The Prophet Sl llh lyh wslm was a great admirer of Ithmid (antimony) kohl and commanded his followers to use it. This was because of its unique benefits over other types of kohl which only carry beauty benefits and not health benefits. In fact some non-Ithmid kohls such as galena kohl contain lead compounds which are toxic at certain levels. Our Ithmid kohl contains antimony which is non-toxic at any level.
Traditionally mesdemet or kohl was made from a variety of minerals, usually from Galena or Stibnite, which is a natural mineral source of the element antimony. Often it was mixed with various organic or inorganic substances such as soot to create various hues of black. Today many kohls still have the same basic ingredients but do not always contain antimony at all. Most of them are made with galena which still has a high lead content.
Kohls with high concentrations of lead, which can be harmful at some levels, have been implicated as a possible cause of lead poisoning in people from Egypt, India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia who use these cosmetics in the West. The Food and Drug Administration regulates the level of lead in these cosmetics to prevent exposure to hazardous amounts.
The kohl samples tested for this study were purchased from shops in Morocco, Mauritania and the UK, as well as other countries. They were analysed for their antifungal activity using agar-well diffusion. The results are shown in the table below. The concentrations of elements in the samples are given as ppm or ug/g. Red boxes indicate values that are above European Union limits for the elements whereas grey boxes show the concentrations within the limit. antimony kohl