The quest to find the best beauty products seem like an arduous journey to many, and is further compounded by manufacturers who offer products infused with ingredients such as traditional herbs, plant-based stem cells, and ancient exotic remedies such as bee venom, snail slime and placenta.
Another feature that has been catching on in the beauty industry across the globe in recent years is the halal factor.
According to the Future of World Religions: Populations Growth Projections 2010-2050, the global Muslim population is expected to increase by 80 per cent in 2050, from 1.5 billion in 2010, indicating an increased demand for halal products across the globe.
The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19 says that “the halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors continue to expand as more products are produced and ingredients are increasingly halal-certified.” It states that Muslims’ spending on cosmetics was estimated at US$61 billion (RM255 billion) in 2017, which will increase to US$90 billion by 2023.
Realising the growing trend and its promising market, small and independent players as well as powerhouse brands from both the east and west are pushing the barrier to cater to these needs.
Amara Halal Cosmetics (USA), Inika Organics (UK), Talent Cosmetics (South Korea), Tuesday In Love (Canada), Momohime Skincare (Japan) and Wardah Cosmetics (Indonesia) are among the brands which are forging paths in halal beauty.
Several global industry players have upped their game to cater to Muslims and the growing market by setting up their own halal hub. South Korean beauty and cosmetics conglomerate Amorepacific, for instance, is establishing a hub in Johor for research and development on halal cosmetics, especially for consumers in the Asia.
In line with Malaysia’s Third Industrial Master Plan 2006-2020, the halal industry is set to become the country’s key economic driver and a catalyst for local players to tap the global halal market and turn them into viable ventures that cater to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Malaysia seems to be on the right track with regards to halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries, with the country listed as among the top 10 producers in the world.
According to the Halal Directory by Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), to date, 26 companies are listed under the cosmetics business category, 124 under the beauty category and three under the skincare category. Among the top homegrown brands in halal cosmetics and skincare are SimplySiti, Pretty Suci, So.Lek, Nurraysa, dUCk Cosmetics and Elhajj Halal Skincare.
According to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), halal is an Arabic word which means allowed or permissible. When a product is described as halal, it means that it uses ingredients and storing, manufacturing, packaging and distribution processes that are in accordance with Shariah law and fatwa.
Halal skincare or cosmetic products mean they are free from animal-derived ingredients (e.g animal fats, placenta, etc) as well as contents which are harmful to health and have not been processed using instruments contaminated with impurities such as blood, urine and faeces.
With such elements in place, some halal-certified beauty products also carry vegan, organic, cruelty-free or ethical tags and certifications, according to industry standards.
Reneuf by La Estephe, a range of sheet face masks manufactured and retailed by Jacques Cosmetics Malaysia, is among the recent beauty products which have been certified halal by Jakim.
Launched at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) in Kuala Lumpur in early April, the masks are made for beauty enthusiasts who want quality products that are free from harmful ingredients.
“We focus our efforts to provide products that are clean, safe, cruelty-free and which do not contain ingredients derived from animal by-products. We realise the strong growth potential of the halal market and we’re excited to contribute to the growth as we believe that our business ethics are in accordance with the halal requirements,” says its Marketing Director, Chik Mun Leong.
“Reneuf is our first halal venture and it was certified by Jakim in August 2018.”
Chik says the Swiss-formulated face masks which are made with squalene, colloidal gold and yam bean as its main ingredients, are non-sticky and water-permeable, making them wudhu’-friendly.
“Some consumers, especially non-Muslims, are sceptical when it comes to halal labelling, believing that it is meant only for Muslims. To educate sceptics, we highlight our product’s efficacy and the benefits which result from strict adherence to the halal-compliant procedures from sourcing the ingredients to manufacturing, packaging and storing. The compliance assures consumers that the product is safe, clean and ethical and can be used without any doubt,” he says.
“For me, halal certificate shouldn’t only be about religion. It’s an industry standard which I think is relevant to all consumers, regardless of religion. It is a plus point that gives an extra edge to local manufacturers and retailers to tap the global markets for halal products,” says Chik, adding that company is gearing up efforts to export Reneuf to neighbouring Muslim markets such as Indonesia.