The halal cosmetics industry is booming. From skincare to makeup, you will have come across at least one product claiming to be ‘halal’ (i.e., permissible in Islam).
And nail polish is no different.
There are over a dozen nail polish brands that say they’re halal, but are they? In this post, we’ll take a look at exactly what qualifies as “halal nail polish” -- and what doesn’t.
What Do We Mean by “Halal?”
In Islam, the concept of “halal” means “permissible.” It’s a concept where Islam says certain things are OK for Muslims to consume, and others are simply not (i.e. they’re impermissible).
When it comes to material things, such as food, clothing, and cosmetics such as nail polish, “halal” products must deliver on two very important requirements:
- First, for anything to be halal it must be completely free of products and processes that Islam says are impermissible or haram. The biggest culprits here include products from pork and intoxicants (such as liquor, beer, marijuana, etc).
Of course, this is only the surface of the issue. While Muslims are permitted to consume various types of animal products, they’re required to slaughter consumable animals in a very specific way. Failure to do so would make those products impermissible.
Likewise for impermissible practices in the sourcing and production of the product, such as animal cruelty, child labour, and other wrongful practices.
- Second, the product must not be made using machinery, utensils, equipment, etc that are contaminated with impermissible substances. So, even if a product is made using halal ingredients, if it uses machinery tainted with pork products, it is not halal.
Due to these requirements, many beauty products -- including many types of nail polish -- are not halal. It’s quite common to find cosmetic products that use a wide range of animal products and alcohol substances. This is where the halal cosmetic industry stepped in with alternatives.
What is ‘Halal Nail Polish?’
So, for nail polish to be halal, it has to overcome two major issues.
First, halal nail polish must follow the two major requirements we described above, i.e., it must be free of impermissible ingredients, and it must be made in a place that isn’t contaminated with impermissible products (e.g., products made from pork, alcohol, etc).
But there’s more to it!
Second, halal nail polish must also be water permeable, i.e., allow water to reach the skin.
Muslims are obliged to pray five times a day. In order to pray, they must perform the “wudu,” which is a cleansing ritual with water. Most nail polishes are not breathable, so they set up a barrier of sorts that prevents air and water from touching the skin.
To properly complete the wudu -- and in turn, properly pray -- practicing Muslims will need to remove their nail polish each and every time.
With traditional nail polish, this is inconvenient and very unhealthy for our nails. But with a water permeable solution, we can perform the wudu properly without having to worry about removing our nail polish.
So, in summary, not only must halal nail polish be made of only permissible materials, but it must also be water permeable so that the water reaches the skin underneath. This will both meet the conditions of wudu and make wearing nail polish convenient.
Many companies entered the scene claiming they offer breathable nail polishes that allow hydration to pass -- i.e., allow water and air -- to reach the skin.
But be careful!
The scientific validity of their experiments are often flawed and result in false positives.
The test might show that the water reaching the skin, but the conditions of the test are flawed. You can learn more about flawed water permeability tests in one of our earlier posts.
What is Halal Nail Polish Made Of?
If the nail polish follows the two main rules we discussed to this point, then it’s halal -- it can be made from a variety of ingredients and processes, provided they’re permissible.
It sounds simple enough, but in truth, it’s difficult to actually find halal nail polish, especially one that’s certified by credible organizations, such as ISNA, the Halal Chamber of Commerce, etc.
Unfortunately, you’ll find many products claiming to be halal, but not only are their ingredients and processes questionable (to say the least), they’re often not halal certified.
Tuesday in Love’s Water Permeable Nail Polish is the first nail polish product to undergo and pass the rigorous halal certification tests of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
In addition to using only halal ingredients and manufacturing processes, Tuesday in Love’s halal nail enamel polish is water permeable. ISNA confirmed this with its valid water permeability test -- and Tuesday in Love fully complied with ISNA’s Halal Nail Polish Certification.
Are Halal and Vegan Nail Polishes The Same Thing?
Well, it depends!
Muslims are Islamically permitted to consume animal products provided that they’re sourced and slaughtered as per Islam’s requirements. Such products are not vegan.
But Tuesday in Love is both halal and vegan.
Our halal nail polish is free of all animal products, so it’s vegan. Moreover, Tuesday in Love’s halal nail polish products are also Cruelty Free (with recognition from the Corporate Standard
of Compassion for Animals or Leaping Bunny).
As Muslims, we want to look and feel our best. With Tuesday in Love’s halal nail polish, we can do just that by keeping our nails in good health and easily preparing ourselves for prayer.
To learn more about the scientific facts and fiction of halal nail polish, check out our latest video with Dr. Sarah Habibi