Beauty Clinic: Help after a fading brow tattoo
Q. Two years ago, my eyebrows were becoming thin and unruly. I went to get them ‘tattooed’ in. The practitioner said the brow line would look better if it was higher than my natural one so I let her go ahead as I thought she was the expert. But, due to this, I have had to continuously pluck out my original brows, which has caused ingrowing hairs, spots and redness. The tattooing has nearly but not quite disappeared. I want to go back to my original brow line. What should I do? A. Going back to your original brow line is what we would suggest too. So - stop plucking it, apply a soothing topical product to get the skin over the trauma and when it has calmed down apply something to help the brows grow back. Meanwhile you can use make up to create brows.
There are two products you might try to heal the skin: Sheald Recovery Balm, a powerful formula developed originally for cancer patients that encourages faster healing and has a proven track record in all sorts of skin emergencies. iS Clinical Sheald Recovery Balm/£43 for 60 ml.
A slightly cheaper option is Science of Skin Solution for Scars/£18.99 for 30 ml: we haven’t tried this but it was formulated by two surgeons and has been shown to reduce the appearance of scars, reduce discomfort, soothe irritation and lessen redness.
To create brows, we are impressed by Mii Precision Brow Detailer/£12.50, like a fine propelling pencil. It’s wise to use a soft shade a bit lighter than you may think you need, in order to look natural. (We like Impeccably Fair but there is also Dark, Darker and Medium.) Mii also offer a chunkier pencil Perfect Brown Pencil, £9.95 in two shades, with a brush the other end for grooming.
You could also visit the Benefit Wow Your Brows site for tips and inspiration on shape, plus a questionnaire to help you choose the products you need. We’re big fans of Gimme Brow, a tinted eyebrow gel with tiny microfibers that stick to skin and any existing hairs to create fullness. It’s waterproof and longwearing. In three shades, £20. Benefit also offer Browvo! Conditioning Eyebrow Primer with keratin and soy proteins/£23.50.
As your tattooing is fading now, the likelihood is that it will eventually fade entirely. However, Tattoo Removal Experts (tattooremovalexperts.co.uk) in London has seen an increase in clients who have found that their ‘semi-permanent’ brows did not fade over time as promised. They use laser technology to remove eyebrow tattoos, emphasising the importance of going to a specialist as the removal process is more complex than with standard body tattoos, owing to the way different inks react to different lasers.
Additionally, the nationwide chain of clinics called ‘sk:n’ (sknclinics.co.uk) also offers tattoo removal and is recommended by dermatologists including Professor Nick Lowe.
Meanwhile, you could use a specialist concealer, such as Vichy Dermablend, to camouflage the residual pigment. Visit dermablend.co.uk, click on Skin Concerns and then Tattoos for advice and products.