Muslim’s the world over will soon be able to buy their personal care products in confidence thanks to Standards Malaysia’s work on an all-encompassing cosmetic standard.  The standard has been developed in response to growing global demand for non-food Halal certified products. However, when I talked to our local Australian Muslim community there was little understanding of what a Halal cosmetic was begging the question “just who stands to benefit  from the introduction of this new standard?”  

Summary of the state of affairs for Halal Cosmetics.

  1. Market Confusion: To be a Halal cosmetic involves more than just abstaining from pork and alcohol. Many Muslims who take the time to seek out non-food Halal products are already well versed with reading labels and phoning the manufacturers armed with hard-to-answer questions about the manufacture, distribution and ethics behind said product.  Let’s hope that the standard comes with some consumer education.
  2. Cosmetic Capers. Although all cosmetics Could be certified as Halal under the new standard, there are ethical and ideological reasons why some products don’t cut it for some Muslim consumers (for some, drawing attention to ones body is prohibited and so products such as body shimmer,  colourful eye make-up and nail polish may only be suitable for home use if at all).
  3. Washability. Praying while wearing make-up is a no-no so brand owners and cosmetic chemists may want to ensure that products can be removed easily as part of their customer care plan.
  4. Integrity.   Just as the manufacturing companies ethics are important, so is the integrity of the company’s supply chain. What the company portrays through advertising and marketing activities speak volumes – brand owners should walk the walk!
  5. Divine Beauty.  Cosmetic products can only do so much for ones beauty with the rest coming from the way we live. Halal cosmetics can only treat, protect and cleanse the surface but every Muslim knows that there is much more to beauty than that.

So, if Halal matters to you keep your eyes peeled for the new standard in 2010 and feel great being you!