Kajal or kohl is a cosmetic product that is used on the eyes. Kajal is perhaps the first makeup product that most girls learn to use. The black colored kohl gives a definition to the eyes and makes them look beautiful. The use of kajal or kohl can be traced back to ancient times. The word kohl literally means to brighten the eyes. Kohl has been used in countries like Egypt, India and Arab countries since many years. The method of making kajal or kohl in every country was different. In Egypt, kohl was made from the soot of sunflower seeds, almond seeds and perfuming them with frankincense. Another way used to prepare kohl in Egypt was to pound lead sulphide with gum and frankincense. The mixture was then mixed with cow dung and goose fat and burnt to release lead oxide. This lead oxide was mixed with milk and fresh rainwater and pounded to get a fine black powder which was applied around the eyes. In India, kohl was made using lamp black and lead. Today, the process of making kohl or kajal is a chemical process in which the various chemicals are mixed in controlled quantities. Also, kajal is available in various forms and packaging. These days, most kajal are made from black soot and various other natural ingredients that have a soothing effect on the eyes.
How to make kajal at home?
Though kajal is available commercially these days, many people prefer kajal that has been made at home because it is considered to be non-toxic and beneficial for the eyes. The process of making kajal at home:
- Fill a lamp with ghee or oil, keeping aside a little ghee or oil.
- Put a wick to light the lamp and place a copper plate above the lamp in such a position that the flame touches the copper plate.
- Let the lamp burn overnight. Once the oil has burnt, a black powdery substance or residue will be seen on the copper plate.
- Now, use the oil that was initially kept aside and pour it drop by drop on the black residue to get kohl of the required consistency.
- The kohl is ready for use but must be refrigerated in an air tight container before using it on the eyes.
Home-made kajal has many benefits. It is unadulterated, undiluted, natural as well as herbal. Home- made kohl can be used to intensify and beautify the eyes and also for medicinal purposes. Home- made kajal is healthy as well as hygienic and long lasting.
The kajal or kohl that is available commercially in various forms can also be beneficial for the eyes. The following are the benefits of kajal available in the market.
- Kajal gives the eyes a black and intense look and thus adds to the beauty of the face of the wearer.
- Since kajal is made from natural ingredients, it protects the eyes from infections.
- Kajal has a soothing and comfortable effect on the eyes. Kajal does not contain any irritant ingredients and so can be applied easily on the eyes.
- Kajal is believed to improve eyesight. When kajal is applied, it massages the underside of the eyeballs. This in turn results in better blood circulation and thus better eyesight.
What are the cons of using kajal or kohl?
Kajal are made with high content of lead in them which is the main cause of skin diseases and even skin cancer. The other ingredients of kajal and their actual affects on the eyes are actually not known. The method of preparing kajal is crude and till date the same process is followed for making kajal. The application of kajal can have some adverse affects as well. These are:
- Conjunctivitis can be caused by using kajal.
- Kajal can cause eye allergies.
- It can prove to be toxic for the eyes.
- Using kajal can cause infections in the eye glands.
- Kajal can cause corneal ulcer which ultimately leads to blindness.
- There are certain chemicals in kajal that can cause inflammation of the inner eyes.
- There are some ingredients in kajal that can lead to glaucoma and even dry eye syndrome.
Most kajal can be used without any adverse effects but it must be ensured that only good quality products are used as directed on the eyes.