Victoria Ammoscato • June 1, 2018
Whilst this technique is beautiful when applied correctly, there is a lot of information out there that is misleading to both the client and technician, usually to try and sell it as a semi permanent solution.
What is the difference between Tattooing and Microblading?
Nothing, Microblading is simply a manual form of Tattoo.
What is the difference between Micropigmentation and Tattooing?
The world of the Cosmetic Tattoo is bombarded with various names to describe one thing and one thing only…Cosmetic Tattooing! Micropigmentation is the application of pigments to the dermal layer to give as natural effect as possible, Body Art Tattooing is the application of pigments to create an artistic design on the body…all Tattooing!
Semi Permanent Make Up, Permanent Make Up, Paramedical Tattooing, Medical Tattooing, Micropigmentation, Dermopigmentation, Microblading are all names used alongside explanations that sometimes are not so accurate to scientific fact, there are many myths such as Microblading and Semi Permanent Make Up has been proposed as a ‘soft’ Semi Permanent alternative to Tattooing, with it even being described as an epidermal treatment, one that doesnt penetrate as far as a Tattoo, this is not scientifically possible as I will explain here.
There is no such thing as a Semi Permanent Tattoo solution, we have 5 layers of epidermis and 2 layers of dermis. A Tattoo to obtain permanence beyond the cycle of exfoliation that occurs in the basal layer of the epidermis must be placed within the upper dermal layer. If placed too deep it will look too ashy and blur out, scarring will occur, if placed too superficially it will exfoliate in approx 60 days.
If we were to Tattoo the skin semi permanently every 60 days then we are at risk of reaction and worse.
Instead it is at the same time proposed as a semi permanent epidermal treatment that also lasts for a year minimum, therefore defying the possibility of an epidermal treatment.
Microblading is simply a manual method of applying pigment to create a Cosmetic Tattoo.
The proposal that Microblading is more natural is another myth, when applied correctly it is a beautiful technique but there is a huge amount of poor quality work carried out, resulting in scar tissue, unnatural results with poorly placed pigment and more.
Many companies have seen a way to attract more interest in training and increase profits due to lower set up costs and large class sizes.
The reality is that only a few manage to succeed in just one skill suitable for a limited skin type.
There is a good reason why companies who have previously heralded microblading as superior but now have programmes teaching with machines and have realised that suggesting top ups every 6-12 months is causing damage to clients.
Microblading is a limited technique, simply one of many to place pigment and in terms of healed results, there is no difference to results using a nano type needle in a high precision device.
What is the difference between Body Art and Cosmetic/Medical Tattooing?
The differences are that when we create body art we are creating an artistic design on the body, with cosmetic tattooing we are trying to mimic something natural as closely as possible, the results should be soft and natural and allow for the passing of time, the ageing process.
Different pigments are generally used to create Body Art than to create natural effects on the face. It is not even just a safety aspect as is so often still churned out as a difference,because in theory all pigments used in Body Art still should be compliant with RESAP at least within the EU anyhow. The difference is instead largely in the particle size, quantity of colorant and sometimes in the addition of binders or acrylates that prevent the quicker breakdown of the pigment that occurs with pigments used for cosmetic tattooing and the presence or rather levels of carbon black contained.
The main reasons for using a less permanent pigment are that over time the morphology changes (gravity takes over as we age) therefore using something that allows minor adjustments to colour and to some degree form is considered more desirable by many for this reason.
Often the word ‘safer’ is used to describe cosmetic tattoo pigments, suggesting that Body Art pigments are dangerous, however it is important to remember that Body Art pigments manufactured in Europe are not allowed to contain high levels of substances considered dangerous to health anymore than pigments specifically designed for Micropigmentation.
One thing is certain, pigments for all forms of Tattooing are advancing every year. The important information for a technician to understand and pass on to their client is what is contained, how long it has been in circulation, where ingredients are sourced, whether they are organic or inorganic, where it is produced and if it is compliant with the regulations of the country it is being used in.
Be wary of clever marketing because whether a machine, a handtool aka Microblade or a bamboo stick with a needle attached to it is used it is all a Tattoo and a true professional will use the right tool for the right skin type and the result desired.