What Is Halal Beauty?

The face, just like any other part of the skin, needs careful attention. Before applying random products to it, one needs to assess the ingredients inside. With the advancements in technology and research, more and more companies have realized the importance of creating organic, vegan, and cruelty-free cosmetics. These not only survive the test of time but also increase the glow of your skin.

Moreover, these products tend to be environmentally friendly and hence appease more Muslim buyers. But there is a catch.

Although these products are made under strict international guidelines, they don't abide by Islamic laws. The frequent use of Alcohol and other non-halal ingredients restrict the choice of Muslim women who are unable to consume these products. This leads to a moral and religious dilemma. But is there a way to solve it?

Certainly, Muslims make up 1/4th of the entire world and thus the cosmetics industry caters to their needs just as much as they do to the needs of non-Muslims. The greater demand for halal cosmetics has also raised the bar- and subsequently the competition among major brands. This is why you see a great influx of halal cosmetics entering the market these days. 

But having too many options isn't always the best idea. When you are bombarded with too many choices, you are bound to get confused. This is precisely what makes choosing a halal product a very daunting task. But don't worry, in this article, we will be highlighting everything you need to know.



Strike a Balance Between Beauty and Faith:

Muslim women, like all other women, like to apply makeup and cosmetics to their skin, and under certain guidelines and laws, they are allowed to do so. Modesty is one of the core ideas in Islam and one that is stressed a great deal in the Quran and Hadith.

In Surah an-Nur, Allah orders the Muslim women to ' lower their gaze and guard their chastity, and not to reveal their adornments except what normally appears. Let them draw their veils over their chests, and not reveal their hidden adornments except to their husbands…Let them not stomp their feet, drawing attention to their hidden adornments. Turn to Allah in repentance altogether, O believers, so that you may be successful' (24:31).

Things You Need to Know About the Halal Cosmetics Industry:

Contrary to what people think, the halal industry isn't a small one and does not only cater to middle eastern Muslim women. According to Research Cosmos, a reliable and efficient market research company, the halal beauty cosmetics industry is worth a lot. It also estimates that the industry will hit the $50 billion mark by 2025. 

The encouraging statistics have compelled cosmetics brands in countries like Indonesia, India, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia to invest a great deal in Muslim beauty products. This is why you see big and reputable brands like Loreal and Unilever investing a huge amount of money in halal-certified products. The rise of such products will cater to the growing needs of Muslim women around the world.



Understanding Halal Certification:

Despite a lot of media attention, there is still a lot of ambiguity surrounding the halal-certification. This doesn't only exist among non-Muslims, but Muslims are also equally confused when it comes to certification. But don't worry, we will be untangling the mystery right here.

To get halal certification, every ingredient in your cosmetic product needs to be traceable. In simpler terms, the ingredients should be transparent and there should be no 'special or hidden' ingredients added to the product.

Moreover, none of the ingredients should be derived directly from the pig, carrion, or blood. Moreover, human body parts can not be used in manufacturing. On top of that, ingredients derived from predatory animals, reptiles, insects are also prohibited. But the absence of certain products isn't the only criterion.

To have the halal certification, the ingredients can only be derived from plant sources or specific animal sources. For the latter option, the animal needs to be slaughtered according to Islamic law. 

Many people don't know, but the above criteria also apply to makeup tools such as brushes and makeup removers. It is important to know that many makeup brushes where bristle fibers contain animal by-products might not be halal. Another important criterion is the absence of any najis or filth during its preparation, storage, and transport.

Next, we move on to the labeling and imagery of the products. Many people are unaware but cosmetics products with halal certification can not have any revealing or obscene images or labeling to them. This is to ensure that the product appeases both young and adult Muslim women.

It is also worth noting that the process to get halal certification takes a lot of time and resources. This is why many brands do not apply for certification. In this case, it will be the responsibility of the consumer to analyze and assess the ingredients to see whether they follow the above criteria or not.



All About Nails:

Women who love wearing nail polish rejoiced when water-permeable nail polishes were in the market. Before this amazing innovation, Muslim women resisted wearing nail polish even when it pleased them a great deal. This is because wudhu, or ablution, the act of purifying oneself before the prayer, could not be performed with nail polish on. This changed in 2009.

Inglot launched its breathable Nail Enamel range in the late 2000s and surprised women all around the world. According to the brand, they used an advanced polymer to make this unique nail polish. This polymer is the same as the one used in contact lenses. Like in lenses, this polymer also allows water and oxygen to pass through the nail polish thus making wudhu complete. 

After the whopping success of this nail polish, other brands followed suit. They started introducing their own breathable and halal nail polish. These are non-toxic and use original ingredients like vitamins and minerals. 

Many scholars are not convinced with the claims of the cosmetics industry and still look at these nail polishes with skepticism. So it is up to the buyer to decide whether to use them or not.

All About Lipsticks:

Many common lipstick brands use Carmine in their lipsticks. This pigment is derived from cochineal insects and is not halal. The harvested insects are sun-dried, then crushed, and dunked in a rich acidic alcohol solution to produce carminic acid. 

Two things make the use of carmine problematic. Firstly, many scholars consider the consumption of insects impermissible in Islam. Secondly, the use of alcohol solution acts as a cherry on the cake and makes the use of Carmine haram (not allowed) for women. 

If you are unsure of whether your lipstick contains this ingredient or not, you can check for E120 in the list of ingredients. 



Important Information Regarding Facial Care and Hair Products:

Before we delve further into the topic, it is important to understand that the products mentioned below are not inherently problematic. Their incorrect usage makes them so. Thus if they are part of a halal-certified product, there is no cause of concern for you.

Gelatin is a protein used as a thickening agent in many face creams, lotions, and even shampoos and hairsprays. It is known for enhancing collagen production in the body. If the gelatin is derived from pork, it is not allowed. However, if gelatin is derived from chicken, cow, or fish, it is permissible. However, in the latter case, the animals need to be slaughtered according to Islamic law.

Glycerin is found in skincare products and is known for its moisturizing properties. Plant and synthetic glycerin are permissible but the one derived from animal fat needs to be verified.

Lanolin is another contested ingredient among Muslim societies. It is a waxy substance that comes from the fat of wool shearing. It has been part of skincare products for decades. The rule with this ingredient is the same as well. If it is derived from non-halal animals, it is not permissible. 

The above-mentioned products are found in both hair and facial care products. They are added to increase the collagen and moisture in the skin thus reducing pigmentation and dryness on the skin. Your job is to ensure that good skin doesn't come at the cost of your faith.



What to do?

In the ever-growing population and the increased number of brands in the market, it has become fairly easy to find alternatives to non-halal beauty products. The task is a little harder for people living in non Muslim countries, however, when the intention is right, no task seems big enough.

For people living in Muslim countries, there are a great many options available for them. They shouldn't just trust the word of the brand but should look for the halal logo on the products. If they are unable to find it, they can also assess the ingredients and trace them back to their origins. The latter may seem a strenuous task, but it is worth the effort.

After all, the price for modesty and belief is high.