Barbara Cameron - Mrs Makeup: Skin V Brows
Dermace Guest trainer Barbara Cameron discusses Hairstroke Brows, and when to say No.
Did you know that your skin is your body’s largest organ and that it makes up 18% of your body weight? Neither did I until recently!
I spent the first half of my career studying brow shapes, colour theory and tattooing techniques. Always trying my very best to make my clients happy. But sometimes, no matter what I did, the results still varied from person to person. It didn’t make sense? I was so frustrated. The more faces I worked on, I started to be able to tell straight away before I had even opened the skin if the person would swell, bleed, hold a hair stroke or blur things out over healing.
And then it came to me! (at 4am) All this time, I haven’t been taking into consideration the human body and how it works.
So the first thing that’s glaringly obvious (I was too busy trying to get your eyebrows the same to think about this) is that your skin heals. It’s what it’s meant to do. Every time you have an injury, a burn, a cut or a fall – the skin heals. I hadn’t been thinking technically about it, and had only so far considered the cosmetic side of things. So whether I like it or not – when I tattoo your brows, I am making a wound, and in turn you will heal. The skin is a living thing, and everyone will heal at different rates depending on age, skin type, medications, immune systems – I could go on forever!
Over the past two years, I’ve been studying skin, and how certain conditions that affect you will in turn, affect how your tattoo heals. Now, when you read this, don’t be surprised if you have one or more of the common things I’ve listed. I would honestly say at little as 20 percent of my clients are completely unaffected…
Let’s start with……Acne:
The short explanation for acne is that it’s an inflammatory skin issue that is created by the skin’s sebaceous glands. It can affect anyone, young or old, male or female. Some treatments for acne include strong creams that thin the skin, or medication such as Roacutane. It is impossible for us to have a good healed cosmetic tattoo on anyone who has active acne. And if you have used long term antibiotics, Roacutane or creams, then your skin will be compromised forever - even if your acne has long cleared up. Even though the tattoos on your body didn’t pose any issues, The excess oil in your face may mean you need to avoid tattooing your brows.
Yes, I know its cold, and I know it feels so much better when we have a bit of sun, but if you don’t tan naturally, and have pale skin that pigments, freckles and burns in the sun, its not good news for your tattoo either. Not only with UV rays prematurely fade your tattoo, when the pigment is inserted under the skin on a sun damaged face – the colour will always be an ashy grey colour. Pale is cool! Lets learn to keep it that way.
Now onto.....Large Pores or Oily Skin:
This isn’t a skin condition as such – but it can affect the outcome of your Eyebrow tattoo. When a technician sees this skin type, we know that hair stroke eyebrows alone wont stand a chance. As your skin heals, and the oil continues to produce, it will create a large scab that will in turn peel off and take the delicate hair strokes with it. Anything that’s left will be patchy and will continue to dissolve in your skin at an accelerated rate, leaving you (and me) disappointed. This skin type is much better suited to a more filled in powdery or ombre eyebrow.
Rosacea is a common but poorly understood condition that affects many. Some cases are mild and some much more severe. It can affect the cheeks and nose, and also the forehead and brow area, and whole face. I have done many clients with this condition and the results vary depending on the severity of the outbreak. As a rule, the redness in your face will cause the eyebrow tattoo to heal more ash, and a nice colour cant be promised. If you have this on your forehead or the redness has developed into lumps – you are not suitable for cosmetic tattoo. It has been linked to your diet, and there are treatments available from your doctor.
Many people have psoriasis. Its not contagious, and out of all the places on your body it can appear, its not that likely to end up on your face. BUT, remember, your skin is connected all over. And if you have this on your body – there is a chance that by having your brows tattooed, you will trigger an outbreak on your face. As well as triggering an outbreak, as the skin heals at an accelerated rate and not only will you be left looking extra flakey during the healing phase – the colour will most likely be rejected.
This would be the most common thing that we see. I am often asking clients if they have ever been diagnosed with Eczema as I can see inflamed or dry looking skin on the face. Some of you have – but for those of you that haven’t ever been officially diagnosed, you will usually agree that you have also seen dry patches in your scalp, brows, and at the side of your nose. Usually people that have been diagnosed with eczema, find that their triggers can be cosmetics, stress, detergents, cleaning products and they have a general sensitivity. For those of you never diagnosed, but do notice the dry patches, it may be worth while still having it checked. Often a condition called Seborrheic Dermatitis goes untreated for a long time. It appears on the body where there are a lot of oil producing glands, or folds in the skin. So the hairline, eyebrows and sides of the nose are tell tale areas that your skin is affected. Out of all of the conditions we have discussed so far – this is without a doubt the most difficult to tattoo eyebrows on and have a good result. The colour rejects time and time again, and its a constant battle to get anything in there long term.
So the moral of the story is, sometimes, its not me, its not you – but it is your skin. That wonderful living organ that keeps you safe, dry, free from infection, and stops you from dying, can be the very thing that stops you having the brows of your dreams!
We always recommend that you have a consultation prior to booking a treatment so that we can identify any of these things upfront, to save you being disappointed. Any questions – as always, we are right here.
Lots of love,
Mrs Makeup xxx