Pure beauty

How im­por­tant is a ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for beauty prod­ucts and what are the re­quire­ments? As con­sumers have be­come in­creas­ingly con­cerned with not only the in­gre­di­ents in a prod­uct, but also pro­cesses and pack­ag­ing, lo­cal beauty brands now have to en­sure

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Front Page - By SAN­DRA LOW star2@thes­tar.com.my

WHILE there is an abun­dance of cos­metic brands in the mar­ket, there used to be lim­ited choice for Mus­lim women who pre­fer ha­lal cos­met­ics.

Times have changed with ha­lal cos­met­ics and per­sonal care prod­ucts emerg­ing as the fastest grow­ing con­sumer seg­ment for Malaysia, ac­cord­ing to a report last year on the Min­istry of In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try web­site (MITI).

The Ha­lal In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (HDC) – un­der the aus­pices of MITI – states that there are cur­rently more than 100 cer­ti­fied ha­lal cos­met­ics and per­sonal care com­pa­nies. These in­clude Wipro Unza, South­ern Lion, John­son & John­son, Sim­pli-Siti, Clara In­ter­na­tional, Ever­soft, Safi, Silky Girl and Shokubutso.

Datuk Dr Si­ra­jud­din Suhaimee, di­rec­tor of the Ha­lal Hub Di­vi­sion of Jakim, con­firms that Jakim (Malaysian Is­lamic De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment) has seen an in­crease in ap­pli­ca­tions by lo­cal and for­eign cos­metic brands seek­ing ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“Ha­lal cos­met­ics and per­sonal care prod­ucts, in­clud­ing the ac­ces­sories, are prod­ucts per­mit­ted un­der Shariah law and must ful­fill cer­tain con­di­tions,” he ex­plains.

Those con­di­tions, he says, in­clude “not con­tain­ing any hu­man parts or ma­te­ri­als de­rived from it; be­ing free of in­gre­di­ents de­rived from an­i­mals that are pro­hib­ited for Mus­lims by Is­lamic law or from an­i­mals that are not slaugh­tered the ha­lal way; be­ing free of any ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied or­gan­isms (GMO) ma­te­ri­als that have been de­clared as un­clean (na­jis) ac­cord­ing to Is­lamic prac­tice.”

He added, “Dur­ing the prepa­ra­tion, pro­cess­ing or man­u­fac­tur­ing, there must be no con­tact (with non-ha­lal ma­te­rial). Ha­lal also means the prod­uct does not harm cus­tomers.

“To ap­ply for Jakim’s ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, the ap­pli­cant needs to en­sure that their prod­uct has been reg­is­tered and has the ap­proval let­ter from the Na­tional Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Con­trol Bureau (NPCB).”

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Si­ra­jud­din, ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion com­plies with the MS2200: 2008 Con­sumer Good – Sec­tion 1: Cos­metic and Per­sonal Care – Gen­eral Guide­lines, the de­ci­sion of the Na­tional Fatwa Coun­cil for Is­lamic Af­fairs and other re­lated guide­lines and reg­u­la­tions.

He said there must also be com­pli­ance with the NPCB’s Guide­lines for Con­trol of Cos­metic Prod­ucts in Malaysia and Guide­lines on Cos­metic Good Man­u­fac­tur­ing Prac­tice.

How are cos­metic prod­ucts re­viewed be­fore a ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is given? “The cos­metic prod­ucts ucts are tested by the Depart­ment of Chem­istry in Pe­tal­ing Jaya, an au­tho­rised lab­o­ra­tory, and it only hap­pens if there is doubt over the in­gre­di­ents. A brand that in­tro­duces new prod- must re-ap­ply for the ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion,” he says.

When buy­ing ha­lal cos­metic prod­ucts, Dr Si­ra­jud­din says that con­sumers should look for the Malaysia Ha­lal Logo with the Malaysia Stan­dard (MS) num­ber and the file ref­er­ence num­ber (the last 10 dig­its). For in­ter­na­tional cos­metic prod­ucts, they should look for the for­eign ha­lal logo recog­nised by Jakim on the prod­uct pack­ag­ing.

