Henna decorations on your skin: easy to make yourself

Henna is a plant extract that is mainly used as a decoration on the skin. In the West, henna decorations are used as temporary tattoos. This is considered a cosmetic and it lasts for about two to four weeks. There are various decorations available that you can easily find on the internet. It is easy to make yourself and a fun activity to do. What do you need for this?

Henna as beauty

If you want a temporary tattoo or just a beautiful temporary decoration on your skin, then henna is the perfect cosmetic for this. Henna comes from a plant and its dye has a strong effect and is absorbed into the skin. This will last for several weeks and will slowly fade away. It has been used for centuries. For example, archaeologists have found henna on the hair and nails of Egyptian mummies from 1200 BC. In countries where henna decorations are a tradition, it is more about femininity, beauty, spirituality and happiness, about joy and festivity. Painting with henna is a ceremony in itself.

Make your own henna

Henna is used worldwide. In Asia, the Middle East and North Africa it is used for nails, skin and hair. For example, in Pakistan, Hindu women use henna decorations for their weddings. A day before the wedding, she decorates her hands, sometimes incorporating the name of the future husband into the pattern. She also treats her feet. Although you can buy it ready-made or have it applied to your skin, it is also very fun to make it yourself. The requirements for this are:

  • tea
  • lemon
  • sugar
  • henna
  • syringe
  • (henna) oil
  • possibly cotton balls or cotton swabs
  • Bowl


The method

It is wise to wear old clothes and use old towels. Once you have all the supplies ready, complete the procedure below:

  1. Make a mug of tea. Add some sugar and the juice of a lemon. Stir it and let the tea cool. With this liquid, the color of the henna will become more intense and darker than if you mix it with water alone. The henna will also adhere better.
  2. Place henna powder in a container, add the tea and stir. Continue this until a firm paste is formed. It is better to add too little liquid and then add some, rather than too much, which will make the paste too thin. After mixing, wait at least fifteen minutes so that the paste will turn browner. First, use a cotton ball to apply some (henna) oil to the skin where you are going to apply the henna. Then the henna becomes more beautiful in color.
  3. Then draw some of the paste into the syringe and screw on the needle. You can start. Start with simple patterns such as a simple heart or flower. There are many examples on the internet. Take your time and do it carefully. The following applies: practice makes perfect! If something goes wrong, immediately wipe away the blemish with your finger, nail, cotton ball or cotton swab. The needle may become blocked. Then you need to empty and rinse the syringe.
  4. The henna must be left in place until the pattern is completely dry. At least an hour, but preferably a little longer. The henna then hardens properly.
  5. You can then wipe the hardened henna off the skin. After you have removed the henna, the color remaining on the skin will become more intense and therefore darker in color. That process continues for hours. So don’t be disappointed if the drawing looks light at first.


Beware of black henna

Beware of so-called “Black henna”. PPD (paraphenylene diamine) has been added to this to darken the color and make the henna work faster. It can cause serious allergic reactions, resulting in permanent scars.


To make henna powder, the shoots of young leaves of the henna plant are dried and ground. Sometimes other dried plants are added for color nuances, such as indigo, which makes it darker. Henna powder without additives is army green or brownish green. It smells a bit like hay or spinach. Top quality smells like fresh herb. Henna powder that is for the skin must be sieved. Do not use henna intended for coloring hair. It is not suitable for the skin, because it is usually of inferior quality.

Be careful when washing

Do not wash the drawing with water! You should definitely wait a day for that, if possible. Therefore, if possible, wash your hands at the end of the day, before going to sleep. Henna drawings remain on the skin for a maximum of four weeks and will gradually fade.

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