If a cosmetic tattoo doesn’t live up to expectations, it can be very difficult –both physically and emotionally. Whether the ink has started to fade or trends have changed, living with a constant reminder of a decision you’re no longer happy with can be really tough.Trained optometrist Paul Georgos, a laser specialist at Removery’s tattoo removal location in Melbourne CBD, uses his expert skills to remove cosmetic tattoos on the face and around the eyes. “Helping people who are distressed about a cosmetic tattoo is really satisfying,” he says.Here are 10 things to consider in your cosmetic tattoo removal journey.
1. Check whether your cosmetic tattoo can be easily removedFirst things first, there’s good news: almost all cosmetic tattoos are removable. “Most commonly we see people who want their tattooed eyebrows removed,” says Paul. “Sometimes these can look uneven or appear very ‘blocky’, which many people now feel is dated.” Microblade removal or removing ombre eyebrows is also a common request. “These are done with a semi-permanent ink which can start to fade after a few years,” explains Paul. “Often people want them removed because they no longer like the style, or they want a clean slate before they have it redone.” In addition to eyebrow tattoo removal, permanent eyeliner removal is also popular. “The eyelid is a very soft tissue, which means tattoo ink can bleed over time. This leaves a smudgy shadow on the eyelid or to the side of the eye,” says Paul. It’s also easy to remove stubble tattoos. “Some men have this done on their head when they’re losing their hair –but as their hair recedes more, the stubble starts to look out of place,” Paul adds.
2. Learn how to cover a cosmetic tattoo Make-up can work wonders while you’re waiting to have your tattoo removed. “Foundation and concealer can conceal cosmetic tattoos very effectively,” says Paul. “They’re also a great way of covering tattoos that might start to look patchy in between removal sessions.”
3. Be open with your removal technician “It can be really hard to live with something you don’t like on your body or face,” Paul says. “For many of our clients, knowing there’s somewhere they can come, without judgement, to start the removal process, is a relief in itself. Talking to someone knowledgeable about what you want to have done can put your mind at ease.”
4. Understand how cosmetic tattoo removal works. It’s important to understand the process so you know what’s happening in your body, and why it can take a while to remove a tattoo. Paul explains: “A laser is used to break down the ink of the tattoo. When a tattoo is first done, the ink settles deep into the dermis, which is the middle layer of your skin. Usually the white blood cells in your body remove foreign particles like this, but because tattoo ink is made of relatively large particles it remains in place. The laser shatters these particles into tiny bits, which allows your white blood cells to carry them away and remove them from your body. With each session the laser slowly breaks down all the layers of the ink particles.”.”
5. Have a realistic timeframe Eyebrow tattoos can usually be removed between five and 10 sessions; eyeliner tattoos take around three to five sessions. “We recommend leaving eight weeks between appointments,” says Paul. “This gives your body enough time to get rid of the ink particles, as well as recover from any swelling or bruising.”
6. Be prepared for some discomfort. “It can feel as though you’re being flicked with an elastic band,” explains Paul. “It’s uncomfortable rather than painful. We offer ice packs before and after treatment, and numbing gel to help ease any soreness.”
7. Ask lots of questions before a procedure. “We want people to feel comfortable and relaxed,” says Paul. “We encourage you to ask what will happen during the process, so you know what to expect.” At Removery, the first thing a technician does is take photos of your tattoo. “This is a great way for you to see how the removal process is working after a few sessions,” says Paul. “Then you’ll lie down, and we’ll give you a cold pack to chill the area we’ll be working on. If we’re working anywhere on your face, we’ll give you eye shields to protect your eyes. If we’re treating eyebrows or most other facial tattoos, it takes about 20 seconds of laser treatment. You’ll get another icepack afterwards to reduce any swelling –and that’s it.” If you’re having eyeliner removed, there’s a slightly more involved process. “We place a high strength numbing gel in the eyelid margins,” says Paul. “Then we put an anaesthetic drop in each eye, and place a medical grade metal shield, like a contact lens, inside each eye to protect it. The laser takes around 15 seconds, then we’ll add an antibiotic drop into each eye as a precaution. I like to get people to sit upright afterwards to drain any fluid.”
8. Know how to care for your skin between treatments. “You might get some swelling, but it shouldn’t last more than a couple of days,” says Paul. “We recommend using icepacks if this occurs, but most people find their skin settles down quickly.” You’ll be able to wear makeup and apply skincare as usual in between treatments.
9. Understand how laser will affect the rest of your skin.“ Lots of people ask whether the laser will get rid of any hair on the surrounding area –people worry about eyelashes or eyebrows falling out,” says Paul. “But the laser is attracted to pigmentation: in other words, the tattoo ink and not your hair.”
10. Be patient “Many people expect a tattoo to disappear completely. Often this does happen, but there can be some residual ink,” explains Paul. “Being patient and looking back at your ‘before’ photos can remind you of the great results, and how effective cosmetic tattoo removal is.”
Top 3 questions to ask your laser tattoo removalist
1.What type of laser do you use? “PicoWay® lasers, like the ones we use at Removery, are the most refined and efficient lasers,” says Paul. “They use less energy so are less likely to cause trauma or bruising to the skin.”
2.Can I see before and after photos? “The results will speak for themselves,” says Paul. “Check out Removery’s website and social media accounts for photos, or look at online reviews.”
3.Who will my technician be? “It’s essential that you trust your technician, and understand the process,” says Paul. “Knowing you can build a relationship with the person treating you is really important.” Please note: Eyeliner removal is currently only available at Removery Melbourne CBD.
Laser tattoo removal is the only safe and effective tattoo removal option available today. Removery is the only tattoo removal company to provide a complete removal guarantee. Book your complimentary consultation with our laser tattoo removal experts today –they’ll explain the process, answer your questions, and provide a personalised quote for removal. Removery offers a range of flexible payment options too, including Afterpay and Humm. Call 1300 820 407 to find your nearest Removery studio and/or book a complimentary consultation.