Microblading Gone Wrong: How to Avoid Botching your Brows

Do you want to get your brows done but are worried your eyebrows may get botched?

Have you read horror stories about microblading gone wrong and how it can permanently mess up your face?

If so, then this post is for you: 

You’ll learn if microblading is really dangerous, what steps to take to prevent a botch job and how to fix it if it has already occurred

Is Microblading Dangerous?

No doubt by now you’ve seen horror stories about getting microblading done.

Articles about how microblading makes your skin fall off or how it causing permanent scarring have been circulating around the internet. 

Even though they may catch your eye, are they accurate?

Is microblading really as dangerous as it sounds?

The answer is definitely NO!

Microblading, when done correctly, is actually quite safe (more than most procedures done by your Doctor). 

You just have to realize that microblading is a mini procedure and it should be taken seriously. 

Anytime the skin is opened (from ANY cause) there is a small risk of infection or some reaction. 

This is the nature of procedures

But with infection rates less than 1%, most people believe that this small risk does not outweigh the benefits from the procedure

We make these decisions all the time, most of the time without even thinking about it. 

Consider this example:

Is it worth a small 1% risk of infection to get a mole removed, even though it will help improve your self-confidence?

Is it worth a small 1% risk of infection to create the perfect brows for you, reducing the amount of time it takes to get ready in the morning?

If the answer is yes, then you will most likely get the procedure done. 

There is one potential problem with microblading that we do need to discuss, however. 

And that is the fact that many artists are not necessarily trained properly on how to keep a safe and sterile workplace and how to properly sanitize their equipment. 

Not taking care of these aspects can and will increase your risk of infection and will increase the risk that you get a botch job. 

The good news is that you can take steps to PREVENT this from occurring, which is what we will discuss next

How to Prevent a Botch Job

Is it possible to prevent a botch job when it comes to your brows?

YES, and you should take every precaution to make sure that you do. 

You NEVER want to increase your risk of an infection or some other negative side effect when it comes to your face. 

After all, it’s easy to hide a scar on your back or chest, but it’s much more difficult to hide a scar directly on your face. 

Let’s talk about steps YOU can take to prevent a botch job. 

#1. Research your Artist Like Crazy

The first and most important thing that you should do is to research your artist like crazy. 

If there is any question as to whether or not they are skilled or know what they are doing then you shouldn’t get your brows done by this person. 

Not all microblading training courses are created equal which leaves many artists not as skilled as they should be. 

You can find out if your artist is skilled by simply looking at their Instagram or other social media accounts. 

If they don’t have a significant amount of before and after pictures then you can assume that they are probably fairly new to the game. 

Also, make sure you look for unbiased reviews from some source which doesn’t allow review manipulation. 

Facebook, Yelp, google reviews, etc. should all work for this

The best case scenario is that you go to an artist which was personally recommended by someone you know. 

#2. Avoid Going to a “Newbie”

This is really an extension of #1, but make sure you don’t go to someone who is brand new. 

If you find someone offering you a deal that seems too good to be true, it may be because this person doesn’t have a large clientele yet. 

Avoid Groupon/living social coupons and avoid people who don’t have an extensive portfolio of before and after pictures. 

#3. Make sure Your Artist is Using Sanitized Equipment

This is a no-brainer, but still worth discussing. 

Most of the equipment that a microblader uses is either disposable (one-time use) or needs to be sanitized appropriately after each use. 

This part is fairly straightforward, so you’ll also want to make sure that your microblader is practicing appropriate hygiene during the procedure as well

Gloves should be used at all times and a mask as well. 

This helps reduce bacterial exposure to the open wound on your face from breathing and from normal skin flora. 

Your microblader should also take caution not to contaminate sterile workspace with improper sterile technique. 

All Doctors and nurses are trained in this techniques, but microbladers must take extra courses to learn this information. 

You can always ask before your procedure if they are familiar with the proper sterile technique and if they’ve taken blood born pathogen courses

#4. Make Sure you aren’t Allergic to Microblading Dye

Another common reason for complications after microblading is due to the dye found in the microblading pigment. 

Some people can be allergic to this dye which causes an inflammatory reaction in the face. 

This reaction is what you see in most of the microblading gone wrong horror stories

The inflammatory process makes the skin look very red and very angry, but it’s often not as bad as it looks. 

Byproducts such as Nickel may be contained in the microblade dye which can trigger this reaction. 

The reason it looks so bad is that the body attempts to get rid of the pigment by causing the inflammation which makes the skin very red and puffy. 

This can completely be avoided by asking each person if they have any known allergies prior to the procedure. 

If there is any question, or you aren’t sure if you are allergic, then you can start with a tiny “test patch” of skin before you undergo the entire procedure. 

If you do have an allergic reaction to the dye then the only way to stop the reaction is to get rid of the pigment

As long as the pigment is inside the skin it will continue to cause problems. 

You can learn more about how to fade your microbladed brows here


This can be avoided!

#5. Avoid an Infection

The most serious consequence of microblading and the one that you want to avoid is from an infection. 

Infections can trigger an inflammatory reaction and increase the risk of scarring if they aren’t dealt with in a timely fashion. 

Like I mentioned previously, there is always a risk of an infection whenever the skin is opened, but this risk can be minimized with proper sterile technique (discussed above). 

If you can prevent an infection then you can prevent scarring or other issues from getting microblading done. 

This means following the after-care instructions from your artist to a “T”!

If you keep the skin clean and don’t touch it with your hands then you will minimize bacterial exposure and reduce the risk of infection. 

If you do think you have an infection then you can and should reach out to your artist and ask what his/her procedure is. 

Most of the time you can get rid of the infection with topical antibiotics, but occasionally you may need a Doctor visit for oral antibiotics. 

#6. Stay in Close Contact with your Artist if you think Something is Wrong

If you think something is wrong do NOT be afraid to reach out to your artist!

Every day I see people who reach out to me here on this website asking for advice when they should be talking directly to their microblader. 

The person who did your job knows your skin and knows what happened to your skin and ultimately they are responsible for your brows. 

If you are worried about the shape of your brows then talk to your artist to see if it can be fixed during your touch-up. 

If you are worried about the color or the size of your brows then ask your artist if this can be fixed in your touch-up as well. 

If you are worried about redness or swelling reach out to your artist and ask if they have any advice. 

If you think there is an infection then you may want to skip your artist and go straight to a Doctor.

#7. Go to a Doctor (Urgent Care or ER) If you are Worried

If there is any question in your mind as to what is happening to your body or your face then your next step should be to see a Doctor. 

This is obviously not a problem if your brows are just too big, blocky or the wrong color, but this is definitely a consideration if you think you are having an allergic reaction or if you have an infection. 

Unfortunately, sometimes your Artist may not know how to proceed which means you may have to seek the attention of a Doctor. 

Medications such as a steroid, anti-inflammatory medications or antibiotics may be necessary to treat allergic reactions or infections and these are not something that your artist can supply you with

This is definitely a RARE occurrence, but it can happen, so keep it in the back of your mind. 

How to Fix a Botch Job

What are you supposed to do if you experienced a botch job with your brows?

Well, depending on what happened, you have a couple of options: 

If it’s an infection or an allergy then your only option is to get treatment (either from a Doctor or with topical medications). 

But what if your problem has more to do with the size, shape or color of your brows?

If this is your main issue, then you have a couple of options:

#1. Wait until the touch-up

The first thing you should do is NOT panic

In most cases, you can actually treat and fix the problems mentioned above in your touch-up, but the hardest thing you’ll have to do is exercise patience while you wait!

During the touch-up, your microblader can alter the color of your brows, the size, and even the shape

So if this is your main problem then discuss your options with your artist. 

#2. Go to a new Microblader 

Another option is to simply bypass your current artist and seek a second opinion from another, more experienced, microblader. 

Sometimes you don’t know that you’re dealing with an inexperienced microblader until AFTER the procedure

You may know that you don’t want to wait for the touch-up and you don’t want to go back to your original artist. 

If you fall into this category then you may want to find a more experienced microblader and have them fix the issues that were created in the first place. 

#3. Let it Fade then get it redone (or not)

Your final option is to “start over” by rapidly fading your brows. 

You can do this by taking certain steps (outlined here)

After your brows have faded (remember that microblading is semi-permanent), you can either opt to have your brows done again or just forget the whole experience and stick with what you have. 


The bottom line?

Microblading isn’t necessarily more dangerous than your run of the mill procedure as long as proper steps are taken. 

Before you get your brows microbladed make sure that you follow the steps outlined in this blog post and you will be on your way to LOVING your brows for a long time. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you had a bad experience with microblading?

Were you able to correct your brows afterward?

What happened to your brows? Was the color off, was it your shape, was it the size of the brows?

Leave your comments below! 

Microneedling Cost: Is It Worth it? In Office & At Home Options

How much does microneedling cost?

Is the price of this procedure ACTUALLY worth it?

Will microneedling give you long-lasting results? Will it help you look younger or tighten your skin?

In this post we will discuss the cost of microneedling, why it varies between locations, how to determine if you should get it done and more

What is Microneedling?

If you aren’t familiar with microneedling let me fill you in: 

This non-invasive procedure stimulates collagen in the dermis, tightens your skin, reduces acne scarring, reduces wrinkles and can even out skin tone

All of these benefits are produced through the microneedling process whereby thousands (yes thousands!) of tiny needles are poked through the superficial layers of your skin causing minor pinpoint bleeding and minor trauma to the top layers of your skin. 

This “damage” results in a powerful rejuvenation process when your body initiates the healing process. 

Your cells release growth factors which cause all of the benefits listed above

The best part about this procedure is that it is relatively quick (usually 20-30 minutes) and doesn’t hurt (too much). 

There are 2 main ways to do this procedure (and one is obviously better than the other): 

#1. Use an electric microneedling pen with lots of tiny needles

This is the preferred method because it provides the best results, but it will require a visit to an office with a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or aesthetician. 

Using an electric needle pen allows for literally thousands of tiny needle pokes to the skin

The more pokes you get the more rejuvenation you get during the healing process. 

When people ask about the price of microneedling they are usually referring to this procedure. 

#2. Use a needle or tip of an insulin needle to poke the skin manually or use something like a dermaroller

But using a microneedling pen isn’t the only option. 

