CRIMSON ART HENNA artists create their paste from scratch using henna powder, sugar, water (sometimes with lemon juice), and skin-safe essential oils.  The henna powder that we use is simply leaves from the henna plant that have been dried, ground and sifted.  We then put the paste into cones for easy application to the skin.


Henna is applied as a greenish, cool-feeling paste. The paste is then allowed to dry; it will turn dark brown and start to look “crackled.”  Once the paste starts to fall off, a bright, orange-colored stain will be left on the skin. The first photo to the right shows a henna design just after some of the paste has been scraped off.


The second picture to the right shows the design 24 hours after the paste has come off. The peak stain usually occurs after 48 hours, and on the palm, can reach nearly a black cherry color.


On other parts of the body, a reddish-brown color can be expected. Henna stains on the hands and feet will always be darker than on the arms, face, torso, or legs, as thicker skin results in a darker color.  (In the second photo, you can see the stain difference that occurs between the fingers and the hand.)


Crimson Art Henna only uses natural ingredients in our paste. A typical batch contains organic henna powder, water, lemon juice, sugar, and tea tree essential oil. Our ingredients are not known to cause adverse allergic reactions, but if you believe you may have a sensitivity to any ingredients in our henna, we can do a "patch test" before applying a design.


Real henna will always stain a shade between orange and dark, reddish brown. The stain will take two or three days to fully develop. If an artist claims that their henna stains red, brown or black immediately, then they are not using real henna, and may be using a dangerous chemical instead. Don’t be afraid to ask the artist exactly what is in their paste. If they don’t know, won’t say, or can’t pronounce it, then find another artist.




Henna is never black. Sometimes, an unscrupulous or misinformed artist will try to convince you that they have a special henna paste that will dye your skin black.  The stuff that they are using is actually a concentrated hair dye (PPD), which is toxic and can cause terrible burns, scars, and even liver damage in people who are sensitive to it. Those who do not show a reaction can still develop sensitivities after repeated use. Please stick to the real stuff and stay safe. The artists of Crimson Art Henna have never used black henna, and never will.  Read more about the dangers of "black henna" here.




What is Henna?

© 2019 by Elizebeth Tong, Crimson Art. All Rights Reserved

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