Beauty plays an important role in all women's life, regardless of religion or lifestyle choice, and Muslim women are no different. Choosing to only use Halal beauty products is purely a personal choice but if it's something you are interested in then there are a few, very simple rules to follow:
For a beauty product to be truly Halal it shouldn't contain any alcoholic ingredients that can be absorbed into your skin and bloodstream. It's really important to remember this because a lot us tend to discard a product simply for having the ingredient 'alcohol' in it without really understanding what it means. Cetyl alcohol and Cetearyl alcohol are both synthetic and so it's permissible to use products with either of these ingredients. However, Ethyl alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream when applied so it's haram. Other alcoholic ingredients that are haram include Ethanol and Methylated Spirits. As for perfumes, if it contains less than 5% alcohol then it's fine to use, but if you're still concerned then I'd advise sticking to a perfume oil which is just as good!
Animal cruelty is strictly prohibited in Islam so any beauty product that have been tested on animals will be haram. The EU have put a ban on animal testing in Europe but it still goes on in other parts of the world. The issue of animal testing is a whole other story and I'll definitelty touch upon it in the future but it's something that tends to get swept under the carpet a lot. For an extensive list of brands that don't test on animals click here and keep them in mind when shopping next time!
I've heard a lot of whispers about lipsticks and cosmetics containing pig fat but it's important to understand that animal fats tend to oxidize and turn rancid quite rapidly, and considering most cosmetics and products have such a long shelf life it's unlikely that they'd contain it. If you're interested to know what brands do you pig or animal fat this extensive list is brilliant and really helpful.
The issue of Halal, Kosher or vegetarian products is still a bit of a grey area in the beauty industry which means it'll take a considerable amount of research to distinguish between halal and haram. If you don't fancy reading up on every single brand or scrutinising the ingredients list on all your products, (it would probably take months for me to get through all my products...!) then there are brands out there that specifically cater to the above requirements. Some great Halal beauty brands that I recommend wholeheartedly are: Pure Halal Beauty, Samina Pure Makeup and Inika. Other, more mainstream brands, include LUSH, All Good Things, Simple, Palmers and OPI.
Look out for upcoming reviews on these brands and let me know if there are more that I should be checking out!