Given the number of certifications plastered across cosmetics bottles these days, it can be difficult not to wonder exactly what we were once upon a time putting on our faces. We now have vegan-friendly, gluten-free, cruelty-free Kosher products lining our shelves and covering our now, much happier, guilt-free faces.
Though halal is already on that list for many, a halal certification could well be the next one companies want to apply for. Last month, Research and Markets announced that the halal cosmetics market in Saudi Arabia is projected to grow over 15 per cent between 2015 and 2020, due to rising consumer awareness, a growing accessibility of the products, and an increased willingness by consumers to pay extra for higher quality halal products.
A loose definition of halal in cosmetics is essentially products free from materials forbidden by Islamic Law – usually made of all natural plant-based ingredients, with no animal or alcohol ingredients used. Though it makes sense that the use of halal cosmetics is on the rise in Saudi Arabia, a predominantly Muslim country, health concerns attributed to some of the ingredients used in non-halal cosmetics could also contribute to their rise in availability and popularity elsewhere. Indeed, many of the companies offering halal cosmetics also state that their products are suitable for anyone who worries about the unknown ingredients they may be putting on their skin.
BAKEL, the Italian company started by biochemist Raffaella Gregoris, uses only 100 per cent active ingredients and has about every certification a company could apply for – heavy metal-tested, nickel-tested, gluten-free, kosher, cruelty-free, vegan – and is currently in the process of applying for halal certification too.
In the meantime, here are some other companies which sell a wide range of halal cosmetics and skincare products…
The Halal Cosmetics Company
The clue is somewhat in the name but founded by mum-of-four Salma Chaudhry in 2009, the company offers organic, halal, paraben- and SLS-free products all made in Great Britain. The company was founded by Chaudhry following a breast cancer diagnosis. In her attempts to find out whether any aspects of her lifestyle could have contributed to the diagnosis, she learned that many of the products she (along with the rest of the country) had been using on a regular basis contained a lot of harmful ingredients. In 2013, she won an award for Entrepreneur of the Year. www.halalcosco.com
PHB Ethical Beauty
Logging on to the multi-award winning PHB’s site, you’ll be immediately shown all of the certifications the company carries – among them, one stating that the company is 100 per cent halal certified. All products are free from alcohol, animal ingredients, and palm oil, and the company is strongly against animal-testing. The Birmingham-based founders, who are vegan, noticed that halal certified beauty products were barely available at the time of launch (2012) and now carry over 200 products in their line. www.phbethicalbeauty.co.uk
Approved by the Vegetarian Society, Sampure was the first halal-approved make-up brand in Europe and was founded after Birmingham-based Samina Akhter found she felt uncomfortable praying while wearing non-halal make-up. The company’s products contain no talc or parabens and carry an impressive line of Bare Minerals-esque starter kits. www.sampure.co.uk