Halal Cosmetics – A New Member of Sustainable Cosmetics Family

The issues of the ingredient used in cosmetics pose a serious situation and becomes a big question mark. People are getting more and more aware about ingredients that are used to make various cosmetics and personal care products. With this, organic, vegan, and eco-friendly are becoming common terms in the global cosmetics and personal care industry as synthetic chemicals and ingredients are capable of harming one’s skin as well as environment. However, there is another term which is getting popularity in the cosmetics world- Halal.

Halal beauty products are manufactured, produced, and composed of ingredients that are “permissible” under Islamic law. The word “Halal” is an Arabic word which means permitted or acceptable according to Islamic law. Halal cosmetics must not contain any ingredient derived from any forbidden animals such as pork, animals that were dead prior to slaughtering, blood, alcohol or carnivorous animals since these all items are considered ‘Haram’ which means ‘forbidden’ in Arab. That is, cosmetics which are Halal-certified do not contain ingredients obtained from animals which are prohibited by the Islamic Law. Halal cosmetics are also free from genetically modified organisms (GMO) since they are considered unclean. One common interpretation of Islamic law is that halal cosmetics must not contain any parts or substances of forbidden animals, such as dogs and pigs; must be handled with clean utensils; and must be made with materials and ingredients that are not harmful to humans.

halal cosmetics market

Growing Muslim Population and Demand for Cosmetics and Beauty Products Among Muslim Women

With rising disposable incomes and living standards, people are increasingly spending in expensive, premium beauty products that are Halal-certified. With the growing Muslim population at an unprecedented rate, there is more and more demand across Muslim consumers searching for Halal cosmetics and personal care products. More Muslim women consumers are concerned about ingredients used in their makeup products. Although it is not a new phenomenon, both small and global cosmetic companies have started to get Halal-certification for their products so as to capture the untapped and growing customer base for Halal cosmetics. Since Muslims believe that products applied topically on the skin means that one is ‘consuming’ ingredients indirectly via skin, cosmetic and personal care products should adhere to halal standards. With people getting more and more aware about various ingredients being used in cosmetic product, this, along with rising disposable incomes is escalating the demand for halal cosmetics, thereby driving the global halal cosmetics market growth.

Projected Percentage of Muslim Population, 2010 and 2030

halal cosmetics market

Source: Pew Research Center

Halal Cosmetics Getting Popular Among Non-Muslim Population Too!

Although the major customer base for Halal cosmetic manufacturers is Muslim population, Halal cosmetics are also in demand among non-Muslim population since Halal-certification assures that these cosmetic and personal care products are not only safe to use and of high quality, but also are produced and processed in a manner that are free from any animal derived-ingredient and safe for the environment.Since Halal-certification implies the safety and quality of ingredients and the manufacturing process, these cosmetics are increasingly used by people who want to wear makeup without harming their skin which is often caused by non-halal ingredients such as alcohol.

In order to get Halal certification, a product has to go through the appropriate and strict certification channels to ensure there is no animal substances such as pig, alcohol, or contamination during manufacturing. For this, an Islamic Affairs organisation tracks down the source of every ingredient to ensure it was created according to Sharia Law. Natural sources means both vegetable and animal sources and are most often used in the cosmetics industry. Usually, animal sources include animal elastin, fat, protein, and glands. Most common animal-derived ingredients that have been used in cosmetics by almost each and every cosmetic brand include:

Albumen- derived from egg whites

Amino Acids- obtained from whale intestines

Collagen- usually derived from animal tissue

Gelatine- protein obtained by boiling animal skins, ligaments, and bones including pigs and cows

With vegan / cruelty-free cosmetics are now facing skyrocketing demand, non-Muslim population who want eco-friendly, vegan cosmetic and personal care products are going for Halal-certified products.

However, one should not combine vegan and Halal products. Halal products may not contain alcohol or any ingredient derived from forbidden animals, but it may ingredients that are derived from permissible animals. Meanwhile, although vegan products do not contain any animal-derived ingredient, it may contain alcohol which is a forbidden ingredient under Halal rules.

Booming Sales on E-Commerce Platform

High proliferation of smartphones and better internet connectivity has increased the online transactions worldwide. As there are many online platforms that sell genuine cosmetic and personal care products, companies are using this sales channel often to promote their products in order to reach a larger customer base. Online stores also make it easier for consumers to purchase halal-certified cosmetics which are not available in their country in physical stores. Many organizations are keen on exploring untapped online sales platforms for Halal-certified products. For example, Malaysia launched the first Shariah- and Halal-compliant e-commerce platform in 2016. The platform, with an investment of US$5 million, is run by the Aladdin Group of Companies and caters to both B2C and B2B communities across the Internet. The platform is also accessible via mobile applications globally.

Global Internet Penetration, Percentage of Population, 2012 to 2017

halal cosmetics market

Source: The World Bank Group

Although it is quite difficult to get Halal certification for cosmetics and personal care products due to lack of global standardized set of halal-specific guidelines in the global cosmetic industry, as people across the globe continue to embrace cultures and traditions which, for long, had remained confined to a particular community, we expect widespread adoption of halal cosmetics over the medium and long term.


Anjali Joshi is a senior market research analyst at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. She oversees a team of analysts and is known for the quality of market intelligence she delivers to the clients which range from start-ups and Non-profit Organizations to Fortune 500 companies. Anjali’s keen understanding of international business and market dynamics, coupled with her years of experience working in this industry, allows her to analyse current and future trends across both global and clients’ target markets and help them in making informed decisions.