may-june. 2020 | @Halal
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 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
— Safia Ghanim
to be halal certified without a third-party
certifier like ISWA.
“We audit the production facility as a
whole, not just the products. All companies
must have government-registered facilities…
We currently require testing for porcine DNA
and salmonella, and protocols for testing
alcohol levels are currently in the works,”
Tracking down the sources of every
ingredient and testing for traces of haram elements
can take years. It is often accompanied
by a fee — especially if brands want to pay for
copyrights and trademarks to use certification
logos. Brands must also undergo annual
audits to renew their certifications.
healthiest makeup brand
Take, for example, INIKA Organic, the selfdescribed
“healthiest makeup brand in the
world,” which boasts the highest level of certifications.
The 10-year-old Australian brand
retails in 25 countries and just launched in
the United States in April with a wealth of
makeup choices. More than 50 per cent of its
products are certified organic, and 100 per
cent are certified vegan, cruelty-free and halal.
But their threefold certification process was
no easy feat.
INIKA never intended to get its halal certification
from the Australian Federation of
Islamic Councils. Still, in an effort to be both
organic and vegan, it ended up excluding
alcohol and animal extracts anyway, and it’s
“We were really trying to be as certified as
we could in as many different aspects,” says
Regis Haberkon, INIKA’s president of sales
and marketing. “When you’re completely
vegan, it makes it very easy for them to check
It may be easy to check the ingredients
once products are made, but Haberkon says
making them isn’t quite as simple. INIKA’s
powders and eye shadows, for example, are
moulded and slow-baked to avoid the use of
harmful ingredients and haram compounding
“It took us about three years to figure out
a lipstick that would be certified organic and
certified vegan,” he adds. “Nobody would do
that. They’ll spend six months on the packaging
to make it beautiful on the counter and
figure out what’s the next colour for next
season. That’s not what we do. Halal cosmetics
fill a void in the market that was always
Like INIKA, many halal brands are less
focused on shelving seasonally attractive
products, as beauty standards always change.
Instead, they’re focused on being appealing
to a demographic of people whose beliefs
“There is a young generation coming to
the market every year, so it’s going to be fed
a 15 per cent average growth for the next five
or maybe 10 years.
“And in a world where, in every single
belief, people are trying to get more rooted,
but it’s hard to keep bearings, trying to be
more halal is something some want to do. So
why not?” says Haberkon.
In 2009, the mother of four Salma
Chaudhry was diagnosed with breast cancer
INIKA Organic, the
brand in the world.”
and wanted to embrace a more thoroughly
halal lifestyle, too. Only upon getting the
news about her health did she take a deeper
dive into her lifestyle. She was shocked to
unearth the harmful ingredients in her
makeup collection. In an ample effort to
make a serious lifestyle change, Chaudhry
founded The Halal Cosmetics Company.
Today, her products are manufactured in
the UK. They are certified through the Halal
Monitoring Committee, which is considered
the most highly respected accreditation body
in the UK.
“Right from the start, our mission was to
provide a choice and something suitable for
anyone looking for halal cosmetics,” she says.
“We wanted a brand that is ethical in every
sense. Our products are tested on friends and
family. We do not believe in harming defenceless
animals for the sake of beauty, and this
is also prohibited in Islam. We also omitted
parabens and SLS, which have been linked to
causing health concerns.”
Chaudhry’s customers come from all over
the world; she’s dispatched orders to Australia,
Malaysia and all over Europe, and will be
exporting products to several stores in the
UK this month.
The majority of her regulars are Muslim
women. Still, she also has an increasing
number of consumers who simply identify
with the brand’s ethical values. Or perhaps
can relate to her personal backstory regarding
their overall well-being.
“I don’t think women — myself included
— even realised that the cosmetics we were
using may contain haram ingredients,” she
says. “As awareness increases, Muslims want
to ensure that the products they use are halal
for peace of mind. Trends do come and go, but
halal is a lifestyle choice for Muslims.”
The online distribution sales channel is
expected to grow at 18.2 per cent by 2022,
according to Allied Market Research’s recent
“Halal Cosmetics Market Report”.
“The challenge is to find the right partners,
because each time you open a new market, the
retailers challenge you to see if you’re going to
stay for long. But a bigger and bigger portion
of the business is direct-to-market and, as
consumer awareness increases, people will
buy online,” Haberkon explains.
And it’s not an easy undertaking, even
for large and established beauty businesses.
“Most key players in the industry
are going to be late because going halal is an
effort,” Haberkon says.
Online shops like Prettysuci, which
launched in March and marketed itself as the
world’s first online portal for halal cosmetic
products, already hosts about 15 halal brands
from all over the world, with 200 products.
Scores of halal brands are popping up, many
of which are sold online. Other notable companies
include Clara International, Talent
Cosmetic Co. Ltd., MMA Bio Lab, Saaf Skincare
and Prolab Cosmetics, Martha Tilaar Group
and IBA Halal Care. Even major brands like
Shiseido and Estée Lauder have followed
suit, acquiring halal certifications for certain
products sold abroad.
All in all, the halal cosmetics industry is
solidifying itself as far more than some sort
of gimmicky or fleeting trend. However, it
still remains far more prevalent outside
the US than within it. But as we’ve seen in
categories like natural beauty and K-beauty,
increasing awareness can spur demand for
products dramatically and rapidly. So for
beauty companies with an eye toward the
future, ramping up halal offerings may be a
smart move to consider.