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 Post subject: Questions & Answers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:45 am 
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This topic summarises some of the many questions that we receive via email every day;
Our 'Clients Forum' visitors might find the answers that are provided helpful.

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 Post subject: Question About: Hand Tools & Eyebrow Embroidery
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:19 pm 
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Question: I have been told that having permanent makeup performed by hand using the eyebrow embroidery method is gentler to the skin and it heals quicker is this correct?

Answer Provided: Actually no, there is no reliable evidence to support the claim that the use of hand tools to perform cosmetic tattooing is gentler to the skin or that healing is quicker. One of the earliest forms of tattooing was performed with slithers of bamboo but now we have very advanced equipment such as digital machines that are extremely precise. Every few years or so the proponents of the use of hand tools will reinvent a new name in an effort to re-brand what is the oldest form of cosmetic tattooing i.e. using a hand tool.

Embroidery is actually a form of needlework where stiches of thread are taken through fabric out to the other side and back again in a different location, in contrast if performed correctly cosmetic tattooing involves implantation of pigment via a series of single partial penetrations into the upper third of the dermis, therefore the use of the term embroidery to describe cosmetic tattooing is both misleading and inappropriate. In fact if someone was actually embroidering your skin they would need to be passing right through the dermis into the hypodermis and back out to the surface of the skin again which would be alarmingly too deep into the skin.

The main advantages of the use of hand tools is the equipment is very cheap, procedures can be quick to set up and performed quickly, training does not take as long as the use of the more technically advanced mechanical methods, and some technicians simply like using them.

One of the main drawbacks to the use of hand tools is that it is completely reliant on hand pressure so pigment depth can constantly vary with each hand movement which may lead to variations in colour and line appearance. The epidermis on the face is very thin just a few thousandths of a millimetre so to implant pigment in the correct location in the top of the dermis requires a great deal of precision. I am yet to meet a person with such good hand eye coordination that they can detect and control their hand movements for example to 1/10th, 2/10ths or 1/2 of a millimetre, which can actually be accomplished with a high end digital machine using magnification and careful setting of needle depth.

If a person does claim that they can control their hand movements with that type of precision then ask them to demonstrate by drawing a line on a piece of paper by hand that is 1/10th, 2/10ths or 1/2 of a millimetre. In contrast the reliability that a high end digital machine provides is that once the needle depth and penetration speed has been set the device constantly operates within predefined parameters and offers the much higher accuracy and narrow tolerance for variability that a computer controlled hand piece can provide.

With the new generation of devices such as the Amiea Sense the hand piece actually detects variations in skin resistance and the SensiDrive can automatically make minute adjustments to the force applied to the needle to increase or decrease both needle pressure and depth as the tattoo needle passes over variations in the skin surface. Even the most skilled person using a hand tool would not be able to even come close to that level or precision.

Needles are another aspect, for example Amiea needles are produced to clinical standards I am not aware of a hand tool that has the same high quality of needle, Amiea needles have specially manufactured microscopic textured surface that helps the pigment cling to the needle instead of just running off of it so that pigment is implanted with less passes over the skin.

In particular with procedures such as eyeliner I would want the much higher precision in needle depth that a digital machine can provide, I would not want to risk the use of a hand tool near my eyes no matter how experienced the technician was.

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 Post subject: Question About: Pigments used for scalp tattooing
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Question: Some of the scalp tattoo services claim that their treatment lasts forever and will not need to be done again because of the special inks that they use, what do you make of that?

Answer Provided: There are certain types of services where I believe it is even more important than usual to be extra careful with the descriptions used and the information provided to ensure that the client is completely clear about the nature of the service. Scalp Hair Follicle Simulation Tattooing™ is one of those services where extra care is warranted to ensure there is no ambiguity, for that reason we regularly review our client advice documentation.

My first comment is that if you check how long the service provider making those types of claims has been providing cosmetic or medical tattoo services you will probably find its a fairly short period of time and far too short to have any evidence to support the claim.

It is fair to say that any form of tattoo service can potentially remain visible for many years and perhaps even for the life of the person but even body art tattoos, which are placed deeper into the dermis and involve large quantities of pigment being implanted, still fade over the years and lose colour intensity. Cosmetic tattooing if performed correctly is placed at a shallower level in the dermis and much less pigment is implanted so it will definitely tend to fade more quickly than a body art tattoo but might still remain visible for long period of time and lots of factors will affect how quickly the pigment fades.

From the above you can see that a service provider could potentially mislead a client by being selective about what information they provide to a client.

