Is your Kajal Safe? 5 common risks in kajal and solutions

Beauty & Facts Selfcare
Kajal Eye
Dr. Susan John View Bio
01 February 2023 10 minutes

Author Bio

Dr. Susan John

Designation :BAMS Doctor

8 years of clinical experience as a physician in general medicine.8

Every mother has a different method of dressing up their newborn. When it comes to the matter of the eyes, there are numerous black kajal/eyeliner options for mothers to dress up their new babies. Then as makeup for adults, Kajal has a strong connection with confidence. It silhouettes your eyes with its deep, intense black. Kajal is a magic spell, a declaration of intent, a will to power. 

But is your kajal safe for daily use? What are the safe options? Any expert recommendations? Read on to know more… 

Risks concerning typical, commercial kajal 

Will you ever apply an eyedrop without the recommendation of a doctor? You know your eyes are precious, but while choosing a Kajal, which may be in small quantities but essentially goes into the eye, you choose it without any expert recommendation, you are blinded by the advertisement. What goes into it will affect you in the long term for sure. If you’re thinking of buying kajal without glancing at the ingredients, the simple answer is: DON’T. Here are some risks associated with kajal: 

1. Heavy metals 

Certain heavy metals like iron are required by the human body in small proportions for various processes, whereas others, such as lead, arsenic or mercury, offer no real benefit and are toxic. Furthermore, metals thought to be essential for general cell function can cause toxic effects in human organs and tissues when consumed in large amounts.

Lead is often directly to blame for the toxic effects of kajal. Several studies have shown that the lead content in Kajal is exceptionally high and is extremely damaging to the growing brain. Developmental defects caused by prenatal and postnatal lead exposure are associated with lower intellectual and learning capacities, as well as behavioural issues. 

Mercury is a heavy metal that is toxic to the human body. Arsenic is found to be present in most Kajal & Lipstick products. 

You can find more about this in a study by CERC - Consumer Education and Research Centre (approved by Govt of India & United Nations):-  

2. Irritability due to harsh mix of substances 

Use safe & natural ingredients if you must use kajal to enhance your eyes in any way. Synthetic kajal can cause rashes or irritation as it contains only waxes and color. You must see an eye specialist right away if that takes place. Ophthalmologists always recommend products that are clinically evaluated and certified non-irritant to keep away any possible long term risks associated with a daily wear product. 

3. Allergy and acute immunological responses 

Most of the ready-made kajal & lipstick brands contain harmful synthetic chemicals, artificial colours, or metals like lead sulphide and green malachite which are surefire cocktail for allergies. High quality herbily primed varieties are mostly safe, further ensured with advanced lab tests and clinical studies.   

4. pH imbalances 

A pH of 7 is considered neutral when referring to the eyes, and a healthy tear's pH is 7.4. Acidic substances have a pH under 7, while alkaline substances have a pH over 7. For a daily wear product which can sneak into the eye while applying, it needs to be pH balanced otherwise can cause irritations and redness over a long term. 

5. More often make-up than healthy 

In the market, there are hundreds of brands with prices ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 1000. There is no proof that a branded synthetic kajal you spend Rs 1000 on, won't hurt your eyes. But if the same product can be beneficial for your eyes, instead of staying just as a makeup product, it will be the culmination of beauty with care. 

Ayurliv Recommendations for Kajal brands 

If you have gone through the research paper from CERC at the beginning of this article, you will know the real truth about synthetic products which contain toxic metals. Most of the herbal brands are not listed in there because they have considered only MNCs, not Indian products. 

I recommend the following kajal for safe daily use:- 

1. Farmherbs 100% True Herbal Kajal for Baby & Adults

Farmherbs is an Indian brand which has all the recipes of a great product. 100% herbal ingredients, conforming to international safety databases like EWG, toxic metal-free, 100% transparent label of ingredients… it fits every bill of quality standards. Clinical study reports and toxic metal test reports were available upon request, which stands as a proof to transparency and trust. It privileges itself to be beneficial to the eyes as it is formulated with herbal ingredients like marigold flower and others as per Ayurveda and modern studies. We found this kajal to be moderately smudge proof (won't smudge with sweat or water, but If you spread it with your finger, it will smudge), 100% non-irritant and suitable for sensitive eyes. 

2. Forest Essentials Cobalt Blue Gulaab Khaas Kajal

Forest Essentials is a luxury brand hailing from India. Their Black Gulaab Khaas kajal promises to be 100% Herbal, is smooth to use and is highly pigmented. We really liked the presentation of the product, but we couldn’t find the complete list of ingredients even on their website. This is a dud in otherwise great product. We believe transparency is the only thing that can convince us, otherwise the waxes and cosmetic benefits might be achieved only through synthetics. It is certainly irritation-free and is suitable for daily use.

3. Soultree Pure black Kajal 

Soultree is an Indian brand which is herbal and is beneficial to the eyes with many ingredients like almond oil and honey. The biggest advantage is that it is available in 11 shades of colour, and some may find this more suitable to their updated fashion looks. It claims to be 100% herbal, but upon research, we found some ingredients like CI 77491 (iron oxide variants) are used for colour pigmentation and some others like Isoamyl laurate and Sorbitan olivate as emulsifiers and conditioners. This may be or may not be of herbal origin and solid safety research data is not available for these ingredients. Further, it uses ghee and honey, so it can't claim as 100% herbal or vegan. If it is clinically proven over a long term, it will prove to be good to use. 


  1. Shocking! Arsenic on your Lips and Lead in your Eyes :-
  2. Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals :-
  3. Toxic Elements in Traditional Kohl-Based Eye Cosmetics in Spanish and German Markets :-

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