There is an at home option in which you can use a dermaroller (a roller ball with lots of needles on it) or a simple insulin needle tip.

It’s important to realize that this is definitely a cheaper option, but the results are nowhere near as noticeable when compared to the microneedling pen. 

If you are in a pinch for money, though, then this may be a potential option for you. 

We will discuss more about the differences below, but for now, let’s talk about the cost.  

How much does Microneedling Cost?

So how much will microneedling put you back if you want to do it?

And are the results actually worth it?

I have to say that, in my opinion, the results are absolutely worth it, provided you can find a reasonable price. 

I even have my husband get it done because of how much I love it. 

So, back to the price. 

One round of microneedling will cost anywhere from $150 to $600!

It’s very important for you to realize that this is for only ONE session. 

Once you get it done you will most likely want to get it done again and again because the results tend to stack on top of each other. 

Most people can start to see benefits after the first session, but for conditions such as scarring or pock-marking, you may need to get several sessions (up to 6)

For anti-aging and skin tightening, I recommend that you get this procedure done at least 6 times. 

You will notice that with each session your skin gets tighter and brighter which will keep you coming back for more. 

But why is there such a big price variation between services?

After all, isn’t it the same procedure?

The answer is yes, and the reason for pricing comes from the various costs associated with purchasing the microneedling pen!

Health devices (such as a microneedling pen) are quite expensive, usually on the order of thousands of dollars, and the people who buy them have to make the money back. 

This drives up the price of the procedure. 

It also creates a price difference because providers don’t always pay the same amount for the pen. 

This means that you can get the exact same procedure for $200 when it would cost $600 at another location. 

This is why it pays to search around for people with good prices! 

Is it Worth it?

The short answer is YES, the long answer is MAYBE. 

It really depends on what you are getting it for and how much you are paying. 

I recommend searching for someone who will charge no more than $300, but preferably closer to $200 to $250

Microneedling, at this price range, becomes a no-brainer due to how effective it is. 

If you can’t find anyone locally at this price, then it may be a good idea to search for some of the home options available. 

Another option is to look at coupon sites such as Groupon or Living Social

Most of the time you can find new medspa’s which have deals for these types of procedures. 

The problem with going to someone new is that you don’t know if they have a high-quality pen or have any experience. 

The good news is that microneedling is not necessarily a very “technical” procedure to get done (so it doesn’t always matter who you go to). 

The bottom line?

Look for someone who charges between $200 and $300 per session and try to avoid paying more if you can

Medical Microneedling vs At-Home Microneedling

There is a big difference between “medical microneedling” and at-home microneedling. 

Medical microneedling is a procedure, usually done in office, in which the needs can penetrate more deeply into the skin. 

At-home microneedling generally only touches the VERY superficial layers of your skin. 

But, as you can imagine, the deeper you go into the skin the better the results (provided you don’t go too far of course). 

This makes medical microneedling far more superior, in terms of benefits to you, when compared to at-home versions. 

At-home versions such as the dermaroller, can and do help provide results, but probably aren’t great if you are seriously interested in anti-aging or treating acne scars. 

microneedle roller for at home use

The at-home dermaroller is a ball which has needles on top of it which is then rolled over the skin

As the roller goes over the skin, some of the needles penetrate the skin and provide the healing results we discussed previously. 

The problem is that it doesn’t go nearly as deep as medical microneedling. 

But at a cheaper price point, it may be the only option available to you. 


Microneedling can be a very affordable and worth-while procedure, provided you get it at the right price. 

The overall price of microneedling can vary between $150 and $600 per session. 

Try to find someone who charges between $200 and $300 per session

If you can’t afford this price range then you can try some of the at-home options as well. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you had microneedling done?

Did it work for you?

Did it help tighten your skin or treat your acne?

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below! 

Does Microblading Leave Scars or Keloids?

Are you thinking about getting microblading done?

Do you have a history of scarring, even after small procedures or cuts?

Do you tend to form keloids?

If you answered yes to these questions then this is the post for you!

Learn everything you need to know about microblading including the risks associated with the procedure and how to reduce the chance of scarring and keloid formation in this post

Is Microblading Dangerous?

Before we talk about whether or not microblading leaves scars or keloids you need to understand exactly what microblading is. 

The short answer is that microblading, if done correctly, should never leave a scar. 

The short answer to whether or not microblading causes keloids are more complex, but the general answer is that it probably doesn’t but it might (so beware). 

For the in-depth answers please see below, but before we talk about those let’s discuss microblading basics so you can walk into your procedure without any questions

Microblading is really a superficial type of procedure. 

This means that microblading is predominately done in the superficial (or top) layers of the skin. 

example of keloid formation on the skin

*Note: Example of keloid on the skin after trauma (notice how the scarring is larger than the initial trauma).

The majority of the work in microblading is done in the epidermis, which is the top 7 layers of the skin

The goal of microblading is to cut the skin down the dermal-epidermal junction and place the pigment in this area. 

Scarring really isn’t seen until the dermis is broken

When you have a deep cut, and it bleeds a lot, and you see tissues like fat or blood vessels, then there is a good chance that your cut will leave a scar. 

The reason for this has to do with how the body heals and what is required to put the skin back together. 

As long as you only enter the top layers of the skin no scarring will take place. 

One way to know if your microblader is only in the superficial layer of the skin has to do with the amount of bleeding you see during the procedure. 

Microblading should NOT result in significant bleeding because most of the blood that makes it to the top layer of the skin occurs through diffusion. 

A tip-off that your artist is going too deep is if you are bleeding excessively during your procedure. 

Does Microblading Leave Scars?

The answer to this question is that microblading should not leave scars. 

There are only two exceptions:

The first is if your artist goes too deep during the procedure (this one is usually obvious and very easy to avoid)

And the second has to do with some complication, such as an infection, that occurs AFTER the procedure. 

Infections can cause local inflammation and increase the damage done to the surrounding tissues or skin cells. 

If the inflammation is great or if the infection spreads deeper into your skin, then the risk of scarring increases

This complication is VERY rare and does not happen very often. 

We are talking probably only 1 in 10,000 people will experience scarring after microblading – this is an exaggeration, but you get the point. 

Should you get Microblading done if you are Prone to Keloid Formation?

Another frequently asked question has to do with keloid formation and whether or not microblading will leave a keloid. 

But what is a keloid?

A keloid can be thought of as an overreaction from your body to a cut or other damage to the dermis of your skin. 

If you’re prone to keloids then you probably know what they look like, but if you aren’t then you may not be aware of what they are. 

A keloid looks like large purple (or flesh colored) scarring over an area of a burn or cut. 

The keloid is often much bigger than the cut, burn or wound which caused the scar and that’s the problem. 

Keloid formation often leaves certain patients with painful contractures of the skin and may leave some women feeling self-conscious (depending on where they occur)

what causes keloid formation

But back to the question at hand:

Does microblading cause keloid formation?

There is a small, but real, chance that microblading may cause keloid formation, but only in those individuals who are prone to developing them, to begin with. 

People who form keloids know that they do and will always ask prior to the procedure. 

Generally, keloid formation only occurs if the dermis is included in the procedure (or damage in the case of trauma) but it is still possible to cause a keloid formation from the procedure. 

My general advice is to avoid the microblading procedure if you are a known keloid former. 

The reason?

It’s generally better to be safe than sorry when it comes to dealing with your brows or anything around your eyes. 

If you are a keloid former then you can always use alternative methods to get your brows looking on point (such as make-up, etc.!). 

If you REALLY want to get microbladed AND you are a keloid former then just make sure you have your artist stay very superficial

You can probably get away without any issues by reducing the pressure during your cuts and staying in the very superficial parts of the skin. 

This will reduce the longevity of your results (meaning you’ll have to get it done more often), but at least the keloid risk will be much smaller. 

Final Thoughts

The bottom line?

When it comes to microblading it’s so important for you to look for and find an artist who knows what they are doing. 

As long as your artist knows what they are doing, has plenty of experience, and knows to stay in the superficial layers of the skin then the risk of complications is very low

Scarring is not usually a problem with microblading unless something goes wrong with the healing process or if your artist goes too deep. 

Keloid formation, on the other hand, may be a reason to think twice about getting microbladed. 

While very rare, it’s still a real risk and you should consider it before you get the procedure done. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you worried about getting microbladed?

Do you form keloids?

Are you prone to scarring?

Did you get the procedure already? Are you thinking about it?

Leave your comments below! 

How to Use Microblading Numbing Cream Safely & Effectively

Use this guide to help you learn everything you need to know about Microblading numbing cream including how to use it effectively, the best products and other tips and tricks. 

This post is ideal for people who are interested in learning about getting microblading done and also for current microbladers

Let’s jump in: 


Numbing Cream Basics: What you Need to Know

Let’s talk about numbing cream.

It is so crucial to your microblading procedure yet there is not very much information on different types.

First off, why is numbing cream important?

This seems like of course a basic and easily answered question but numbing cream is important to help take the pain or discomfort away from your clients.

We want our clients to be as comfortable as possible because as their microblading artist the more relaxed they are will dramatically help your work.

When we can tell the client is in pain many artists will lighten their pressure to help avoid the discomfort which gets them out of the dermal-epidermal junction aka “sweet spot” which is where you’ll get the incredible retention of your strokes.

It is hard to inflict pain on anyone so that is why I am always on the quest for the best numbing cream!

Here are a few I have tried and can give you my opinion on pros and cons.

Microblading is Painful

Unfortunately, we can’t get around this fact!

Any procedure that requires us to break the skin and place pigment or ink into the skin will be painful.

Luckily, we have numbing cream to help dramatically reduce the pain that is felt during the procedure.

But we have one (or two) major problem(s)…

#1. There is no one magical numbing cream that will work for every single client.

We all have different skin and genetics so each of us will process the numbing creams differently.

#2. We all tolerate pain differently

We also have different pain thresholds so while a numbing cream might work amazingly their pain threshold might be lower than others.

The good news is that we can cut down on this problem simply with education.

Many patients are nervous about the procedure simply because they don’t know what to expect and the unknown is often quite scary.

As a rule of thumb, I educate my clients what to expect prior to starting.

Simply letting them know that the procedure will hurt is enough to “prepare” them and reduce their discomfort by a large margin.

