Is Halal makeup vegan? - The Ultimate Guide

Halal makeup

When it comes to Halal makeup, there has been a lot of controversy about the use of alcohol, porcine-related products, and permissible colorants.

The truth is, all of them are true!

As a Muslim beauty blogger since 2014, I have seen a lot of heated debates both online and offline.

What makes makeup not Halal?

A Halal Makeup simply means a cosmetic that does not:

✔ contains porcine-related products such as lard and porcine collagen

✔ contains carmine, a red pigment from cochineal beetles

✔ contains Ethyl Alcohol aka Ethanol 

The first point above is obvious even to non-Muslims.

However, the 2nd and 3rd points are usually missed by even Muslims themselves.


This ingredient makes a makeup not Halal and many people do not  realize it.

Carmine is derived from cochineal beetles. It has many names. Below are all names that appear on the label that contains carmine.

✔ cochineal extract

✔ crimson lake

✔ carmine lake

✔ natural red 4

✔ CI75470

✔ E120

Carmine colorant is cheap and highly pigmented. 

Red pigments made from this insect is unacceptable in Halal-certified and Halal-compliant cosmetics. If your concept is Halal-compliant, you can refer to the list of Halal-friendly pigments here.

Take a look at this lipstick by MAC Cosmetics.

Ingredients: Polybutene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyethylene, Microcrystalline Wax\Cera Microcristallina\Cire Microcristalline, Tocopheryl Acetate, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Vanillin, Bht, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Bronze Powder (Ci 77400), Carmine (Ci 75470), Copper Powder (Ci 77400), Manganese Violet (Ci 77742), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 (Ci 15850), Red 21 (Ci 45380), Red 27 (Ci 45410), Red 28 (Ci 45410), Red 30 (Ci 73360), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 22 Lake (Ci 45380), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985)] <ILN46753>

Carmine has a Ci number of 75470.

Ci stands for Color Index and the number 75470 falls under the category of Natural Dye.

Ethanol aka Ethyl Alcohol

Another common ingredient that makes makeup not Halal is Ethanol aka Ethyl Alcohol.

Formulators usually use it as a solvent for extracts and other functional ingredients that do not dissolve in oil and water.

Because Ethyl Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, it becomes not permissible to use this ingredient in Halal products.

But... I beg to differ because Ethyl Alcohol in cosmetics do not exceed 20% in weight and it will not cause one to be drunk.

Please do not be confused with the generic term Alcohol.

Not all alcohol is Haram! Some 'alcohols' are completely acceptable in Halal Makeup. If you see these names, all of them are Halal-compliant:

✔ Cetyl alcohol - to thicken viscosity

✔ Cetearyl alcohol - to thicken viscosity

✔ Isopropyl alcohol - added as an antiseptic

✔ Stearyl alcohol - to thicken viscosity

I have to remind you again that Vegan makeup does not mean it is Halal because it can contain ingredients such as Carmine or other non-Halal ingredients mentioned above.

Types of Halal makeup

There are many types of Halal makeup in the market these days.

You can choose to use makeup that is:

✔ 100% Halal-certified, Halal-compliant or Muslim-owned
✔ Halal + Vegan 
✔ Halal + Eco-friendly
✔ Halal + Organic/Natural
✔ Halal + Vegan + Organic/Natural
✔ Halal + Clean

Sometimes, Halal makeup may also contain ingredients such as:

✔ Talc
✔ Triclosan
✔ Paraben
✔ Hydroquinone 

It can also contain Mineral Oil which does not contain much nutritional values compared to plant oils.

Mineral oil is aka Paraffinum Liquidum or Paraffin.

It is cheaper to use Mineral Oil than a plant oil. My advice is to always use plant oils because they contain fatty oils that are beneficial to your skin.

Makeup ingredients that are not Halal

A Halal makeup is a makeup that does not contain impermissible ingredients... read more

Cosmetics versus Medical

There are no such thing as Halal-certified sanitizers if Ethyl Alcohol is being used in the formula.

Ethyl Alcohol is effective in killing a range of bacteria.

There are many Fatwa that allow using sanitizers containing Ethyl Alcohol as a means of preventive measures.

Isopropyl Alcohol is a good alternative if your concept is strictly Halal-compliant.

Alternative Ingredients to use instead of Ethanol

If you are a cosmetics formulator or thinking of becoming one soon, this section is for you!

There are other ingredients that you can use instead of using Ethyl Alcohol or Ethanol.

For example, if you are going to make an extract, you need a solvent right?

Please note: These ingredients may or may not be suitable to act as a 100% alternative because you still need to consider the final pH, smell, texture and color.

You can use:

  • Vegetable glycerin 
  • Vinegar
  • Propanediol 1,3 (not Propylene Glycol!)

Halal makeup brands in Southeast Asia

These are some of the most popular Halal makeup brands that you can find in Malaysia.

  • NRC Cosmetics
  • Alha Alfa Cosmetics
  • Sendayu Tinggi 
  • Ronasutra
  • Merve Cosmetic
  • So.Lek Cosmetics
  • Orkid Cosmetics

Halal makeup brands, Singapore-based:

  • Sayeeda
  • Note Cosmetics
  • Doll Me Up Cosmetics

Halal makeup brands, Indonesia-based:

  • Wardah
  • BLP Beauty
  • Luxcrime
  • Esqa Cosmetics
  • Rosé All Day Cosmetics
  • Dear Me Beauty
  • Mazaya Cosmetics
  • Zoya Cosmetics

Halal makeup brands, Brunei-based:

  • PHB Ethical Beauty
  • MukaKu Cosmetics

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