Freckle Tattooing: The Latest Permanent Makeup Trend to Hit Australia
Updated: Oct 12
For years, women have turned to laser treatment, topical retinoid cream, chemical peels, and a whole slew of natural remedies to remove freckles on the face. Now, the tide has turned as women increasingly request a scattering of natural-looking freckles on otherwise smooth complexions.
Permanent vs Semi-Permanent Makeup
The cosmetic tattoo craze remains a highly popular salon service. Services like microblading and permanent eyeliner are just some examples of the beauty procedures available today. A cosmetic tattoo uses permanent makeup to enhance a woman’s appearance. It is long-lasting, so you don't have to use makeup to achieve the same effect over and over.
Freckling is getting increasingly popular as more people aspire to get the same looks as popular celebrities like Olivia Munn, Lily Cole, and Lucy Liu. While most of these natural beauties were born with freckles, their fans must turn to cosmetic tattoos to mimic the look.
What Are Freckle Tattoos?
A cosmetic tattoo artist uses semi-permanent ink or pigments to create the natural look of freckles. Although the makeup isn’t permanent, they use the same equipment and process used with permanent makeup.
Many people think that freckles give you a more beautiful appearance. For some, it’s a return to the “girl next door” look. Since the ink isn’t permanent, it gently fades away. You don’t have to worry that you will get tired of it or that it doesn’t look the way you expected it.
The tattoo artist can use a variety of colours to create freckles on the face. Ideally, the pigment will suit your skin and your face. You can also choose a design or pattern, from a small sprinkle of freckles across the nose to a wider pattern that covers nearly the entire face.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Most importantly, find a trustworthy cosmetic tattoo artist. A top artist will take the time to assess your skin and learn how it behaves in the sun. They will take time to discuss the best placement of freckles on your face and how much is enough.
You should arrive at your appointment with a clean face. You can either leave it to the technician to determine the colour and pattern or request the design of your choice.
Once the technician draws out the freckle pattern, the tattooing begins. The tattoo artist should get your approval for the design before getting started. The appointment might take one to two hours, depending on the extent of your tattoo.
You should also find a technician that uses numbing cream prior to performing the tattoos. This minimises the pain so that it is no more than “slightly uncomfortable.”
The technician will advise you on when you can apply makeup again. It might take as long as two weeks for your skin to heal. Immediately after the inking, the freckles might look more like bee stings. The dye might darken, taking some time to fade to a more natural colour. There might be some swelling and tenderness.
Your skin might itch while it heals. It’s important not to scratch to keep from removing some of the pigment. It could also lead to irritation and prevent your skin from healing. Use cool compresses and anti-itch ointments to stop the itching.
While freckling fades gradually over time, you might have your freckles for up to three years. Although not permanent, this is a long time to commit to your new look. Make sure you are confident that you will like living with your freckles that long.
If you decide to extend the look, you will need touch-ups every 12 to 18 months. The actual length of time your freckles last depends on how quickly your skin absorbs the pigment.
Excessively exposing the cosmetic tattoo to UV light in the sun or in tanning beds can cause a change in the colour of the pigment. Some products, such as anti-aging treatments and exfoliants, can also fade the colour into a red or orange shade.
Choosing "Unnatural" Freckle Designs
Most people get freckling because it looks natural and fresh. However, some people choose unusual patterns and colours to create something unique. For example, a rainbow of freckles or shapes like hearts and stars.
Potential Risks from Freckle Tattoos
Freckle tattoos are generally considered safe. However, any procedure that involves breaking the skin’s surface comes with some risks. Some of those associated with freckling include:
Allergic Reaction – You may develop an allergic reaction to the pigment. Sometimes this happens even months or years after the cosmetic tattoo. When it does, it can be difficult to remove the pigment.
Infection – If any of the equipment isn’t sterilised, there is a risk of introducing bacteria or viruses into the skin. It might occur immediately after the procedure or weeks later. A severe infection can also cause scarring.
Tattoo Scarring – Scarring can also occur when your skin produces large amounts of collagen while it is healing. The tattoo becomes raised, itchy, and red and might be painful.
Dissatisfaction – One of the biggest risks of getting fake freckles on your face is that you will be unhappy with the way they look. Even if you like the initial look, they may fade and look less attractive.
The cosmetic tattoo artist might inject the pigment too deep into your skin. This can cause the pigment to migrate, leading to a blurry or ashy appearance. If you keep them for an extended period, you will need to have touch-ups regularly. Keeping your freckles could end up being very expensive.
For artists who give any type of cosmetic tattoo, having cosmetic tattoo insurance is important. It ensures you are protected if a client has a bad reaction or doesn’t get the desired result from their process.
Is Freckling Right for You?
Before you take the plunge, use a makeup pencil to draw freckles on your face and try out the new natural look. This will help you decide what design and pigment colour you want. Always turn to a reputable tattoo artist for any beauty treatment. A top-notch cosmetic artist will have the best cosmetic tattoo insurance to back up their services.