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Cosmetic Tattoo Removal methods, uncut

We live in a fortunate time that problems don’t have to be so permanent anymore, provided they are addressed correctly, and by experienced professionals.

Incorrectly indicated, or badly applied corrective work will 110% do more harm than good for an already-traumatic situation. 

There are still too many cowboys attempting to ‘correct’ their own, and other artist’s work, without knowing exactly what they are doing in the first place.

Uploading a photo of botched eyebrow tattoos onto a facebook forum captioned ‘how do I fix this’ is not adequate training to perform a removal or correctional treatment. 

At our Sydney studio, My Rejuvenate, we see dozens of clients a month attending consultatons for correctional work. 

85% of these cases we refer for laser tattoo removal, 12% we treat with a glycolic-saline pigment removal solution to lift the colour out, and only about 3% of these candidates are suitable to proceed with a corrective tattoo treatment. 

Here’s how to know which correctional method to recommend and when – 

  1. First assess colour, if it is quite dark and intense, it definitely needs to be lightened or removed 
  2. Laser tattoo removal  is the most effective and efficient method for removing dark colours (if performed correctly).
  3. Sunset colours are the hardest for laser to break down, some lasers are ineffective at targeting these colours – another reason why colour correction with orange modifiers can lead to bigger long-term problems.
  4. Many corrector colours have the ingredient Titanium Dioxide (Ci77891), which acts like a white bandaid over the top of old pigment. Effective for masking underlying discolouration, however, if a laser hits it the colour will permanently turn black. Titanium Dioxide never leaves the skin so will never fade along with other colourants. 
  5. If the colour is significantly faded, to less than 10%, and the shape is good or at least in align with the client’s natural aesthetic, then colour correction may be possible.
  6. Saline and/or glycolic removal method is ideal for reddish or pink discoloured brows. If they are sunset colours and significantly faded you could consider colour correction with either ash-based or green based pigments to counteract the warmth.
  7. Be aware that, colour correction requires higher saturation to achieve complete coverage of the old tattoo. If you are applying a lot of a colour into the skin, it will appear darker, so it may be worth using a pigment that is a few shades lighter than your target colour.
  8. Straight out – avoid tattooing camouflage, it will later become an obviously looking, permanent, chalky white stain.
  9. Always consider the long term repercussions of your method of removal or correction. How it may affect the skin, and what will happen to that colour long term. In my previousl article on ‘colour corrections’ you can see layering of old tattoos from previous ‘correctional’ work. There is faded red then faded old grey which when mixed together equals violet. This therefore creates a rainbow of red, grey, and violet eyebrows. Not ideal. 

If you’re wondering how to become trained in colour corrections and tattoo removal, I recommend researching some leading educators. Within our own Acadey of Future Aestheticà we offer face to face, specialised training, however, if an online course is more up your ally then my top recommendation would be this online course delivered by Distinctive Features.

With love,

Talina Johnson

Head Educator & Artist, Future Aestheticà | Director, My Rejuvenate

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