All You Need To Know About Halal Cosmetics

The demand for halal cosmetics is on the rise in Malaysia. By Sabrina Loh

The term “halal” is by no means new to Malaysians. Although it is predominantly associated with food, in recent years, it has become increasingly affixed to more items—mainly beauty products. Everything from perfume and fake lashes to lipsticks are now available in halal versions.

What makes a product halal?

In the beauty industry, the halal certification rests on the ingredients that go into the making of the product, as well as the packaging, manufacturing, and distribution methods. To be considered halal, the products must be free of alcohol, not tested on animals, and contains no animal fat or harsh chemicals. The Malaysian government also certifies a halal product with a stamp of approval from JAKIM.

Is it the same as vegan beauty products?

Halal and vegan cosmetics are similar but not the same. Some animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax, keratin, and lanolin are considered halal because the animal is not harmed for them to be obtained. However, it is still not vegan. The best thing you can do to differentiate the two is to read the ingredient lists carefully.

Are halal cosmetics better?

Many make-up products, especially lipsticks, contain carmine, a red pigment from a crushed female cochineal insect. Cosmetic companies use animal ingredients because they’re cheap, not because they are better than plant-based ingredients. This doesn’t make halal make-up necessarily better or safer; it just depends on your way of life.

Who can use halal make-up?

Everybody. You don’t have to practice a certain religion to enjoy these products.

Where can I find halal beauty products?

Many local brands now produce halal make-up. More Lashes produces fluttery fake lashes, Chaco Life does teeth whitening kits, and Josh Lee Fragrances concoct the most natural scents with easily recognisable names such as “George Town” and “Nyonya”. Then, there is Pretty Suci, a one-stop portal for all halal-certified beauty products in Malaysia. Some other great international brands include Singaporean brand Zahara and Australia’s Kester Black.

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