Advance Research in Dermatology & Cosmetics
Halal Cosmetics: Trend or Obligations?
International Institute for Halal Research and Training (INHART), International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia
Halal cosmetics are produced from halal materials in the production facility that is not contaminated by filth materials according to Islamic shariah law. To comply with Islamic ritual regulations, cosmetic products must not only be produced using halal materials but also function effectively holistically. As the Muslim population is expanding widely, the demand for halal cosmetics also keeps growing. Exceptional change has been seen in the rise of Muslim customers and their growing purchasing power. However, some obstacles must be conquered before halal cosmetics are recognized and acknowledged, not only in Muslim countries but worldwide. This short article reviews the opinion of halal cosmetics as a whole.
The Arabic word halal represents the meaning of “permissible” or “lawful”, while its opposite, haram, means unlawful or prohibited (Hanapi & Khairuldin, 2017). The common perception of most people is that halal products should be devoid of pork and alcohol, and that livestock should be slaughtered according to Islamic shari’ah law. However, the concept of halal is beyond that and does not only focus on food, but it is a broader concept that encompasses all consumables, such as cosmetics, toiletries, pharmaceuticals, and services, including investments, finance, and business. Cosmetic is defined as a treatment intended to restore or improve a person’s appearance or things meant to be applied to the human body, especially the face, for cleansing, beautifying, and changing the appearance (Shahid et al., 2018). While halal cosmetics are defined as products sourced from halal materials and produced in accordance with the halal system that are intended to be applied to a specific part(s) of the body, whether as a leave-on or rinse-off, for beautifying, cleansing, protecting, and changing the appearance of the body (Sugibayashi et al., 2019). In the latest Malaysian Standard MS 2634: 2019, personal care is also regarded as cosmetics.
Halal products are fundamental necessities for all Muslims. Halal cosmetics and personal care products include each step of the production process, from raw materials to handling, processing, storage, distribution, transportation, and delivery to the consumer. It also includes the safety of products and product efficacy. Halal cosmetic products must not include any materials derived from pigs, human body parts, blood, carrion, predatory animals, insects, and reptiles. To be considered halal, cosmetic ingredients derived from permissible animals must be slaughtered according to Islamic law . Maintenance of hygiene and pure conditions must be ensured in the handling, processing, production, storage, and transport of halal cosmetic products. The absence of filth in every aspect should also be emphasized. The objective of halal certification is aligned with the goals of other quality assurance methods, such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) . Halal-certified products are more eco-friendly, ethical, and organic with a non-exploitive and humanitarian approach. Halal certification and ingredient certification raise ethical standards. They link to the concepts of social responsibility and the idea of sustainability and interdependence, which encompass the community, environment, business management, economy, and manufacturing practice. All halal-certified brands are determined to end cruelty, reduce pollution, and use sustainable marketing and manufacturing practices . It is a fact that halal products are more natural and greener in a way that it does not only satisfy religious requirements, but they are saving the universe wholly.
With 1.8 billion Muslim end-users worldwide, halal cosmetics and pharmaceuticals are considered to be in high demand . The halal market is expected to increase year by year globally. According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report by Dinar Standard (2020), it is estimated that global Muslim spending on cosmetics grew by 3.4% to $66 billion from 2018 to 2019. As COVID-19 emerged, it is estimated that Muslim consumers’ expenditure on cosmetics decreased by 2.5% in 2020, but it is expected to rise at a projected 5-year CAGR of 2.9% to reach $76 billion by 2024 . Among the emerging halal cosmetic brands in the market are Iba cosmetics from India, Wardah beauty from Indonesia, and Safi cosmetics from Malaysia. The growing need for safe, natural products that adhere to consumers’ religious and cultural views has the potential to drive the market for halal cosmetics and personal care. Thus, the manufacturing of halal cosmetics is seen as an innovation in the skincare and cosmetics industry. The manufacturers of halal cosmetics are now driven to introduce new technologies in research and development, formulation, and production. The increase in the halal cosmetics market might be due to the increasing awareness of the halal requirement. Prior to this, it appears that both Muslims and non-Muslims were unaware of the definition and standards of halal, and they may think halal was only about how animals are slaughtered for consumption by Muslims. Other than that, Muslim consumers are becoming more conscious and concerned over chemical and non-halal ingredients in their cosmetics and personal care products. The halal status of these products, on the other hand, is critical since it may affect Muslims’ worship and prayers.
However, there are several obstacles to overcome in the manufacturing of halal cosmetics. Animal-derived cosmetic components like glycerol, collagen, fatty acids, lecithin, and gelatine are notoriously hard to be halal-certified. Some coloring agents might be qualified as haram by certain competent halal certification bodies if they are derived from insects. Other than that, substances derived from bovines provide a hurdle because the animals could be processed in a non-halal approach. It is worth emphasizing that not only must halal components be employed in the process of manufacturing, but the cosmetic product’s overall quality must also adhere to Islamic standards . Even though the detection methods for haram materials are established, halal cosmetics and product performance assessments are still being developed. Additionally, the majority of cosmetic products still do not sufficiently incorporate halal science into their production.
The development of halal cosmetics products in the market is growing and continues to attract new consumers each day as they guarantee the products’ safety, hygiene, eco-friendliness, wholesomeness, and goodness. Furthermore, the Muslim population worldwide is increasing; thus, there will be a new wave in the global cosmetics market, resulting in demand for cosmetics that meet religious and cultural requirements. But, in reality, is the demand for cosmetic products just a trend, or are Muslims really following the obligations?
This work was supported by International Institute for Halal Research and Training, International Islamic University Malaysia.
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