WHAT IS COSMETIC TATTOING
Cosmetic Tattooing, also called Semi-Permanent Makeup or Micropigmentation, is the process of implanting colour pigment into the upper dermis of the skin by means of a tiny, sterile, disposable needles or blades. In time your macrophages (white blood cells) will engulf the pigment. Collagen and elastin fibres 'rope' around the macrophage and hold it in place. This is how the pigment stays in the skin. Cosmetic tattooing uses a different pigment to traditional tattoos, which is why it is designed to fade. The pigment molecule is smaller in size to those used in body tattoos and made of different ingredients. This means it has the ability to be broken down over time and carried out through the lymphatic system. Ideal as the face structure, hair colour or trends change over time-so can your tattoo.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COSMETIC TATTOO AND A BODY TATTOO
The purpose of Cosmetic Tattooing is to enhance the natural features of a client. Cosmetic Tattooing is softer and more subtle – it is meant to be a natural-looking beauty enhancement. Body tattoos use carbon based ink that last a lifetime, while cosmetic tattoo procedures involve pigments that are designed to gently fade over time. Fading is desired as it allows the technician to make changes to colour and shape over the years as client’s natural colouration and facial changes occur.
DOES COSMETIC TATTOOING HURT
A highly-effective, topical anaesthetic cream and gel are used for numbing before and during your procedure. Pain threshold levels vary from person to person and every effort is made to ensure you remain comfortable for the entirety of the procedure. Most clients refer to it feeling like a 'slight scratch' or 'slowly tweezing hairs' right at the beginning of the treatment, then as we continue and apply regular anaesthetic the sensation discontinues.
WHAT ARE THE PIGMENTS MADE OF
The pigments used in Cosmetic Tattooing are TGA approved and come in a variety of colours specially formulated free from iron oxide, which is safe for those who frequent MRI treatments. I do not use pigments made from organic ingredients, such as vegetables as they have a high risk of carrying bacteria and causing allergic reactions. Because colour is implanted just underneath the dermal layer of the skin, the resulting shade is soft and muted, unlike regular cosmetic makeup that sits on the surface of the skin.
HOW LONG DOES COSMETIC TATTOOING LAST
The treatment is considered semi-permanent and will not wash off, however, it will fade over time and may need a touch-up every 1-3 years. Frequency of touch-ups depends on a number of factors including: the pigment colour used (lighter colours fade faster), lifestyle (sun exposure), Medication and if any chemical peels or regular exfoliative agents come into contact with treated areas. Please note that final results can not be guaranteed as each unique skin type will hold pigments differently and break down at different rates. We will re-evaluate how your skin has received the pigment at your touch-up appointment and make any changes necessary.
Touch-ups are normal for Semi-Permanent Makeup procedures, with each new procedure requiring 2 visits. The initial procedure followed by a free touch-up procedure about 4-6 weeks after.
Occasionally some clients will need a 3rd touch up visit if the skin is having trouble holding pigment, or the client has decided to change the colour/shape/thickness in their second visit; requiring a third follow up to ensure the new areas have held/ the colour has settled correctly. This will be discussed after your first touch up appointment.
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE MY TREATMENT
If you have an ideal shape and colour in mind, bring a few reference photos with you to your appointment. You may fill in your eyebrows as you normally would so we can take into consideration the shape you desire. If you regularly get your eyebrows shaped, waxed, threaded or tinted, please do so at least 3 days before your appointment. If there are any stray hairs that fall outside of our final shape, we can remove them. Alternatively if you are after a shape change-grow your brows out as much as possible before your appointment.
If you plan to go on a vacation, it is recommended to plan your trip a minimum of 14 days after the procedure.
We require our clients to avoid any blood thinning medication for a minimum of 72 hours prior to their appointment. This includes Vitamin E, Aspirin, Niacin, fish oil supplements, and Ibuprofen.
Do not drink any alcohol the night before and day of your appointment and limit the amount of caffeine you consume.
