn solid. Then hot wax is added to the crayon to make it stronger.

Are Crayons Toxic? 

Crayola crayons and markers are labelled as non-toxic. This is the reason why they are extremely popular with children at home and school.

Saying this, kids should be supervised while using crayons. Although they are not dangerous, it’s best not for a child to eat Crayola markers.

Vegan Crayon Alternatives

It’s not uncommon that kids chew on crayons or chalk because they like the smell or they just mindlessly chew on something while they think (like adults do when they chew on a pencil).

However, Crayola markers do contain chemicals that should not be ingested in large amounts. Plus, they are also not vegan friendly.

This means that if you are committed to a vegan lifestyle, then it’s a good idea to look for some vegan Crayola alternatives.

There are a lot of different vegan art supplies on the market but make sure that your vegan products are clearly labelled vegan.

Here are our favorite vegan Crayola marker alternatives.

Azafran Crayons

Made by one of the most popular vegan art supply manufacturers, these organic crayons are fully vegan and perfectly safe for children.

Wee Can Too Crayons

Wee Can Too do not just offer veggie baby crayons with vegan-friendly components but they also sell vegan chalk.

Melissa And Doug Crayons

Made of plastic instead of wax, these crayons from Melissa and Doug come in a range of fun colors. Thanks to their ingredients, they are vegan.

However, they do feel different to traditional Crayola crayons and they are also on the pricey side.

Spectra ADMarkers 

If you are looking for something that is more of a vegan marker for adults, then the Spectra ADMarkers fit the bill. 

They are completely vegan and they smell a lot less than many other markers.

Does Crayola Test On Animals?  

Crayola have confirmed that they do not test their products on animals, unlike a lot of other cosmetic companies.

However, Crayola aren’t a vegan-friendly company and they do put animal products into their crayons and markers.

Are Crayola markers vegan friendly?

 Crayola does not specifically claim that its markers are vegan, but it does state that the ink in its markers is non-toxic and safe for use by children. This means that the ink is not made from animal products and should not contain any animal by-products. The markers themselves may contain some animal-derived materials, such as gelatine, which is used as a binder in some marker formulations, but it is unlikely that the markers contain significant amounts of animal products. In general, Crayola products are considered to be safe and suitable for use by vegans.

Final Thoughts

While Crayola haven’t confirmed that their markers or crayons are vegan, they have said that they use animal by-products during the production process.

This means that Crayola markers are not vegan-friendly. If you are looking for a vegan crayon or marker alternative, there are a number of different options.

Clara Howie
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