How to Use Henna for Skin

Two Methods:Making the HennaApplying the Henna

Henna is a paste made from the crushed leaves and twigs of the henna plant, which is grown in South Asian and North African countries. When henna is applied to the skin, it leaves a stain ranging in color from orange to dark maroon that fades within 1 to 2 weeks. This guide will teach you to safely use henna for skin to create beautiful and sensual body art.


  • 1/4 cup (20 g) fresh henna leaves or henna powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plus additional lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained to remove pulp and seeds
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) oil

Method 1
Making the Henna

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    Sift your henna using a sifter to rid it of chunks that will clog your fine tip from which the henna comes out. Alternatively, stretch a pair of a nylon cloth over a plastic container and place the henna and some coins on top of the nylon cloth. If you are using fresh henna leaves, use a crusher or mixer and powder it up. Cover the container and shake it to sift the henna through the nylon cloth.
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    Pour the henna powder into a small bowl. If you are using henna powder, do as so.
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    Mix 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice or water with the henna powder using a whisk until you have a mixture that has the consistency of mashed potatoes.
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    Mix it well..
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    Cover the henna with plastic wrap.
    • Allow the henna to rest for 24 hours at room temperature to draw the dye out of the henna.
    • You will see the dye separate into a layer above the rest of the henna mixture as it matures.
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    Scoop out the separated dye with a spoon. Add additional lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) at a time, until the consistency of the henna is similar to the consistency of yogurt.
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    Place the henna into a plastic henna cone.
    • Twist the top of the henna cone 1 or 2 times and wrap it tightly with a rubber band.
    • Roll the rubber band downward until the henna is touching both the tip of the cone and the base of the rubber band. This setup creates a tight seal that will ensure that your henna dispenses properly.

Method 2
Applying the Henna

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    Wash the skin with soap and water. Apply some rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball if the skin is particularly oily.
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    Position the tip of your plastic henna cone over the skin.
    • Apply gentle pressure with your thumb to the top of the cone, just beneath the rubber band, to dispense the henna through the tip of the cone.
    • If the henna does not dispense easily, you can clip the tip of the cone with fingernail clippers to enlarge the opening. Just remember to make very small cuts so that you don't overdo it.
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    Create your design. You can create your own original design or look at books or online templates for inspiration.
    • The hands and feet will stain darker than other parts of the body because the skin on the extremities is thicker.
    • The neck and face do not tend to stain well because the skin there is naturally thin and oily.
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    Allow the design to dry. The henna should not look wet or oily, but it shouldn't be so dry that it starts to crack.
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    Spray the completed design with 1 light coat of spray gel. This gel comes in pump spray bottles and is normally used to style hair. You can purchase spray gel at your local drugstore or supermarket in the health and beauty section.
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    Allow the spray gel to dry. Use a hair dryer to accelerate the process.
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    Spray a second light coat of spray gel onto the henna. When the gel has dried, you can wrap the design with gauze for extra protection.
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    Keep the design wrapped overnight or for at least 12 hours.
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    Unwrap the design. Apply a coat of wax lip balm, coconut oil or olive oil to the design.
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    Remove the excess dried henna flakes with a mild soap and water solution. Gently blot the stained design with a soft cloth so that you don't shorten the life of the design.
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    Apply some oil as well. This will make the henna last longer.


  • Use proper protection when using henna. Henna will stain your skin and clothing in addition to staining porous surfaces. Wear gloves and protect your clothing with an apron. Clean any henna that spills onto a porous surface with bleach.
  • Store henna in your freezer in an airtight, light-proof container.
  • Take a small cup ,drop a small amount of sugar in it then add some water so the sugar can dissolve. Using a cotton bud wipe the henna off your skin.
  • You can put your henna paste in an empty squeezy glue container (think Elmer's white glue) if you need more control.
  • Add a tablespoon of sugar to your paste. It gives the paste more form and better consistency. An added bonus is that it sticks to the skin better too.
  • To darken the color leave it on a bit longer.
  • Apply Vaseline after the henna is dry to make it long lasting and give it a darker color.


  • Never apply henna to the skin of an infant. In infants who have G6PD (glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency, henna can cause red blood cells to burst.
  • Avoid henna if you are taking lithium. Henna can interfere with the body's absorption of lithium.
  • Avoid pre-mixed black henna. This product could contain chemicals that may cause severe allergic reactions.
  • Henna should never be consumed by mouth. It could cause stomach upset and other serious side effects.
  • Avoid mixing henna paste with mustard oil.

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Categories: Handmade Cosmetics | Temporary Tattoos