Is it possible to make the procedure painless?

Yes and no, but that shouldn’t be your goal.

There are definitely some clients who will not feel a thing, but this is rare and occurs around 20% of the time (1 in 5 clients).

Instead of telling your clients not to expect any pain, it’s better to tell them you will feel pain but we will do our best to manage it.

This helps you set your expectations up front.

I tell my clients that an average expectation and result is when they are at a 3-5 on a 1-10 pain scale.

This way it prepares them to know it is normal to feel some pain but also to tell me if it’s shooting way up to a 9 or a 10 (because this isn’t normal!).

It may be helpful to describe the pain of pain that they may be feeling and compare it to something that everyone is familiar with.

I often describe microblading as an annoying tweezing sensation and most of my clients can relate to that description!

In most situations, as long as you use numbing cream appropriately, your clients will be bothered more by the noise of the procedure rather than the pain.

Genetics Play a Role

How do you know if your client will respond well to numbing cream?

A great question to ask them is if they numb well at the dentist.

Clients want to know if they will feel anything and I tell them it is entirely based on their genetics.

If your client has a history of trouble getting numb with dental procedures then you can assume that they will probably not respond well to topical numbing creams.

In addition, the genetics of your client also play an important role in determining how much numbing cream you will need and how quickly the numbing agent will wear off.

This is because we all metabolize the numbing cream at different rates. Some will start very numb but their bodies go through it so quickly that they can feel like by the end of the first pass before we re numb.

Also depending on the place, you are at in the brow also changes the sensitivity.

The front bulb area is usually the most comfortable but there are more nerve endings as you go towards the arch and the tale of the brow.

Numbing the Skin for Microblading:

There are two very important aspects to numbing your client when it comes to microblading.

The first is with the closed skin (meaning before the procedure) and the second is with open skin (meaning after you have cut into the skin).

It’s important to numb at both times for the best results!

How you approach numbing your client is also important for the flow of your visit with the client.

Some artists numb the client in the beginning and then draw the shape on and immediately microblade after the shape is on.

Another method is to draw the shape then numb once you have the shape on the face (this is my preferred method).

Using this approach allows for more time to apply the shape as opposed to rushing to get the shape on before the numbing cream starts to wear off.

The Best Numbing Creams for Open & Closed Skin

Numbing cream can be difficult to get, especially if you don’t have a Doctor or medical director to write you a prescription.

Luckily, there are several brands which are available over the counter and still work well!

I’ve included a list of the various types and brands of numbing cream that I’ve personally used and can vouch that they are effective.

Just realize that the strongest numbing creams do often require a prescription, while the numbing creams which are available over the counter are not quite as strong.

But, because they are available (in places such as eBay and Amazon) you really don’t have an excuse NOT to use one.

Here are my recommended products:

#1. Zensa

zensa numbing cream with lidocaine for microblading

When to use: Can be used for Open AND Closed skin. 

Active ingredients: 5% lidocaine

Where to buy: Available on Amazon. 

Learn more about Zensa Numbing cream here

#2. Tag #45 

Tag #45 numbing cream for microblading

When to use: Can be used for Open AND Closed skin. 

Active ingredients: 4% Lidocaine and epinephrine in gel form

Where to buy: Available on Amazon & eBay.

Learn more about Tag #45 here

#3. Numpot Gold- Closed skin only

When to use: Can be used for Open AND Closed skin. 

Active ingredients: 5% lidocaine

Where to buy: Not available on amazon. 

Learn more about Numpot Gold here

#5. Lidocaine 2.5 and Prilocaine 2.5- Closed skin only

When to use: Can be used on CLOSED skin only. 

Active ingredients: 2.5% Lidocaine & 2.5% Prilocaine (combination numbing cream)

Where to buy: Only available with a prescription from a physician. 

#6. B/L/T- Closed skin only

When to use: Can be used for Open AND Closed skin. 

Active ingredients: Contains all 3: Lidocaine, Tetracaine and Benzocaine (very powerful combination numbing cream)

Where to buy: Only available with a prescription from a physician (must get from a compounding pharmacy). 

How to use Numbing Cream Properly

How do you use numbing cream for best results?

This is another important step because there are some tricks and tips you can use to help improve how effective your numbing cream will be.

Some of this isn’t taught in training programs so I’m including it here:

Step 1: Clean the area and make sure it is not wet prior to application

Step 2: Apply a generous amount of numbing cream to the target area (be sure to apply numbing cream to the ENTIRE brow)

Step 3: Occlude the numbing cream/gel to the skin (this means to cover the gel with clear plastic paper) to help improve absorption

Step 4: Wait a sufficient amount of time (up to 25-30 minutes)

Step 5: Test the area by lightly poking the skin, your client should feel pressure but they should not feel pain

Tattooing vs Microblading and Numbing Cream

Is there a difference between the numbing cream used for Tattooing and microblading?

The answer is no.

The same type of numbing cream is used for both procedures.

The only difference is that microblading is not quite as painful as tattooing is at baseline.

This is because microblading does not go as deep as tattooing and the strokes require less surface area than a tattoo does.

This results in less damage to the skin and fewer pain signals from the nerve cells!

If you are getting a tattoo it’s often best to use combination numbing creams such as those that contain tetracaine, lidocaine, and epinephrine.

These numbing creams tend to be more potent and more powerful than the single ingredient numbing gels/creams.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

If you are practicing microblading make sure you understand the basics when it comes to using numbing cream.

Using numbing cream will help improve your client satisfaction and will, therefore, improve your results and help build your business.

If you aren’t familiar with numbing cream you can practice on yourself until you understand how it works.

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you already using numbing cream on your clients?

Do you have trouble getting your clients numbed?

Leave your comments below!

The Best Makeup Mirrors with Lights for Beginners & Professionals

Are you looking for better lighting in your house or bathroom?

Are you a professional that relies on pictures for your living?

If so then you may benefit from a makeup mirror with lights – learn everything you need to know including which product you should purchase in this guide:


Why use a Mirror with Lights?

Lighting may be one of the most important aspects of illuminating the face, especially when it comes to the application of makeup. 

Have you ever had your pictures taken by a professional photographer?

Remember how intense they are about lighting, the time of day, light reflection and so on?

This is because THEY know the importance of proper lighting!

Lighting can help illuminate the skin, may be able to help hide imperfections and can alter the end result if you are taking pictures. 

Lighting is especially important if you are a professional (make-up artist, instagramer, youtube creator, professional photographer and so on). 

But even if you don’t fit those categories you can still benefit from proper lighting because it can help you take pictures and get a more even application of your makeup. 

Benefits of lighting include:

  • Illuminate all aspects of your face
  • Helps improve the quality of pictures (especially helpful for professionals but also helpful for selfies if that’s your thing!)
  • Helps you see imperfections such as acne or blemishes
  • Helps visualize hyperpigmentation or areas where coloring is “off”
  • Cut down on the time it takes you to get ready

Bad lighting may lead to: 

  • Discoloration of the skin and not visualizing imperfections in the skin or in your makeup
  • Low quality pictures
  • Unprofessional photo quality

So how do you solve the issue with poor lighting and picture taking?

Well you have a couple of options:

The first is to illuminate your mirror with lighting around the base. 

The second is to leave your mirror alone and purchase other products such as ring lights which you can use in addition to whatever lighting you have in place. 

One is not necessarily better than the other, but you should consider each based on your individual circumstances. 

The Best Makeup Mirrors with Lights & Where to get Them

The pricing for makeup mirrors with lights can vary from $20 up to $200. 

The cheaper products tend to have less options and don’t tend to have the best quality lights. 

The higher end products tend to come with a combination of both natural and white lighting which you can change with a click of the button (my personal favorite). 

Why would you want both colors?

Natural sun lighting may help you to know what your face will look like under “normal” conditions. 

White lighting on the other hand may be better if you want to take a selfie or want to film yourself. 

White light adds a more ethereal look which makes your pictures stand out and capture attention. 

If you don’t want the double option then you are probably fine going for a cheaper option, but if you want to do both then I recommend a product such as this: 

Option #1:

This option has natural lighting and a smart touch screen that you can change the color from natural to white light. 

It contains 12 LED bulbs which means that it should have NO problem adding a significant amount of light to your current vanity, bathroom or bedroom. 

It’s also quite large coming in at 19 inches by 14.5 inches which makes it great for viewing more than just your face and for taking pictures. 

makeup light with mirrors for beginners and professionalsSee more reviews for this Mirror + Light combo

Option #2:

This option is much cheaper than the first version but not quite as powerful or as big. 

It’s not ideal for professional use or if you want to do videos, but it works great if you are only interested in your own personal makeup. 

It comes equipped with mirrors that help magnify up to 10x (and also includes views with 3x and 2x magnification). 

It also has LED lighting and is very compact and is therefore portable!

Start with this option if you are only using your mirror for personal use: 

budget makeup mirror with lightsSee more reviews for this Mirror + Light combo

Both options work well and one is not necessarily “better” than the other – instead try to find something that works for your budget and for what you plan to use it for. 

What if you want to add mirrors to your existing set or what if you just want to make your room look good?

If you fall into this category then you can make your own vanity by purchasing and placing your own lights on an existing mirror.

This DIY project runs around $150 but will take a lot of time as well (so don’t forget to factor that in!). 

If you have plenty of time on your hands and want to spruce up your room then this may be the best option. 

It all comes down to taste!

You can learn more about the DIY project here which walks you through building your own lighted vanity step-by-step: 

Makeup Mirrors with Lights for Professionals (Microbladers, Makeup Artists and so on)

If you fall into the list of professsionals (see list below) then perhaps the best (and most affordable) option is to get a ring light. 

List of professionals who may benefit from ring light include: 

  • Medical aesthetician for before/after pictures
  • Cosmetologist
  • Makeup artist
  • Permanent tattoo artist
  • Microblading artist
  • Photographers (situational)
  • Youtubers or those who film and create content
  • Instagramers or those who take pictures of themselves for social media

The list of people who would benefit from using these types of list goes on and on, I’ve just included some of the most common professionals. 

If you create content, take pictures or if you rely on before/after pictures for marketing and for your living then you’ll need to invest in some sort of equipment to help produce high quality images. 

