Oftentimes permanent makeup clients have some level of concern or anxiety associated with the safety of permanent cosmetics procedures. We have all seen or heard of botched permanent cosmetics work, which many times is difficult, costly, and time-consuming to undo. These types of botched procedures are caused by technician error or a lack of knowledge, but what other safety concerns might we have before, during, or after a permanent cosmetics procedure? What steps can you take as the client to ensure that your permanent cosmetics procedure will be safe? Oftentimes the safety of a permanent cosmetics procedure is ensured through steps that are taken by both the client and the artist. If any of these steps are not followed exactly, the permanent cosmetics procedure can be unsafe for one reason or another. In order to avoid this, it is important as the client to familiarize yourself with the steps you can take to make sure you’re safe.
1. Technician Education & Experience
Safety in permanent cosmetics starts with the education and experience that your permanent cosmetics artist has obtained. Training for permanent cosmetics is different in each state, some states requiring as little as a weekend training in order to be a licensed artist. For this reason, it is important that you research your artist thoroughly. Ask your artist what type of training they have received, and most importantly ask for before, after, and healed images of their work. It is essential that you are provided all three types of images in order to judge an artist’s work fully. Some artists will have a great outcome immediately after the procedure, but because they have worked too shallow in the skin and the pigment may lift completely out of the skin leaving no trace of your permanent cosmetics procedure. This is not the healed outcome any client is looking for when they seek a permanent cosmetics procedure. Any artist could tell you that healed permanent cosmetics work is what you need to see when deciding on an artist for any permanent cosmetics procedure. You will be aiming for a specific outcome that will only reveal itself after the proper healing and aftercare process. Many permanent cosmetics artists now have a portfolio of different social media apps that they add to regularly. Social media is always the best place to start when looking for information about a permanent cosmetics artist, or an artist’s portfolio. On the artist’s social media pages you will also be able to see comments or reviews by clients who have received services from the artist which can also help you to come to a conclusion about whether or not to use this specific artist.
2. Client Registration and Consultation
When discussing the safety of permanent cosmetics procedures, oftentimes permanent cosmetics artists think to view client registration forms. These forms are a guide to your artist as to your health and skin condition. Permanent cosmetics artists use client registration forms to screen their clients to ensure each procedure is safe, medically, for the client. These forms also protect the artist in the event that a client is dishonest on client registration or has a false claim regarding the artist’s performance. The client must fill out all forms correctly and honestly. If the client fills out client registration forms incorrectly and dishonestly, the permanent cosmetics artist cannot be correctly informed as to any conditions that could cause an interaction as a result of the procedure. Some clients will incorrectly fill out permanent cosmetics client registration forms knowingly to receive a procedure they may not be permitted to receive otherwise. In these circumstances, the safety of the procedure cannot be guaranteed and any interactions will be difficult to trace for the artist. Oftentimes in these cases, any interactions as a result of the procedure will be the responsibility of the client at this point. If you do have any medical conditions or skin conditions that worry you be sure to consult your artist before your appointment. Most artists will ask that you receive written permission from your primary care physician in order to proceed with your procedure. This is to protect the artist, and ensure that the procedure will indeed be safe for you. In some circumstances, though, clients do have to be turned away. These are often extreme cases in which the client’s skin is compromised, or the client has a medical condition that would interact with the procedure.
It is the responsibility of the artist to use proper universal precautions when working with each client to ensure that there is no cross-contamination as a result of a permanent cosmetics procedure. Because we use needles in permanent cosmetics, artists must take a yearly bloodborne pathogens course as required by OSHA in order to ensure that we understand proper sterile technique, clean technique, universal precautions used in the permanent cosmetics industry on a daily basis, as well as certain medical conditions associated with bloodborne pathogens. It is vital that the artist understands the importance of proper and thorough sanitization in order to keep our clients safe. The basic process for permanent cosmetics artists using universal precautions is often to first prepare client registration items that will be needed before the client arrives, and then prepare to clean the procedure room and set it up for a new client. When setting up for a new procedure, the artist will first ensure to use the proper hand hygiene and wear gloves to clean the entire room with a hospital-grade disinfectant. This disinfectant will be used to clean the procedure chair, tattoo machine and cords, any procedure trays used, lighting used, and any other surfaces that will be touched during the permanent cosmetics procedure. After the room is clean, the artist will apply plastic sheathing to the tattoo machine cords, and the tattoo machine, and then begin laying out items for the procedure. Permanent cosmetics artists are required to use single-use disposable items that will only be disposed of in the proper sharps container or trash receptacle after the procedure. These single-use items include needles, brow razors, pigment cups, cotton swabs, and cotton for wiping. The procedure area would then be ready for a new permanent cosmetics client. After the procedure, the cleaning process would continue. After you leave the facility, the artist will begin breaking down the procedure first by disposing of any needles in the sharps container, followed by disposing of the trash. Once all trash has been cleared the artist would perform hand hygiene, put on a new pair of gloves and disinfect the entire procedure area just as they did before the procedure began. Cleaning the procedure chair, procedure trays, lighting, tattoo machine cords, and tattoo machine to ensure that all items that may have been touched during the previous procedure are clean for new clients. Although this process seems long, many artists get used to the process very quickly and it becomes routine. Oftentimes once this process has become routine, the facility is sure to be completely sanitary for each new client.