Cosmetic Dyes - Is the Red Cochineal/Carmine Dye Halal?
  • Question:

    I came across the ingredient cochineal/carmine recently. It is used as a red dye and made from insects. Is this halal? It is used in make up and cosmetics and is almost unavoidable. It is present in practically every lipstick and lip-gloss, so when people say avoid it, it is obviously not possible. I have been unable to find reliable information on it. And it is also said that now a synthetic type is used, but again there is no source to confirm it.

    I have also been told that why wear make up in the first place, again, that is not the solution.

    If this is not halal, why is there not a major issue about this?

    Please guide me in the light of Quran and Sunnah.

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    We advise you to directly contact the company of the specific product you are concerned about. If the ingredients are synthetic or plant based, there is no objection. However if the ingredient is animal based and the product is used externally and not consumed orally, it is acceptable according to a reliable opinion of the jurists, in soaps, creams and make up.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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