Kohl is a traditional type of eyeliner that goes by many names including kuhl, kohhel, kohol, surma and sormeh. It is used in the Middle East and North Africa to mark the waterline of the eyes and above & below the eyelashes. It is also known as a protective agent against the evil eye and has medicinal properties.
The stone that kohl is traditionally made out of is called Galena (lead sulfide) and has been used for thousands of years in various applications due to its unique properties. The rock naturally contains a high percentage of lead that can be extracted in a very fine powdered form for kohl. The rock has UV absorptive properties so when it is applied to the eye the kohl absorbs any harmful rays that can damage the eye. It also acts as a light reflector by reflecting off any glare from the sun.
When kohl is applied correctly it will not scratch the eye or irritate the skin around the eyes. It is best to use a small stick that can be gently rubbed over the waterline of the eye and/or above & below the eyelashes. Some people prefer to apply kohl in the corner of the eye as well. It is also important to keep the kohl clean and free of any dust or dirt which can cause irritation to the eyes.
In the recent past there has been an increased amount of counterfeit kohl products that are being sold on the market. A number of these products have been tested by laboratories and found to contain excessive amounts of lead. Ithmid Kohl