With the rise of the body positivity movement that’s been so vocal in the past few years, the stigma around a number of conditions is on the decrease. One of those is vitiligo. With so many people embracing their unique vitiligo-affected skin, the condition is slowly but surely becoming normalized.
Still, there are people dealing with this condition that don’t feel ready to show it off. For them, the option of permanent vitiligo makeup certainly sounds tempting.
At PMUHub, we’re all about accepting your body and enhancing its natural beauty, so we definitely encourage you to try and find beauty in vitiligo. However, if you’re stone-set on getting it camouflaged with micropigmentation, here’s a list of pros and cons.
What Is Permanent Vitiligo Makeup?
Just like the name suggests, permanent vitiligo makeup is a way to camouflage vitiligo-affected patches of skin by blending them with the rest of it. But unlike traditional, topical makeup like foundation and concealer, permanent vitiligo makeup goes into the skin, not on top of it.
It’s actually a process of tattooing the patches with skin-toned mineral pigments that stay in the skin for up to 3 years or longer. Other names for permanent vitiligo makeup are micropigmentation for vitiligo or paramedical tattooing.
Image source: Instagram @microartmakeup
Pros of Permanent Vitiligo Makeup
If you want to hide your lighter patches, micropigmentation for vitiligo is one of the most practical ways to do it. Here’s why.
1. It’s Semi-Permanent
Micropigmentation for vitiligo is done by implementing natural, mineral-based skin-toned pigments into the basal epidermal layer of the skin with an electric tattooing device. As a result, the white patches are colored in with the shade of the rest of the skin.
Although the process may sound like traditional tattooing, the results of micropigmentation do not last forever. They last up to 3 years if you don’t refresh them.
This is a good thing! Unlike tattoo ink, the mineral pigments are gradually broken down by the body and they fade. This does mean that you’ll eventually have to book another tattooing session if you want to keep them, but it also means that you’ll have the opportunity to improve and modify them over the years.
As we age, our skin changes. It changes tone due to sunlight exposure, and in the case of vitiligo, there’s the chance of patches spreading or new ones emerging. With fading pigments, you can adapt the paramedical tattoo to your needs, or let it fade.
2. It Will Not Wash Off
If you camouflage your vitiligo patches with makeup on a regular basis, you know how tiresome it gets. With permanent vitiligo makeup, you can stop worrying about your foundation or concealer running – micropigmentation can never smudge or get washed off and ruined because the color is inside the skin, not on top of it.
3. It Won’t Cause Patch Spreading
An issue with a number of skin conditions is that they can start spreading if there is trauma to the skin affected. That’s why traditional tattooing is not an option for camouflaging vitiligo – the trauma done to the skin often causes the patches to start spreading, and the client ends up with the situation worse than it was.
Permanent vitiligo makeup will not cause this. As the tattoo needle is inserted very shallow into the skin, there is much less trauma, and the patch spreading is not triggered.
4. It Can Be Done Anywhere on the Body
The area where most people feel the need to camouflage imperfections is the face. Permanent vitiligo makeup can be performed anywhere: on the face, on the lips, elsewhere on the body.
It can cover up smaller patches, but it also works on larger areas.
Image source: Instagram @estheticabydrshangavi
Pigments Are Custom Blended
The mineral pigments are mixed on the spot to match the color of your skin as closely as possible. A skilled technician can predict what tone and undertone will blend best, and they’ll come up with a custom shade. As a result, the tattooed patches are indistinguishable from the rest of the skin surface.
5. It Will Give You Back Your Confidence
Vitiligo is a condition that affects a large portion of the global population – more than 1%. So it’s a relatively common thing and it’s nothing to be embarrassed or self-conscious about.
Nevertheless, many people affected have low self-confidence. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for this condition, but permanent vitiligo makeup is a close second. It can camouflage the patches much more successfully than topical makeup, and the results can look very natural if you find a skilled technician.
It’s a semi-permanent solution, so it liberates you to enjoy your life without worrying about your makeup all the time.
Image source: Instagram @pigmentsbyleah
Cons of Permanent Vitiligo Makeup
The results of permanent vitiligo makeup can turn out great and last for a long time, but the process itself has some faults.
1. It Takes Several Session
Mineral pigments need to be built up gradually, so micropigmentation for vitiligo is a multi-session treatment.
After each session, the skin takes some time to heal, and as it does, a certain amount of pigment is shedded and isn’t retained. That’s why the technician needs to go over an area multiple times to blend it in.
For most people, it takes 4+ sessions done 4 weeks apart, but it all depends on how large the area is, and how your body treats the pigment. Some people’s systems work harder to get rid of them, so they need more sessions, and the process takes longer.
2. It Can Be Uncomfortable
Permanent vitiligo makeup is non-invasive and the sessions most likely won’t be too painful, but the tattooing process is never pleasant.
The amount of discomfort involved depends on the area treated, but technicians use pain-relief – topical numbing creams are applied to the area treated before the needling starts. The exception are hands; as the skin on our hands has many nerve endings, it’s much more sensitive to tattooing. That’s why some technicians prescribe anesthetic injections before the treatment.
3. It Can Be Expensive
The price of micropigmentation for vitiligo starts at around $2500 and increases depending on how large the treated area is, and how many sessions are required. If you need more than the initial 4 sessions, each one is charged additionally at around $600.
Not an insignificant sum, but most clients claim it’s worth it.
4. It Won’t Look Great if You Get a Tan
Since the pigments are inserted into the skin and they don’t change color (that is, they do lose opacity over time but can never get darker), if the rest of your skin changes tone, the micropigmented patches will start showing.
That’s why clients are advised to stay away from sunlight for longer periods of time.
5. It’s Not Safe for Everyone
Certain medical conditions make it impossible to perform micropigmentation on certain clients. This includes serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes, viral infections, etc. If you suffer from any medical condition, consult your GP and your micropigmentation tech to make sure permanent vitiligo makeup is safe for you.
Image source: Instagram @amalia_moreno_pmu
So Is Permanent Vitiligo Makeup a Good Solution?
Micropigmentation can definitely successfully camouflage vitiligo patches. It’s an effective and long-lasting way to boost your confidence and improve your life if vitiligo is something you’re self-conscious about.
The process does have some downsides, mainly that it can drag on for months and get pricey, but most clients claim it’s worth it.
Cover image source: Pexels