The growth of Malaysian ha­lal beauty brands

In a report on the MITI web­site, HDC says Malaysia’s ex­port value for ha­lal cos­met­ics and per­sonal care as of the third quar­ter of 2015 topped RM1.7bil, re­flect­ing 5.5% of to­tal ha­lal ex­ports (RM31.1bil). It’s no won­der that the lu­cra­tive beauty in­dus­try has the emer­gence of in­de­pen­dent lo­cal beauty brands. Among them are Co­comess, Sor­fina Hal, Duck Cos­met­ics, Kamelia Cos­met­ics, Mar­cella & Co, Chaco, Orkid Cos­met­ics, Naelo­far, Nita, Dida, So.lek and Imaan Suci.

Hemy Sor­fina Halim, founder of ha­lal makeup brand Sor­fina Hal, says “the ha­lal cos­met­ics mar­ket is val­ued at US$230bil (RM971.8bil) and while there is a ris­ing de­mand, is a lack of sup­ply in the mar­ket.” Sor­fina Hal – which of­fers ha­lal colour cos­met­ics – is brand un­der the Cos­met­ics di­vi­sion of Bio­sciences, a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, med­i­cal and cos­met­ics dis­trib­u­tor.

“In Malaysia, the per­cep­tion of ha­lal makeup is highly at­tached to Is­lam but it should not be that way. In­stead, peo­ple should see the qual­ity that ha­lal prod­ucts of­fer,” Hemy says.

“Ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion means pre­mium in­gre­di­ents, hy­gienic man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties, high qual­ity lo­gis­tics, et cetera.”

“Sor­fina Hal’s stand­point is about of­fer­ing high qual­ity ha­lal makeup and is on par with or­ganic or nat­u­ral prod­ucts. With our brand im­age we don’t tie our­selves to a re­li­gious point of view. We res­onate with peo­ple of all back­grounds who have an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for pure and nat­u­ral prod­ucts,” Hemy ex­plains.

Dahlia Nadi­rah Juhari, founder of So.lek, says in her In­sta­gram that the most asked ques­tions are whether So.lek is ha­lal, ap­proved by the Health Min­istry and so­lat-friendly.

She says they are in the midst of get­ting ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, and are ap­proved by the Health Min­istry.

“I’m not so com­fort­able to say whether it’s so­lat-friendly as it de­pends on you as a con­sumer. Some say as long as the in­gre­di­ents are ha­lal you can pray while wear­ing the makeup. Some say ‘nope, you’d have to take it off.’ That is why we al­ways em­pha­sise that our prod­ucts are eas­ily ap­plied and re­moved,” Dahlia adds in her In­sta­gram.

Founder of Co­comess, a lo­cal hair­care brand, Nur­fazwena Rusli Somers – bet­ter known as Ena – says, “There weren’t many ha­lal hair prod­ucts avail­able in the mar­ket that con­tained nat­u­ral and or­ganic base in­gre­di­ents, so it was im­por­tant for us to get ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.”

Ob­tain­ing Jakim’s ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can take a year or more ac­cord­ing to Ena, and it’s a te­dious process as Jakim needs to ap­prove each in­gre­di­ent.

“Ha­lal cos­met­ics are not ex­clu­sive to Mus­lims as they are as­so­ci­ated with eth­i­cal con­sumerism and can ap­peal to non-Mus­lims. Ha­lal has also be­come a world­wide sym­bol for qual­ity as­sur­ance and a lifestyle choice,” Ena says.

Per­sonal health­care gi­ant Guardian has an­nounced that it is in the process of rolling out its new pack­ag­ing with the Jakim ha­lal logo on its own-brand ha­lal prod­ucts.

“Guardian’s own-brand went through a re­launch in March this year. The ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is part of an ex­er­cise to of­fer cus­tomers qual­ity they can trust,” says Al­fonso Roderos, cor­po­rate brand di­rec­tor for Guardian Health and Beauty Sdn Bhd.

Roderos says that the ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion ap­plies to se­lected ranges of Guardian’s own-brand prod­ucts.

The process to switch over to the new ha­lal cer­ti­fied pack­ag­ing is es­ti­mated to be com­pleted in six months.

“The Jakim ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion en­sures that strin­gent stan­dards are met at all stages of the prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ing process. The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion should add an­other layer of as­sur­ance for con­sumers and help us gain their con­fi­dence and trust. Our move will let Mus­lim cus­tomers ac­cess a much wider range of prod­ucts, at prices they will love,” Roderos says.

