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Halal cosmetics

Halal cosmetics could become a major player in local vanity departments if one were to probe and expose the ingredients of most of the cosmetics sold here.

There is an underlying fact that there is no clear or proper indication that a cosmetic product sold in the country is genuinely halal or permissible under the Islamic rules. Except for meat and other food products, the halal certification of beauty and cosmetics products is still alien to this country.

Malaysia however has recently taken steps to announce that all cosmetics and beauty products imported into that country must bear a halal certification.

Reports from the Star say that the Malaysian Islamic Religious- Development Department (JAKIM) is setting up guidelines for cosmetics imports and the halal certifications will be based on this guideline.

The Malaysian Halal Directory 2003/2004 released by JAKIM only listed five cosmetic products bearing halal status. This could cause some worry here for the locals since a majority of cosmetics and beauty products available in Malaysia is also available here.

There is a wide range of skin creams, toners, lipstick, soap, shampoos and toothpaste sold in the country. Friday being a holiday, Brunei's Halal Haram Section could not be contacted yesterday for comment.

In the Islamic religion, any ingredient made from pigs are considered not to be halal and is in fact prohibited. Some of the cosmetics and beauty products are said to use these ingredients as part of its manufacturing process. Besides this, the use of ingredients from other animal sources that are not slaughtered properly according to Islamic rules are also considered non-halal.

There are also difficulties for locals to identify which of these ingredients are not halal since all of them are identified by their scientific names.

There have been some emails circulating recently regarding a famous brand of shampoo and facial cleanser that was claimed to have pig fat in its ingredients.

Though still unconfirmed, such email caused many locals to stop using that product.

Some -of whom the Weekend spoke to yesterday, voiced their concerns on the halal status of some of the beauty products here. Many have called for the halal certification to be applied to these products as well as to follow stringent halal monitoring as well as certification of meat products in the country.