Muslim consumers today are not only better informed about beauty products, but they are also spurring demand for multifunctional skincare and makeup that cater to their unique needs and identities.
Speaking at Cosmoprof Asia 2022 held in Singapore from 16 to 18 November, Héloise Lefebvre du Prey, South East Asia Project Manager at Asia Cosme Lab, highlighted the evolving beauty landscape in the region.
“The pandemic has accelerated the growth of online local brands. Foreign brands, such as Japanese brand SENKA, are also launching products specific to the South East Asia market,” said du Prey.
The rising demand for ethical, cruelty-free products denotes a stronger incentive for brands to obtain halal certification. Halal labelling for cosmetic products will become mandatory in Indonesia from October 2026.
“Halal is, by nature, cruelty-free. Halal certification, thanks to its strict control of ingredients and stringent processes of production, offers a guarantee of safety for consumers,” du Prey added.
Before their daily prayers, Muslims are required to perform a ritual called Wudhu, or ablutions, where they wash their faces, hands, arms and feet. In response, some brands have introduced ‘breathable’ nail polish that allows water to pass through, making them ablution-friendly.
Women who wear hijabs are prone to hair problems, such as itchy scalp, dandruff, limp hair and hair loss. During the Ramadan season, Muslim consumers also have further needs for hydration in their skin and hair.
“Consumers want brands to answer their concerns. They are looking for products that not only serve their beauty needs, but are also compliant with their religious practices,” du Prey said.
When makeup took a back seat during the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers’ attention turned to achieving healthy skin. This led to numerous product launches targeted at acne-prone, pigmented and sensitive skin, as well as products focusing on protecting and preserving the skin barrier.
Some 77% of Indonesians with acne admit to having experienced acne-shaming. Capitalising on this area of concern, Indonesian brands like Dear Me Beauty and Wonderly found popularity with their anti-acne product lines.
At the same time, K-beauty influences — specifically, multifunctional products — remain strong in South East Asia. This can be seen from the increased sales of makeup products with skincare ingredients, such as tinted sunscreen and skin serum concealer.
There has also been a boom in multi-purpose hair mists. Besides heat protection, consumers are seeking antibacterial action, a relaxing fragrance, and benefits such as reinforcement of barrier function, detangling and conditioning.
Furthermore, the region’s hot climate has boosted demand for products that create cooling sensations, lightweight cosmetics, fast-absorbing body moisturisers, and makeup that come with sun protection.
Viral videos on TikTok have also led to an elevated interest in facial mist sprays, which claim to enhance makeup’s staying power under the mask and protect against environmental aggressors.
As the world enters the post-pandemic era, Asia Cosme Lab has identified several key areas of development for halal beauty, including greater focus on sustainability, inclusivity, and mental health and wellness.
“Local brands are looking to expand beyond South East Asia or the Middle East. In Indonesia alone, there are more than 100 new local fragrance brands seeking to get halal certification; not to mention that the growth of the metaverse will offer opportunities for more cross-industry collaboration,” said du Prey.