Micro pigmentation (Semi Permanent Make Up

Micro pigmentation (Semi Permanent Make Up) Information
The specialist techniques used to create a kind of semi-permanent make-up are
often referred to as micro pigmentation. This procedure can simply be described
as minute particles of coloured pigment being placed mechanically below the
surface of the skin. The most frequently requested procedures are permanent
colour to the eyebrows, top and bottom eyeliner shading, lip liner and full lips/lip
blend, beauty spot and freckle treatments.
Although the treatment fades after approximately 2 - 4 years, some colour will
remain to a greater or lesser degree. Micro pigmentation can be compared to
having a tattoo as the new pigment or colour is deposited in the dermal layer of
the skin, just below the surface. You can return to work and normal activities
immediately afterwards.
Micro pigmentation (Semi Permanent Make-Up) background information
The specialist techniques used to create a kind of semi-permanent make-up are
often referred to as micro pigmentation, dermagraphics, permanent cosmetics or
permanent make-up and are a type of tattooing.
The process involves hypoallergenic pigments being inserted into the dermal layer
of the skin. This pigment will, after a healing process, stay in the skin for a number
of years - breaking down and fading with time, dependent on age and skin type.
This treatment can be used to correct scarred or discoloured skin by means of
reconstructive or medical micro pigmentation for birth defects or to repair
disfigurement from accident, illness or surgery, or merely as a cosmetic
enhancement for your skin as it provides a convenient alternative to cosmetic
pencils applied to the eyebrows, eyelids, lips and cheeks.
This concept is not really new. We know that Queen Cleopatra in ancient Egypt
and some women in India and Africa have sought permanent eye enhancement
with various substances over the years. They used plant and nut pigments or
ground coals (carbon) as eyeliners or eye-shadows and inserted the substances
around their eyes with fine, sharp implements.
However, semi-permanent make-up as we know it today is a relatively recent
phenomenon, becoming more prevalent in the last fifteen years.
If you are considering cosmetic micro pigmentation, the following information will
give you a basic understanding of the procedure. It can't answer all your
questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the
practitioner. Please ask a practitioner about anything you don't understand.
Who has micro pigmentation and how is it used?
People who undertake micro pigmentation can do so for many different reasons,
ranging from those who simply want to look their best at all times, to those who
require some form of corrective skin enhancement for medical reasons.
Some people who might choose to have cosmetic micro pigmentation are listed
those with allergies to conventional make-up;
those with no time to apply make-up daily;
those with thin, pale or poorly defined lips;
those who seek correction of asymmetrical (“lop-sided”) facial features;
those with excessively oily skin which causes make-up to smear;
Those with physical difficulties which make the application of conventional
make-up impossible.
What happens during a Micro pigmentation (Semi Permanent Make-Up)
Your first appointment with a practitioner should be a consultation to discuss your
requirements and expectations from micro pigmentation. Your practitioner should
explain the treatment process and take notes on your medical history to make
sure that there are no reasons why you shouldn’t undergo micro pigmentation.
If necessary, cosmetic pencils can be applied to simulate the results of the
treatment and you should be shown a portfolio of their work. You will also discuss
your skin tone, in order to ascertain the correct choice of pigment.
Make sure that you obtain as much information as necessary to enable you to
make a fully informed decision about this procedure and whether it can achieve
the results you’d like.
The procedure
On the day of treatment you would normally be asked to sign a consent form
which means that you have understood the future benefits and possible risks
associated with the procedure.
Photographs of the area to be treated may also be taken by the practitioner for a
“before and after” comparison later.
Depending on the area being treated, and your tolerance of pain, an anaesthetic
cream may be first applied to help minimise discomfort.
Once this has worked cosmetic pencil is applied to create a template for the
procedure, you should make sure you are satisfied with the final shape before
proceeding with treatment.
The selected pigments are blended and applied into the skin with a very fine
needle via a small hand held electrical device.
The initial appointment should take from ½ - 2 hours depending on the areas
being treated. There should always be one or in some cases two follow-up
appointments, which should be included in the overall cost of the treatment. The
follow-up appointments will take less time.
Repeat procedures
The most up-to-date form of treatment should mimic softly applied natural looking
make-up and will therefore not last as long as the old style heavily applied
permanent make-up.
It is not possible to determine the length of time the pigment will remain visible in
the skin as each person varies, however it is recommended that treatments are
re-applied when necessary to freshen the appearance; this may be anything from
6 - 18 months depending on individual preference and the initial colour chosen.
