Halal beauty is poised to become the next big market in personal care and beauty products.
According to a recent report by Grand Market Research, the global halal cosmetics market size was $23 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $52 billion by 2025. Muslims comprise more than 23 percent of the global population and younger generations are increasingly conscious of the ingredients used in personal care products. It’s also attracted users who are not Muslim, but who think the rigorous standards are healthier or more humane.
Halal is an Arabic term meaning lawful or permitted. It generally refers to food, drink and other products designed to be consumed or used on the body, including cosmetics and personal care products. As a rule, everything is halal, unless expressly forbidden by the Qur’an. This includes alcohol, non-halal animal fat, insects, gelatin from non-halal sources, anything from swine, lard, rennet, etc., which are haram, or forbidden.
Of particular concern in many personal care products is the presence of ethanol and its variations, including ethyl alcohol, ethylene and methylated spirits; as well as types of glycerin. Halal also extends to the manufacture and processing of products.
It’s often difficult for consumers to tell if a product is haram, even with the aid of an ingredients label. For example, not everyone knows that carmine (cochineal), a bright red pigment, is derived from beetles and, thus, is haram.
Scores of smaller firms, such as Amara Halal Cosmetics, have been formed to serve the market, but larger companies have been slower to enter the field. One of the reasons is that certifying a raw material or production facility as halal is more rigorous than labeling it as organic, a term which has become muddied with various definitions and standards.
Halal certification through a third-party organization, such as the USA Halal Chamber of Commerce and the World Halal Council, is the only way for companies to export to certain countries or use the “Certified Halal” label. Typically, those organizations will audit production facilities and raw materials before deciding on certification, which must be renewed annually.
The certification process can be lengthy and daunting, but major brands like Estée Lauder and Shiseido have acquired halal certifications for some products sold abroad. Given the size of the market, it’s only a matter of time until others follow suit.