As the founder of Claudia Nour Cosmetics, I often get asked the question; “what is halal makeup?”,“what does whudu friendly mean?”, “can i pray with it?”, “do I have to remove it?”, “is the makeup I am using halal?”, “what ingredients should I avoid?”,
All these questions were the same ones that were on my mind when I started to realize that I wanted the cosmetics I was applying on my skin to be in line with my faith.
When I converted to Islam in September 2012, I had no clue.
I was 26 years old when I discovered the religion that my heart was looking all my life and I wanted to make everything in my life be in harmony with my new lifestyle.
And in many areas this transition was easy because I was able to find a lot of advice, information,video lectures,books, etc. about the many different aspects of Islam.
But in one of the areas that I could not find a lot of information was:
Makeup and Skin care
I felt so lost after looking and trying to find other sisters who had figured out how to deal with the prayer and the usage of cosmetics and not being able to find anyone.
So I took it into my own hands to read and research and find out everything I needed to know about makeup, skin care and the prayers.
FIRST THINGS FIRST, WHAT IS HALAL MAKEUP ?
The word Halal in arabic, simply means what is permitted or lawful, and as muslims there are lots of things that are Halal, but there are a few that are Haraam (unlawful or not permissible), and when any of these ingredients are present in our food, skin care or clothing, etc then these cannot be considered halal anymore.
So which ingredients that are normally used in cosmetics are not permissible (Haraam) ?
- Pork and pork derived ingredients,
- Alcohol (there are certain alcohols that are Halal, but I have chosen to exclude all Alcohol from my products)
- Carmine (Carmine is the Red color used in many makeup products that is derived from the crushed dried up Cochineal insects, and all Insects except *Locusts are Haram to consume
COULD BE HALAL, COULD BE HARAAM INGREDIENTS..
Tallow: Tallow is a common ingredient in many cosmetics including eye makeup, lipstick, makeup bases and foundations. To the everyday consumer, it’s more common name would be rendered animal fat. The process involves boiling the carcasses of slaughtered animals until a fatty substance is produced, ready to add to cosmetics and apply to one’s face.
Gelatin: Similar to tallow, gelatin is the boiled skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of animals. Absolutely off limits unless you know that there was no pork involved, but I personally think that we can have amazing products without the need of any kind of gelatin.
Collagen: Found in cosmetic lip-plumping glosses, this is a fibrous protein from animal tissue that has no proven effect on your own collagen reproduction. Unless the source is known , and it is known that no pork was used in the making, is not permissible.
Estrogen: Also listed as Estradiol, its origin is a very impure one and something i would not consider pure for us to use, this hormone-based can be found in most perfumes, restorative creams or lotions. Estrogen is obtained by extracting urine from pregnant horses.
Ambergris: This is an ingredient that i consider to be harmful to the animal and therefore unethical and un-islamic, because it is derived from the waxy oil that lines whale’s stomachs. This oil substance is used to make the scent “set” in perfumes, but in some instances whales are hunted and killed for this sole purpose, sharks are also in great danger because of the cosmetic industry and you will see with the next ingredient.
Squalene: This substance is extracted from the livers of sharks and then added to your eye makeup and lipsticks, but the biggest use is in facial moisturizers. The practice of hunting sharks for the oil in their livers is not in line with a humane and islamic practice for my business.
Glycerin/glycerol is found in Moisturizers, cleansers after shave. If glycerin is obtained from pork fat then it will be Haram.The glycerin used in all of my products is vegetable based and free of all pork and alcohol.
Stearic Acid is another ingredient that can be both obtained from an animal or vegetable source, the stearic acid in my products is from a vegetable origin, but unless you know what is the origin of this ingredients, then is best to stay away from it.
BUT CLAUDIA, MAKEUP IS NOT INGESTED...
You might not be consuming these ingredients as you would a regular meal, but given that the skin is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it. So what you apply on the largest organ of your body is just as important as what you put inside of it. And if there are ingredients that are not permissible for us to consume, it makes logical sense that we should not be applying these on our skin, since they will also be absorbed into our bodies.
In 1990, the National Health and Medical Research Council in Canberra, Australia, asserted the average woman could expect to swallow between 500 and 1,500 grams of lipstick in her lifetime if she was a modest but regular user. These are just guidelines that let us know that we should pay attention to the things that come in contact with our bodies, not only internally but externally as well.
“I don't consider halal makeup one idea that prevents us from using this ingredient or that ingredient but it's a whole system that is meant to purify us and to keep our bodies as clean as possible both physically and spiritually.”
NOW, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE WHUDU-FRIENDLY ASPECT OF MAKEUP...
So now that you know which ingredients are halal, let's talk about this term: wudhu-friendly. Let's break it down this way: wudhu is the ritual cleansing that we as muslims must to before we pray.
So when we have a wudhu -friendly product, it means that it will not stand in the way of us purifying ourselves, and it will not interfere with our prayers.
And this is where I was completely stuck, and where I could not find a clear approach. Most of the advice I could find came in the form of comments from other sisters under YouTube videos, Facebook or Instagram pictures where they guessed and tried to give their best opinion, which would most of the time fall into one of these 3 views:
Wear no makeup whatsoever
Remove your makeup completely and then reapply,
Or you know what? makeup is not that strong, it will not prevent the water from reaching the skin, so don’t worry about it,