If you have been on prescription Accutane in the past, you MUST wait at least one year before considering this procedure.
It is highly recommended that you avoid SUN and TANNING BED exposure for 30 days BEFORE and AFTER your procedure. If you show up for your appointment with a new tan or a sunburn, you will need to reschedule and will forfeit your deposit. As your skin exfoliates from a sunburn, it will take the pigment with it.
WHAT WILL I LOOK LIKE IMMEDIATLY AFTER
Immediately following your procedure, the tattooed area will appear to be darker and bolder in colour and more sharply defined. This can last up to a week after the treatment while the initial healing process takes place.
Swelling and redness is very minimal with most clients, and will disappear within a few hours.
In some cases it may last around the eye area for up to 3 days, but will not prevent working or socialising. The treated area may feel slightly tender.
Hours following your appointment your brows will darken and then strokes will thicken slightly. More noticeably when you wake the next day. This is due to the pigment oxidising on the surface of the skin and mixing with natural fluids in the skin that are part of the body's healing processes. This can sometimes be a shock as it appears darker than anticipated, don't fret it fades dramatically! However if you need a pep talk to put your mind at ease do contact us!
WHAT IS THE HEALING PROCESS
In the first 5 or so days, the pigment will be darker. After 5 days you may notice an itch in the area as the strokes start to 'scab up'.
After the scabbing process occurs and the skin heals, flaking will begin.
During this process, your tattoo will soften and lighten. Be patient, even if you think too much colour has been lost, as your skin is still regenerating and naturally exfoliating. Wait at least 4-5 weeks to see the true colour, as it seems to take on new strength, and it is only after this time that your touch-up/adjustment can be done.
Note: Every skin holds pigment differently, in your touch up session we will analyse the area and assess how your skin held the pigment;
Due to skin type, lifestyle and after care the following can take place: some strokes may shrink causing the shape to be altered slightly, the colour may be slightly cooler than expected, colour may be lighter than expected, small patches may fade too much, in oily skin strokes may blur slightly. While we go to full lengths to ensure the following does not occur, until we see the healed result it can be a waiting game. The above are all very minor issues that are very easily corrected in your 4 week touch up.
WHAT CAN I DO TO ENSURE MY TATTOO LASTS OVER TIME
Exposure to the sun over time can cause fading and discolouration of the pigment. Once completely healed, you may apply sunscreen on the treated area. Wear large sunglasses and a hat for further protection.
Rinse and dry the area thoroughly when in contact with chlorine.
Use a gentle cleanser on the area, avoid exfoliating products and vitamin A directly in the area. (ie. Salicylic/Lactic/Glycolic/Mandelic Acid, Benzoyl-peroxide, exfoliating scrubs)
If you are having laser resurfacing or laser hair removal after your tattoo has healed, please inform the laser technician. Continue at your own discretion. Laser procedures may darken, lighten, or discolour the tattooed area.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER MY TREATMENT
We will provide you with aftercare instructions following your procedure. It is highly beneficial to follow these instructions to ensure a comfortable healing process and to achieve the best results. The most essential aftercare is to keep the treated area moist, DO NOT rub or pick the healing area as the colour will peel off prematurely, and avoid extreme heat and contaminated bodies of water (such as saunas, Jacuzzis, steam rooms, pools, lakes, places with hot humidity).
HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MY TATTOO LONG TERM
A good sunscreen applied daily AFTER healing on the tattooed area(s) is needed to help keep colour true. As with any tattoo, sun exposure will make the colour fade faster.
Your body slowly absorbs the pigment so the colour will fade over time. You may need a touch-up every 1-3 years. The fading speed depends on your skin type, lifestyle, sun exposure, pigment colour used, broken capillaries, iron deficiency, and if any chemical peels were done after cosmetic tattooing.
If you are planning a chemical peel, laser or other medical procedures, please inform the technician that you have had a cosmetic tattoo. Careful application must be taken to avoid affecting the tattooed area.