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  1. Academy Award for Makeup
  2. Aloe
  3. Alpha hydroxy acid
  4. Anti-aging cream
  5. Arenation
  6. Aromatherapy
  7. Artistry
  8. Astringent
  9. Beauty
  10. Beauty mark
  11. Beauty salon
  12. Camouflage Cosmetic
  13. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
  14. Carnauba wax
  15. Castor oil
  16. Chanel No. 5
  17. Chemical peel
  18. Christian Dior
  19. Clinique
  20. Concealer
  21. Corpse paint
  22. Cosmeceutical
  23. Cosmetic advertising
  24. Cosmetics
  25. Cosmetology
  26. Creed
  27. Dermabrasion
  28. Dermatology
  29. Destination spa
  30. Eau de cologne
  31. Electrology
  32. Elizabeth Arden
  33. Essential oil
  34. Estée Lauder
  35. Estée Lauder Companies
  36. Estée Lauder pleasures
  37. Exfoliation
  38. Eye liner
  39. Eyeshadow
  40. Facial toning
  41. Glitter
  42. Glycerol
  43. Guerlain
  44. Hair
  45. Hair extension
  46. Helena Rubinstein
  47. Hermès
  48. History of cosmetics
  49. History of Perfume
  50. Hot tub
  51. INCI
  52. Jojoba oil
  53. Kohl
  54. Lancome
  55. Lip gloss
  56. Lip plumper
  57. Lipstick
  58. List of cosmetic ingredients
  59. L'Oréal
  60. Makeover
  61. Make-up artist
  62. Manicure
  63. Mascara
  64. Max Factor
  65. Max Factor, Sr.
  66. Maybelline
  67. Microdermabrasion
  68. Nail polish
  69. Natural skin care
  70. Noxzema
  71. Olay
  72. Pedicure
  73. Perfume
  74. Perfume bottles
  75. Permanent makeup
  76. Permanent wave
  77. Plastic surgeons
  78. Retinol
  79. Revlon
  80. Rimmel
  81. Rouge
  82. Shampoo
  83. Shaving
  84. Shaving cream
  85. Shea butter
  86. Shiseido
  87. Shower gel
  88. Skin Deep
  89. Skin whitening
  90. Soap
  91. Sunless tanning
  92. Sun tanning
  93. Surfactant
  94. Talcum powder
  95. Tanning bed
  96. Tanning lamp
  97. Thanaka
  98. The Body Shop
  99. Waxing
  100. Wella
  101. What Not to Wear



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Kohl (cosmetics)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Kohl is a mixture of soot and other ingredients used predominantly by Middle Eastern and Asian women, and to a lesser extent men, to darken the eyelids and as mascara for the eyelashes. Kohl {from Arabic kuḥūl) is also sometimes spelled kol, kehal (in the Arab world), or kohal, and is known as sirma or kajal in South Asia.

Kohl has been worn traditionally as far back as the Bronze Age. Kohl was originally used as protection against eye ailments. Darkening around the eyelids also provided relief from the glare of the sun. Mothers would also apply kohl to their infants' eyes soon after birth. Some did this to "strengthen the child's eyes," and others believed it could prevent the child from being cursed by an "evil eye".[1]

Different Cultures

Kohl was used in Egypt along with lipstick made from ocher oil.

Punjabi Culture

Sirma, also spelled surma, is the Punjab word for kohl. It is a traditional ceremonial dye, which predominantly men of the Punjab apply to their eyes on special social or religious occasions. Usually the wife or the mother or man the dye onto the eyes of the male. The equivalent of the dye in western culture would be mascara.

Hindi Culture

Kajal (Hindi: काजल, kājal) is the Hindi word for kohl. In India, it is used by women as a type of eyeliner that is put around the edge of the eyes.

Even now in southern rural India, especially in Kerala, women of the household prepare the kajal. This home-made kajal is used even for infants. Local tradition considers it to be a very good coolant for the eyes and believes that it "protects the eyesight and vision".[citation needed]

The preparation of this kajal is also a very interesting process. A clean, white, thin 4x4 inch muslin cloth is used. It is repeatedly dipped in sandalwood paste or juice of Manjal karisilanganni (Alstonia scholaris (Linnaeus) R. Brown) and dried in shade. This dip and dry process is done all day long. After sunset, they make a wick out of the cloth and use it to light a mud lamp filled with castor oil. A brass vessel is kept over the lamp, leaving a little gap enough for the oxygen to aid the burning of the lamp. This is left burning overnight. Next day morning, one or two drops of pure ghee(made by melting cow's butter) or castor oil is added to the soot on the brass vessel and stored it in a clean dry box.

This can be used on a daily basis as a coolant for the eyes and it adds lovely colour too.

All the ingredients used in this preparation (sandalwood/Manjal karsilanganni, castor oil, ghee) are believed to have medicinal properties and they are still used in Indian therapies like ayurveda and Siddha medicines.

Kajal can also be a girls name in India.

