What do K-pop stars, models, and Pinterest users all have in common? Faux freckles. Some have been speckling their faces with makeup. Others get poked with a needle over and over again for a more semi-permanent option. (Sometimes in the arrangement of their astrological sign.)
Recently, however, a woman on Instagram took the latter route and did her freckle tattoos herself — and now people are freaking out. If she were a cosmetic tattoo artist, her thread probably wouldn’t have gone viral. Alas, Amethyst Rose, or @amethystbby to her nearly 64,000 followers, is not licensed as such.
The caption of her viral post begins, “I got a lot of messages asking what it was like, and I know quite a handful of you were considering getting them, so I’ve made a thread on what I know and what it was like for me.”
Because freckle tattoos can be an expensive procedure, Amethyst Rose tells Allure she decided to do them herself to save money. For reference, an hour-long session typically costs around $200. “I don’t have that kind of money,” she adds. After doing some research, she purchased the proper equipment and sterile tools, like latex gloves, rubbing alcohol pads, a tattoo needle, and fresh, unopened brown ink.
Once she had her supplies and watched a few YouTube videos of the process to prepare, Amethyst Rose went forth with her at-home freckling procedure. She didn’t plot out the placement beforehand. Instead, she placed them sporadically around her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. On Instagram, she said the pain level rank at about a three out of 10. And the fact that Amethyst Rose was poking herself with an ink-dipped needle didn’t freak her out because she’s done most of her tattoos on her own. “I like being the creator of the art on my body,” she says.
View on Instagram
Once she was finished, Amethyst Rose said her new faux freckles were red for about four hours. They weren’t sore, though. To help heal them, she used natural oils to keep her face moisturized and avoided using anything scented. I asked Bethany Wolosky, a renowned Brooklyn-based tattoo artist known for her cosmetic tattooing, what she recommends for aftercare to her freckle tattoo clients, and she said all you really need to do is keep your new freckles clean by washing your face with a gentle cleanser.
“Don’t put makeup on your freckles for about five days (or until fully healed),” she added. You should also avoid applying any harsh skin-care products, such as retinoids or acne treatments, on the area for about a week or two, and wear sunscreen every day, says Sejal Shah, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
All in all, Amethyst Rose continually stressed to her followers and Allure that no, creating your own freckle tattoos with ink isn’t recommended. “I would definitely advise going to a professional as it can be dangerous and causes a greater risk of infection.” I, too, echo her sentiments, as well as Wolosky. “As with any tattoo, you should only be going to someone who has a license to tattoo,” she tells Allure. “It is extremely dangerous to tattoo yourself or others if you are not licensed to do so. People like her should not go viral as they are setting a terrible example. Always go to a licensed professional who works in a licensed establishment.”
Obviously, Shah echoes the same sentiment. “With any tattooing process, there are potential risks, such as infections, allergic reactions to the dye, and scar formation,” she explains. “I would strongly advise seeing a reputable and experienced professional to get any tattoo, due to the potential risks.” She also warns you run the risk of creating freckle tattoos that don’t actually look like freckles. (Oops.) With all that in mind, spending the money on an appointment with a professional cosmetic tattoo artist is worth it in the end.
Safety aside, people brought up the fact that they were bullied in the past for having freckles. To that, Amethyst Rose apologized and wrote, “I’ll never understand why, but I don’t think anyone should be offended that people are tattooing them because it’s a form of flattery. In no way is anyone who gets tattoo freckles disrespecting people who have real ones. If anything, we still envy your natural beauty.”
More on faux freckles:
- Faux Freckles Are Having a Major Moment on Pinterest Right Now
- Freckle Tattoos Are a Thing Now, Apparently
- Freckle Tattoos Now Come in the Shape of Your Astrological Sign
Now, learn about 100 years of tattoo history:
Follow Devon Abelman on Twitter and Instagram.