Islam is a beautiful religion and it’s reflected in how Muslim women dress and carry themselves. All women, even Muslim women, love to dress up and play with makeup. However, sometimes it’s hard to combine faith and beauty, especially if most over-the-counter cosmetic products contain haram (forbidden in Arabic) ingredients. These ingredients can range from alcohol, gelatine to animal-derived fat. For Muslims, using cosmetics with haram ingredients in them affect the cleanliness of the skin when praying. On the other hand, halal (permissible in Arabic) cosmetics refer to products that are free of animal-by products and harmful ingredients such as alcohol, parabens and sulphates. (P.S.: Just like Zahara!) Halal cosmetic products don’t contain haram ingredients and are, more often than not, made by Muslims or certified by a Muslim organisation (such as Singapore’s MUIS and Malaysia’s JAKIM).
Not only that, halal cosmetics are also cruelty-free. Islam teaches its followers to respect all creatures on earth and that no animals should be harmed for beauty’s sake. To summarize, halal cosmetics are free from animal-derived ingredients, alcohol, harmful chemicals and aren’t tested on animals. Based purely on health and ethical benefits, halal cosmetics therefore draw in those who adhere to a holistic and all-natural lifestyle, including Muslim consumers.
Online searches for ‘halal makeup’ and ‘halal cosmetics’ have been steadily rising since 2011. According to market analyst TechNavio, the halal cosmetics market is projected to grow over 13.7% for the next four years (www.cosmetic-business.com). The market is driven by the increasing Muslim population as well as better consumer awareness of cosmetic ingredients. Seeing as Muslims make up (see that pun I did there? Heh) over 23% of the world’s population and that there’s a growing trend towards ethical consumption, it comes as no surprise that the demand for halal cosmetics is increasing.
Not only are powerhouse beauty brands, such as Shiseido, ZA, Estée Lauder and Nails Inc., tapping into the global halal consumer market, but entrepreneurs who started their own halal beauty and makeup line, such as Glow by Claudia Nour, OnePure, FCC and our very own baby, Zahara, have joined in! Everything from halal foundations, lipsticks, eyeliners to nail polishes in chic packaging are now readily available online or in physical stores all over the world to cater to both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers.
As consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what’s in their cosmetic products, this explains the rising willingness of consumers to spend more on high-quality makeup products that are halal. New York-based founder of halal cosmetics line Glow, Claudia Nour, weighed in on this matter: “A percentage of Muslim women, especially new converts, are unaware of what’s really in their make-up. Others may suspect, but they are a little scared to confirm it – they’re willing to stay in denial for a little longer because they think they don’t have an alternative. But when they find companies like mine that are safe to use, then they feel comfortable switching. If you give a Muslim woman a choice between halal and non-halal, they would want the halal one every time.” (www.english.alarabiya.net)
At the end of the day, all women, not just Muslims, want to use products that they trust and will give them peace of mind. While Zahara’s nail polishes are not yet halal-certified, they are ethically-made with halal ingredients. That said, our latest products, the Matte Lip Creams and Nail Polish Remover are halal-certified and we are in the process of getting certification on our other products. We also plan to provide a complete halal makeup range by the end of 2017. Our founder, Amira Geneid herself, said it beautifully and simply: “We should never have to compromise, we all want to look and feel beautiful, and we deserve the focus and care I hope to bring with Zahara.”
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