So why use a ring light?

Ring lights are ideal, especially for beginners, because they are cheap, easy to move around and very effective. 

Benefits of using a ring lighting include:

  • Full and even illumination of the entire face – You can tell if someone has a ring light because you can see that characteristic lighting in their eyes
  • Portability – Easy to move around the house! Which means you can take it to a clients home, move it to your own home, move it to a studio, etc. Mirrors with lighting are much less portable
  • Cost – Professional lighting equipment can be expensive but the ring light is the perfect starting tool as you build your business and your portfolio
  • Perfect for doing self videos, tutorials or selfies
  • Heigh can be adjusted to fit your needs – Height can be adjusted easily so that you can use it while sitting, standing or some combination of the two
  • Has the ability to hold your phone – If you use your phone as a video recording device or as your camera then the ring light comes with a built in holder which helps keep recording steady

ring light for professionalsSee more reviews about ring lights here

The cons?

While ring lights are great for beginners they may not include all of the essentials that some professionals need. 

The lighting may not contain the perfect balance of white and yellow to mimic natural sun light. 

This may change how warm or soft the lighting is, especially if you are a stickler for perfection. 

It may also turn the skin a slight orange-ish color with some make up and colors. 

This shouldn’t be a problem for 90% of people, but it’s worth knowing if you stick to very high end production. 

Final Thoughts

Once you add extra lighting to your mirror you will never go back. 

It’s one of those things that you don’t know how valuable it is until you have it!

If you only want it for makeup then you should be good to go using a basic mirror with lighting. 

If you are a professional needing to produce high quality videos or images such as before/after pictures then a ring light may be better for your situation. 

Now I want to hear from you:

What lighting have you used and what worked best?

Have you used any other tricks to help improve your lighting when doing makeup?

Leave your comments below! 

Is SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum Worth the Insane Price Tag?

How can any cosmetic skin care product be worth over $280 per bottle?

It’s a good question and it’s what we are going to answer today…

In this guide we will dive into one of the most expensive cosmetic products on the market: SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum

This guide will help determine if this product is ACTUALLY worth its large price tag and help you determine if it’s something you should purchase


What is SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum? 

So what exactly is the TNS essential serum?

It’s actually two products combined into one (part of the reason for the large price tag). 

It contains two chambers which are hidden inside the larger tube, but as you express the product it will deliver a combination of both products and combine it on your behalf. 

This technique allows for the contents of the chambers to stay safe and preserved until treatment. 

Why is this important?

Because not all ingredients react well or play nice with one another!

Other ingredients need certain “conditions” to stay safe and effective (like Vitamin C). 

So if you have two separate chemicals that both require different pH conditions or stabilizers then putting them together render one inactive. 

This problem can be solved by placing them in two separate chambers and only combining them when necessary. 

Pretty cool, right?

That’s the idea behind this product. 

But which products does it contain?

TNS recovery complex by skinmedica

It actually contains two separate products: TNS Recovery Complex and APS Corrective Complex. 

We will go over the ingredients in detail below but for now just realize that the recovery complex helps naturally promote skin care growth and the APS corrective complex contains a host of special anti-inflammatory agents, peptides, growth factors and vitamins (tons of GREAT ingredients). 

Why it Works

This essential serum is often recommended as one of the best products to help reduce the appearance of your skin, but why is it so effective?

The secret (well not really a secret!) to why it works has to do with how it is formulated and the ingredients that it contains. 

The effectiveness of any skincare product always boils down to the ingredient list. 

And while this may seem like a no-brainer it’s not something that most people truly understand. 

The reason for this has to do with how cosmetic products are packaged and how they are labeled. 

Most producers make their product labels seem similar to one another in an attempt to confuse the consumer (in this case you). 

They will occasionally use deceptive marketing such as not showing the concentration of a certain ingredient or by calling an ingredient by a different name. 

For instance:

There are many ways to formulate Vitamin C in products but the most effective formulations of Vitamin C include Ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldexyl ascorbate. 

Often you will see other formulations identified as “Vitamin C” even though they are nowhere near as effective as the forms mentioned above. 

This is further complicated by the fact that formulating ingredients (such as ascorbic acid) in the right way is very expensive. 

So some products may look abnormally expensive when compared to others even though they “state” they have the same ingredients. 

Hopefully this is making sense! 

The main idea here is that the TYPE of ingredient, the WAY it is formulated and the CONCENTRATION all come together to help make the product work. 

The essential serum discussed here is so effective simply because it contains ALL high quality ingredients and a great combination of anti-oxidants, vitamins and growth factors. 

How effective is it?

No product is perfect and no product (no matter how good it is) will work on all skin types. 

But even with this in mind you can expect this essential serum to work in about 80-90% of people who use it. 

The 90% value that I am referring to is based on testing done with the company itself (which may be slightly biased). 

But if you contrast those results with unbiased reviews around the internet you will see that they are probably fairly accurate. 

Because we don’t have unbiased data I would say it’s probably more realistic that it will work for about 80% of people. 

Most high quality products work in about 70% of people who use them which is about 7 out of 10 people. 

Anything higher than that is considered VERY good. 

With that in mind let’s talk about the actual ingredients…

SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum Ingredient List:

Compared to most cosmetic products this essential serum contains at least 11 different active ingredients (not including inactive ingredients). 

This is about 5-6x more active ingredients than most other high end cosmetic products. 

Even some of my favorite products, such as iS clinical active serum, contain 3-4 active ingredients. 

So in this case you really get what you pay for. 

Let’s break down the ingredients by the chambers. 

Ingredients in Chamber 1

The first chamber contains the exact same ingredients in the Recovery complex also sold by SkinMedica. 

Ingredients in Chamber 2

This second chamber contains the APS corrective serum which contains probably the most important ingredients. 

As you can see each of the ingredients listed here has clinical studies backing their use and showing that they are effective. 

If you are new to using high end products then I would take a minute to dig through some of the posts and really read and research the ingredient list so you know just how beneficial each ingredient actually is

Complete Side Effects: 

This essential serum is generally very well tolerated because most of the ingredients listed are Vitamins and plant based. 

Having said that some people with sensitive skin may react to certain products. 

This doesn’t happen very often, however and if it does it can often be treated by allowing your face and skin time to adjust. 

Some common reactions include: 

  • Red, itchy skin or dermatitis
  • Flaking of the skin
  • Sensitivity or pain
  • Sensitivity to the sun after exposure

If you experience any of these side effects simply reduce the frequency with which you are using the product and they should fade over time. 

You can then start back up with a smaller amount and use a less frequent dosing schedule (something like every other day). 

Where to Purchase TNS Essential Serum

TNS essential serum can only be sold through authorized retailers only. 

Because of this there is a risk of purchasing counterfeit or fake products if you buy them from a non authorized source. 

The SkinMedica website has a list of unauthorized retailers which I’ve included below

unauthorized retailers for skinmedica products

Basically if you find a product from any of the places listed above you risk purchasing a fake product that has been diluted or manipulated. 

For this reason it’s best to avoid them all together. 

So where can you buy them?

Well, you still have a couple of options:

#1. Purchase them from a cosmetic dermatologist, medical spa or plastic surgeon. 

#2. Or, the better options, purchase it from an authorized seller on Amazon which has been vetted by Amazon. 

You can now purchase SkinMedica products from Amazon provided they show the “professional beauty” or “luxury beauty” tag underneath the price. 

If you prefer to purchase it directly from your dermatologist or plastic surgeon you can definitely do that too!

Just make sure you find the route that you feel comfortable with. 

If you don’t mind purchasing online I’ve provided a direct link to an authentic product below that you can use as well: 

Skinmedica TNS essential serumSee more reviews for TNS Essential Serum here

How to use it effectively: 

Applying and using TNS essential serum is actually very easy. 

When to use it – It’s best to apply in the morning AND the evening after both cleansing and toning your skin

Cleansing will help exfoliate your skin and allow better absorption of the ingredients. 

Toning helps bring back the acidic pH of the skin which ensures proper vitamin C usage. 

Where to apply – You should apply directly to your entire face and neck/chest/back of hands if desired. 

The serum will work anywhere you have damaged skin so don’t be afraid to put some on the back of your hands and upper chest area. 

How to apply – 

You can directly dispense the ingredients into your hand but make sure to “blend” the ingredients together before applying to your body. 

It’s helpful to give the ingredients a few swirls in your fingertips to ensure proper mixing of both chambers and ingredients

Using it this way daily for at least 4 weeks should result in noticeable improvement in your skin. 

Skinmedica TNS Essential Serum vs Recovery Complex: Is there a difference? 

The main difference between these two products is that the TNS essential serum contains the entire recovery complex product PLUS the APS corrective complex. 

The main difference is that the TNS essential serum ALSO contains the APS corrective complex in one of its chambers which is combined with the recovery complex when using it. 

When looking at both products you should determine which one works best for your skin. 

So who should use the TNS essential serum vs the recovery complex?

The best way to break it down is by age and by the maturity of your skin. 

Because the Essential serum is so effective for anti-aging and replenishing collagen/elastin in the skin it’s probably best to use this product if you are over age 50 or have severely sun damaged skin. 

The recovery complex is probably better to use if you are younger (less than 40) and interested in keeping your skin looking younger for longer. 

Remember that the essential serum contains the APS recovery complex which is really just a combination of growth factors which help stabilize the skin and further help reduce the signs of aging and skin damage. 

Ingredient List for the Recovery Complex:

  • Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (TNS)

Back to you

The bottom line?

TNS Essential Serum may be one of the best anti-aging and all around cosmetic products available on the market. 

The reason for this has to do with how it is formulated and the 11 major clinically tested ingredients that it carries. 

But just because it works well for most people doesn’t mean it will work well for you (or that you even need it!). 

The people who will benefit the most from this essential serum include those with mature and damaged skin. 

But even if you are in your 20’s you will still find value in using this serum daily!

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you using this essential serum?

Does the price have you second guessing the purchase?

What products are you using that are working for you?

Leave your comments below! 

The Complete Cool Sculpting Guide – Read Before you Buy

Are you interested in Cool Sculpting?

Are you wondering if it will work for your body?

Did you know that there are other non invasive weight loss therapies out there that may work as well?

