What is Saline Tattoo Removal?

If you've ever had a microblading disaster or need to fix your eyebrow tattoo, I'm sure the thought of having them reworked has crossed your mind. For decades, saline tattoo removal has been the most popular option amongst makeup tattooists for safely and effectively lightening cosmetic tattoos and removing tattoo ink

The saline removal technique is perfect for clients who want their brows reworked with pigment in the future. Ingredients vary between brands and a saline solution like Botched Ink, has added ingredients to prevent scarringeven when saline removal is repeated multiple times

What is saline tattoo removal


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How many sessions does saline removal take?

Sadly, there are no guarantees how many saline tattoo removal sessions will be needed to get the results you desire. Some unwanted pigment will take one session, some will take 6 or more. At Botched Ink we always advise that you emotionally and financially budget for 3 sessions for best results. Now that doesn't mean the tattoo will be gone in 3 sessions, but we will have a better idea how easily the tattoo pigment is removing

Achieving desired results depends on many factors. How old is the tattoo? Was it microblading or a machine tattoo? How deeply has the pigment been implanted? Is the color dark and solid? Are you trying to remove the tattoo completely or just lighten it enough to tattoo something different?

In many cases only a percentage of the tattoo pigment needs to be lightened or removed, and then we can continue the correction process. Numbing cream / topical anesthetic is used during a saline removal procedure

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Can you do saline tattoo removal at home?

DIY saline tattoo removal can be done, however this is not an option we would advise under any circumstances. You might think how bad can it be - Salt in an open wound hurts, it feels like an eye-watering burn, even worse than laser removal! Amazingly some professionals still use basic salt and salineAt least in a professional environment the saline removal solution can be managed and prevented from rolling into unwanted place, like the eye. Hard to do that yourself!

Unfortunately some professional grade removal solutions are available to purchase online, and the risk of permanent scarring is greatly increased in the hands of an untrained person

We only supply Botched Ink to our officially trained technicians

Do I need to get saline removal training?

You must understand What is saline tattoo removal and the osmosis process and theory underlying the treatment and understand its potential side effects as well as potential risks. Microblading and permanent makeup involve implanting pigment, and as the skin heals the color remains in the body as a tattoo

If you are looking to offer a free consultation and clients a saline tattoo removal session using saline solution, you'll need treatment insurance and training

Saline tattoo removal vs laser tattoo removal

While laser removal can be very effective for large tattoos on the body, it's not always ideal for removing color, especially light colors and pink and red colors. The basis for laser tattoo removal is heat. The laser removal works with a penetrating laser beam that heats up the ink particles, which get fragmented and the immune system flushes them out of the body. When this process is applied to cosmetic tattoos there's a risk of the pigments changing color and darkening

Saline tattoo removal can be used on any color and generally turns the pigments a lighter version of itself until it is completely removed

Laser removal for microblading

While laser sessions are certainly the best method for removal of smaller tattoos and very large tattoos, most cosmetic tattoo pigments are less sensitive to laser removal and don't respond as intended. Permanent makeup pigments contain substances which are very different from the ones used to make traditional inks. And don't forget, microbladed eyebrows are shades of brown, which contains varying amounts of black, red, yellow, green and white ink, not all lasers see these colors

Cosmetic tattoo artists often get trained in saline to remove unwanted pigment from microblading and eyebrow tattooing

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How does aftercare work?

After a procedure it is critical to follow all aftercare instructions to prevent complications, scarring or sensitive skin, and to achieve optimum results

Non-laser tattoo removal creates an open wound, so it carries more risk of infection and the area must be completely healed before any makeup or active skincare is used. Each type of saline solution has their own aftercare, another reason why the treatment is best carried out by trained professional who knows the product they're using

Tell me the healing and aftercare process?

Depending on the type of saline solution used, some require the skin to be left dry, others to re hydrate. Some need you to apply vitamin e oil, others just to keep the area clean, wash gently with purified water and dry with a clean paper towel. Botched Ink, Li-FT and A+ Ocean are examples of saline solutions with different aftercare methods

Some removal solutions cause the skin to get wet during the healing process, this is lymph fluid drainage. This can cause the scab to become quite thick, and a good candidate for non-laser tattoo removal will resist picking the scab, the scab falls off usually within 5 to 7 days

Who is not an ideal candidate for saline removal?

