Henna Eyeliner: What Is It & Should You Try It?

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on October 17, 2022
henna eyeliner
⏱️ 5 min read

Henna has been present in the beauty industry for centuries now as a natural solution for dyeing hair and skin.

With treatments such as henna brows and henna freckles, the use of henna has gained popularity as a less invasive way to achieve semi-permanent results. So people started wondering why they wouldn’t get henna eyeliner and free themselves from reapplying it for a few days.

However, applying henna paste as a natural beauty product to your face does come with some possible risks. If you’re wondering can you use henna as eyeliner and is henna generally safe to use on your face, continue reading this article to find out.

What Is Henna?

Henna is a product of the henna tree, also known as the Egyptian privet or mignonette tree.

The leaves of the henna tree are dried and milled into henna powder which contains a natural coloring pigment that can be used for temporary body art, hair dye, nail dye, and even as a fabric colorant.

Henna is best known for its reddish-brown color that can stay on your skin as a stain for about 7-10 days.

what is henna
Image source: Freepik

Can You Use Henna as Eyeliner?

Even though henna is a popular way to tint your eyebrows, henna eyeliner is unfortunately not a thing. Henna is generally not suitable for use on the eyes, nose, and mouth, since these areas of the face are especially sensitive.

Henna is used by applying a thick paste to the skin, which stains the treated area as it dries. Dried henna is often very brittle and it sheds easily, so even if you’re extra careful when applying the henna eyeliner stain, there’s still a risk of a small flake falling into your eye, causing irritation and other side effects.

can you use henna as eyeliner
Image source: Freepik

Is Henna Bad for Your Eyes?

Henna can be bad for your eyes for several reasons. Firstly, the skin around your eyes is thin and sensitive, meaning it is more susceptible to swelling and irritation from the chemicals found in various forms of henna paste.

Secondly, if henna gets into your eyes it can lead to infection, impaired vision, and even permanent nerve damage.

If you have allergies, sensitive skin, or are taking certain medications, you may be more likely to experience these adverse effects.

What to Do If Henna Gets in Your Eyes

If henna gets into your eyes, the best thing to do is to act fast. The sooner you manage to remove it, the less likely it is to wind up with permanent eye damage.

Here’s what to do if henna gets in your eyes:

  • The first thing is to flush out your eyes with clean water for at least 15 minutes
  • If there is any additional henna left on your eye region, gently remove it using a cotton pad soaked in makeup remover
  • Rinse the eye area again to ensure all the makeup remover and henna are gone
  • Use an ice pack to soothe the irritated area
  • If your eyes are still red and painful, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible

Alternatives to Henna Eyeliner Tattoo

If you’re a beauty enthusiast, you have probably tried your fair share of long-lasting, waterproof eyeliners. It’s possible that you’ve stumbled upon henna tattoo eyeliner pens that claim to contain 100% natural henna extracts.

Obviously, henna extract as one of the ingredients is not henna paste. But even though this can be a better alternative to experimenting with straight up henna paste around your eyes, the safety of these eyeliners is yet to be tested so be weary when purchasing.

However, if you’re searching for an eye-safe alternative to reapplying your eyeliner every day and you discard henna eyeliner as an option, permanent eyeliner is the best solution for you.

The procedure is considered to be non-invasive and consists of using an electric device to deposit semi-permanent pigments of natural origins into the skin, creating a long-lasting version of your favorite eyeliner style.

The results of permanent eyeliner can last anywhere from 1-5 years with regular touch-ups, outlasting the results of semi permanent henna eyeliner which can last on your skin for a maximum of 2 weeks.

Learn everything you need to know about permanent eyeliner here.

alternatives to henna eyeliner tattoo
Image source: Instagram @annakara.pmu

Is Henna Safe to Use the Rest of the Face?

Henna powder in its natural brown color, without any additives, is safe to use on the face. However, it is advisable to test the powder on a small patch of skin before application, just to make sure that you’re not allergic to it.

Black or red henna powder is not suitable for use on the face, since it may contain harmful additives. If you have any cuts or wounds on the face, you should also avoid using any form of henna powder or paste.

Other Henna Beauty Treatments

Henna may not be safe for use on the delicate skin around the eye area, but it is a generally safe semi-permanent tattoo pigment and tint. Here’s a look at some of the most popular beauty treatments that use henna:

Henna Brows

Henna brows are a popular brow tinting technique that gives off the look of wearing brow powder on your eyebrows. It darkens the brow hairs but also the skin underneath, creating fullness and richness in color. The results of henna brows can last up to 2 weeks.

Learn all about henna brows here.

henna beauty treatments henna brows
Image source: Instagram @_byclarice

Henna Freckles

Henna freckles are basically freckle tattoos created with henna paste. The procedure is quick and simple and can be used anywhere on the face and body, excluding the eye area. The results are realistic and natural-looking freckles that won’t smudge or wash off for up to 2 weeks.

Learn all about henna freckles here.

henna freckles
Image source: Instagram @anhs_artistry

Henna Eyeliner – Final Thoughts

Henna can be a great option for coloring hair, skin, and nails, as it’s a natural alternative. It has gained popularity as a quick and easy way to tint eyebrows, decorate your features with faux freckles, and more.

However, semi permanent henna eyeliner is not as safe as other popular henna beauty treatments. If henna winds up in your eyes, it can cause severe damage and even impair your vision, so opting for permanent eyeliner instead is highly recommended.

Cover image source: Freepik



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