If you see a shop or stall while abroad, or even at a festival or fair in the UK offering black henna tattoos, do not be tempted to get one.

The black paste in these temporary tattoos may contain a high level of chemical dye so powerful and toxic that it is illegal to use on the skin in this way.

The risks of black henna lie in the paste’s ingredients – specifically, a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD). Although PPD can lawfully be used in hair dyes in the EU, this use is strictly controlled.

Not everyone has a reaction to black henna, but it can be painful if you do. The signs range from discomfort, such as burning or tingling, to painful stinging, swelling, redness and blistering of the skin.

How to tell if it is real henna

Real henna, which is generally safe to use, is an orange colour, with a red or brown tint to it. Any dark temporary tattoo should be treated with caution.

Read the list of ingredients. Avoid the product if it lists PPD or paraphenylenediamine. But even this is no guarantee of safety, as the ingredient list might not be accurate or comprehensive. If there is no list of ingredients, do not use the product.

All Hennacats products are pure, natural and chemical free. To shop products click here.

 

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