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After Care Bella Balm
By: Ashley Cohen  -  7/12/2014

All of you who have received any permanent makeup from me have also been given an aftercare package containing a small case of aftercare balm. I exclusively produce the balm to ensure utmost sterility in the product and the highest quality ingredients for optimal healing. Containing powerhouse moisturizers like Shea butter, the soothing properties of chamomile, and lavender’s calming scent, this aftercare balm contains exactly what is needed to keep your skin healthy while allowing it to retain as much new pigment as possible.


One of my favorite ingredients to use is mugwort. This plant, native to both England and East Asia, made its debut in the spotlight after being used in potions in Harry Potter – and it is as magical as it seems. Mugwort is promoted to help with stomach and intestinal problems, headaches, muscle spasms, dermatitis, and is used for its sedative, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It is even used as flavoring for ales! How does it help you, though? Mugwort is high in Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin. Additionally, it is said that skin problems can occur from impurities in the blood and mugwort actually has the ability to cleanse impurities from your blood.


I let all my dried herbs rest in olive oil for at least six months to preserve as much of their healing properties as possible.  This process creates a potent infusion that really makes the difference between regular after care and Bella Balm. Rich in essential oils and antioxidants, this balm is great for your skin and marvelous for scrapes and abrasions. Other important ingredients in my aftercare balm are beeswax (moisturizes and protects skin), aloe (reduces inflammation, speeds healing, and moisturizes skin), rose hip seed (corrects dark spots, heals scars, and enhances skin elasticity), calendula (speeds healing), and grapefruit seed extract (used as a natural disinfectant and promotes healing). Overall, your treated skin should feel happy and healthy after using the aftercare balm enclosed in your aftercare package.

TTFN,
Ashley

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Vitiligo
By: Ashley Cohen  -  6/23/2014

Recently, I posted to Facebook with a link from Upworthy about Areola Complex Repigmentation. It highlighted a lesser-known-but-equally-important part of permanent makeup artistry, which deals with the tattooing of new pigments for the areola (generally after mastectomies and reconstructive surgery). The end result proves to be very empowering for women, as it restores their feminine identity and elevates self-confidence.

Another rarely heard of, yet extremely important, issue to treat is Vitiligo (pronunciation). Vitiligo is a condition in which hypo- or de- pigmentation of the skin occurs, leading to spots of lighter skin. It is said that Michael Jackson’s lighter skin is partially the result of Vitiligo.

More specifically, Vitiligo occurs when the melanocytes in the skin break down and stop producing melanin – the pigment-causing chemical that accounts for your skin color, hair color, and eye color. The condition can start at any age, though it typically presents itself before age 20. What causes Vitiligo is still unknown, but doctors believe it can be related to immune system failure, heredity, and/or an event (such as exposure to industrial bleach or sun burn). Although Vitiligo is not life threatening nor contagious, it can cause significant emotional trauma due to social stigmatization.

There are many methods for treating Vitiligo, such as laser and light therapy, medication to work with the immune system, and depigmentation (ridding the melanin from the unaffected areas to match the lighter skin tone). I am lucky enough to be able to offer two different treatments for Vitiligo: microneedling and tattooing.   As one can imagine, tattooing involves matching the applied pigment to the color of the original skin. This can be challenging however, when a person’s skin tans and lightens according to sun exposure but the tattoo remains the same tone.  The pigment also occludes the skin’s translucent quality and fading of the tattoo can occur as well. Due to this, I would prefer to first use microneedling, as it is a more restorative treatment. Microneedling involves the use of a bunch of – you guessed it – tiny needles, rolling over unaffected skin to “harvest” healthy melanocytes, and re-applying them to the affected area with the same needles, hopefully catalyzing the production of new melanin. In theory, this stimulates melanocytes while also introducing new cells, spurring the return of the original skin color. Since microneedling is a very new method of treatment, however, there have been minimal studies to assess the effectiveness of it.

Overall, this is a very important condition to be aware of. Although there is mostly only anecdotal evidence for the success of microneedling, I am very happy to offer this treatment method, as I have seen countless success stories and am a firm believer in microneedling for its restorative benefits.

If you or someone you know has Vitiligo, here are a couple national support groups:
American Vitiligo Research Foundation: avrf.org
Vitiligo Support International: vitiligosupport.org

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Ashley Miller Ashley Miller
I'm a couture designer, who creates eyebrows for individual faces. I do not use a template approach in the application of permanent makeup.
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