October 04, 2018
As microblading grows in popularity (and we hope your client base too) the availability of pens and hand tools on the market also increases. We thought a quick and handy guide to the options on offer and development in health and safety guidance would help you to be better informed when choosing the tools you use for your craft.
Single or Double Row Blades | Hard or Soft Blades?
MICROBLADING HAND TOOLS
Hand tools are pre-fitted with the blades and, as the name suggest, allow you to apply the pigment by hand. The size, style and shape vary according to the blades used. The term ‘hand tool’ includes pens, as well as flat blade-like applicators.
Flexi / Disposable
Often, less experienced artists will go for a pre-fitted, flexi, disposable hand tool for easy, quick and hygienic application. It still provides great results, of course, but is forgiving and therefore allows for a level of confidence that harder pens may not give to artists starting out.
MICROBLADING PENS (NEEDLE HOLDERS)
All our microblading tools are EO sterilised in the UK at a medical facility to International standards, the picture below shows our safety certificate. Elimination of cross contamination and infection risk is a priority when performing microblading. Our products are individually packaged and sterilised here in the UK with traceable LOT number and expiry date. Single use items which have traceability and will meet local authority H&S licensing requirements when used as a single use tool. To re-use the correct sterilisation process should be met.
Slim and Non-slip
For smoother handling, a slim, lightweight, ergonomic design with a comfortable silicon grip is ideal for completing more detailed work. The non-slip handle gives the artist maximum comfort and grip whilst doing the most detailed work.
Adding a bit of glam to a pen makes a microblading artist feel they are creating. It can also create a more fun vibe for clients, and add to professionalism you are creating in your salon. Varying styles are available to suit you. For instance, try out a glittery pen for some extra sparkle.
Double- Ended pens
For quick switching between different blades, a double-ended pen can make an ideal working companion. For some, the idea of cutting down on the number of pens (and therefore clutter) is a real bonus. It can take some getting used to but for some, double-ended is a must.
Lots of Artists claim this style of pen is their bread and butter, their daily go to microblading pen. A super slim, lightweight and colourful design with a comfortable grip is best not only for main strokes but for shading detail too, they also love the pastel colours, who doesn’t love pastels?!
Heavy Stainless Steel
For creating darker shades without feeling like you are having to applying pressure, the stainless steel autoclavable pen provides a great solution. Its heavier feel in the hand, means it does all the work for you. Simply effortless application.
Updated Advice from MHRA: Checks on salons by local authorities
You may have heard that local authorities have been contacting various microblading suppliers, such as ourselves, telling us that they are doing ad hoc checks on equipment being used in salons. We have had some customers approach us to ask what we have been told, but the answer is that we have not had any direct contact from councils. However, due to the concerns raised by our customers, we’ve gone out and spoken to a number of local licensing authorities to get a feel for what action they are taking.
Whilst spot-checks by council officers do occur for any regulated business, they tend to be carried out either in relation to any licensing applications or as part of their regular inspection routine. Only if they receive allegations of issues with a particular salon are they likely to undertake further checks. The advice from the councils we have spoken to has been that their approach will be to follow the guidance given by the MHRA when it comes to inspecting equipment and processes being used. As such, we thought it would assist to remind you of this.
The European legislation for medical devices, the Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC, was superseded by a new regulation last year, the Medical Device Regulations 2017/745. This new regulation introduced Annex XVI, which covers a list of products which do not meet the definition of a medical device but which should still be CE marked as medical devices to demonstrate that they meet the required safety and performance requirements. Examples of products falling under Annex XVI are dermal fillers for cosmetic purpose only and zero powered contact lenses.
Unfortunately it is unclear whether microblading pens will fall under Annex XVI and will therefore need to be CE marked as medical devices. There is currently a transition period until the Medical Device Regulations 2017/745 comes fully into force and discussions are ongoing at European level. The regulation will become fully implemented in May 2020. We will be watching how this develops, letting you know any updates, and of course we advise that you contact us closer to this time. Hopefully by then there will be a definitive answer.
Reuse of Microblading Pens and Autoclaving
As with many areas of regulation by local authorities, there is often a difference in interpretation of the law and therefore what local authorities will and will not allow. As this is the case, we have found that different authorities take a different approach to whether microblading pens can be re-used after autoclaving.
While it may be true that some local authorities are disallowing the reuse of pens/autoclaving processes, others permit it. We suggest you check with you local council licensing authority if are still able to use the pens & autoclave them. As local authorities become more aware of this growing area, it might be that they update or introduce new/ amended regulations governing this area. Depending on any announcements around the new European regulations, this may also trigger a change in council regulation. While your local authority should notify you of any changes, it is always worth checking with them once in a while in case for some reason you have not been notified. Pre- warned, is pre-armed and you can make any necessary changes to microblading supplies in good time to run down existing stock before any new regulations kick in.
Single Use Tools & Pre-Sterilisation
The health risks of using non-sterilised or improperly sterilised tools are obvious.
Not all shrink-wrapped tools come pre-sterilised and therefore can carry viruses and bacteria picked up during the manufacturing and packing processes. Use of these tools carries a much greater risk for customer infection after the process without having undertaken a full and comprehensive sterilisation process.
Using pre-sterilised single-use tools, sterilised in the UK, allows technicians to feel confident that the proper procedure has been followed to ensure that the tools can be used straight from the pack. They are cheap to buy and do not require additional work to prepare them for use.
It is one issue that will certainly be at the forefront of local authority officer's minds during inspections and as such, the advantage of using pre-sterilised tools during these checks is clear.
Microblading Emporium supplies a range of products, including pre-sterilised, single use tools, for all your mircoblading needs.
We hope that this quick run-through on microblading pens has been of assistance. As with all procedures, individuals will need to experiment to find the blades, pens, and/or hand tools that work best for them and their client’s needs. A mastery of the art requires patience and a touch of trial and error. However, at least you should now have a little insight into the different equipment available to the microblading artist.
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