AN IMPULSIVE DECISION TO BOOK…
You’ve been thinking of getting your eyeliner and brows tattooed for ages – years in fact, and finally feel impulsive enough to go for it. You consult Google, find a clinic you love the look of and book in for the end of the week. There’s even enough time to squeeze in the essential consultation and patch test.
If the patch test is all good then there’s nothing stopping you from booking that Friday slot, right?
Well, not necessarily! You may not have thought of how to prepare for permanent makeup, and what to avoid before your appointment.
You may have to wait anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months in order to safely have your cosmetic tattoo! What a disappointment after all these years of psyching up to it!
Find out what you should avoid – and how to prepare for permanent makeup:
LASH GROWTH SERUMS AND COSMETIC TATTOOING
If you’ve been using a lash or brow growth serum such as Revitalash, UK Lash or UK Brow, this can cause issues with your skin when it comes to tattooing the area of serum use. Issues serious enough to mean that any cosmetic tattoo artist with your best interests at heart will ensure you avoid use of the growth serum for long enough before your appointment.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND HOW LASH GROWTH SERUMS AFFECT TATTOOING
You may have heard of the growth serum wonder ingredient Bimatoprost (a prostaglandin), which Revitalash previously included. Due to some bad press about its side effects, they promptly removed it. But here’s the thing: they still needed the serum work, so how would they do that without the active ingredient? Well, they still include a prostaglandin under the guise of Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide.
UK lash contains a similar ingredient, cloprostenate. This is, of course, another form of prostaglandin (see above link).
Prostaglandins are lipids with hormone-like properties, and while the body can produce these naturally, excessive amounts (i.e when applying serums containing them) can cause pain and sensitivity – especially when breaking the skin.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU AVOID LASH GROWTH SERUM BEFORE GETTING PERMANENT MAKEUP?
You’ll need to avoid the growth serum for up to 3 months. As a rule of thumb, if you’ve been using the serum consistently for 6 months or more, you’ll need to wait longer for its effects to wear off, compared to irregular use or a shorter time period which may only need a 6 week wait.
Bear in mind that if you stop using the serum and your skin still reacts badly to the tattooing, your cosmetic tattoo artist should stop the procedure and you may need to wait for a further month or two. Not ideal if you’re part way through a cosmetic tattoo. Best to be cautious and wait a little longer.
Lash Growth Serums continued… SO YOU HAVE A HIGH PAIN THRESHOLD?
You have a high pain threshold and think you can handle any potential sensitivity brought about by use of growth serums. So could you go ahead without stopping lash serum use? In short, no. If you want a good result (who wouldn’t?) then you need your skin to be accommodating and tolerant to the minor trauma caused by tattooing. The lash serum ingredient is likely to cause unnecessary bleeding and bruising when the needle breaks your skin.
For info, it’s not normal for there to be more than the odd spot of blood when tattooing permanent makeup, as it should be placed so superficially in the skin.
Where there’s more than just a bit of bleeding, the pigment will be difficult to implant as it’s being pushed out while the needle is trying to push it in. You’re investing a decent amount in your expertly tattooed permanent makeup. Why waste your money on risking a bad result?
PIGMENT MIGRATION POTENTIALLY CAUSED BY THE EFFECTS OF LASH GROWTH SERUMS
Even worse is the risk of pigment migration, especially when it comes to tattooing the very thin skin of the eyes. Bleeding increases risk of migration (that is, the pigment spreading to unwanted areas). And remember, it is ‘permanent’ pigment. Yes, there may be ways to remedy migration, but it’s not necessarily quick, easy, painless or 100% effective. It’s just not worth the risk. I would advise you to stop using growth serum and wait around 2-3 months for your cosmetic tattoo.
RETINOL AND COSMETIC TATTOOING
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and, as you probably know, is a skincare powerhouse when it comes to reducing fine lines and increasing collagen production.
It works by encouraging skin cell turnover and helps with the production of new cells.
However, much like lash or brow growth serums, it can make the skin more sensitive and potentially cause discomfort during the application of permanent makeup (cosmetic tattooing).
When considering how to prepare for permanent makeup, It’s advisable to avoid using retinol on or near the area to be tattooed to reduce the risk of sensitivity and discomfort.
The effects are similar to those triggered by lash serums: increased risk of bruising, bleeding and sensitivity, which can ultimately open you up to risk of infection and give you a less than optimal result.
The good news is that it’s not for as long as the growth serums – only around 4 weeks should be enough time to stop with the retinol before tattooing.
If you’ve been using it on your forehead and want your brows tattooed, you’ll need to give it a break in that area. It’s unlikely you’ve used retinol on your eyes and as such it shouldn’t affect an eyeliner tattoo. But best to be cautious and avoid using it even close to the eyes.
CAN YOU CONTINUE RETINOL AFTER TATTOOING?
Because retinol essentially has an exfoliating effect with its efficiency in turning over cells, this will inevitably speed up the rate at which your cosmetic tattoo fades. It’s advisable to avoid applying retinol products over the cosmetic tattoo, not just in the healing period but ongoing, if you want your tattoo to last for longer.
ANY OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN GETTING PERMANENT MAKEUP?
…Well, of course there are other ways to prepare for permanent makeup, as well as things to avoid before your appointment! Read on…
SUN TANNING – IT’S A NO FROM ME :/
Having an active tan on your face really does affect how well your skin takes the pigment. UV rays not only break down pigment once it’s in your skin, meaning your tattoo will fade quicker, but it makes it very difficult to achieve a beautiful looking cosmetic tattoo in the first place. The skin is tougher and it will not accept the pigment easily. You’ve fallen at the first hurdle if you arrive for your PMU appointment with a recently tanned face. You should avoid direct sun on the face for around 4 weeks before getting permanent makeup.
HOLD THE COFFEE AND WINE (AND STAY HYDRATED)!
It’s hard to take when you’re told to avoid your morning coffee, I know 😉 But anything that either thins the blood or increases your blood pressure will increase the risk of bleeding once that tiny needle comes into contact with your skin, meaning it’s difficult to implant the pigment, leading to an unsatisfactory result.
Not only this but, as detailed in the section about lash growth serums – bleeding when tattooing, especially on the eye area, can increase the risk of pigment migration.
And what’s more – it also increases your risk of infection.
So when you’re advised to avoid substances such as caffeine, alcohol, ibuprofen, fish oils and vitamin E for 48 hours before your appointment, it really is in your best interest.
BLOOD THINNERS AND OTHER MEDICATIONS
EVER HAD A COLD SORE?
If you’ve had a cold sore in the past, even just the once 20 years ago, then tattooing your lips (Lip Blush or Full Lip Colour) will be highly likely to cause an outbreak.
It’s advisable to take an anti-viral (Acyclovir) for 5 days prior and 5 days after your lip tattoo – and you’ll be good to go.
Hopefully this has helped you know how to prepare for permanent makeup, and what to avoid before your appointment.
I’D LOVE TO HELP
My well established clinic is based in Christchurch, not far from Bournemouth, Ringwood, Southampton and Poole. It’s a private, home based clinic with many 5 star Google reviews, so you can be assured of comfort, privacy, a warm welcome and of course the highest standards in cosmetic tattooing, as well as anti-ageing treatments, that are bespoke to you.
I look forward to meeting you.