The issue on whether make-up (lipsticks; rouge/blush and eye-shadows) are halaal or not has arisen around the women again. The quandary being the ingredients of the make-up and not whether it is lawful or not to wear. The stance of the ’Ulamaa is as it was years ago on the issue of the use of cochineal or carmine extract- that anything which has cochineal or carmine extract in it is haraam.
Why? What is cochineal?
The cochineal insect (pronounced ko-sha-neel) or Dactylopius coccus is a soft-body, flat, oval-shape scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the crimson-coloured dye carmine is derived. This sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico, fixes itself on the Opuntia cactus, penetrates it with it’s beak-like mouthparts and feeds on its juices and nutrients, remaining immobile.
The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects. Carminic acid, typically 17–24% of dried insects’ weight, can be extracted from the body and eggs then mixed with aluminum or calcium salts to make carmine dye (also known as cochineal). Carmine is today primarily used as a food colouring and for cosmetics.
“The insects are carefully brushed from the cacti… and placed into bags. The bags are taken to the production plant and there, the insects are then killed by immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam or the heat of an oven. It is to be noted that the variance in appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by the different methods used during this process. It takes about 70,000 insects to make one pound (454 gm) of cochineal. The body of one cochineal is said to contain between 18-20% of carminic acid.
The part of the insect that contains the most carmine is the abdomen that houses the fertilized eggs of the cochineal. Once dried, a process begins whereby the abdomens and fertilized eggs are separated from the rest of the anatomical parts. These are then ground into a powder and cooked to extract the maximum amount of color. This cooked solution is filtered and put through special processes that cause all carmine particles to precipitate to the bottom of the cooking container. The liquid is removed and the bottom of the container is left with pure carmine.”
During production, various other substances can be used, including stannous chloride, citric acid, borax, or gelatine. (Hmmm… A double no-no for us and vegans for that matter).
There are two principal forms of cochineal dye:
Cochineal extract (E120 ii) is a coloring made from the raw dried and pulverised bodies of insects with around 20% carminic acid.
Carmine (E120 i) a more purified colouring made from cochineal.
Cochineal is primarily identified as E-129. In the world marketplace, it may also be identified as:
CI #75470 – CI Natural Red #4
CAS #1390-65-4 – Carmine
CAS #1260-17-9 – Cochineal Extract
Which brings us to our beloved make-up… Any lipstick, rouge, eye-shadow or lip-liner that has carmine or cochineal extract in it is not halaal to use. This goes for our food and beverages as well. PLEASE READ THE LABELS. This ingredient must be included on packaging labels when used as a food additive, as it has been known to cause severe allergic reactions, asthmatic attacks, and anaphylactic shock in some people. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation (January 5, 2011) required all foods and cosmetics containing cochineal to declare it on their ingredient labels, due to objections from people who have concerns for reasons of health, ethics or religion.
I was extremely perplexed or “bugged out” as I would put it. LOL! “What am i going to use?!”, I heard so many women exclaim with doleful faces. For many a woman her lipstick is a second skin for her. Well, cheer up, there are quite a few eco-friendly brands that are carmine-free and that achieve their reds through a combination of minerals (iron and mica oxides) and plant extracts (annatto, beets, turmeric, and saffron).
I must add that some of these wonderful non-carmine products will make your slack-jawed man’s head spin not just due to their colour, but their price tag. For us way down in the South (of Africa), there are not many options but to buy online. Aveda is available here in SA. Scroll down to check the price ladies…
Here are some Carmine free products
Alba Botanica TerraGloss
Alima Pure (Organic Nourishing Lipbalm is great for everyday and easy on the pocket)
Aveda (Approximately ZAR 226 for Uruku Lip Pigment.)
Cargo PlantLove Botanical Lipstick
DuWop Private Red Lipstick (nice one, this henna coloured lipstick)
Gourmet Body Treats
Josie Maran Lipstick
Just Pure Minerals
Kiss My Face Sheer Organic Shimmer and Sheer Organic Shine
Korres Guava Lipstick
Mikamy Meadows Lip Gloss
Mukha Essentials Lipstick
Nvey ECo Organic Cosmetics
Perfect Organics Vegan Lip and Cheek Shimmer
Sevi (love their blushes and their Fuzzy Kiwi Mineral Lipstick)
Don’t take the sales assistant’s word. Remember to read labels carefully yourself. Don’t take for granted what we have added here as information as products may change according to the discretion of their companies. In the end, YOU, the consumer has the last say in purchasing an item. To date the above companies state that their products do not contain carmine. Ummul Hasanaat is not a halaal governing body.