Lawsone Chemical formula

Chemical information

Lawsonia. 2-Hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone.
Chemical formula: C10H6O3 = 174.2.
CAS — 83-72-7.


Lawsone is a dye present in henna, the leaves of Lawsonia spp., and may also be prepared synthetically. It has been used with dihydroxyacetone in sunscreen preparations. There appears to be no evidence that it has any sunscreening properties when used alone.

Adverse effects.

Observation that lawsone causes oxidative damage to red blood cells in vitro supported a suggestion that percutaneous absorption of henna could contribute to unexplained neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia in countries where the ceremonial use of henna is widespread.1
1. Zinkham WH, Oski FA. Henna: a potential cause of oxidative hemolysis and neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Pediatrics 1996; 97: 707–9.
Published May 08, 2019.