Alcohol in Cosmetics Products

As I try to be an ethical beauty buyer, I realize that it means I also can not make excuse.  “It doesn’t say that ethyl alcohol is Haraam in Al Qur’an” , yes, of course it is not.  But being the only mammal who can think, talk, read, etc., it means that you also have to stop being lazy.  Allah SWT gave us a brain to think and to use logic.  It has been gave with a reason.  If you wish you would avoid it, or not, is up to you.  But there’s no harm knowing what’s halal and what’s not.

As I read at, halal does not limit itself to food. We often use products blinded without knowing ingredients at all. So be careful also with products you use for your skin. Being a smart buyer means that you care enough to know the ingredients.  According to the study from the National Health and Medical Research Council in Canberra, Australia, average woman could expect to swallow between 500 – 1500 grams of lipstick in her life time if she was a modest but regular user (ref).  Scary fact? There’s more.  If, just if your lipstick has Carmine red color which is contained from insect, which is a haraam ingredient, do you think you still couldn’t care less?

So this just a few of my lists  from many sources, I’ll try to keep update later.

Benzyl Alcohol – Halal
Produced naturally by many plants and is commonly found in fruits and teas. It is also found in a variety of essential oils including jasmine, hyacinth, and ylang-ylang. It is used as a bactericide (kills bacteria) in personal care formulations and it does not cause intoxication, therefore it is classed as Halal, even though its chemical name contains the word ‘Alcohol’.

Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol and Dipropylene Glycol are clear, practically colorless, liquids. These ingredients are used in the formulation of hair and bath products, eye and facial makeup, fragrances, personal cleanliness products, shaving and skin care products. There are no halal concerns about these products.

Carmine/CI 75470 (colour) – Haraam

Is derived from Cochineal (from beetles).  Red color from Cochineal or Carmine is Haram because all insects are Haram in Islam except locust.

Cetyl Alcohol – Halal
Cetyl alcohol is a long chain alcohol which is solid hence obviously not drinkabale nor does it cause intoxication if at all ingested. Therefore, it is halal to use in cosmetic products. It is also not absorbed through the skin when applied as a cream.

Collagen – Haraam
Is used in many personal care products such as skin care and anti-aging creams. It is made from animal hides including pigs and may be labeled as hydrolyzed animal protein. Products containing collagen and hydolyzed animal protein must be avoided.

Ctearyl Alcohol – Halal
Also Cetearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol and Cetyl alcohol are emulsifiers, meaning they help the oily ingredients in the formulation dissolve in the water phase to give the cream a smooth consistency. They tend to be white, waxy solids and are known as fatty alcohols, which occur naturally in some plants and animals. These could be Halal, even though the name suggests otherwise, because if ingested, they are not intoxicating

Denatured Alcohol – Halal
Denatured alcohol is an industrial methylated spirit or surgical spirit (contains natural or synthesised ethanol and denaturing agent such as methanol or methylisobutyl ketone). We regard it as permissible for external use.

Dimethicone and Methicone – Halal
Both silicone based polymers, are also considered halal, and used as antifoaming agents or skin conditioning agents.

Ethyl Alcohol – Haraam
(it is mentioned in Muslim Food Guide (1420/200 edition) that Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is also impermissible as it is generated from the fermentation of sugars from cane, forming the intoxicating element of all fermented liquors)

Gelatin – Questionable Ingredient

Is found in moisturizers, cosmetics.Only fish gelatin is Halal.

Glycerin, also referred to as Glycerol, is a component of all animal and vegetable fats and oils. Be careful with this, you have to know whether it is from animal or vegetable. 

Keratin – Questionable Ingredient

Is  found in Moisturizers(Hydrolyzed Keratin – derived from Keratin (from cashmere goat or sheep wool)

Lanolin – Questionable Ingredient

Is a permissable ingredient according to this link. But categorize this a s questionable ingredient since it is derived from animal matter

Oleic Acid – Questionable Ingredient

Which is found in Moisturizers, and cosmetics. Oleic Acid is derived from animal matter (beef or pork)

Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate – Doubtful

Are used in the formulation of shampoos, bath products, and skin cleansing products but can also be found in other types of products.

Wine Vinegar – Haraam

A typical wine consists of: Water, Ethyl Alcohol, Tannins Acids, Polyphenols, Flavor compounds and color if from red grapes. Therefore it is clear wine vinegar is haraam

Sources: 1234