In this guide you will learn everything you need to know about Cool Sculpting including how it works, how effective it is at helping you with fat loss, common side effects and other alternatives to consider before you get this procedure

Let’s jump in: 


What is Cool Sculpting?

I’m sure at this point you’ve at least heard of Cool Sculpting. 

It’s marketed as a non surgical weight loss device which helps to cut down on fat. 

But how does it work and does it actually work?

Let’s start with the basics first:

Cool Sculpting is a non-invasive procedure which is designed to reduce fat cells and therefore is known as a “fat-reduction treatment”

Notice that the name states that it is NOT a weight loss therapy. 

It is a fat-reduction treatment. 

patient satisfaction survey after cool sculpting procedure

So what is the difference there?

Well, when we talk about having extra fat on our bodies we often think of people being overweight. 

So it makes sense that if we target fat cells and reduce them shouldn’t we lose weight?

In reality it doesn’t work that way. 

Cool sculpting does NOT help with weight loss but it may alter the cosmetic appearance and shrink the size of existing fat cells. 

So what it does is change how you look in the mirror but it does NOT change your weight. 

Another good thing that Cool Sculpting has going for it is the fact that it is FDA cleared. 

But what does that mean?

Being FDA cleared means that the FDA has allowed it to be used for certain purposes and it can claim that it can be used for that purpose. 

In the Medical World people can’t just make claims about products unless they actually do what they say they do. 

You can compare this to the cosmetic industry and the supplement industry. 

These industries can make claims that are not true and not supported by medical science, which makes it difficult to tell what works and what doesn’t. 

The rules are different for medical devices (which Cool Sculpting falls into) which means that Cool Sculpting needs to be proven to work through clinical studies. 

So this is a good thing if you are interested in Cool Sculpting but it doesn’t mean that other non-invasive therapies don’t work. 

The problem with getting FDA Cleared is that it costs a lot of money and time. 

So many products don’t go through the hassle of getting approved because it’s simply cheaper to sell their products and not go through the testing. 

We will discuss other options below, but for now let’s stay focused on Cool Sculpting…

Does Cool Sculpting Work?

And if it works, how does it work?

Cool Sculpting works by reducing the temperature of fat cells which causes direct damage to the cells and results in breakdown of your fat cells and therefore shrinkage. 

The official “mechanism of action” is apoptosis which means cell death (in this case it’s referring to fat cells). 

The idea is that your fat cells become damaged at a higher temperature than the surrounding skin. 

So scientists developed a machine which drops the temperature of the skin, dermis and epidermis but does not damage these structures in the process. 

But because fat cells are damaged at a different temperature they are damaged in the procedure and then shrink in size. 

So Cool Sculpting allows a way to reduce fat cells WITHOUT damaging other skin tissues and structures. 

Because this is different than other procedures (such as ultrasonic cavitation) results are not immediately apparent right after treatment. 

In order for your fat cells to actually shrink there must be an inflammatory component which comes in and cleans up the fat cells. 

This takes anywhere from 14-30 days and is the reason that results are often considered “delayed”. 

So right when you walk out of the treatment room you will NOT notice any difference. 

It can take up to 2-3 months for final results to be seen. 

Make sense? 

But the real question is this:

Does damaging fat cells actually work to reduce the size and appearance of fat tissues?

The answer is Yes, sort of, maybe. 

In order for cool sculpting to work you must be an “ideal candidate” which means that you fit certain criteria. 

In fact, Cool sculpting does not work on all areas of your body:

FDA approved locations for cool sculpting

In order for Cool Sculpting to work there must be sufficient amount of skin and fat, if there isn’t enough in the area then the procedure simply won’t work. 

If there is sufficient fat for the procedure to work clinical studies have shown that humans may expect up to a 20 to 25% reduction in the subcutaneous fat layer. 

This doesn’t mean you will see a 20-25% reduction in your measurements, but it does mean that most people do respond with changes to their appearance. 

You can’t take these percentages at face value because they don’t take into account extra skin, fat cells that are deeper in the body or around the organs. 

These studies also report that up to 73% of people who underwent the procedure were considered “satisfied” with the results

Another point worth mentioning is that 

How Much Does Cool Sculpting Cost & Is it Worth it? 

If you decide to get Cool Sculpting done how much can you expect to pay?

Unfortunately the procedure is quite expensive, especially when compared to the other body contouring options available. 

In order to get optimal results you will often need to purchase a “package program” which means that you will need to come back for several sessions. 

Results from 1 session are often not that great, so several sessions are often necessary to lose a significant amount of fat. 

The amount of sessions that you need will depend on the amount of fat that you have and the area you are looking to treat. 

For instance:

The abdomen will need more sessions than your upper arm area and so on. 

But on average you can expect to pay around $2,000 to $4,000 dollars or around $1,000 to $ $1,500 per area. 

The more areas you need treated (such as the abdomen, arms and butt area) may run up to $4,000 or more. 

A lot of the price varies and is based on the location where you live. 

Larger cities tend to charge more than smaller cities. 

Why the difference in the price?

The price is usually based on the provider offering the service, but you can sometimes find groupons and other ways to help reduce the total cost. 

The real expense to the medical spa offering the procedure is the consumable portions of the machine which they need to purchase after every use, and the prices of these consumables is controlled by the company that creates the Cool Sculpting machine. 

So until these consumables decrease in cost the total cost of Cool Sculpting is likely to remain where it is for a while. 

Determining if Cool Sculpting is worth it will largely depend on your individual circumstance. 

If you’ve exhausted all of your other options and you haven’t had any luck losing weight then Cool Sculpting may be the best option for you. 

In many cases, however, it may be smarter to spend less money on other therapies first and then use Cool Sculpting or other body contouring options as a last resort. 

Before & After Photos

I’m not going to include any before or after photos here, but I want to say one important thing when you look at these photos:

Before and after photos offered by Cool Sculpting (and other providers) often show the BEST CASE SCENARIO. 

If you notice they will always say something like “these results are not typical”. 

So even though the before and after pictures are real (probably), it doesn’t mean that your results will look the same. 

It’s often best to look for businesses that show you the “great” results as well as the “average” results, so be on the look out for both. 

It’s also worth pointing out that your results depend on the skill of the person using the device. 

So make sure that you find a location that has someone who is properly trained to use the device! 

Coolsculpting vs other Non-Invasive Fat Loss Procedures

It’s also important to know that Cool Sculpting isn’t the only option in town!

There are actually MANY other body contouring services that may work better than Cool Sculpting (depending on the individual). 

These other procedures are often cheaper than Cool Sculpting as well and may be a better option to at least explore. 

Other body contouring options include: 

  • Ultrasonic Cavitation – Ultrasonic cavitation is a therapy which uses ultrasound waves to damage fat cells (similar to cool sculpting) which results in fat shrinkage. Ultrasonic cavitation may be more painful than Cool Sculpting but it is quite effective as well. 
  • Radiofrequency – Radiofrequency is another tool that can reach the superficial layers of the fat and help shrink the skin. It’s often great when paired with other therapies such as Ultrasonic cavitation which, when put together, can help shrink the skin AND help reduce fat cells. 
  • Low level laser therapy – LLLT may help shrink fat cells but is probably not as effective as the other therapies listed here. The benefit to LLLT is that it is quite cheap when compared to other therapies. 
  • LED Therapy – LED lasers have mixed results when it comes to shrinking fat cells but this procedure is often quite cheap making it worth considering for some people. 
  •  Weight loss wraps – Weight loss wraps work by simply dehydrating the body (they don’t shrink or damage fat cells like other therapies) but they may be worthwhile if you are in a pinch and need to drop a few pounds for a vacation or something like that. 

Risks and Side Effects of doing Cool Sculpting

Is Cool Sculpting safe?

The long answer is that we don’t really know. 

The short answer is that it is generally well tolerated. 

The reason we don’t really know if it is safe long term is because it hasn’t been around that long. 

So even though the results may be good over the course of 5-10 years we have no idea what those results will look like 20 years down the road. 

It’s also worth pointing out that Cool Sculpting does indeed damage your fat cells and there is currently no evidence that they can grow back or regenerate. 

This is important to consider because what it means is that once fat cells are destroyed they will never grow back in the same spot. 

There is some concern that if you re-gain fat mass they may start to aggregate or form in other strange areas of your body – such as your upper arms or lower legs. 

So long term we aren’t really sure, but what about short term?

In turns out that short term treatment is usually well tolerated

There is very little to zero risk of developing scarring, ulceration or disfigurement to the skin itself. 

In addition only minor bruising is occasionally seem along with some pain during the procedure. 

There is a small risk of causing inflammation to the fat cells in your body, known as panniculitis, but this isn’t seen very often. 

So the short term side effects are minimal but we don’t have a lot of data about the long term consequences. 

The biggest thing to worry about is the potential for long term regrowth of fat cells and an abnormal distribution of fat cells in your body if you gain weight at a later time. 

Other Weight Loss Therapies

When considering Cool Sculpting the real question is this:

Should you take the risk and spend the money to get this procedure done instead of going another more safe route?

Perhaps another, and better, alternative to Cool Sculpting is using weight loss (and fat loss) medications and therapies which have been shown to work and do not cause serious side effects. 

What kind of therapies am I talking about?

  • MIC/B12 Injections – Fat burner injections can be used in combination with exercise routines and other therapies to help with weight loss. 
  • HCG – HCG is a hormone that can help improve your thyroid and help balance sex hormones. 
  • Thyroid hormones – Thyroid hormones such as Liothyronine and Cytomel can help increase metabolism and may help with weight loss. 
  • Weight loss MedicationsWeight loss medications such as Saxenda and newer medications such as Contrave may help treat obesity. 
  • Diets & Nutrition programs – You never want to go on a diet, but nutritional programs such as ketosis and whole 30 can help reduce inflammation and may help with weight loss. 
  • Exercise programs – It may be time to kick the old way of exercising (run of the mill cardio) and start high intensity interval training programs which help with weight loss more than other exercise modalities. 

The point is don’t think that you are out of options

But what if you’ve tried all of these and they haven’t worked?

In that case it may be worth sitting down and considering if Cool Sculpting (or other therapies) are right for you. 

It absolutely may be the case that getting Cool Sculpting is worth the peace of mind and the increase in self confidence that it may produce!

