When most people get tattoo they are aware of their health risks in regards to infection, but not about the risks of the inks being used.
I started questioning ingredients in the pigments I used in 2013 when a friend of mine had a reaction to a tattoo I gave her. At the time I was using iron-oxide based permanent makeup pigments. It shocked me this had happened and I dove into as much research as I could on the topic.
What I discovered was quite alarming. Not only did most American companies not disclose thier ingredients, but none of these companies were regulated by the FDA either.
Because of this, it was impossible for me to try and break down what exactly had caused the issue for her. As of recent many tattoo companies are finally being forced to disclose exactly what's in thier products, as required by California law.
However, the current stance of the FDA when it comes to tattoo pigments and inks goes something like this:
“Because of other public health priorities and a previous lack of evidence of safety concerns, FDA has not traditionally regulated tattoo inks or the pigments used in them.”
So, when your country shows minimal concern for the safety of the industry you work in, what do you do?
You either take advantage of it and do what you want or -- you start looking to progressive movements in other parts of the world, like Germany, Denmark, Austria and New Zealand, who are raising flags on the issue at hand.
Most consumers are aware of the infection risks, but few are aware of the chemical risks,” said Anke Meisner, a policy officer at the German Federal Ministry of Food & Agriculture and a panel member at the ESOF conference.
A recent JRC report indicated that inks imported from the U.S. were responsible for two-thirds of the tattoo-related medical alerts sent to European authorities, the report says. A further one-quarter of these problematic inks came from China, Japan, and some European countries, while the provenance of 9% of products was unknown.
What I have found in my reasearch is that the cleanest, most regulated pigments in the world are not coming from American companies, but from European companies.
It is the primary reason I choose to use PhiBrows pigments for permanent makeup. When the owner, Branko Babic, is formulating, he is taking into consideration all the European laws which are currently the strictest in the world.
Motivated by the Council of Europe’s recommendations, about one-third of EU countries, including Germany, Spain, and France, implemented a mishmash of their suggestions through national laws. For example, among other regulations, Germany has made it illegal for tattoo inks in the country to contain any chemicals on the Council of Europe’s list of substances banned in cosmetics. “What is not safe on the skin is not safe in the skin,” Germany’s Meisner said.
With automimmime illness and other diseases on the rise, why risk adding to the problem of an already compromised immune system? When my clients are coming to me with hairloss because of medical and age-related issues, these are the questions I ask myself.
I am personally grateful to the PhiBrows team and my teacher, Branko Babic, for being a forerunner in the advancement of this industry's safety and health standards. Branko's tools and pigments are certified in Austria (the only country that currently certifies for tattoo ink and tool safety) for microbiologcal and heavy metal safety.
Microblading, as well as all cosmetic tattoo applications, can be done in a safe way. Remember that it is always your right to have full disclosure on all materials being used in your permanent makeup or tattooing application. Don't hesitate to ask questions and be sure to feel comfortable with the answers you receive.
As always, thank you for reading!