Pig Collagen and Derivatives in Cosmetics and Skin Care Products

Cosmetic products are very popular not only among women but also among men who meticulous about their metrosexual personality. Nowadays, most of the teenager and working adults are dedicated for good appearance, grooming and impression, this has led to growing consumer demand and quality standard in skincare and cosmetic products.

Ironically, consumers often overlook the ingredients or contents in the cosmetic products that may contain harmful chemicals or animal derivatives. As such, Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers conducted a research about skin formulation which includes ingredients with 1% of porcine placenta. The results showed that the formulation was very stable for temperature and storage period. Porcine placenta extract also demonstrated high potential as anti-wrinkle functional cosmetic agent1. Some of the cosmetic products are using Pig collagen as main ingredient in face mask. For example, the famous Holika Holika's Pig Collagen Jelly Pack which is certified by Korea Food and Drug Administration, well known to erase wrinkles and moisturize skin2. In addition, pig collagen is a cheaper ingredient due to the high accessibility of porcine material in the market which leads to common use of pig derivatives. Typically, bovine collagen is more reactive and patient who are receiving bovine collagen require a skin test to make sure that they do not react negatively. In the contrary, pig collagen is more like human collagen and allergies reaction is less common. Therefore, skin tests prior treatment is not necessary2, 3.

In Malaysia, the market demands for specialized value-added cosmetic products such as Halal, botanical or organic-based and environmentally friendly are continuously rising. Halal concept is known to be a landscape of hygiene, safety, and standards. This is the main reason of Halal emergence in the cosmetics industry and has now become a universal concept and an opportunity to increase sales and acquire competitive advantage 4. As Halal universal standard for cosmetics is still lacking, Malaysia is rising to the challenge by developing a guideline for Halal cosmetics which is similar to a pharmaceutical standard, the MS2424:2012 Halal Pharmaceuticals General Guidelines. JAKIM is planning to adopt the MS2424 criteria for cosmetics application which is in line with government’s strategy to be the world’s Halal hub. In February 2017, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (MATRADE) announced a partnership with South Korea’s ASEAN-Korea Centre to develop the first Southeast Asian nation's cosmetics industry aimed to boost sales abroad, which in 2016 were valued at 1.25 billion ringgit ($0.3 billion) and ranked as a top five sector in the country’s lifestyle exports5.

On 28th June 2017, Halvec Laboratories (Halvec) signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Busan Techno Park to establish a Halal Science Centre for Anti-Ageing Cosmetic. The collaboration and partnership is aimed to drive the perceived consumer needs for new and innovative Halal cosmetic products. Halvec is currently in the R&D stage in developing new analysis of cosmetic product for porcine detection via DNA. Stay tuned to our next updates on our progress of new extension of analytical test scope and project development with Busan Techno Park.


  1. Kim et al (2010) Functional Cosmetic Effect of Porcine Placenta. The Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers, Volume 48, Issue 3, 2010, pp. 327-331. Accessed on 20th June 2017
  2. Mail Online (5 Jan 2015) Would you put PIG collagen on your face? Bizarre new beauty trend promises to banish wrinkles for good. Accessed on 21st  June 2017
  3. Vida Glow. BOVINE, PORCINE, FOWL OR PISCINE COLLAGEN. Accessed on 21st June 2017
  4. Yeo B.L, et al. (2016). A Study of Malaysian Customers Purchase Motivation of Halal Cosmetics Retail Products: Examining Theory of Consumption Value and Customer Satisfaction. Procedia Economics and Finance, Volume 37, 2016, Pages 176-182
  5. Cochrane P. and Standard D. (3 April 2017) Malaysia halal cosmetics: Looking good at home and stepping out abroad. Global Islamic Economic Gateway. Accessed on 21st June 2017