Just make sure that you exhaust and look at ALL options before you jump in. 

Final Thoughts

Cool Sculpting is a non invasive procedure that may help you to contour your body and reduce the shape and appearance of your fat. 

Before you get this procedure done make sure that you look at all non invasive alternatives and make sure that you have exhausted other, more safe, weight loss therapies!

For those who do decide to undergo Cool Sculpting you can take comfort in the fact that most people are very happy with their results and there are usually no immediate side effects. 

Before you get it done just realize we don’t know how people will respond to this therapy long term (the studies aren’t there yet) because it is a relatively new procedure. 

But now I want to hear from you:

Have you tried cool sculpting?

Did it work for you?

Are you considering getting it done?

What other procedures have you tried?

Leave your comments below! 

Do Skin Tightening Creams & Skin Firming Products Actually Work?

Are you looking to naturally firm up or tighten your skin?

Have you noticed that your skin is sagging as you get older or that it just isn’t as plump as it once was?

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about skin tightening creams and skin firming products including which ones work, which ones to avoid and how to use them properly.

Let’s jump in: 


What are Skin Tightening & Skin Firming Creams?

Nowadays it isn’t uncommon to see cosmetic products that claim to “firm” or “lift” the face and skin. 

This group of cosmetics is commonly known as skin tightening and skin firming creams and lotions. 

So you can think of any lotion that makes the claim to firm your skin or make it tighter to fit into one of these categories. 

The main problem with these cosmetics?

They often are 99% hype and marketing and 1% effective. 

This may be bad news is you were hoping to find a skin tightening cream to help reduce the inevitable decline and youthful appearance of your skin!

But don’t get down because there are actually some skin firming creams and skin tightening serums that actually do work which we will discuss below. 

The trick to finding these products is searching out only high quality products that not only contain the right ingredients but ones that contain ENOUGH of the right ingredient. 

Do They Work?

The VAST majority of skin tightening creams do NOT work. 

Let me repeat that…

Most skin tightening and firming creams and serums do NOT actually work. 

Does that mean that all of these creams and serums are useless?

No, not by a long shot. 

But what it does mean is that you need to be careful what you purchase and look for certain ingredients. 

The cosmetic industry is not as tightly regulated as other industries such as the pharmaceutical industry. 

For instance:

If a pharmaceutical company says that a medication or drug lowers blood pressure they have to prove that claim with rigorous clinical studies. 

This check and balance does NOT exist in the cosmetic industry. 

Because the industry isn’t regulated pretty much any product can make a claim that they want. 

In addition they are not required to disclose how potent or how effective a product actually is. 

So some products may contain the right ingredient (let’s say ascorbic acid in this case), but they won’t disclose that the concentration is 0.1% when it really needs to be about 20% in order to be effective. 

See the difference? 

All of these factors are important when considering which products to buy or which to pass on. 

Ingredients You Want

So how do you know if you are using or looking at a high quality product?

The ingredient list will tell the tale!

High quality products are not afraid to list all of their ingredients and they aren’t afraid to list the concentration of these ingredients. 

If you are having a hard time finding the ingredient list or the concentration amount then whatever product you are looking at is probably trying to hide something!

I’ve created a list of high quality and potent ingredients that have been proven to be effective on the skin through several clinical studies (this means they HAVE been tested and proven to be effective!): 

  • Niacinamide – Niacinamide is a B vitamin that can be formulated and placed topically on the skin. Not only does niacinamide help keep the skin looking younger it also helps to improve the elasticity of the skin, helps reduce wrinkles and may even out skin tone and complexion. Just 12 weeks of a 5% Niacinamide product is enough to show significant and noticeable improvements to the skin. 
  • Retinol – Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that can be placed topically on the skin and may be one of the best vitamins you can use on your face. Retinol has been proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and even reduces photo-damage from the sun (another cause of aging skin). Retinol has also been shown to induce the production of glycosaminoglycan which helps your skin remain plump. 
  • Natural Anti-oxidants – The world is full of anti-oxidants that can help reduce the natural aging process by binding to and eliminating free radicals. Anti-oxidants are often naturally found in plants and many vitamins can act as anti-oxidants as well. You can think of anti-oxidants as scavengers that naturally help keep your cells working properly and fight off damage from the sun. They are found in Vitamin C, E, A, B3 and in most botanic based ingredients (plant based). 
  • Ascorbic Acid – Ascorbic acid is a formulation of Vitamin C and it is another very powerful ingredient. Vitamin C helps tighten the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation and clear up the complexion. The trick to using Vitamin C is to find it in the right concentration (up to 20%) and at the right pH. Low quality formulations do not work well. 
  • Zinc Oxide – Zinc oxide helps to block ultraviolet radiation and therefore damage to the skin. So while this ingredient doesn’t necessarily help tighten the skin it does help PREVENT skin sagging from photo-damage over time. It should never be used by itself, but it should definitely be a part of any complete skin care regimen. 
  • Products that naturally exfoliate such as alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids – Exfoliators help to stimulate the growth of collagen which helps build up and strengthen the integrity of the skin. These exfoliators include ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid and so on. Like Zinc oxide they should not be used by themselves for skin tightening but they can be used with the other ingredients listed above. 

Do you need to find a product that contains ALL of these ingredients in one?


In fact I’m not even sure such a product exists. 

But what it does mean is that you should find a product which contains at least ONE of the high quality ingredients listed above. 

And make sure that the product does not contain any knock off ingredients which are often cheaper to make than the real ingredients. 

Ingredients/Products to Stay Away From

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) the list of products to avoid is MUCH longer than the list of products that are actually beneficial!

Basically, you can think of it like this:

If the products listed on your skin tightening or skin firming cosmetic product does NOT contain any of the ingredients listed above, then there’s a good chance it probably won’t work. 

But in addition to this, you’ll also want to look out for products that fit into any of the following categories: 

  • Avoid any product that claims to have “instant and lasting skin tightening”
  • Avoid products that contain Vitamin C not in the Ascorbic acid form
  • Avoid products that are cheap (poor quality products ALWAYS have poor quality ingredients)
  • Avoid products that claim to work as well as cosmetic procedures such as plastic surgery (this is NEVER true)
  • Avoid products that have thousands of 5 star reviews (most are fake)

The most important thing to be cognizant of while searching for high quality products is to avoid all of the hype and marketing that companies use. 

You’ll notice a trend among high quality products:

They tend to have overall moderate reviews and they tend to cost more and you actually want both of these things. 

The reason is simple:

Not all skin care products will work for all skin types!

So on average cosmetic products will not work probably 20% of the time. 

If you see a product with 100 5 star reviews then you can count on most of them being fake because this just isn’t realistic. 

Make sense? 

Real Tips you can use to Tighten your Skin

Aside from using skin care and cosmetic products there are also other things you can (and should) be doing to help improve the quality of your skin. 

These tips should be combined with skin care products, and if you can’t afford skin tightening creams then you can at least start with these right away: 

  • Avoid unnecessary sun damage (wear a large brimmed hat and always wear sun screen) – The sun is the #1 cause of photo-damage and aging among women
  • Use a moisturizer daily – Moisturizing the skin will naturally help your skin look younger and help promote hydration
  • Hydrate with water EVERY day – Up to 1 gallon per day if you exercise regularly
  • Get a deep sweat every week – Sweating naturally helps the body detoxify and promotes the elimination of by-products that can harm your skin
  • Use only high quality and professional grade skin care products – Products that are formulated by physicians or that are “professional” grade often have the purest and highest quality ingredients
  • Ensure that any skin care products you use are stored in an airtight container which is also protected from UV light and moisture (this will ensure that they remain active long term) – Oxidation and moisture can damage active ingredients in skin care products
  • Eat healthy – Lots of fruits and vegetables contain natural anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory vitamins
  • Consider the use of bio-identical hormone therapy – Hormone therapy such as estrogen replacement (and progesterone replacement) can plump up the skin and reduce the signs of aging. If you are menopausal then you can discuss this option with your doctor. 

Remember that even if you do decide to use a skin tightener cream make sure that you ALSO use these strategies as well. 

They will only add to and improve your results further. 

The quality of your skin is a product of what you put INTO your body and also what you put ON your skin

The Best Skin Tightening Products

As I mentioned previously in this post you will find that most products that don’t advertise to be “firming” or “tightening” creams are actually the best products. 

It’s counter-intuitive, I know, but it’s how it is!

Below I’ve included some of the best products that fall into the “products that actually work” category due to the ingredients that they have. 

The first on the list includes those products that contain Vitamin C: 

#1. Vitamin C Serum containing products

#1 on the list is a “Liftactiv” cream by Vichy. 

It contains the combination of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and another simple sugar known as Rhamnose. 

While Rhamnose is less well studied than Vitamin C, they still do work quite well together. 

This cream is primarily designed to be used at night and may work better around the upper face including the eyes. 

vichy skin tightening cream with vitamin cLearn more about Vichy night time firming cream here

Second on the list is an anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cream which can be used on the entire face (if that is what you are trying to firm up). 

It can also be placed on the neck, back of the hands and around the face (if these are your problem areas). 

This product contains the combination of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) but this time it comes with hyaluronic acid which helps moisturize and plump up the skin

Anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cream:

Anti wrinkle and firming cream with vitamin CLearn more about La Roche-Posay anti-wrinkle and firming cream here

#2. Retinol containing products

Vitamin C creams are very effective but so are Retinol containing creams

Remember when you decide which one to use that one is not necessarily better than the other. 

In fact Retinol and Vitamin C products compliment each other PERFECTLY. 

If cost is not an issue (and you are serious about firming and tightening up your skin) then you should consider the amazing combination of Vitamin C with Vitamin A (retinol). 

You can consider Retinol, Vitamin C and Niacinamide as ingredients that all carry about the same amount of weight in terms of how effective they are. 

So you really can’t go wrong in choosing one over the other. 

But even if you find one that works don’t be afraid to switch up to another product and alternate through them on occasion. 

This helps you determine which products work best for YOUR skin. 

I’ve written extensively about the benefits of Retinol, so if you want to learn more about how Retinol works you can check out this post

If you are ready to jump in to a retinol product then I recommend one like this: 

Obagi retinol for skin tightening and firmingSee more reviews for Obagi Retinol here

#3. Niacinamide containing products

Products that contain niacinamide can also be helpful for improving the overall quality of your skin

While these products definitely may help it might be worth a trial of Vitamin C and Vitamin A first before you jump into niacinamide. 

