How to Make Henna for Use on Skin

Two Parts:Making the PasteApplying Henna to Skin

Henna is one of the oldest forms of makeup ever used. A purely natural compound, it temporarily stains the skin like a tattoo, which can be used to make all sorts of shapes and patterns on your body.[1] Although basic henna powder is regularly purchased at a store, you'll need to flesh it out into a full-blown paste yourself. Fortunately, henna paste is relatively cheap and easy to make, and with results that last up to a couple of weeks, you'll have plenty of opportunities to perfect your henna art.

Part 1
Making the Paste

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    Collect materials. For a basic henna paste, you'll need a few ingredients. Utensils, such as stirring spoons and mixing bowls, should be found somewhere in your home kitchen.
    • Henna powder. Gazab henna powder is recommended.[2] Be sure to buy body art quality henna, and not henna for hair.
    • Cloves. Cloves are a type of flower, typically used in spices.[3] Seven or eight cloves are a good match for a standard bag of henna powder. Make sure to use solid cloves rather than their oil. Clove oils are known to be harmful.[4]
    • Grounded coffee beans. Two tablespoons of finely grounded coffee beans are enough to match a standard bag of henna powder.
    • Lemon juice. Lemon juice bottles can typically be picked up at a food or dollar store. The lemon juice will be added to the powder before you add the heated coffee clover mixture.
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    Sift the powder out of the bag.[5] Using a sifter or cheesecloth, shake the powder into a bowl or container, sifting out the bigger grains in a powder. A perfect henna paste will be consistent. This means taking out the bigger particles that may put up a fight against stirring.
    • Store the powder in a sealable glass container. This will limit the risk of the powder coming into contact with moisture.
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    Mix cloves and coffee together.[6] Take two tablespoons of grounded coffee and seven cloves and add them to one cup of water. Stir the ingredients together until they're relatively consistent.
    • For the time being, the henna powder itself should be kept separate from the rest of your mixture.
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    Boil the mixture.[7] Bring your coffee and clover mixture to a boil. Pour the mixture into a pot and bring a stovetop element to medium-high. Wait until the mixture has reached a rolling boil, then take it off the element.
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    Sift the mixture.[8] After you've sufficiently boiled the mixture, it's important to get the larger solids out of the mixture. You can do this by sifting it, much as you did with the henna powder. Sift through a cheesecloth into another bowl.
    • Sifting the mixture multiple times will maximize the chances that you got all of the particulate sediment out of it.
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    Add lemon juice to the henna powder.[9] Lemon juice will help extract the dyes from the powder itself. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice per every two tablespoons of ground coffee you're using in the other mixture. Pour it onto the powder, then stir it thoroughly until you think it's consistent.
    • Using an alternative to lemon juice (like an oil) may drastically change the dye's release time.[10]
    • Do not use lemon juice if you are allergic to citrus. Strong, cold black tea or flat Coke or Pepsi will work in place of the lemon juice. Keep in mind, however, that caffeine is absorbed through skin, so do not use a caffeinated beverage if you are sensitive to it.
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    Add mixture to your henna powder. Add the coffee clove mixture into your henna powder bowl by using a tablespoon. Gauge your mixture by stirring consistently after delivering each tablespoon into the mix. You can stop adding mixture to the powder when the powder has a toothpaste-like consistency.[11]
    • Add the mixture one spoonful at a time. This will make sure you have sufficient control over the consistency.
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    Give your mixture essential oils.[12] Essential oils are great for the skin, and help make the henna darker without hurting the stickiness or texture. Tea Tree, Lavender, and Frankincense are a few of the oils you might use for this. 30ml of essential oil should be enough to add colour to your henna mixture. As always, stir it thoroughly once it's been added.
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    Allow your paste to sit overnight.[13] After it's been mixed, henna needs some time for the dyes to be released. Applying it before it's been sufficiently released will result in a weak stain. Wrap over the top of the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and tie it over with an elastic band.
    • Tape over the plastic bag with your fingers s you place it over the bowl. This will force the excess air out of the bowl as you secure it.
    • Alternatively, the hotter the room or area is, the faster it will be for the henna's dye to release in the mixture.

Part 2
Applying Henna to Skin

  1. Image titled Make Henna for Use on Skin Step 10
    Wash your skin. Wash your skin with soap and water. This will rub away any excess dirty and help maximize the effectiveness of your henna.
  2. Image titled Make Henna for Use on Skin Step 11
    Get a henna funnel.[14] Cooking funnels are generally too wide to successfully apply henna patterns to the skin. However, narrow tipped funnels and specialized henna funnels are perfect for henna application. Henna funnels can be purchased from anywhere where regular henna powder is sold.
    • Henna funnels sometimes come in packs alongside the powder.
    • Henna funnels can be made at home as well by rolling plastic into a cone and snipping off the end with scissors.
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    Fill your funnel with henna paste. Use a spoon to gradually fill the funnel up with paste.[15] Take a tablespoonful of the paste and let it drip slowly into the funnel. Done in this way, you'll be able to control the amount that comes into your funnel without risking damage to the funnel itself. Fill the funnel until it is roughly 2/3 full of paste.[16]
    • Because the henna paste has such a sticky consistency, you'll have to be patient while the funnel is filled.
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    Squeeze and shut the back of the funnel.[17] Press your thumbs against the back of the funnel once it is ready. Fold the end of the henna cone and tape it shut with scotch tape.
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    Squeeze it gently for application.[18] Take the henna funnel once it's been properly loaded and sealed, and squeeze it gently as you run the nozzle over your skin at a consistent rate.
    • You can untape the cone and reuse it if you run out of henna paste. However, due to the fact that you'll need to allow the henna time to properly dry into your skin, it's a good idea to make more than the amount of henna you think you'll need.
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    Wipe away smears with water quickly.[19] Although henna takes at least 4 hours to dry completely, it does begin to leave a skin stain rather quickly. With this in mind, it's good idea to keep a wet towel nearby just in case. Wipe away design errors when you first see them.
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    Touch up your henna over time.[20] Henna designs will last from a few days to a couple of weeks. However, it doesn't take long before the designs begin to fade from the skin. If this is the case, it's a good idea to touch up the designs by lightly tracing over them with fresh henna.
  8. 8
    Look up designs. The possibilities with Henna are virtually endless. The complexity of the designs you draw will depend entirely on your skill set. However, if you're just starting out, you'll quickly get a better grasp of what to do.
    • Once you get the proper hang of henna application, you should make your own original designs. Because the best henna art is often very complex, it may be a good idea to draw out some patterns on paper before applying it to your sin.


  • It's a very good idea to sift each step at least three times. This will maximize the consistency and effectiveness of your henna paste.[21]


  • Henna is not black! Any product claiming to produce a black stain which lasts more than two weeks is a chemical called PPD and can seriously harm you.
  • Do not let your henna get too warm or the heat will kill the stain. Between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is good.

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Categories: Temporary Tattoos