The latest in green cosmetics comes from the ancient Islamic tradition of halal. The word halal, is Arabic for permissible and is often used to describe meat slaughtered and prepared in line with Islamic law. Halal cosmetics are made without alcohol and pork ingredients both of which are banned in Islam but are often found in cosmetics. Halal beauty products, make up $500m of the $2trn global halal market and are made using plants and minerals that mirrors the trend for ethical beauty products.
Although halal products have been around for a few years, a recent report has shown that the market is set to grow. Amys Group based out of Morocco is one of the key players in the industry. Its range is made in the Atlas mountains and includes exfoliating scrubs and hammam oils. The group plans to expand in the Gulf Arab region, Malaysia, Britain, the United States, France and Japan in the next three years, and is targeting 20% annual profit growth over the next five years.
Last year UK-based Samina Akhter set up her Samina Pure Make-up range of halal cosmetics. It is the first company in the UK to sell halal certified make-up. Halal Cosmetics Jordan is one of the leading skin care manufacturers using minerals from the Dead Sea. Almaas Halal Cosmetics is another company which is Australian based that supplied certified halal cosmetics.
Layla Mandi who is a Canadian make-up artist can be said to be the pioneer of halal makeup. She developed her OnePure range of products to give Muslim women the choice to having halal certified products. OnePure products are certified in Malaysia by an Islamic body that also certifies meats and other consumer goods for Muslims. She is currently looking for a partner to increase the brand’s profile in the Gulf. OnePure currently retails in Dubai as well as in Egypt, Canada and on Saudi ArabianAirlines.
The scope of growth for halal products are huge in spite of certifying difficulties. There are 139 certifying bodies and there is no global standard for halal products due to varying interpretation of the Quran. Additionally many scholars feel that regular cosmetics are permissible even if they contain questionable ingredients because they are not consumed. Others feel that the word ‘halal’ has become a marketing term rather than strictly religious.
Although these are obvious pitfalls in the uptake of halal cosmetics many multi-nationals have started to cache in to the potential market. Colgate-Palmolive already makes oral care products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, with a halal stamp. Halal food and drinks account for $5.2 billion or 5 % of Nestle’s annual sales worldwide, suggesting that there is potential for growth and expansion into other sectors.
Photo Credit: Illustration by Luis Vazquez/©Gulf News