@Halal May/Jun 2020 - Page 26

26 Lifestyle @Halal | may-june. 2020 Staying power of halal cosmetics It’s so much more than just a beauty trend Photo: @prettysuci/Instagram By ANNAMARIE HOULIS With the growth of collective eco-ethical consciousness, “organic” and “vegan” labels on cosmetic packaging are ubiquitous. But there’s a third label that’s not necessarily green and nonetheless becoming ever more pervasive — “halal”. According to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global halal cosmetics market was valued at US$16.32b in 2015 and expected to reach US$52.02b by 2025. Why the sudden uptick? The halal market isn’t trying to be the next health craze boasting the latest and greatest; instead, it’s filling a void in the industry for which there was always a demand. Muslims comprise more than 23 per cent of the global population, according to a Pew Research Center estimate, and younger generations are emerging as conscious consumers. Their purchasing power has merely amplified the demand for a developing halal market and, as a result, companies are being pushed to diversify their product offerings. They’re more than willing to comply with halal certification requirements that are increasingly necessary to export to certain countries — so a lot more labels are being disseminated. The term “halal,” as it applies to cosmetics, simply means products that have been manufactured, produced and composed of ingredients permissible under Islamic Sharia law. Other elements are deemed “haram”, meaning their consumption is forbidden. Cosmetics are usually applied topically. The skin is the body’s largest and most absorptive organ. Gwyneth Paltrow and other advocates of natural beauty products would be the first to remind you of that. So, it’s plausible that users still consume ingredients indirectly. Hence, many religious Muslims seek alternatives to mainstream makeup brands. worldwide Demand “The demand has always been there worldwide, especially in Muslim countries,” says Safia Ghanim, technical auditor and manager of the ISWA Halal Certification Department at the USA Halal Chamber of Commerce, Inc. “Halal isn’t another trend. For Muslims, Islam is our way of life, which includes consuming and using Halal products. “In brief, halal cosmetics are products that must not have any of the following: human parts or ingredients thereof; any animals that are forbidden for Muslims [to consume] or A halal lip cream. Like INIKA, many halal brands are less focused on shelving seasonally attractive products, as beauty standards always change. that are not slaughtered according to Sharia law; anything decreed as najs (defined as filth, including things that are themselves not permissible such as pigs and their derivatives, blood and carrion, fluids or objects discharged from humans’ or animals’ bodies, such as urine, excrements, blood, vomit and pus); alcohol from alcoholic drinks (khamar); contamination from najs during preparation, processing, manufacturing or storage. “All elements must be accounted for, such as the manufacturing procedure and the storage, packaging and logistics.” Many consumers confuse vegan products with being halal-certified, too. Indeed, vegan products do not contain any animal byproducts, but they can include alcohol. Likewise, some halal-certified brands use Islamic Sharia law-compliant ingredients. These perhaps wouldn’t be considered entirely ethical by brands that promote sustainability, like silicone-based polymers, dimethicone and methicone. Moreover, many companies “greenwash” with misleading or vague terms that make consumers think they are buying organic. But there’s a large, much more multifaceted certification process companies must undergo before they can slap on that halal label. “Certification is the only way for a company to export to certain countries or sell its products as halal. A company cannot claim