If you already have a retinol product (and/or a vitamin C serum that you use) then you may want to trial this product in combination with what you are already using. 

I recommend a product that has at least 4% niacinamide (this is the most well studied dose) like this one below: 

PCA skin clear skin with niacinamide for skin tighteningSee more reviews for PCA skin clearskin here

Skin Tightening for the Face & Neck

Does the product that you choose need to be specialized for a certain area of your body?

Not necessarily. 

One trick that you may find helpful is knowing that you can apply Vitamin C, Retinol and Niacinamide to other parts of your body such as your neck, face, back of the hands and so on. 

These products are usually marketed as being used for “under the eyes” or “around the lips” or so on, but that doesn’t mean they HAVE to be used in those places. 

The skin in your neck can still absorb and utilize the nutrients in these products just as well as the skin under your eyes and around your mouth!

So just remember that you can and should use these products on the trouble areas that you want to target. 

Skin Tightening After Weight Loss

Will these products and serums work for skin tightening after weight loss?

The short answer is probably not. 

The long answer has to do with how the sagging skin is created after weight loss. 

Aging results in a natural decline in collagen and elastin in the dermis of the skin which reduces the texture and quality of the skin. 

Skin sagging after weight loss is the result of stretched skin which is a completely different mechanism. 

By far the most effective treatment to tighten skin after weight loss is to use cosmetic procedures such as cool sculpting, radio frequency and surgical removal of excess skin

Other therapies such as fasting may also help to tighten the skin. 

But I don’t recommend the use of these products on extra skin if it’s from rapid weight loss. 

Other Skin Tightening Procedures

Is there anything else that you can or should be doing in addition to using creams, serums and gels?


By far the easiest (and cheapest) way to firm or tighten your skin is with cosmetic products but there are also other ways to tighten up your skin. 

These other therapies are often offered by medical spas and cosmetic dermatologists and include any of the following (note that they aren’t all the same in terms of how effective they are): 

These procedures range from $50 per session all the way up to thousands of dollars per session (CO2 laser). 

The idea here is that the more money you are willing to spend the faster you will achieve the results you are looking for. 

But before you think you need to use laser therapy to tighten your skin consider this!

Sometimes undergoing 6-8 sessions of microneedling in combination with cosmetic products listed above may be enough for you to notice a significant improvement in your skin. 

So make sure you find out what works best for your budget and your time frame and then go with that. 

Wrapping it Up

The bottom line?

It is definitely possible to tighten and firm up the skin around your face, eyes, neck and other places of your body. 

When you look for products make sure you avoid products which make claims that seem too good to be true. 

If you avoid those products and stick to products that contain Vitamin C, Retinol and Niacinamide you will be much better off long term!

As always, make sure that you tailor the products you use to YOUR skin and make sure to combine cosmetic products with lifestyle changes for best results. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you using skin tightening or firming creams?

Are they working for you?

Which ones work best?

Leave your comments below! 

Does Kojic Acid Soap Work? Pro’s and Con’s of Using this Lightener

Do you have dark skin on your body that you wish you could lighten?

Are you suffering from hyperpigementation on the face or other areas of the body?

If you fall into either of these categories then kojic acid soap may be a potential solution. 

Learn more about how kojic acid soap can naturally help lighten the skin, you’ll also learn how to use it and who should use it in this guide:


What is Kojic Acid?

Kojic acid is a special ingredient (chemical really) which acts to reduce the pigment of your skin. 

I’ve explained how kojic acid works in great detail and why you should and shouldn’t use it, in this post here

If you aren’t familiar with kojic acid I would definitely start there first!

As a quick primer…

Kojic acid is created from the fermentation process when creating rice wine and is extracted from this process. 

It’s then concentrated and placed into cosmetics because it helps to reduce pigment and skin color when placed topically on the skin. 

Basically it helps lighten your skin by reducing certain enzymes and functions in the melanocytes of your cells

Decreased melanocyte action = decreased melanin = decreased pigment = lighter skin. 

Usually kojic acid is placed in creams and gels and then placed on the skin. 

In this way it’s VERY effective at treating age spots, freckles, hyperpigmentation, sun damage and so on. 

But it can also be placed into soap products and then used across the ENTIRE body. 

It can also be used in certain areas where it wouldn’t be a good idea to use expensive serums. 

Who should use Kojic Acid Soap & Does it actually Work?

So why would you consider using kojic acid soap over other kojic acid products?

The answer is simple: 

It depends on what your goals are. 

If you are only interested in using kojic acid on your face then it makes much more sense to get a serum or cream because it’s easier to manage and you don’t need quite as much. 

Why is that?

It’s because kojic acid serums and creams tend to have a stronger and higher percentage of kojic acid when compared to kojic acid soaps. 

So if you have a LARGE surface area of the body which you are trying to lighten then it just makes sense to use a soap. 

Soap can more easily be placed on the entire body (if that’s your preference) or even over large areas of the body such as your chest, arms, legs or intimate areas. 

But what if you have a darker skin tone over your entire body?

What if you have a Fitzpatrick skin type IV +

What if you have areas on your body that are darker than your normal skin color (areas like your underarms, intimate areas, back of the legs, etc.)? 

This is where using kojic acid soap really shines. 

Soap may be the preferred option if you answered YES to any of the questions above. 

Who should use consider kojic acid soap?

  • Those who want to lighten a large surface area of their body (more than just their face)
  • Those who want to lighten underarms, neck area and intimate areas (such as the anus and genitals) of the body (creams and serums may not be appropriate for these areas due to other ingredients)
  • Those who are on a budget! (Kojic acid soap is generally cheaper than serums and creams)
  • Those with sensitive skin who don’t tolerate stronger kojic acid products

Kojic Acid Cream vs Kojic Acid Soap

Is it possible that you may need to use both kojic acid cream and kojic acid soap?

The answer is yes! And many people do this (depending on their needs). 

One of the biggest cosmetic issues that you can deal with is uneven skin tone which is often caused by the aging process or through sun damage. 

This type of discoloration WILL occur throughout your life, it’s only a matter of time. 

This makes hyperpigmentation or discoloration a big complaint and big issue. 

For this reason Kojic acid and other skin lighteners are often included in cosmetics to help even out skin tone and color. 

In fact you may even be using kojic acid or some other lightener like Arbutin in your existing cosmetic products without even knowing it. 

In this way I often recommend some skin lightener as a “base” or “necessary” anti-aging skin care product in your daily regimen. 

Soap on the other hand is not quite as necessary and tends to have specific uses. 

Perhaps the best way to think of it is like this:

Kojic acid based creams and serums tend to be used for anti-aging to help you keep radiant and younger looking skin, while kojic acid soap is more for people who desire SPECIFIC results (such as those listed above). 

But can you use kojic acid soap in place of kojic acid creams and serums?

You probably can but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are on a budget

Generally you want to use a high quality cleanser on your face which contains nourishing ingredients such as Vitamins C & E along with some acid which helps to exfoliate dead skin cells. 

It’s difficult to find all of these ingredients in a “soap” product so you may be missing out on these benefits if you jump to a soap and skip a cleanser. 

But it can probably be used in a pinch

Kojic Acid vs Hydroquinone – Which is best?

What about hydroquinone? Can it be used in place of kojic acid?

If you aren’t familiar with hydroquinone let me fill you in. 

Hydroquinone is another skin lightener and is probably considered to be the most potent and powerful skin lightener around

The problem with hydroquinone is that you usually need a prescription to get it (unless you find it online somewhere) and it comes with some potential side effects. 

So while it is the most effective skin lightener it’s probably not the best to use unless you suffer from a serious or difficult to treat hyperpigmentation syndrome such as Melasma

Hydroquinone works by blocking the enzyme tyrosinase but it also may cause melanocyte cell death (not ideal). 

In addition, long term use of hydroquinone may actually CAUSE hyperpigmentation once you stop using it (known as rebound hyperpigmentation) which is also not ideal. 

Because of these side effects it’s often best to start with an over the counter lightener such as Arbutin or Kojic acid and then move up the ladder if you don’t respond to these first. 

In addition, another downside to hydroquinone is that it isn’t always appropriate for use over your entire body. 

Pros of using Kojic Acid Soap

  • May help to lighten large areas of your skin
  • May help to lighten intimate areas of the skin such as 
  • Works usually in a matter of weeks (fast acting)
  • Usually very safe and very well tolerated
  • Pricing for kojic acid soaps is cheaper when compared to other products such as serums and creams
  • A very safe and effective alternative to prescription skin lighteners

Cons of using Kojic Acid Soap

  • Is not a permanent skin lightening solution (will fade once you stop using the soap)
  • May not work for all skin types
  • May not be tolerated by people with sensitive skin
  • May result in irritation in certain areas of the body (such as intimate areas)

Side Effects to watch out for

Usually Kojic acid soap is very well tolerated. 

This means that MOST of the people who use it will NOT experience any negative side effects. 

However some people, especially those with sensitive skin, may experience irritation, redness, dry skin or a rash while using this product.

These side effects tend to fade rapidly once you stop using the product. 

In addition, you may find that if you present with these symptoms that simply reducing the frequency with which you use the product may solve your issue. 

Others may find relief if they simply don’t use the product in intimate areas (such as the anus or vaginal area). 

When using kojic acid soap make sure to play around with where you use it and how frequent you use it. 

Some people may find that using the soap once every other day may be sufficient to maintain skin lightening while others may need to use it daily!

Don’t be afraid to change up how you use it. 

The Best Kojic Acid Soap Products

So which products are considered the “best”?

Luckily there aren’t many options to choose from (compared to other cosmetic products) and the ones that are available are considered high quality, cheap and effective. 

Most of the time kojic acid soap can be purchased for under $10 a bar and a bar should last you several weeks. 

You can compare this to kojic acid serum which may cost more than $50 (or even up to $100) and can only be used on a small surface area. 

If you’ve read through this post and you are ready to try kojic acid soap then stick to these products: 

#1. Marie France Original Kojic Acid Soap

Marie France is one of the better of the Kojic acid soaps available and has good reviews to back it up. 