How long will it take to recover from Micro pigmentation?
No recovery time is necessary, however treated areas will appear a little dark for a
few days and subsequently exfoliate and lighten by 40% to a more natural looking
shade, the second visit will be necessary to perfect the shape and deepen the
In some instances, on delicate skin there may be swelling and or slight bruising,
however you can return to work and normal activities immediately after a
What are the risks and potential complications from Micro pigmentation
Permanent cosmetic procedures are of a skin invasive nature (as they are a form
of cosmetic tattoo) and therefore you may experience some discomfort. This may
vary according to each individual's pain threshold and the skills of the technician
performing the service. However, keep in mind that there are different methods
available to help with pain management, including various topical anaesthetics.
Your skin should return to normal relatively quickly as any side effects such as
swelling or redness is generally mild.
Allergic reactions to permanent cosmetics are quite rare. You may request a skin
sensitivity test in an invisible area beforehand to see how your skin responds.
Some technicians routinely recommend a sensitivity test as part of the treatment.
Needles inserted too deeply in the skin can cause bleeding, spreading of
pigments, and damage to hair follicles.
Scarring is very rare, and usually because of an error by the practitioner
performing the treatment.
If proper hygiene and sterilisation guidelines are followed micro pigmentation
should be very safe with few risks.
It is advisable not to pick or rub the treated areas to minimise the risk of infection.
What should you do after a Micro pigmentation treatment?
It is very important that you follow the advice of your practitioner carefully after
micro pigmentation to reduce the risk of complications.
Post-treatment advice includes:
Avoid direct sunlight on the treated area.
Avoid wearing contact lenses for a few days if treated around the eyes.
Avoid swimming for several weeks.
Do not pick peeling or any flaking skin.
Avoid wearing conventional make-up on the treated area(s) for 3 - 5 days.
Apply Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to form a barrier for 3 - 5 days post
Who should not have a Micro pigmentation treatment?
As long as you are generally healthy and don’t have any skin diseases or
infections in the area treated, there are few medical reasons why patients should
not undergo this treatment.
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are recommended to delay treatment.
Insulin dependent diabetics and people with some heart conditions will also not be
suitable for treatment. Please inform you practitioner of any medication you are
taking, if in doubt seek medical advice.
If you are prone to keloid or hypertrophic scarring (red, angry, raised) you may
develop scar tissue at the treatment site. Please think this over if you have
experienced this in the past.
Who can perform Micro pigmentation?
This is not officially recognised as a medical procedure, so someone can perform
it without a medical background. However, these days insurance companies are
becoming stricter and many are refusing to insure those without a medical or
beauty qualification.
You should therefore choose a technician carefully by considering their training,
experience and their portfolio. Do they have experience in performing the type of
treatment which you are considering? Below are some questions, which you
should ask as you “shop around” before undergoing treatment.
How long have they been practising?
How many treatments have they performed?
Are they providing the latest most up-to-date treatments?
Do they provide advanced procedures?
Do they only specialise in micro pigmentation?
Do they update their knowledge frequently by attending seminars,
conventions and refresher courses?
Did they come recommended?
Does their clinic meet with health and safety requirements?
Does it look clean and hygienic?
Does their equipment meet with local Health Authority regulations (the most
up-to-date equipment uses safe disposable cartridge style needles)?
Ask to see “before” and “after” photos of their previous work.
Summary of advice for Micro pigmentation (Semi Permanent Make-Up)
Micro pigmentation treatments can range from the very subtle to the dramatic,
depending on what the client is looking for. A general rule is the more dramatic,
the longer it will last. The most frequently requested procedures are explained
Eyebrows are the frames of the face. When sets of brows are designed correctly
they can lift the eyes and give a more youthful appearance to the face. Clients
with sparse eyebrows can have them corrected, and they can be totally
reconstructed for those will total hair loss such as Alopecia.
Advanced techniques for eyebrow reconstruction include the art and skill of
replicating real hair.
Lip liner
Lips can be defined to emphasise or correct an irregular lip shape, or to add
colour to lips that have lost definition.
Advanced techniques for lips include colour blending and full lip tint.
Eyeliner or Eyelash Enhancement is used to add depth and definition to the eyes.
Colour and thickness is individual.
Advanced techniques for eyes include shaded eyeliner.
Please take into account that although the pigment does fade over time, it may
never completely disappear. If you are really unhappy with the results, laser
treatment may be required to remove the pigment permanently.