19 January 2019

By PhilExport News and Features

Published also in Business Mirror

DEMAND for halal cosmetics is expected to soar in the following years, and cosmetic manufacturers wishing to take advantage of this growing market must first understand what constitutes halal cosmetics and what it takes to produce them.

Verification, testing and certification company SGS said global demand for halal cosmetics is surging, and the market is expected to exceed $53.81 billion by 2025 from an estimated $16.32 billion in 2015.

The Asia-Pacific region dominates the market, representing roughly three-fourths of the market’s overall revenue in 2015. The Middle East and Africa region follows with 17 percent of total revenue.

While these particular markets are predicted to grow significantly in the next few years, all markets are expected to grow, with online sales estimated to grow by 18.2 percent by 2022, SGS said.

And while Muslims make up an estimated 23 percent of the world population, it is not only Muslims who buy halal cosmetics, but an increasing number of non-Muslims, as well.

“With a growing interest in eco-ethical conscious products affecting markets all around the world, terms such as ‘vegan’ and ‘organic’ are increasingly adding a premium price to a product,” SGS said. “‘Halal’ is seen by many as a comparable term because it offers an assurance that the product is safe to consume and use and has been manufactured to high and specific quality standards.”

Part of the attraction of halal cosmetics is the rigorous regulations for their production, many of which mirror non-Muslim regulations and consumer demand. For example, in addition to the obligations under Sharia law, halal cosmetics must also refrain from using ingredients listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

They should also not have GMO and substances with GMO that contain human genes or genes from prohibited animals; agro ingredients that don’t conform to halal rules; and microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and yeast, that are toxic to health and are produced in non-halal environments or include non-halal ingredients.

For a cosmetic or personal-care product to be termed halal, it must comply with the general requirements included in clause 2.2 of UAE.S 2055 -1:2015 General Requirements for Halal Food on what defines halal and what is haram (forbidden).

In brief, halal products must not contain human parts; animals forbidden for Muslims to consume (e.g., pork and boar); animals not slaughtered according to Sharia law; Najiis or filth (e.g., fluids and objects discharged from human or animal bodies, such as urine, blood, vomit); harmful foods; and alcoholic drinks and intoxicants.

To be classified as halal, a product must be free from these items and be prepared, processed, manufactured and stored in conformity to Sharia law. This includes the maintenance and use of production equipment, including products used to clean and lubricate the equipment that must also comply with halal rules. In addition, there must be complete segregation between halal and non-halal production, and the facility must comply with Good Manufacturing Practices, as per ISO 22716:2009.

Manufacturers have found that accreditation as a producer of “vegan,” “organic” and “cruelty-free” cosmetic products makes halal certification comparatively easy to achieve due to the overlap in requirements.

SGS said certification as a halal producer of cosmetics involves a document review followed by an on-site audit, administered by technical and Islamic experts. The results are then reviewed by an impartiality committee, which decides whether the halal certificate can be issued.