This product contains pure kojic acid and papaya fruit extract which help improve skin lightening and help exfoliate the skin naturally. 

Marie france can be used in intimate areas such as the butt, underarms and bikini area. 

How to use:

Lather up the soap in your hands, apply generously to the areas you want to lighten. 

Let the soap work for a few minutes before washing it off. 

Use daily for 2-3 months. 

You should start to see results within 3-4 weeks. 

marie france kojic acid soapSee more Marie France Kojic acid soap reviews here

#2. Kojie San Skin Lightening Soap

Kojie san is another great soap product and it is used basically the same way as the Marie France product. 

Both work quite well but the Marie France soap may be slightly better. 

Kojie san is slightly cheaper though, so if you are on a budget it may be a better option for you. 

kojie san kojic acid soapSee more Kojie San Kojic Acid soap reviews here

Wrapping it up

The bottom line?

Kojic acid soap can help naturally lighten the skin, especially in certain areas of the body that may have you feeling self conscious. 

If you are interested in anti-aging or improving the complexion and tone of your face then you may be better off using a kojic acid cream or serum. 

While kojic acid soap will probably not turn your skin several shades darker it will reduce and lighten your skin tone and may help improve your self confidence. 

If you decide to use it make sure you use it DAILY for 3-4 months. 

By this time you should see the full effect and benefit of the soap. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you used kojic acid soap before?

Did it work for you?

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below! 

What are Razor Bumps & How to Stop Them

Are you suffering from razor bumps?

Do you get tiny red bumps that pop up on your body after you shave?

If so then this guide will help you understand everything you need to know about razor bumps including how they start, where they pop up, how to treat them and how to protect your skin long term.

Let’s jump in: 


What are Razor Bumps?

Have you ever wondered what Razor bumps are or what actually causes them?

The answer may surprise you. 

Razor bumps (otherwise known as pseudofolliculitis barbae or PFB for short) is actually an inflammatory condition that is often triggered by shaving. 

The term pseudofolliculitis is important because it basically describes this disease. 

Pseudo means fake and folliculitis means infection (or inflammation) of hair follicles. 

So when you break down the word it actually means fake hair infection or inflammation

And this is important!

It means that razor bumps are actually an inflammatory process and this process is triggered by hair follicles and the way they try to “escape” the skin. 

Abnormal shaving patterns can alter hair follicle integrity and cause your hair to exit the skin in an abnormal path. 

This results in inflammation in the skin which causes redness, irritation and the classical red bumps associated with razor bumps

And the thing is that razor bumps are more than just a cosmetic issue. 

Long term and recurrent razor bumps can lead to scarring of the skin, hyperpigmentation (discoloration) and even scars or keloids.

This means it’s in your best interest to figure out how to stop razor bumps from popping up or at the very least reduce the frequency with which you get them!

One of the main triggers of razor bumps is shaving. 

While shaving you are cutting the shaft of the hair follicle and creating a smaller, sharper object than what existed before. 

If you’ve ever had long hair and cut it really short then you know what I’m talking about. 

Long hair has different properties than short hair – meaning long hair is usually “softer”, it “lays down” easier and may not be as course. 

But what happens when you cut your hair short?

That same hair now becomes more rigid, less flexible and more coarse. 

This change in hair quality as it changes length may contribute to creating 

When you consider that we often “shrink” the skin before  

Where do Razor Bumps Pop up?

Razor bumps are most commonly seen on the face area after shaving (especially in men). 

But women are not immunized from this condition either!

Women with dark, curly hair, or just genetics may also experience razor bumps especially when shaving their legs, inner thighs or bikini area. 

Razor bumps can pop up anywhere that there is hair on your body that is coarse including: 

  • Face region
  • Neck
  • Under arms
  • Bikini area
  • Legs
  • Inner thighs

How do you know if you have Razor Bumps?

Razor bumps are diagnosed clinically, which means you can diagnose them just by looking at the skin and by evaluating your history. 

Do you develop red bumps after you shave?

Do these red bumps go away on their own after a time?

Do you have dark, thick or naturally curly hair?

Do you also have a history of ingrown hairs?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then there is a good chance that what you are experiencing is razor bumps. 

The actual clinical presentation of razor bumps is as follows. 

1-2 days after shaving you experience red bumps on your face that sometimes look like white heads. 

The scientific term for this is a papule pustule.

The area that was shaved is often very sensitive, may bleed during shaving and often remains red and irritated for several days after shaving. 

The white bumps and redness tend to fade over the course of 3-7 days as your hair grows out. 

The process then repeats itself after you shave.  

This disease affects up to 1 in 5 caucasians and is even much more common among darker skin individuals

Risk Factors for Developing Razor Bumps

So what factors increase your risk for developing razor bumps?

Believe it or not, for something that is as common as razor bumps we really don’t have a great understanding of how to treat it. 

Scientists agree that there is probably some genetic component that plays a role, but beyond that we only have list of risk factors which may predispose you to developing them. 

These risk factors include: 

  • Thick hair
  • Curly hair
  • Genetics
  • Frequent shaving

The definitive treatment (at least from a dermatology perspective) is to focus on prevention as opposed to treatment. 

Prevention means that you basically want to avoid shaving or other known triggers.

Beyond simply not shaving (which isn’t always an option for everyone) you can focus on some other techniques which will reduce your RISK of developing razor bumps. 

Razor Bumps vs Ingrown Hairs

Is there a difference between razor bumps and ingrown hairs?

Yes, but the difference is subtle and it really depends on how you define both. 

It may be better to consider razor bumps and ingrown hairs on a spectrum or continuum. 

In this setting razor bumps can be considered as tiny ingrown hairs that eventually resolve on their own. 

True ingrown hairs often do NOT resolve on their own and may actually require removal

In dermatology there are two different ways that this can occur:  

Extrafollicular and Transfollicular

Extrafollicular means that your hair follicles never make it outside of your skin and instead form a tiny bump. 

This type of ingrown hair is concerning because it may continue to cause long term irritation and require removal at some point. 

Transfollicular means that the hair exists the skin but then curls and starts to grow back into the skin at another point. 

This type of in grown hair can usually be removed with the use of tweezers which prevents further damage. 

When removing transfollicular hairs make sure that you do not completely tweeze out the hair though!

Doing so may increase your risk of developing ingrown hairs in the future. 

How to Banish Razor Bumps

The idea behind treating razor bumps is to both reduce your risk for developing them but also to reduce the amount that you might get. 

So even if you know that you’re going to get razor bumps after you shave you may be able to reduce the AMOUNT of them by 50% or more. 

Make sense?

You can do this by using certain techniques outlined below: 

#1. Use Proper Shaving Techniques

The basic idea around shaving correctly is as follows:

You first want to warm the skin up with hot water prior to shaving. 

This stage helps increase poor size, which opens up the skin and exposes hair follicles. 

The next step is to use proper shaving lather or cream. 

This step is important because it helps reduce inflammation and helps the razor cut hair follicles in a uniform way. 

Next you want to make sure you use a high quality razor and cut the hair ALONG the grain or in the way that your hair naturally grows. 

If you suffer from razor bumps do NOT shave against the grain. 

Remember that the hair in your skin tends to grow out in a certain direction. 

If you create a cut in the hair that is not in line with how it grows out of your hair follicles then you may be trigger razor bumps as it grows out. 

The last step is to “shock” the skin with cold water which helps close the pores. 

This process will help reduce the chance that your hairs will grow into the skin by providing them with a “track” to grow out of. 

#2. Use only high quality razors! 

Using a high quality razor is also very important to reduce razor bumps. 

This means using a razor which is very sharp and one that glides over the skin with ease. 

The goal here is to reduce any chance of inflaming the skin which will increase the odds of developing razor bumps. 

#3. Don’t PICK at the bumps

Another important part of reducing razor bumps is to avoid picking, scratching or otherwise irritating any existing razor bumps. 

Remember that they are primarily caused by inflammation to the skin follicle. 

Any further damage to the skin will only make the inflammation worse and increase swelling to the area. 

Any swelling will further increase your risk of developing razor bumps in the future in a vicious cycle. 

Even if your razor bumps develop a “white head” do your best to avoid picking at them. 

Just realize that they WILL naturally fade over time. 

#4. Reduce inflammation on your skin with cosmetics

Another strategy is to reduce any existing inflammation on your face (or body) before you shave. 

This means addressing any issues on the skin such as acne, rosacea or other inflammatory conditions. 

It also means using a high quality face wash. 

Most dermatologists recommend using face washes designed to treat acne if you suffer from razor bumps. 

The reason for this is that acne based cleansers often help to normalize bacteria on the skin and containing soothing ingredients such as aloe and certain vitamins which can promote faster healing. 

If you suffer from razor bumps then consider using a high quality face wash (or body wash) which contains glycolic acid. 

I recommend a product such as this: 

glycolic acid to reduce razor bumpsLearn more about using glycolic acid to treat razor bumps here

And yes, you can use this cleanser on your legs or other places. 

#5. Moisturize and keep the skin healthy

It’s also important to moisturize your skin and keep it healthy in between shaving. 

This means using a moisturizer (on your entire body), especially if you live in a dry climate or if you have dry skin!

It’s also important to moisturize more intimate areas such as your underarms and your bikini area if you suffer from dry skin on your body. 

#6. Don’t Shave if you already have Razor Bumps (let your skin heal first)

Always remember to let your skin heal before you shave. 

Shaving can be a traumatic experience to the skin and add fuel to the flames if you already  have existing razor bumps. 

Before you shave make sure that your existing razor bumps are completely healed and ensure that you do not have any residual redness, irritation or blotching of the skin. 

Final Thoughts

Razor bumps can be a tricky thing to treat and prevent, but with the right steps you may be able to reduce both the appearance and frequency with which they appear. 

These recommendations are relevant for both men and women and they apply to all areas of the body!

Your #1 priority when treating razor bumps should be to prevent them at all costs (it’s much more difficult to treat them once they pop up). 

Doing so will help prevent long term side effects from chronic razor bumps such as scarring. 

Now I want to hear from you:

What tricks do you use to prevent razor bumps?

Which ones have worked well for you?

Which haven’t?

Leave your comments below so that you can help others!