Camouflage Tattooing Dark Skin: Tricky and Challenging
Camouflage stretch mark tattoo on African American skin requires a skilled technician. The pigment to be used has to be blended carefully and meticulously to successfully conceal scars and stretch marks without causing scars, such as keloids.
In fact, not too many permanent make up/tattoo artists have worked on darker skin because the known risks are causing hyperpigmentation, keloids (if they tattoo too deeply in the skin), and not knowing how to modify the colors correctly so that the ink doesn’t heal too ashy on darker skin tones.
Such is the case of one client of mine who documented her camouflage tattoo journey in this video:
“How I Got Rid of My Ugly Stretchmarks”
Hey, ladies today I’m sharing my stretch mark camouflage journey. This is round one of a procedure that I chose to have done to get rid of some ugly stretch marks on my stomach that made me feel really insecure for a very long time.
I felt this was the best option for me as opposed to getting laser surgery or a tummy tuck which I really didn’t need. And those also come with their own scars that you would have to have covered up anyway.
I also opted for some skin camouflage on hypopigmented scars on my legs and want to share that journey with you now after doing some research on Instagram and youtube I decided to fly to Phoenix Arizona to receive my treatment which thankfully is very close to where I already live in Utah
I chose studio to conceal which is owned by Jayd Hernandez in Gilbert Arizona as you can see it’s warm inviting beautiful inside and my appointment was the same day that i landed.
First Step: Color Matching
We first started out with color matching. she prefers to use a conservative approach when dealing with darker skin colors to be on the safe side we came up with a shade for my legs and then one for my stomach because your skin tolerance is different on different parts of your body. After we were satisfied we then got started
No Numbing Cream During the Stretchmark Camouflage Procedure
I don’t know about the procedure for other artists who perform this but you are not going to be numb Jayd will not numb you because I think she doesn’t want any numbing creams to interfere with the ink that goes into your skin so you won’t be numb for this and I really don’t think you need to be.
Towards the end of the video, I did discuss the pain tolerance so basically, she’s just going to kind of wipe your skin down with a cleaner and pretty much gets started right away
I really did appreciate that she showed me she showed her opening the needle so that I knew it was brand new and hadn’t been used before. I appreciate someone who cares that much to let you know that you are in absolutely good hands.
This small space on my torso is the only place that I have stretch marks I’m very thankful that I didn’t have stretch marks like you know some other women where they’re just everywhere and they look really really crazy and would take a long time to cover.
How long was the procedure?
We did spend a couple of hours because I did include some of the camouflage that I had to do for my hypopigmentation on my legs. You should prepare for at least an hour depending on how extensive the area is that you want to have covered. But every single crease of stretch mark that you have is going to be covered wiped down gone over again until you know she’s satisfied that it’s been covered.
She did her best to get every single spot that I needed done and made it clear that this procedure isn’t full proof. there’s a small chance that you can hyperpigment so you do need to have some realistic expectations going into this.
The ink simply hides your stretch marks so in that way you can say you got rid of them. [This is] because if they’re barely visible or you can’t see them at all because the shade really matched your skin color then it’s kind of almost like you don’t have them. So that’s why I say this is how I got rid of my stretch marks because they’re not as visible as they were before like you can see here.
She did go two shades lighter than my skin color to be on the safer side. But if we need to darken them at a touch-up visit later then that’s what we’ll do but based on the results I’ve seen her do get with other people I have no doubt that this is going to be something that I like after it’s healed.
What to Expect After the Procedure
My stretch marks were red and raised when it was done so we started the healing process where she put some cleaning wipes on it. She poured some witch hazel and a different liquid mixture into it so that it could start to heal.
We then put some ice packs on it and I was iced down for about a good 10 minutes I believe. That definitely helped a lot to ease the pain and it was super cold but once it was off I just felt perfectly normal. It does not take long for the pain to go away so her assistant helped her out with that. That was the entire process from start to finish.
