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Halal Cosmetics - The Latest Buzzword In The Beauty Industry

by Farida Haji

Walking through aisles of beauty products at malls and markets, endlessly scrolling through online stores to find that perfect lip shade or nail polish? Frustrated, you choose to walk away or just close the tab on your device because the halal sign is missing.

What a disappointment!

Understanding The Halal Cosmetics Industry

Halal means ‘lawful’ in Arabic. The halal concept is mostly recognized in the food sector. However, it is also applied to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, clothing, finance, travel, media, and recreation.

The concept of ‘Halal’ revolves around the lifestyle needs of every practicing Muslim. ‘Halal’ is not only limited to the food we consume, it is also what we use for our body.

The cosmetics sector is highly influenced by the rising awareness among Muslims globally, The Statista report published in May 2021 states the overall global expenditure on cosmetics by Muslims was around 66 billion U.S. dollars as of 2019.

5 Types of Cosmetic Products

Cosmetic products can be defined as essential for everyone; women, men, and babies as well. There is an extensive list of products that broadly fall under the following categories:

1. Skin Care:

  • Creams, lotions, face masks, powders, and paints for the skin, eyes and lips

  • Skin bleaching and tanning preparations

2. Hair Care: 

  • Shampoos, lotions, oils, waving agents, fixatives, bleaches

  • Dyes and dye removers

  • Hair removers

3. Oral Care: 

  • Dentifrices (toothpaste, aerosol, liquid, pastes and powders)

  • Breath fresheners ( mouthwashes and sprays)

4. Nail Products: 

  • Lotions, polishes, and nail colors

5. Products Influencing Body Odour:

  • Antiperspirants, deodorants, perfumes, aromatic substances

  • Hygiene products

Halal Certification

There is definitely an overlap between natural and halal cosmetic products. Natural products are organic, vegan, environmentally conscious and cruelty-free and may have alcohol. While halal products do not contain forbidden animal substances, alcohol or contamination.

When buying cosmetic products, halal certification plays a pivotal role. Halal certification stamps assure products are shariah compliant. Products and application tools cannot contain haram substances. This includes the sourcing of ingredients derived from plants and animals both natural and synthetic, that are decreed haram for humans. The products should not contain sulfates (including SLS and SLES), parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, and mineral oils. Production, manufacturing, handling, storing and distribution processes should follow Islamic protocols.

Some protocols or Islamic laws include:

  1. No inclusion of animals or parts thereof that are not permitted by Islam. Meats from pork, boar, donkey, dog, horse and mule are considered impure;
  2. No inclusion of halal animals or parts thereof that have not been slaughtered according to Islamic law;
  3. Prohibition of ethyl alcohol, intoxicants, and other substances considered harmful to health;
  4. No inclusion of substances from genetically modified organisms;
  5. Prohibition of human flesh and blood;
  6. Manufacture, processing, storage, and transportation required to be done in a clean place. Using equipments that have not been adulterated by Najs (impure) or non-halal elements;
  7. During the production chain, the product must be separated from any other element that does not meet the standards and requirements defined by Islamic law.

Natural products are not labeled halal. Therefore, they do not necessarily have to go through these inspections. Halal-certified beauty products offer us a guarantee and trust that strict regulations according to Islamic law are adhered to.

Why Go Halal?

Lipsticks may be unintentionally consumed while eating or drinking. Perfumes and fragrances can be inhaled incidentally, Nail paints can be an issue before every prayer. Islamic values definitely influence our choices.

The primary reason to opt for halal products is wudhu. While doing wudhu we allow water to pass through and touch our hands, lower arms, face, head, hair, and feet. Thus, we require breathable and permeable cosmetic products. Ingredients like silicone and lacquer prevent water from getting into the skin; ethanol seeps into our skin.

Brands Selling Halal Beauty Products

Our digital generation is highly connected. This globalization, access to research, and technological advances have created an insightful opportunity for halal consumers to make smart choices.

Brands like Unilever, Beiersdorf and L’Oreal are a few multinational brands converting their supply chains for the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation, Indonesia.

The physical and increasing social media presence of brands also efficiently provides for the increasing demands of the Muslim community.

  1. PHB Ethical Beauty and Orkid Cosmetics provide a range of halal-certified lipsticks.
  2. Amara Cosmetics and Inglot with its O2M Breathable Nail Enamel range open options for breathable nail paints.
  3. Lyda Beauty specializes in eye care products.
  4. Ayn Skin and Momohime Skincare offer halal-certified skincare products.
  5. Rosé All Day and dUck Cosmetics offer a wide range of halal make-up products.
  6. Mr. Sunnah sells a range of premium beard and grooming products for men worldwide.

Halal goes beyond selecting beauty products. It is a guide for a well-conditioned life. More brands are beginning to seek halal certification for their products, helping us reach a balance between beauty and faith.

Do you have a favourite brand or product you live by?
Let us know in the comments and help other brothers and sisters make wise choices.