Can You Use Henna As Eyeliner? (And Alternatives)

Henna has been used for centuries as a natural way to dye hair and skin. You may be wondering if this natural beauty product can be used on the face – more specifically, can you use henna as eyeliner?

Can You Use Henna for Eyeliner

You should never use henna on your eyeline as the skin is very sensitive in this area. Henna can cause irritation, redness, and swelling since it’s often mixed with other chemicals. When henna makes direct contact with the eyeball itself, It can lead to nerve damage, impaired vision, and infection. 

It may be tempting to use henna as an all-natural way to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner look, but it’s not worth the risk. 

There are plenty of other safe and gentle products on the market that can give you the same results. So play it safe and stick to those instead.

Is Henna Safe to Use on Your Face?

Natural henna powder without any additives can be safe to use on the face. 

However, keep henna away from the eyes, nose, and mouth, since these areas are extra sensitive. 

If you have any cuts, scrapes, or open wounds on your face, it’s best to avoid using henna there as well.

Don’t use black or red henna on the face, as they’re more likely to contain harmful additives.

If you want to use henna on your face, look for a natural powder that is brown in color. 

Test the powder on a small patch of skin before applying it to your face to make sure you’re not allergic to it. 

If you experience any severe reactions, stop using it immediately and wash the area with soap and water.

Stick to small areas like the cheeks or forehead. Don’t leave the henna on your face for more than 15 minutes and make sure to remove it with a gentle cleanser.

Is Henna Bad for Your Eyes?

Henna can be bad for your eyes for two reasons:

Firstly, the skin around your eyes is very thin and delicate. This makes it more susceptible to irritation from chemicals in henna. 

Secondly, if henna gets into your eyes, it can cause serious damage that may lead to permanent vision problems.

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

It’s best to preventatively protect your eyes and invest in another product that is meant to be used on the eyelid.

Can You Use Henna as Eyeliner?

Can You Use Henna as Eyeliner

Unfortunately, henna isn’t an acceptable eyeliner. Even if you’re careful to avoid getting it in your eyes, there’s still a risk of irritation and other side effects.

Henna works by applying a thick paste to the skin, which stains the area as it dries. The dried henna is often very brittle and clumpy and easily sheds. 

So even if you are able to apply a perfect line to your lid, you still risk small bits of dried henna flaking off and getting into your eye.

If any henna gets into your eyes when you’re trying to remove it, it could cause serious damage and lead to permanent vision problems.

What to Do if You Get Henna in Your Eyes

If you get henna in your eyes, the first thing to do is act fast. The longer the henna stays in your eyes, the more damage it can do.


  1. Flush your eyes with clean water for at least 15 minutes. If you can’t get to a sink, use a bottle of water or even tears to flush out your eye. 
  2. If the burning and irritation persist, seek medical attention immediately.
  3. After you have flushed your eyes, try to remove any additional henna that may be left on your eye region. 
  4. Gently rub a cotton pad soaked in makeup remover over the area. Be careful not to get any of the makeup remover in your eye.
  5. Rinse the eye area once more with water to ensure all the makeup remover and henna are removed.
  6. Use a cool compress to soothe any irritation or inflammation. Apply it to the area for about 15 minutes.

If your eyes are still red, watery, or painful, make an appointment with your doctor or an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Does Henna Have Any Side Effects?

When applied to your skin or hair, henna pigment is usually safe for adults. 

Side effects for allergic or sensitive users include burning, itching, redness, blisters, swelling, and even scarring. 

These side effects aren’t as common when using a natural form of henna. They are more common with black henna, which is made with synthetic dyes and chemicals.

Henna can also interact with certain medications, such as those used to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, or seizures. 

If you have any medical conditions or are taking medication, it’s best to speak to your doctor before using henna.

What Else Can I Use if I Don’t Have Eyeliner?

What Else Can I Use if I Don’t Have Eyeliner

If you’re out of your usual eyeliner, there are plenty of better alternatives to using henna. Here are some tips for when you’re in a pinch:

Use Eye Shadow as Eyeliner

One of the easiest ways to create a quick eyeliner look is to use eyeshadow. All you need is an angled brush and some shadow in a similar color to your eyeliner. 

Wet the brush slightly, dip it into the shadow, and apply it along your lash line.

Use Mascara as Eyeliner

If you have black mascara, you can use it as eyeliner in a pinch. 

If you can find a small brush, you can get a crisp dramatic edge by wetting the brush and dipping it into the mascara. 

If you don’t have a brush, you can also use the wand itself. Simply hold it close to your lash line and wiggle it back and forth to create a thinner or wider line.

Use Lip Liner as Eyeliner

Lip liner is another type of product that can be used as eyeliner. The downside to using a lip liner is that it may not be the right color for your eyeliner. 

But if you have black or dark brown lip liner, it should work in a pinch. Simply apply it along your lash line and blend it out with a brush.

Use a Brow Pencil as Eyeliner

A brow pencil can also be used as eyeliner. The advantage of using a brow pencil is that it’s usually soft and easy to blend. 

Simply apply the pencil along your lash line and use a brush to blend it out. If it’s not creating a dark enough line, you can slightly heat up the pencil with a lighter and then apply it to your lash line.