Demand for halal cosmetics is growing in an unprecedented fashion. In 2015, the global halal cosmetics market was estimated at USD 16.32 billioni and is expected to exceed USD 53.81 billion by 2025.ii Growth can be attributed to a variety of factors. To take advantage of this growing market, cosmetic manufacturers need to understand what constitutes halal in cosmetics.


As we might expect, the market for halal cosmetics is dominated by the Asia-Pacific region – in 2015 it represented roughly ¾ of the market’s overall revenue. Second to this was the Middle-east and Africa with 17% of total revenue.iii While these particular markets are predicted to grow significantly in the next few years, it is clear all markets are expected to grow, with online sales estimated to grow by 18.2% by 2022.iv

Across the world, it is estimated Muslims make up 23% of the population.v This is a population that is changing rapidly. Reflecting the same decisions being seen in other demographics, younger Muslims are making more conscious choices over the products they buy as their purchasing power increases. This is amplifying demand for halal cosmetics and making it a standard requirement for products entering some markets.

It would be wrong, however, to see halal cosmetics as only being bought by Muslims. Part of the attraction of halal cosmetics is that they are seen as wholesome. 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. ‘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.

What is Halal in Cosmetics?

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. These define what is 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 (filth) e.g. fluids and objects discharged from human or animal bodies, such as urine, blood, vomit, etc.
  • Harmful foods
  • Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants

For a product to be classified as halal, it must be free from these items and its preparation, processing, manufacturing and storage must also conform 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.

It should be noted ethyl alcohols (Ethanol) can be used during production, as a solvent or additive, so long as they are not alcoholic drinks that are added directly to the product.

To many people, part of the attraction of halal cosmetics is the rigor with which these regulations are enforced. In many cases the requirements for halal production mirror consumer demands in non-Muslim markets. 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 (CITES)
  • GMO and substances with GMO that contain human genes or genes from prohibited animals
  • Agro ingredients that don’t conform to halal rules
  • Microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and yeast, that are toxic to health and are produced in non-halal environments or include non-halal ingredients

In 2009, the European Union banned animal testing for cosmetic This, coupled with the increasing interest in organic and vegan products in Europe, means there will inevitably be growth in the market for halal cosmetics as companies seek to minimize costs and optimize production.vii 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.viii


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.

Use of the ‘Halal’ logo is restricted to products that:

  • Conform to the requirements of the standard and Board Resolution No. (36) 2014 regarding organizational procedures for the National Halal Mark
  • Labelling and advertisements must not violate or profane local traditions and cultures and the ethics of Islam
  • Comply with Islamic Sharia law and halal rules

SGS Solution

As the world’s leading testing, inspection, verification and certification company, SGS operates a variety of solutions to help businesses successfully access the growing halal cosmetic’s market. We have the technical expertise needed to help cosmetic manufacturers ensure their products are safe, perform as advertised, and conform to relevant requirements for halal and a wide variety of other standards enforced around the world.

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For more information, please contact:

Sithara Hatim
Manager- HALAL Certification
t: +971 4 880 93 93


i Why The Halal Cosmetics Industry Has Staying Power
ii Global Halal Cosmetics Market Size and Share Analysis to 2025, Asia Pacific is dominating growth market of halal cosmetics market
iii Global Halal Cosmetics Market Size, Share | Industry Report, 2018-2015
iv Why The Halal Cosmetics Industry Has Staying Power
v The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050
vi EU bans sale of all animal-tested cosmetics
vii Global Halal Cosmetics Market Size, Share | Industry Report, 2018-2015
viii Why The Halal Cosmetics Industry Has Staying Power