Halal skin care
As a religious Muslim and a woman who uses makeup, Suraiya Waeusang must remove the product and wash her face at least three times a day before prayers. Muslims must wash their hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, head, ears and feet before prayer five times a day – three times during the day and twice in the evening and night.
Suraiya Waeusang, founder of Celine, a halal skincare and cosmetics brand.
To save time, nine years ago, Suraiya came up with the idea of a halal skincare and cosmetics brand called Celine.
“At that time in Pattani, there were few halal cosmetics imported from abroad, but they were not popular. I did not know what ingredients these skincare and cosmetics contained. I have sensitive skin and a times after using a whitening cream, I had an allergic reaction. Then the idea came to me to create my own line of halal skincare and cosmetics,” Suraiya explained.
Suraiya consulted a dermatologist and a factory to produce halal moisturizer and sunscreen testers for her sensitive skin. After testing on her own skin, Suraiya was happy with the results and sent the product to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. Halal skincare and cosmetics brand, Celine, is currently FDA registered and Halal Science Center approved.
Suraiya said it took Celine a year to be approved by the Halal Science Center at Chulalongkorn University.
“Many products were pending approval. Halal skin care and cosmetic products must not contain animal-derived ingredients and must not contain ethyl alcohol. All processes, including preparation , production, packaging and transportation, should follow the halal hygiene standard, so the products should not contain ingredients of animal origin, do not mix or come into contact with other prohibited items during the processes,” Suraiya explained.
The Celine founder first created halal cosmetics and skincare products for herself, but as a housewife she was also looking for an opportunity to earn her own money. She decided to launch her products after a Facebook follower asked her for help.
“A follower had issues with pimples and melasma so she chatted with me on Facebook. I saw a dermatologist who sent me a product tester. After the follower tried the tester, she got good results, so I decided to turn the tester into products,” Suraiya said.
Although Suraiya uses her halal cosmetics, she still has to wash her face before praying, but she doesn’t have to remove all her makeup.
“According to Islamic practice, if women do not use halal cosmetics, they should wash their faces and remove makeup completely before prayers. Therefore, some Muslim nuns do not wear makeup or even use sunscreen , especially when they are at home. It causes them melasma. After the launch of Celine, these Muslim women opened up to the brand because it is halal skincare, and the product helped them to have better skin in the long run,” Suraiya said.
Some people may wonder why Muslim women who wear a hijab that covers their face always want to wear makeup.
“Women want to look beautiful. I feel confident and refreshed with makeup and moisturizer. I have to cover my face with a hijab when I’m in public places, but at home I can take my hijab off if only women are in. I always wear full makeup under my hijab,” she said.
A range of Celine products. (Photos courtesy of Suraiya Waeusang)
Currently, Céline has more than 40 products. Suraiya said the most popular is anti-aging skincare. In 2017, Céline won the Top Brand Awards organized by the Press Committee Club of Thailand and the Business Press Club. Suraiya has expanded its business by employing over 40 sales representatives.
“Many of Celine’s sales representatives are Muslim housewives who had no income of their own. Selling Celine products helps them earn their own money,” Suraiya said.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Suraiya was invited to present Celine products every year at a halal products fair, the Thailand Halal Assembly, organized by the Halal Science Center, the Central Islamic Council of Thailand and the Halal Standard Institute. of Thailand. This show allowed Suraiya to meet international customers.
“I met customers from Malaysia, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Jordan during the Thailand Halal Assembly. They were interested in Celine because it is a halal product. Many customers became Celine sales representatives and ordered products to sell in their country. Some bought large quantities of products to give to people they knew. International customers were also interested in anti-aging products,” Suraiya said.
The name Céline resembles the French luxury brand Céline. Suraiya said nine years ago that she had never heard of the high-end French brand Celine.
“I didn’t know Céline at the time. I wanted a product that looked like my daughter’s name, Zeereen. The brand name might look like high-end Céline, but our logo is different. I had the “We used to consult Pattani’s Intellectual Property Department and they said if our logo looks like the other brand, it would be illegal. However, Celine Halal has a different logo design,” Suraiya explained.
For the past nine years, Suraiya has tried to reach customers through Facebook and in person. In 2022, Suraiya had to compete with more and more halal skincare and cosmetics brands. It’s a struggle, but she’s determined to learn more about using online platforms to promote her products.
“In the past, I met customers in person and I could close deals efficiently. I admit that Celine’s sales volume decreased a bit due to the pandemic and now there are more cosmetic brands halal in the market. Currently, Celine has gained new customers through online advertisements. I always want to reach more customers, but I’m not good at live streaming. I feel uncomfortable when I am hosting alone and talking to a camera.Therefore I only go live on Facebook from Celinehalal when there is a special promotion.
“I plan to improve and learn more about selling through online platforms in the near future,” Suraiya said.