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Chemical analysis of traditional cosmetics from the Islamic World

KARIM N. JALLAD1*, CYNTIA ESPADA-JALLAD2
*Corresponding author
1. American University of Kuwait, College of Arts & Sciences, P.O. Box 3323, Safat, 13034, Kuwait
2. Midwest Research Institute, 425 Volker Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64110-2299, USA

Abstract

This article summarizes the most recentpublished data (including ours) pertaining to thechemical analysis of commercial and traditional hennasamples. Henna is used as a traditional cosmetic andremedy in the Islamic World. The lead levels found inhenna were low with concentrations ranging from 1.29ppm to 65.98 ppm. While the concentrations of paraphenylenediamine(PPD) in commercial henna samplesused for either tattooing or hair dying ranged from 0 to66.500 percent. The very low concentrations of leadmeasured in these henna samples were reassuring;however, the cumulative effects of prolonged leadexposure may be of concern. Thus, the use of hennacontaining additives such as lead and PPD especiallyamong children may constitute a public health risk.