As eco labels continue to become increasingly evident in the cosmetics industry and ethical consumers look for organic, natural, cruelty-free and similar logos on their beauty products, a new label is also emerging. According to Organic Monitor, this label is targeted at one of the fastest-growing consumer groups in the world: the halal cosmetics label is designed for Muslim consumers, which now comprise approximately 20% of the global population.
The halal label appeals to Muslim consumers seeking integrity and authenticity in their beauty and personal care products. Concerns about animal-derived ingredients—such as gelatine and collagen—in beauty products are fueling demand, and some consumers even perceive such products as more ethical.
International sales of halal-certified beauty and personal care products are upward of $5 billion, and a growing number of beauty and cosmetic ingredient firms are taking up halal certification in Asia. The highest adoption rates are in Muslim countries where multinationals that include Colgate-Palmolive and Avon have launched halal-certified products. Also, international chemical firms like BASF and CP Kelco are developing ingredients certified for such markets.
At present, 57 certification agencies are authorized to halal-certify products, according to the halal cosmetics standard. Although the highest adoption rates are in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, certification is also catching on in Europe and North America. In the latter regions, a growing number of Muslim consumers are interested in halal-certified products. However, these products often fall short in terms of their ecological credentials as the formulations are similar to conventional beauty products.
Realizing this, some companies have started to formulate natural and organic beauty products with halal certifications. Saaf Pure Skincare was launched in the U.K. to appeal to Muslim consumers seeking organic skin care products that adhere to Sharia principles. The products are certified organic by the Soil Association and certified halal by European Halal Services. The brand is developing an international presence, with products exported to Europe, the Middle-East and North America.
Organic Monitor sees high potential for such products in the Middle East and Asia. In many of these countries, the market for natural and organic beauty products is growing by over 20% a year, and rising consumer affluence coupled with growing knowledge of product formulations is making consumers pay a premium for beauty products that meet their ethical and religious beliefs. However, they often have to decide between halal-certified conventional beauty products and natural and organic products that don’t meet Sharia rules.
With a lack of local brands of natural and organic cosmetics in these regions, there is a clear gap in the marketplace. A major challenge is formulating beauty products that meet two or more standards, as many European brands have discovered.