Clothing to Wear During Your Appointment
You want to wear clothing that covers up your skin because you cannot put sunscreen on as soon as you go back outside. So don’t wear you know a crop top to your appointment especially in phoenix heat. It was so hot outside I didn’t want to cause any type of damage to the work that she had just done.
We then started on my legs which is the exact same procedure for skin camouflage I don’t cover this too much but I did have some damage done by lasers to treat hyperpigmentation years ago so we did that.
Need to not shower until the next day and ice your skin six times a day and use these products for your best chance at healing which I did. I will probably come back to Phoenix in a few months to get a touch-up but I enjoyed my time here.
Before and After Tattoos on Really Dark Skin
This is what my stretch marks look like before. They really aren’t that bad but I could not wear a crop top shirt for the longest time because of it. I felt very insecure I didn’t like them and I just had to do something about it.
Your stretch marks are going to be dark for the first two weeks after the procedure so you shouldn’t be concerned about seeing that also you’re really not supposed to be showing off your stomach anyways because you do need to protect it from the sun.
This is what it looks like a few weeks later.
I feel that is already a big improvement from what I had before it looks like it completely blends into my skin even though you do see some of those dark spots. Here we are pretty much now I think I just took this video yesterday.
You do still see the texture when you’re looking at it from different angles. You see that little dark spot on the bottom on the right That’s just the fact that the ink is still settling in I was told again not to expect any results until at least close to 90 days afterward so we’re still only a month in.
But I’m happy with what I am seeing so far this is a huge improvement right here I can start wearing crop tops already. I feel very
confident with that and based on my monthly update alone I think it was a good decision.
Your list of what not to do is basic stuff such as no sun tanning no laser treatments no exercise for the first week. most importantly no picking at all of the crust that is forming.
Did it Hurt? What is the tattoo pain scale 1-10?
Most of the clients would say that on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most painful, the pain of a camouflage tattoo procedure is between 6-7. There is no numbing cream to be used to make the pigment absorption more effectively absorbed.
Yes, it did hurt but the pain was bearable. I would say on a scale of one to ten the stretch marks on my stomach i would say it was about maybe a six to a seven. At times you do have to just kind of lay there and grin and bear it.
She does do everything she can to make sure that you’re comfortable. But you know it does you are going to feel that it is a needle that’s going over and over your stomach on certain parts so you’re going to feel it. But it wasn’t anything that you needed to that I felt like I needed to stop her from doing now when she was doing.
A couple of the hypopigmented spots on my legs especially i think there was one part on my knee I couldn’t take that really did hurt but in general, I would say it’s nothing that you can’t handle.
How long does stretch mark camouflage take to heal?
It does take up to 90 days for you to see results so don’t think that a week or two later or a month later that everything is going to be fully healed. There is a rare chance that you could heal a lot faster which means the pigments probably didn’t stick as much and she thought that was kind of the case based on the updates that I gave her about my stomach.
But as you can see from some of the darker spots I’m still not fully healed on my stomach so I don’t think that the after picture I showed you is the final result. So I’m giving it time you have to mentally be prepared to have your skin looking a little bit darker and crazy for the full 90 days and so I’m not rushing it.
I’m just going to give it the full 90 days and let it do its thing. So right now I’m still in the healing stages I’ll have to give you guys an update but you should expect up to 90 days for your skin to see its true color.
Related reading: How to Heal Faster
Is a touch-up required?
A touch-up within a year is recommended and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I think you can probably go for as many touch-ups as you feel you need to get the area looking exactly the way you want it.
So I am going to do that for a smaller fee I think if you wait after a year the price might change. But yes I think you should go back for a touch-up especially if you had an area that was really extensive that you know needed a lot of work done on it.
How long does a camouflage tattoo last?
The results of a camouflage tattoo could last five to seven years before you need to go back in for a touch-up.
Based on the answer that I was given I was told the results could last you know up to five years may be up to seven. I do think that the scar camouflage and stretch mark um camouflage is a fairly new practice. I’m not really sure how long it’s been around.
