Although extensively used by Comorian women, limited information exists on Msindzano beauty masks. Thus an ethnopharmacological survey was conducted on two islands of the Comoros archipelago: Ndzuani and Ngazidja. An open-ended, semi-structured questionnaire was employed for data collection on the different plants used for Msindzano preparation, their different mixtures and their different applications. A total of 348 women were interviewed on both islands. Thirty-nine plant species were recorded in this investigation, 30 in Ndzuani and 27 in Ngazidja, with 19 being used on both islands. Santalum album is the main plant used in Msindzano. It is followed by Acokanthera schimperi, Sesamum indicum and Arachys hypogea. Regarding the different mixtures, twenty-one mixtures are used in Ndzuani and 10 in Ngazidja. The main purpose for the application of Msindzano is to lighten the skin, but also to eliminate acne, as a sun block against radiation, heat and allergies. In Ndzuani it is largely used against heat and to eliminate acne, while in Ngazidja it is employed mostly as a sun block against radiation. It is thus concluded that Msindzano is an important tool used by Comorian women as cosmetics as well as for the treatment of certain skin diseases.
Key words: Cosmetics, eliminate acne, lighten skin, Msindzano, Ndzuani, Ngazidja.
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