Some women also add a dot of kajal on the left side of the foreheads of babies and children, to protect them from 'buri nazar'. 'Buri nazar' literally means 'bad glance' and is comparable to the 'evil eye', although it can be interpreted as ill-wishes of people or even lustful eyes, in the sense of men ogling women. (It is passingly mentioned that way in 'Devdas', the movie starring Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhuri Dixit and others.) It is also applied at the nape a baby or child's neck so that it is not visible; at the same time it protects the child from the evil eye.

Health Concerns

While kohl is often considered a harmless, "natural" cosmetic, it is a serious public health concern.

The content of kohl and the recipes used to make it vary greatly. Some kohl preparations contain a large proportion of galena (lead sulfide)[1] or stibnite (an antimony ore), and the soot from various nuts, seeds and gum resins.

Studies have found both commercial and non-commercial preparations of kohl to contain high levels of contaminants including lead.[1][2][3][4] Lead levels in commercial kohl preparations have been as high as 84%. Kohl samples from India and Arab countries, analysed using X-ray powder diffraction and scanning electron microscopy, have found galena,[1][2] amorphous carbon,[1] zincite,[1][2] sassolite or aragonite, cuprite,[1] goethite,[1] elemental silicon[1] or talc,[1] hematite, minium,[2] and magnetite.

Kohl use has been linked to increased levels of lead in the bloodstream,[5][6][7][8] putting its users at risk of lead poisoning and lead intoxication. Complications of these conditions include anemia, growth retardation, low IQ, convulsions, and in severe cases, death. Anemia from lead poisoning is of special concern in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries where other forms of anemia are prevalent — including iron deficiency anemia (from malnutrition) and hemoglobinopathy (sickle cell anemia, thalassemia).

New concern has arisen as these cosmetics are being imported and sold in Western countries as well. Kohl sold in western countries has likewise been found to contain high levels of lead.[4] The FDA issued a warning against all kohl, al-kahl, sirma, kajal products and affirmed that the sale and use of such pigments is illegal in the U.S.[9] These banned products are different from cosmetics that only use the term "kohl" to describe its shade/color, rather than its actual ingredients.

Pop Culture

The film actress Theda Bara used kohl to rim her eyes throughout her career.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hardy A, Walton R, Vaishnav R., Int J Environ Health Res. 2004 Feb;14(1):83-91. Composition of eye cosmetics (kohls) used in Cairo.
  2. ^ a b c d Hardy AD, Vaishnav R, Al-Kharusi SS, Sutherland HH, Worthing MA., J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Apr;60(3):223-34. Composition of eye cosmetics (kohls) used in Oman.
  3. ^ al-Hazzaa SA, Krahn PM., Int Ophthalmol. 1995;19(2):83-8. Kohl: a hazardous eyeliner.
  4. ^ a b Parry C, Eaton J. , Environ Health Perspect. 1991 Aug;94:121-3. Kohl: a lead-hazardous eye makeup from the Third World to the First World.
  5. ^ Alkhawajah AM. "Alkohl use in Saudi Arabia: Extent of use and possible lead toxicity." Tropical Geographical Medicine, 1992 Oct; 44(4):373-7.
  6. ^ Al-Saleh I, Nester M. DeVol E, Shinwari N, Al-Shahria S. "Determinants of blood lead levels in Saudi Arabian schoolgirls." International Journal of Environmental Health, 1999 Apr-Jun; 5(2):107-14.
  7. ^ Nir A, Tamir A, Nelnik N, Iancu TC. "Is eye cosmetic a source of lead poisoning?" Israel Journal of Medical Science, 1992 Jul; 28(7):417-21.
  8. ^ # Rahbar MH, White F, Agboatwalla M, Hozhbari S, and Luby S. "Factors associated with elevated blood lead concentrations in children in Karachi, Pakistan." Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2002, 80(10):769-775.
  9. ^ FDA warning
  • Application of kohl - Natural Beauty at Taqwa Palace
  • Introduction to Harquus: Part 2: Kohl - The Henna Page. Retrieved Apr. 22, 2005.
  • Al-Ashban RM, Aslam M, Shah AH., Public Health. 2004 Jun;118(4):292-8. Kohl (surma): a toxic traditional eye cosmetic study in Saudi Arabia.
  • Abdullah MA., J Trop Med Hyg. 1984 Apr;87(2):67-70. Lead poisoning among children in Saudi Arabia.
  • Shaltout A, Yaish SA, Fernando N., Ann Trop Paediatr. 1981 Dec;1(4):209-15. Lead encephalopathy in infants in Kuwait. A study of 20 infants with particular reference to clinical presentation and source of lead poisoning.
  • Hardy AD, Walton RI, Myers KA, Vaishnav R., J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Mar-Apr;57(2):107-25. Availability and chemical composition of traditional eye cosmetics ("kohls") used in the United Arab Emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Fujairah.

Esternal links

  • Egyptian: Kohl pot, Black steatite, click on picture.
  • Egyptian: Bone kohl pot. Figurine design, click on picture.
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