I know I did talk to Jayd about this but I don’t remember everything. She said but the results should last several years and then you’ll go back in.
Hopefully, if I feel the need to go back in and cover them up she’s still in business because you do want to kind of stick to the same person I think who did your treatment.
As long as those results were good for you um. But yeah I think that the results were supposed to last quite a while. And obviously, if the results were really good then the price of doing this is absolutely worth it.
Can you ever tan again?
Obviously, tanning is not something I’m worried about. But from my understanding is you can tan after you’ve healed and that’s not going to change the color of the area that you had covered up so you should be fine.
How much does a camouflage tattoo cost?
The total cost varies depending on the extent of the scars or stretch marks to be covered. The cost can be anywhere between $500-2000 per area. You can book a free consultation to get a clearer estimate of the cost.
So I put down a $200 deposit which is what she required. The stretch marks themselves over that small area over my stomach that did cost me $750 and then there was a separate fee for my legs.
I’m not sharing that just because I didn’t really go into detail on how much I had covered up on my legs. And I didn’t show you guys all of that but in total, I did pay um you know at least a thousand dollars.
I do think that it was worth it, I think that it is a better alternative than having to go pay somebody to do these other stretch mark laser treatments which I’m hearing overall really do not work.
Laser stretch mark removal on black skin?
I was dumb enough to consider flying to la to see a celebrity doctor who claims that he’s got a laser treatment that can completely eliminate your stretch marks for good.
But he didn’t have any types of photos showing that he had worked on black people.
There just weren’t enough reviews and information about whether or not his um treatment worked. So I just decided that would have been a complete waste of my money. So I do think that if you don’t want to go through several rounds of having to do laser treatments just to have them fail.
It’s better to just go ahead and accept that you’ve got the stretch marks can’t get rid of them but cover them up so that they’re far, far less noticeable. The texture will still be there but at least at a glance, people can’t tell that you have stretch marks unless they’re really looking at them.
So that’s the price I paid I think it was absolutely worth it and I think I’ll be even happier once I go and get a touch-up.
Was the care professional?
Jayd emailed me some pre-care instructions on things that I should be doing before I came to see her such as making sure that
- I drank a lot of water
- wore loose clothing
- Make sure not to exfoliate within a week of getting the treatment
So she did send that out to me in an email. And then she also gave me a list of post-care instructions which I already showed to you guys.
Should I do it?
My final thoughts on this are once again I’m just very happy that I was able to get this done. I’m glad that this is a service that exists. The image below shows before and after 1 month, though this is not the final result yet as it takes about 90 days to fully see.
A lot of people want to say women should love their stretch marks because it represents an important time in their life. Please save that [ __ ] not everybody is happy with how they look.
I wasn’t born with stretch marks and I don’t feel like I should have to go through life not wanting to show off certain parts of my body just because they’re very unsightly.
As much as people want to make loving yourself a thing and making stretch marks normal people are always going to be insecure about it. You’re always going to be
judged for it.
I’m not saying that you should care about what people think. I’m just saying that if you don’t like them because you don’t like them, not because other people don’t like them that you should just try to [ __ ] get rid of them.
Gaining My Confidence Back
Cover them up whatever you feel like you need to do. Go have the treatments that are going to help you feel better about yourself, put you back in the clothing that you’ve been avoiding wearing for so long because you thought you looked ugly in certain clothes and that you couldn’t wear them.
If you have the money you have the time you can afford to get this done definitely do it. I really feel like this treatment is changing a lot of women’s lives.
It’s giving them their confidence back. It’s already given me my confidence back and again I’m happy I was in a position to do this. I would highly recommend it to anybody who is considering it but doesn’t know enough and just isn’t sure.
It was very important to me to go to somebody who did have experience working with black people. I found that person and I’m now a testament myself.
I can now give a review to another black woman who isn’t sure whether or not she wants to get this done.
So yes go ahead and do it it’s worth it. I don’t think you’ll regret it. Do what you feel you need to do to start loving yourself again
Related reading: Women of Color Stretch Mark Camouflage