A one-stop ha­lal mar­ket­place

Pre­vi­ously, lo­cal ha­lal brands were mar­keted through ad­ver­tise­ments in Malay fe­male pub­li­ca­tions or you’d see the odd bill­board ad of a lo­cal beauty brand.

So there wasn’t a place where Mus­lim women could find and buy ha­lal cos­met­ics.

To meet that need, Pret­ty­suci. com – a beauty and skin­care re­tail por­tal ded­i­cated to ha­lal-cer­ti­fied prod­ucts founded by Tunku Datuk In­dera Kaiy­isah and Natasha Ozeir – was born.

“As busi­ness part­ners, Tunku Kaiy­isah and I are al­ways look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties. While she was pre­sented with an idea to trade lo­cal or­ganic spa prod­ucts, she saw a gap in the mar­ket for ha­lal beauty and shared this idea with me to de­velop a mar­ket­place for ha­lal cos­met­ics and skin­care,” says Natasha.

Pret­ty­suci.com was launched in May with 26 brands on­board and ac­cord­ing to Tunku Kaiy­isah, sales are con­stant and they are re­ceiv­ing re­quests for more brands to come on­board.

For their in-house prod­ucts they are con­sid­er­ing the open­ing of a flag­ship store in Kuala Lumpur in the se­cond quar­ter of 2018.

“Ini­tially we were only ship­ping lo­cally but we kept get­ting de­mands from Sin­ga­pore, Brunei, Bri­tain, Ger­many and the Gulf states. So now we ship world­wide,” says Tunku Kaiy­isah.

She says each coun­try has their own ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion bod­ies and they are on a list that is recog­nised by Jakim.

“The rise in global de­mand for ha­lal cos­met­ics is pos­si­bly due to more ac­cess through e-com­merce. Mus­lim fashion and lifestyle is also break­ing bar­ri­ers glob­ally with Nike, Lancome, Dolce and Gab­bana em­brac­ing mod­esty in their col­lec­tions, which also helps the ha­lal beauty move­ment spread its wings,” says Tunku Kaiy­isah.

“Con­sci­en­tious con­sumers like to iden­tify them­selves with an eth­i­cal brand. From a ha­lal beauty stand­point, that means safety, clean­li­ness, and cru­elty-free and an­i­mal byprod­uct-free prod­ucts. Ha­lal also stresses upon clean­li­ness dur­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing, pack­ag­ing and stor­age – at­tributes which many ap­pre­ci­ate and it’s not just what Mus­lims want,” Natasha adds.

“We feel that ha­lal cos­met­ics should tran­scend all cus­tomers, which is why we stress upon qual­ity when­ever we test for new brands and prod­ucts that want to come on­board.”

“Ha­lal cos­met­ics are an­other op­tion for all beauty lovers who want safe and con­ve­nient beauty prod­ucts,” Tunku Kaiy­isah says.

Photo: 123rf.com

- LOW LAY HON/The Star — Guardian Photo: 123rf.com

Sor­fina Hal cos­met­ics con­tain more than 70% or­ganic and an av­er­age of 95% nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents. Se­lected ranges of Guardian’s own brand prod­ucts have re­ceived ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

— Jakim

Dr Si­ra­jud­din con­firms that Jakim has re­ceived an in­crease of ap­pli­ca­tions by lo­cal and for­eign cos­metic brands seek­ing ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

— Guardian

Roderos says the ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is part of an ex­er­cise to of­fer cus­tomers qual­ity they can trust.

— The Loft Stu­dio Asia

Tunku Kaiy­isah (right) and Natasha launched Pret­ty­suci.com be­cause they saw a gap in the mar­ket and de­vel­oped a mar­ket­place for ha­lal cos­met­ics and skin­care.


Co­comess is a lo­cal ha­lal hair­care brand that con­tains nat­u­ral and or­ganic base in­gre­di­ents.


Hemy says the per­cep­tion of ha­lal makeup is highly at­tached to Is­lam but peo­ple should be aware of the qual­ity that ha­lal prod­ucts of­fer.


Ena cre­ated Co­comess as there weren’t many ha­lal hair­care prod­ucts avail­able in the mar­ket with nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents.

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