Freckles can be cute, but faking them can also be dangerous, just like henna freckles on TikTok. Read on and find out what type of henna is safe for your face.
The origins of using henna for tattoos date back to thousands of years ago. People from Egypt, Africa, India, and the Middle East have been using henna to adorn different parts of their body since ancient times. It's best known as a pre-wedding ritual for Indian brides and have served as an ice breaker for arranged marriages when those were still a common practice.
These days, henna tattoos are a staple in beaches, parties, festivals, and other types of celebrations with a bohemian flair. And it seems that boredom from being in lockdown has led some people into using henna to paint temporary freckles on their faces. Faux freckles were a hot 2019 trend and makeup artists used eyebrow pencils to fake these adorable spots. Now, henna freckles are becoming a huge trend of TikTok and while many are jumping on the bandwagon, some are questioning its safety. Some young ladies are using a darker type of henna that have dermatologists and professional henna artists ringing alarm bells.
A questionable ink called Black Henna is now being used instead of traditional henna. While this type of henna is darker and lasts longer, it is also potentially harmful to skin. According to the FDA, one of the ingredients of black henna is p-phenylenediamine (PPD), an ingredient that can cause dangerous skin reactions in some people. Many have already reported severe allergic reactions, and some have even reported blistered and raw skin that resulted into permanent scars. A common ingredient in hair dye, PPD is not approved for direct application to skin. That is the reason why a skin patch is recommended when you use boxed hair dye at home. No wonder dermatologists are getting worried that TikTok users are applying it directly on their faces.
If you're keen on trying henna freckles at home, go the extra mile and seek out a legitimate source of natural henna. Jill Desai, a New Jersey-based henna artist, makes her own by combining henna powder with water, sugar and essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus. Many other henna artists do the same. To narrow down your search, Desai suggests using hashtags on Instagram such as #naturalhennacones or #homemadehenna.
A little online stalking will also help you learn which artists work out of a salon and know which freelance artists have an occupational license. You'll also be able to see samples of their work and client reviews. As soon as you make a purchase, Desai adds that you should smell the henna right away. Those that smell like gasoline should go straight to the trash (or returned and refunded). Natural henna dye should smell like essential oils.
Always do a patch test since you never know how your skin will react. Apply a thin amount to the back of your wrist or forearm then cover that patch with a band aid. Wait for at least three days and if there are no signs of irritation, it's probably safe enough to apply on your face. Make sure your face is clean, dry, and free from open cuts or blemishes. Wait until they heal before your start tattooing to avoid irritation. Even better, wait until it's safe and visit a professional henna tattoo artist.
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