Growing up down the street from Ulta Beauty’s Chicago headquarters, Jordan Kreme always knew she wanted to be part of the mega-retailer. “I always thought I’d be working at Ulta,” Karim says. Instead, she became a research chemist who worked with brands like Skinceuticals and Skinceuticals Johnson & Johnson. She loved the products she was helping to create, but says that as a Muslim she felt “guilt” using them because they are not halal – meaning they are not allowed for Muslims to use. So she started her own skincare brand, Flora and Noor. It’s the first certified kosher skin care brand in the united states, and as of january 22, it’s on sale at ulta.
When Flora & Noor launched in December 2020, it filled a huge gap for beauty-loving Muslims living in America. Because of the vacancy [in the market]we had to make it yourself, order it outside, or use haram (meaning not allowed under islamic law) products anyway, and then you feel guilty about it—or don’t feel guilty about it. Personally, I felt guilty about it, which is why I created Flora and Nour,” says Karim. when you pray, [Muslims] Doing five times a day, you have to do what is called ablution, which is a cleansing practice before you pray. If you have beauty products that are not Halal approved – if you have anything on your skin like make-up, fake nails, or anything that doesn’t permeate with water – you have to wash it off. With our products, you can still pray five times a day without having to derail your entire skincare routine. “
Flora & Noor Super Glow Vitamin C and Niacinamide Gel Moisturizer – $34.00
This moisturizer is one of the products in the brand’s Vitamin C lineup. “People are always recommending vitamin C for hyperpigmentation, but oftentimes these formulations aren’t great for melanin-rich skin,” says Karim. “Either it doesn’t really work or it has negative effects when the percentages in the formula are too strong and the result could be more hyperpigmentation. So I created the Vitamin C range to be friendly to sensitive skin.”
For a product to be certified halal, it must follow a strict set of guidelines. First and foremost, all ingredients must be traceable. “A really big part of being halal certified is that all ingredients are traceable and ethically sourced,” says Karim. What’s more, the formulas cannot contain any animal by-products (Flora and Noor also exclude honey, which means they’re also vegan) or alcohol. “We can’t use alcohol on our skin or drink alcohol, but it benefits everyone, too, because alcohol can be quite drying, and most of the time it’s superfluous in formulations,” Karim says.
As you can imagine, crafting within these constraints can be very challenging – especially because they extend to All Part of the supply chain process, which means that no cross contamination can occur with other products coming from the same factories, warehouses, etc. “To create a brand, you have to work with other manufacturers and other chemists and they may not have any idea what it means to be halal,” says Karim. “Actually we had to bring it up American Islamic Services [one of a number of entities in the U.S. that performs halal certification] To provide education to our manufacturer, we have third-party logistics [partners]It is up to everyone on our team to make sure that everyone understands the mission and what exactly Halal Certification means to make sure we have the combinations that we provide to our community.”
Although Flora & Noor was created for Muslims, its strict ingredient standards have increased its popularity among non-Muslims looking for “cleaner” formulations that are more sensitive to skin. “Our definition of cleanliness is much stricter,” says Karim. The products do not include GMOs, parabens, or sulfates.” Plus, part of being halal certified is that we actually can’t have any ingredients in our formula that could be in it. In any case harmful to the consumer. So here are some of the ingredients that you will find in other clean formulations, because based on the ratings they have very The potential for it to be harmful is of a small percentage, but we cannot have any of these ingredients in our formulations. We’re already beyond clean.”
Flora & Nour Berry Oxygen Mask with Glycolic Acid – $32.00
“The raspberry oxygen mask is my favorite because it’s super exfoliating but still gentle on your skin,” says Karim. “The peel is done with glycolic acid, cranberry pulp, and raspberry. Immediately upon opening the jar, you can smell the blueberries and cranberries so it smells amazing, and you can actually see the pulp in the formula. It feels so good on the skin and you can see results almost immediately. It’s Actually inspired by compressed oxygen facials.”
Another driving factor behind the innovation of Flora & Noor was the fact that many Halal certified products in the market do not work well on melanin-rich skin. “I am a black Muslim,” says Karim. “When you buy cosmetics from abroad, specifically from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, a lot of the products – even those certified as Halal – do not address skin problems for those with melanin-rich skin. Despite being an eastern part of the world, the target is a standard. Western beauty, so a lot of the products try to whiten the skin or only target those with lighter skin even though they don’t actually reflect the population.”
So the cream formulated the products to address skin problems common to darker-skinned people. “Think eczema, hyperpigmentation, and melasma,” she says. She also made sure to use gentle enough ingredients. Because when using a dark spot treatment, for example, if the active ingredients are too strong for someone who also has deep skin, it can cause irritation that leads to worse discoloration. “Plus, a lot of products create a white cast on your skin. This is something I’ve seen myself in drugstore skincare,” so she formulates to make sure this isn’t a problem.
Flora & Noor first launched on Amazon and is also offered at retailers like Walmart and Thirteen Lune. Ulta is the brand’s largest retail partner for beauty products, and they’re currently available exclusively online. “My goal has always been to be involved and partner with Ulta,” Karim says. “This is really a complete moment for me.”
Flora & Noor Rose Renewal Tri-Peptide and Ceramide Cleanser – $28.00
This cleanser is part of the Rose Renewal range. “We use real Egyptian rose and hibiscus petals,” says Karim. The Rose Renewal line is of course inspired by Egyptian traditions and ingredients.” This cleanser also contains skin barrier-strengthening ceramides, moisture-boosting peptides, hydrating aloe vera and hyaluronic acid.
Want to be the first to hear about SHOP’s latest (and coolest) product deals, custom collections, discounts, and more? Sign up to have information delivered straight to your inbox.
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn you a Well + Good commission.
Discussion about this post