The vegetarian (vegan) lifestyle, which does not consume food derived from animals, is increasingly popular in society from year to year. The lifestyle, which initially only did not consume food from animals, spreads to other aspects, including using veggies for clothing and cosmetics.
Specifically, in cosmetics, many body and beauty care products, such as makeup and skincare, claim to be free from animal ingredients. Carrying the slogan “back to nature” or “environmentally friendly”, vegan cosmetics manufacturers state that their products only use vegetable elements.
LPPOM MUI Corporate Secretary Manager, Raafqi Ranasasmita, M.BioMed, explained that vegan cosmetics derived from vegetable ingredients could be an option for Muslim consumers. Production processes that do not include animal compounds as raw materials can reduce concerns over the possibility of these products being contaminated with uncleanness or involving the exploitation of animals that are forbidden in religion or animals that are not slaughtered according to Islamic law.
However, can vegan cosmetics be automatically claimed halal, as advertised so far? “Not necessarily,” said Raafqi, a halal auditor for LPPOM MUI.
According to him, even though it is claimed to use plant-based ingredients, there is no guarantee that vegan cosmetics do not involve haram elements. For example, they are using auxiliary materials for producing raw materials derived from animal product derivatives whose halal status is unclear, including animal enzymes to process a compound. In addition, materials derived from fermentation are also critical because they can use media containing animal ingredients.
Likewise, with the use of alcohol in cosmetics. According to Raafqi, the function of alcohol in cosmetic products such as skincare usually acts as a solvent, emulsifier, antiseptic, and preservative, which minimizes bacterial growth and helps to maximize product absorption into the skin.
The law on the use of ethanol in medicinal products is regulated in MUI Fatwa No. 11 of 2018 concerning Cosmetic Products Containing Alcohol/Ethanol and MUI Fatwa No. 26 of 2013 concerning Halal Standards for Cosmetic Products and Their Use.
The fatwa emphasized that using cosmetics for decorative purposes is permissible because the materials used are halal and unharmful. Meanwhile, using cosmetics for consumption/entering the body using unclean or unlawful ingredients is haram.
Regarding the issue, Raafqi suggested that consumers remain selective in choosing vegan cosmetics. “Don’t be easily fooled by unilateral halal claims from producers or traders. Make sure that the cosmetics used are truly halal-certified,” he said. (FM)