You always ensure that there is no haram food in your household. But did you know a lot of the products on your bathroom shelf and dressing table has haram ingredients? It is time we get more involved and aware about the ingredients used in such daily products. 

Let us look into the five most common haram ingredients found in personal care products. Before you buy your next deodorant, moisturizing cream, lipstick or any other product, do check the ingredients section to find any of these.

Collagen: Collagen is said to be a major component of the connective tissues in our bodies and has many important functions. It is a protein that is found in humans and animals. It is known to improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles and increase skin hydration. It is available in the form of supplements and is widely used in cosmetics and personal care products. Usually, collagen is derived from animal cartilages. However, it also derived from plant and vegan sources as well. If it is obtained from a plant source, then the product is safe and halal. Nevertheless, if collagen is sourced from an animal and the animal was halal or was slaughtered in the Islamic manner, then also the product will be safe and halal. 

Having said that, we should not forget the fact that personal care products are manufactured by non-Muslims as well. They may not slaughter the animals in the halal way. There is also a chance of collagen acquired from pigs being used in the product. If a product has collagen as one of the ingredients, then it is important to check where that collagen is being sourced from. 

Carmine (Cochineal): Carmine is the red-coloured pigment commonly found in red lipsticks, cosmetics and even in red-coloured food items. It is also referred to as cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470 or E-120. Carmine or Carminic Acid is obtained by boiling the dried scales of a beetle named Cochineal.

Carmine is an insects and therefore it should not be consumed. However, scholars allow external application of carmine and its derivatives since the insect is not najis (impure). All other insects apart from locusts are haram. According to majority of the scholars, Prophet Muhammad did not mention any insect or bug as halal except locusts. 

Women end up consuming the lipstick applied on their lips. It is important to not wear anything on your lips that contains a haram ingredient. While carmine in eyeshadows is okay, but one should be careful that this ingredient is not there in the lipsticks. 

Stearic Acid: This fatty acid is commonly used in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products as an emulsifier, thickening agent, hardening agent and fragrant. It is primarily obtained from animal sources, but it can be sourced from plants as well.

It is to be noted that a product containing stearic acid will be considered halal only if it comes from a plant source or if the animal is slaughtered in the Islamic way. However, if it comes from an animal source and the animal was not slaughtered in the manner prescribed by Islam the product will not be considered as Halal. Product with this ingredient should not be used by Muslims.

Glycerin: You must have noticed the ingredient glycerin in many skincare products. This colourless and odourless liquid is used as a moisturizing agent in skincare products. Glycerin is a humectant which means that it attracts water to itself and helps your skin stay hydrated. Similar to stearic acid, glycerin can be either plant or animal-based. And that’s why it is important to know the source of the ingredient in order to use it. If it has been obtained from an animal source, we need to avoid it unless we’re sure that the animal was halal and slaughtered in the Islamic manner (zabīha). 

Ethanol: The permissibility of this substance is controversial. Ethanol and its derivatives – ethyl alcohol, ethylene and methylated spirits are very common ingredients found in personal care and beauty products like shampoos, deodorants, lotions and creams. The halal status of ethanol depends on many factors including its source and concentration. Some jurists are of the opinion that it is totally haram while others say that if the quantity used is very less and does not intoxicate, then it is permissible. Nevertheless, some allow it in beauty products while others still restrict the use of it. 

Now that alcohol-free and halal certified products are easily available in the market, you don’t need to put your faith at stake. The best option is to stay safe and avoid products that contain alcohol or ethanol. 

There are many more haram ingredients such as casein, oleic acid, lauric acid and gelatin that are included in everyday personal care products and which may come from animal or plant sources. Most cosmetics and personal care products do not list the source and it becomes a pain to determine whether the product is halal or not. At times, even the manufacturers are unable to confirm the source of these ingredients. Thus, it is a smart choice to opt for halal products available in the market. Now that you know of these five commonly used haram ingredients, pay more attention to the ingredients before purchasing it.

In any case, the best and safest option is to go to the halal! Choose halal-certified products, have peace of mind, stay healthy and stay beautiful. To know more, click here https://islamqa.org/hanafi/askimam/75828