Special Pigments: I will address this point specifically because it is very important that clients are clear in relation to this topic.
We ourselves have discussed the various possibilities for improving the colourfast nature of pigments and the various ingredients with qualified pigment chemists on several occasions and the experts in this field are constantly working on improving the blends.

You should take note that even among the most durable industrial pigments that are used in paints, plastics, ceramics and glass wear all pigments fade over time no matter how robust the pigment is or what ingredients are used. For example you could purchase the best quality paint available and paint the exterior of your house and in 5, 10, or 15 years time the colour will have faded and you will notice deterioration in the general appearance.

Cosmetic tattoo pigments cannot and should not be sourced from the very robust ingredients used in industrial colourants because many of them are highly toxic and contain substances such as heavy metals and aromatic amines that could be harmful to human health.

Reputable manufacturers of cosmetic tattoo pigments need to select their colourant additives from a very narrow range of ingredients to minimise the risk of skin reactions and toxicity. If a tattoo technician is claiming that their pigments last forever, don't fade, or never need touch ups, then you would be demanding to see the materials safety data sheets supplied by the manufacturer to see exactly what ingredients are being used.

In Summary
If a cosmetic tattoo technician claims their pigments last forever, don't fade, or never need touch ups, then;

    • Either the technician is being economical with the truth
    or
    • I would have serious concerns about the pigment ingredients


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 Post subject: Question About: Smudgy Eyeliner
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Question: I have spoken to a few permanent makeup artists and been told that you cant get a khol pencil smudgy eyeliner with permanent makeup is that right?

Answer Provided: Actually no that is totally incorrect a smudgy eyeliner effect can be created with the use of the correct needle. One of the problems is that very few Australian cosmetic trainers have attended training with the myself (the manufacturers Regional Master Trainer) to learn how to use each needle configuration as they are intended to be used. The result is that cosmetic tattoo technicians end up being taught inappropriately to use just 1, 2 or 3 needles for every procedure which provides a very limited repertoire of outcomes for the client.

There are limitations to what can be achieved with cosmetic tattooing but if the technician has had comprehensive training from a regional Master Trainer then they will be able to offer a much wider range of services.

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 Post subject: Question About: Lip Tattooing
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:32 am 
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Question: I had lip tattooing performed 5 days ago, my technician suggested a colour but I chose a different colour and now I am not happy with the colour of my lips, what should I do?

Answer Provided: I am sure that your technician will have told you that you cannot gauge the final healed colour just 5 days after lip tattooing. All forms of cosmetic tattoo go through colour changes during the healing process and lips in particular will go though a range of colour hue and intensity changes especially during the first 14 days after tattooing.

You will not be able to gauge the final healed result until 28-42 days after tattooing once completed healing and fixation of the pigment has occurred. The first part of the article on the link below explains the process of healing and pigment fixation.


Why Do Cosmetic Tattoos Change Colour? - Part 1

My other comment would be that an experienced cosmetic tattooist, who is performing lip tattooing regularly and who understands their pigments, is likely to have a best idea of the final healed results of different pigment colours on different skin types. After complete healing has occurred if the colour that you have chosen is not quite what you had hoped for then perhaps it would be better to follow the advice of your technician?

Just a thought!

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 Post subject: Question About: Collagen Induction Therapy
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:23 pm 
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Question: I suffer from Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and I am considering having Collagen Induction Therapy to improve some wrinkles, I have read on some websites that there is no chance of causing PIH with Collagen Induction Therapy because "the epidermis and melanocytes in the deep layer of the skin are not damaged" is that correct?

Answer Provided: The short answer to your question is; NO that is absolutely incorrect.
In my opinion those kinds of marketing claims are irresponsible to say the least and those making them damage their own credibility.

If you suffer from PIH then any form of skin trauma has the potential to trigger the condition including services such as dermabrassion or skin needling. Those with Fitzpatrick Skin Type IV-VI are potentially more predisposed to PIH, you can read more on Fitzpatrick Skin Types on this link.

If you have already been diagnosed with PIH then you should be cautious about any form of skin treatment that involves skin abrasion or puncturing and CIT/MCA/Skin Needling is no exception. There are less aggressive alternatives such as MESO-Vytal that could be considered depending on what outcome you are attempting to achieve but even so if PIH is present than I would urge caution.

Depending on the circumstances involved there may be an argument for the treatment determined on a case by case basis however it would be best to discuss the pros and cons with a dermatologist in regards to your PIH.

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Andrea Darby
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About Andrea Darby
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© Andrea Darby from CosmeticTattooist.com all rights reserved, no unauthorised copying or reproduction permitted.


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