What is a kohl eyeliner? – All you need to know!

You may have heard about the kohl eyeliner or probably saw an eyeliner labeled as kohl. But do you actually know what is a kohl eyeliner? or what’s it made out of?

There are two different kohl eyeliners, one is the actual kohl whereas the other refers to the shade of the liner.

The kohl eyeliner has a long history but when you think of this dark substance the most obvious time includes the Egyptians. Back in the ancient Egypt era it was used around the eyes to outline them.

Enough of that let’s get into the actual product now!

What is kohl made out of?

If you look at what kohl is made from originally then I’m afraid it’s not one of the safest of ingredients out there!
What is a kohl eyeliner
Kohl is derived from a natural mineral called Galena also known as lead sulphide. It can include a mixture of other chemicals too.

Galena is silvery and greyish in colour. It has a little shine to it as well. The original kohl which is obtained from Galena looks dark grey, similar to a pencil shade as opposed to black.

Nowadays in some countries particularly the Western world, when you see an eye product labeled kohl it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s derived from Galena or true kohl, it’s actually referring to the shade, usually being a dark grey or maybe black hue.

Is Kohl and Kajal the same thing?

Generally kohl and Kajal are the same thing, just different ways of saying it, which could depend on where you live.

But sometimes they are used to describe two different products. Kajal is usually referred to an eyeliner which is mainly made from natural ingredients and has a little creamier texture whereas kohl is a powdery grey pigment from Galena as mentioned before.

What is kohl eyeliner

Difference between kohl and the usual eyeliner!

Well apart from the kohl traditionally being used as a way to stop the sun’s glare or prevent infections back in the day, and the eyeliner well being used to define, highlight, or to add colour and so on, there are other differences too.

The eyeliner we get now can come in many forms such as gel, pencil, liquid and it carries on.

You can tap here to check out milani’s kohl eyeliner!

Kohl, I’m talking about the real one, on the other hand comes in limited textures or packaging. It is usually packed into a small tube or box and typically comes in powder form, though it can be available in other forms too.

An eyeliner normally can be worn anywhere around the eyes including the waterline whereas kohl is only used just below the waterline and sometimes the waterline itself.

Application of each of them is also quite different, the eyeliner as being seen gentle and easy when compared to kohl.

With kohl, a wand is usually packed with it, you use it on the eye by closing the eye and sliding it in-between the lashes, aiming for the colour to deposit on the bottom lash line.

What is a kohl eyeliner
The wand used with applying kohl

The usual eyeliner application varies depending on what product type you are using.

Eyeliner is available in whatever colour you can imagine but this isn’t the case with kohl. It only comes in a grey silver shade.

These are just a few of the differences between the two. As you can see I am referring to the real kohl so if there are other forms, these differences won’t necessarily apply to all Kohl.

Is it bad for the eyes?

You might have got a slight clue as to how safe kohl is for the eyes! The truth is, kohl is deemed to not be safe for usage.

It contains lead which has been reported to cause lead poisoning. For this reason some countries such as the US don’t approve of it in cosmetics. It is disapproved by the FDA.

Although lead isn’t safe for the eyes, this doesn’t stop other countries from still using it. Kohl is still used being used in places such as the middle East. They as well as others believe applying kohl, cleanses and protects the eye from infections.

Some people think it wards off evil eye. It may also be worn as a protection from strong sun glare. There is no convincing evidence as to what extent any of this is true.

This does mean real kohl isn’t openly available in countries such as the US but in abundance in the middle East and a few neighboring countries.

So now you know a bit about the kohl eyeliner, tell me what do you think about the usage of kohl? Do you think it’s suitable for the eyes especially since it’s been here for quite a while or nay?!

Drop your answers down in the comment section!

Have a great day! ?

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  • Kwidzin

    Thanks for an interesting article. I was glad i stumbled upon this because its the sort of thing that my girlfriend loves to read up on. So ive just sent her the link to this article. Ive sent her a few of your articles now and she was very ha[ppy to read them and was very impressed by them

  • Cogito

    Hi Sariyah. Thank you for very interesting article. TO be honest I never heard before about kohl, but its seems as fascinating object with thousands years of history. Yet I believe we do have better solution now, and with potential danger to eyes I wouldn’t risk to test it. Yet its always good to learn something new and discover our fascinating history.

    • Sariyah

      It sure is! I can’t believe I actually used to use the bad one when I was a kid but thankfully now I’m aware as so is everyone else who comes across this post or similar ones.

  • LineCowley

    I do not often wear eyeliner, but have often seen and heard the mention of kohl eyeliner, so it was very good to read more about what kohl eyeliner is. Thank you for distinguishing between what kohl might have been in Egyptian times, and that in the modern western world kohl is more referring to a dark, black colour.

    It is interesting to see that kohl is not deemed safe and that the USA has banned it, yet middle eastern countries still sell kohl. It would be good to see a united front on the safety of kohl.  

    • Sariyah

      Hey Line Cowley!
      Thankyou for the comment!
      I totally agree with what you have stated. Other countries should follow health guidelines especially if there are a couple of countries banning the use of a particular product which may cause harm to health.

      Have a great day!

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