Using camouflage skin colours to correct BAD Semi Permanent Make-up or to correct a small mistake is NEVER a good idea. It may seem like an easy way to give the client a short term solution to their problem but believe me it is only a SHORT TERM solution. We need to shift the mentality of the industry to getting the ink OUT not putting more in to hide the problem.
When I first trained, believe it or not, only five years ago in medical tattooing. We were taught that we could use colours to tattoo over scars and vitiligo. We were also taught that the colours would disappear over a couple of years. Experience showed us that THIS DOES NOT WORK and the very school that I trained with, which is very reputable, has now stopped teaching this technique. Experience taught us that colours and shades of colours will change with time and that in most cases some in will remain indefinitely having turned funky colours over the years. We now know that camouflage doesn’t age well and we should no longer be doing it.
Titanium oxide tends to linger in the skin far longer than the very colour it was trying to cover. Below is an example of this. This client came to see me as her eye liner was long gone but the colour use to “fix” it when it was done….15 years later we need to get rid of it in order to re tattoo. In this case I used Rejuvi very gently to remove the white ink. Not all of it came out but enough to be able to re tattoo her eye liner. Working on clients this age is very difficult and bruising is almost a certainty. Lasers don’t often ready this colour ink and I felt that given the age of the client, putting ocular shields in her eyes was not something I wanted to do and she agreed.
There is a huge range of camouflage skin colours ranging from permanent tattoo pigments to specialised colour from the Semi Permanent Makeup industry. If I had my way, they would all be banned.
The reason I don’t like them is that the above example, where most of it came out with one treatment of non laser, is quite rare. A more common scenario is that the ink tends to linger and getting it out is long winded and elusive. The common misconception is that this sort of ink will oxidise under the laser and in theory it should. But the fact is that it doesn’t. The laser, being a white light, goes straight through it. I am currently looking into new lasers that can read difficult colours but this means that again, I need to have a new machine made with all of the legal hoops that we all know and love need to be jumped.
I will often get a bad brow that has been covered with flesh pigment but you can still see a shadow of the old brow, my laser can also see it so it goes straight for the dark ink under the camo, removing it and leaving what was once a flesh coloured pigment and today is….well….a nasty shade of yellow behind.
If you’re a colleague and is reading this do consider training in non laser removal, which is offered by most of the academies and I will get around at some point to also offering it. You may also wish to train to do laser tattoo removal. If you have made a mistake, call me, I always have time for colleagues. We have all made mistakes, even the Masters do, so don’t be ashamed to ask for help on how to get the ink out.
I beg you, put down the camouflage colours. Refer your client’s to someone that will be able to remove the pigment. Covering it with more pigment is no longer the answer.