Question # 84: Does applying any kind of cosmetics when fasting break the fast?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: All kinds of preparations that are put on the outside of the body, whether they are absorbed through the skin or not, and whether they are for treatment, moisturizing, beautification or any other purpose, do not break the fast unless they are swallowed by the fasting person.

Long Answer: All kinds of preparations that are put on the outside of the body, whether they are absorbed through the skin or not, and whether they are for treatment, moisturizing, beautification or any other purpose, do not break the fast unless they are swallowed by the fasting person. The mere fact that it has a taste does not affect the fast so long as one does not swallow anything.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) answered in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa: “…Soaps, creams etc.… used to beautify the face and are applied to the surface of the skin, including henna, makeup and the like – there is nothing wrong with using them for one who is fasting…” He also said in Fatawaa Ramadhaan: “[it permissible to use perfume such as oil-based ‘oud and colognes and incense during the day in Ramadan] on the condition that one does not inhale the incense.”

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) answered in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa: “There is nothing wrong with a person using ointment to moisturize the lips or nose, or moistening them with water, or with a cloth and the like, but he should avoid anything that could reach the throat. But if anything reaches the throat without him intending it to, there is no sin on him, just as if he rinses his mouth and some water reaches his throat by accident, his fast is not invalidated by that”.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allah preserve him) said in  Fataawa ‘Ulama’ Balad al-Haraam: “There is nothing wrong with applying creams to the body when fasting if there is a need for that, because the cream only reaches the surface of the skin and does not enter the body. Even if it is absorbed by the pores it is not regarded as breaking the fast.”

(The above reply is based on answers provided by Islamqa.info on the topic)

Shaykh lbn Fowzaan said in Fatawaa Ramadhaan: “There is no problem in applying perfume whilst fasting and this does not affect the prayer except if the perfume is incense-based and one intentionally smells it. This is because the smoke from the incense enters the nose and activates the brain and thereby affects the fast. As for perfumes, then there is no problem for one who is fasting to use them…”

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam