The fact that at this week’s In-Cosmetics expo in Paris had a bearded Imam in the audience says a lot about halal makeup and the booming industry it has become. Halal makeup is now a $20 billion industry. Originally when the concept of makeup manufactured with halal ingredients came to light, many were skeptical as to its success. Today the industry is growing at an exponential rate. Sheikh Ali Achcar attending the In-Cosmetics expo in Paris. He said,
When an animal-based product isn’t halal [allowed], or contains alcohol, it’s not only forbidden to consume it, but it’s also considered to be impure: you cannot use it on your face, or your skin.
Islam prohibits the consumption of pork and alcohol in all forms. To a strictly observant Muslim, lard-based lipsticks and any perfume literally (since they all contain alcohol) is basically useless. Given how large such population is, it stands to reason that halal makeup still has a lot of room for growth. The animal by-products are already losing popularity as use in cosmetics and much of that can be owed to the 2013 EU ban on animal testing. This resulted in reduced animal by-products usage in makeup items and created a new market for vegan cosmetics. But labelling has its own problems. Achcar said,
The majority of the consumers do not know if the product comes from animal-based ingredients or not. So when they see the halal product, they buy it.
Only a few years ago, halal makeup was a niche market that flourished in Muslim countries especially in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. This industry grew to $20 billion in 2014 and is expect to double by 2019. By that time, it will represent 6% of the global cosmetics market. Halal makeup may take up the majority in the near future and big brands are quick to realize this fact. L’Oreal already has hundreds of its ingredients certified as halal. They should too, because it is good for business. Islam is, after all, the second-largest religion in the world, majority of which would go for halal makeup straight away. A representative of L’Oreal stated,
Some of the countries realized how much money they could make with the halal certificates. For a lot of people it’s more business than religion.
Following are few of the more common ingredients found in cosmetic products. More often than not, they are obtained from sources that are not halal.
- Glycerine: A by-product of soap manufacture. It is used in cosmetics, foods, mouthwashes, chewing gum, toothpastes, soaps, ointments, and medicines. It can be obtained from a pig
- Gelatine: It is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, or bones with water. It can be obtained from cows and pigs. It is used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics
- Keratin: Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. It is used in hair rinses, shampoos, and permanent wave solutions
- Lard: Fat from hog abdomens. It is used in shaving creams, soaps, and other cosmetics
- Stearic Acid: Fat obtained from cows and sheep. Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Can be harsh and rather irritating. It is used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum and food flavoring