Those not suitable for tattoo removal are people who are under 18 years old. Must not be pregnant or breastfeeding. Individuals with skin ailments, including skin infections such as psoriasis, skin diseases, skin infections, undiagnosed skin rashes or active skin cancer

How does saline tattoo removal work ?

When Botched Ink® is implanted into skin, the area quickly dries out. If the skin contains tattoo pigment this will dry out too, lifting and removing the pigment during the skins natural healing process

Cosmetic tattoo pigments, like those used for microblading and permanent makeup, respond so well and safely to saline tattoo removal that it’s the removal solution most recommended by technicians for any bad or unwanted work that needs fixing, improving or removing

What is saline tattoo removal?

Historically saline removal was as simple as salt and a pod of saline, unfortunately this is harsh on the skin and painful for the client; ‘rubbing salt in the wound’ isn’t a pleasant experience.  Today, thankfully there's specially formulated solutions, and Botched Ink® is one of these

Each brand of saline solution works differently, with the added ingredients making a difference to the implant method, healing and results - Botched Ink® Ingredients

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What happens during saline tattoo removal?

The saline removal solution is implanted using a tattoo machine or hand tool, the salt dries out the skin it’s implanted into.  Treated skin forms a dried-out scab during healing, and during treatments you’ll see the scab contains some of the tattoo pigment

How does it work?

Saline tattoo removal is the most widely used and recommended product for cosmetic tattooing, used to lift, lighten and correct bad or unwanted microblading, permanent makeup, and scalp micropigmentation. For decades it's been trusted by technicians so be safe and effective removing pigment

The osmosis process of saline tattoo removal

So let's start with what is saline. Saline is a mix of salt and water; it has many uses:

Lower concentrations of salt

Isotonic saline is used to hydrate cells by osmosis. Saline used for eyewash is 0.9%, saline IV drips are normally 0.9%, sports drinks contain salt to replace salt lost due to sweating. Isotonic saline is not effective for tattoo removal

Higher concentrations of salt

Hypertonic salt and saline solutions dehydrate cells by osmosis. When heated, salt on pork fat dries out for crispy crackling. salt soaks up freshly spilt red wine, and salt does bubbly things to snails! Hypertonic saline is effective for tattoo removal

The hydrating and dehydrating of cells by osmosis is quickly visualised using the example of a drying out and drooping plant, brought back to hydration with a drink of water. The dried-out cells puff back up and the plant no longer droops

Benefits of using Botched Ink® for Tattoo Removal

Now you understand what is saline tattoo removal, it's worth looking at the different types of saline removal solutions available. Botched Ink and Li-Ft and A+ Ocean are examples, the method, client comfort, healing and aftercare are quite different

Gentle during treatment:  Botched Ink® pH closely resembles healthy skin, meaning only a mild sting which disappears very quickly. The formula includes Aloe Vera which really helps the solution soak into the skin, without needing to over traumatise you or your skin

Quickly dries skin, forming a thin scab:  Skin treated with Botched Ink® starts to dry out within the first few hours. For you this means minimal inflammation and associated risk of scarringplus minimal risk of infection

Tattoos can look better during healing:  Many clients worry what they’ll look like during healing, the answer when using Botched Ink® is the treated area usually looks better. Unwanted grey or orange brows will look shades of brown during the healing process, so you’re likely to get complimented on your new eyebrows for a few days !

After 48 hours clients can shower and use aftercare:  When treated skin is fully dried you can begin using the prescribed aftercare serum, this makes scabbing and healing more pleasant


  • Saline tattoo removal is most popular for cosmetic tattoos, microblading and permanent makeup
  • Saline removal procedure can be uncomfortable, some solutions are more gentle than others
  • Saline tattoo removal can be used on all skin types
  • What is saline tattoo removal? It's not just salt and saline!

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