Bad reputation and negative stigma is attached to kohl eyeliners as a result of findings that it contains harmful ingredients and toxic levels of lead.
This puts many people who are attracted to the potential cosmetic and health benefits of kohl eyeliners in a difficult situation ; wandering wether or not to use kohl and confused about its safety.
So just how dangerous is kohl eyeliners and should you be avoiding them?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of kohl eyeliners (both traditional and commercial) contain unsafe levels of lead, which can lead to lead poisoning, particularly on children.
Excessive Lead can build up in different body tissues and can cause various adverse health effects.
Saudi Food and Drugs Agency (SFDA) reported that nine of the most popular commercial kohl brands on the market contained lead levels which are 10 times higher than permitted levels. Additionally, the samples were found to be contaminated with bacteria (very concerning as eyes have suppresses immunity) .
A large proportion of commercial kohl products are made using galena and minium which are lead based compounds containing high amounts of lead.
But not all kohl is bad
According to one study, as much as three quarters of kohl products on the market do not contain lead as a major component.
Another study have shown that indeed a very small percentage (7 out of 21 samples) of kohl eyeliners on the market do not contain any lead at all (lead free).
Clearly not all kohl eyeliners are the same and the main stream blanket approach of warning against all kohl eyeliners and products is wrong.
Genuine and organic Ithmid (antimony) kohl poses no health risks or potential harmful effects to the eyes or health in general.
It is made by crushing natural rocks containing antimony compounds (minerals) such as stibnite, valentinite and stibiconite.