Temporary Tattoos, Mehndi, and Black Henna are safe? Explained by USFDA

Others feature a skin-friendly backing that forms a partial or complete barrier between the skin and the image's colours.


Last Updated on November 9, 2021 by The Health Master

Temporary Tattoos

Temporary tattoos can be applied to any region of the body, including the face and eyes, and can last anywhere from a day to a week or more. They’re particularly popular with kids and around Halloween.

Tattoos are divided into two categories:

Some are photographs with a detachable backing. Wetting the decal image removes it from the backing, and it is then put directly to the skin.

Others feature a skin-friendly backing that forms a partial or complete barrier between the skin and the image’s colours.

Because not all colours are known to be safe for use on the skin, the distinction is critical. While an adhesive backing may shield the skin from forbidden colours, other substances on or in the decal, such as those used to make the image cling better to the backing or to the skin, may create difficulties for certain people.

Reactions to various decal-type temporary tattoos have been reported to the USFDA. It’s a good idea to test out a temporary tattoo on a less visible region of your body before applying it to your face.

Henna or Mehndi and Black Henna

Henna, a plant-based colouring, is only permitted for use as a hair colour. It is not allowed for direct skin application, such as in the mehndi body-decorating technique. These items are contaminated due to the unauthorised use of a colour additive. To import an adulterated cosmetic into interstate commerce, for example, is illegal.

Various substances must be added to achieve other colours, such as those labelled as “black henna” and “blue henna,” because henna normally produces a brown, orange-brown, or reddish-brown hue.

Even brown colours of henna products may add extra substances to make them darker or to help the stain linger longer on the skin.

A coal-tar hair dye containing p-phenylenediamine (PPD), a chemical that can cause serious skin reactions in certain people, is frequently used to blacken henna.

That’s why hair dyes come with a warning label and instructions to do a “patch test” on a small area of skin before use.

The artist may also apply a PPD-containing hair colour on its own. In any case, it’s impossible to predict who will be affected. PPD is not allowed in cosmetics that are meant to be applied to the skin by law.

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