My procedure for attaching breast prosthetics continues to evolve. For the current iteration, I am using a new adhesive, a new adhesive base, and a slightly new method for attaching breast forms. I've been doing it this way for about a year, and I believe it is a definite improvement. About 25 heavy breast form users have adopted this new method, and all agree it's a definite improvement. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your experiences and comments have been invaluable. Thank you so much!
I have switched from Telesis to Factor II. The Factor II adhesive is the same type as Telesis, a silicone-based, pressure-activated adhesive (PSAs). I'm still a Telesis fan and use their products for other things, but I must confess that I had the occasional failure when using them for breast form attachment. The Factor II adhesive has been 100% reliable for the heavier breastplate I now use for the past year. And Factor II adhesive is about half the cost of comparable products from Telesis. Of course, the cost isn't the big concern here. No one wants their breast forms to start slipping around when you are at work or walking down the street. But with Factor II, you get both improved quality and better prices.
The adhesive I've been using is Factor II's B-400 Medical Adhesive. Factor II uses the last digit of their product code for the size: B-400 is one ounce., B-401 is two ounces, and B-402 is their largest size, sixteen ounces. The B-400 one-ounce bottle sells for $20.95. For comparison, a one-half-ounce bottle of Telesis 5 sells for $19.95. Both Telesis and Factor II offer price reductions of about 50% if you buy larger bottles. Factor II's B-402 (sixteen ounces) sells for $175.95, which comes to about $11 an ounce. Telesis sells their sixteen-ounce bottle of '5' for $370, which comes to $23.13 an ounce.
Factor II is not as well known as Telesis, even though they have been in the market since 1978, so you might have problems finding it in your local makeup shops. I order directly from Factor II and have found them to ship promptly.
Properties of Adhesives
The dissolved solids in the adhesive do the actual work of sticking the forms to your skin. It's natural to assume that the more solids in the bottle, the better the grip. But it turns out that, in practice, this isn't always the case. And the only way to find out whether more or less solid is better for you is to try it out and see.
I've always been interested in trying a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) with more dissolved solids to see if the grip is even better. Factor II's B-400 line has 24-26% solids; the rest is solvent. They also have a B-460 line (same sizes, B-460, B-461, and B-462) with 32-34% solids, and they report that it has a higher tack. My bottle of B-402 is almost gone, and I already have a replacement bottle of B-462 ready to go, so I'll let you know how it works after I give it a good field test. The B-460 line is slightly more expensive, as you would expect. The 1 oz. bottle (B-460) is slightly more expensive ($23.95) than the B-400 and the 16 oz. bottle (B-462) sells for $185.95.
I've been able to use the Telesis thinners and Super Solv with the Factor II adhesives, which is good because I have many of them. Factor II also makes an adhesive remover which I haven't tried. I'd love to hear what you think of it if you have any experience with it!
Other than the adhesive, the biggest change in my process for attaching breast forms is using Zinc oxide (ZnO) powder as a base. ZnO works superbly, much better than Skin Tac wipes or Telesis's "Top Guard ." Using deodorant the night before is also a big help. Here is my current procedure:
- Start the night before. Remove any chest hair.
- Apply antiperspirant to the chest area. I recommend Certain Dri Roll-On. All antiperspirants work better if you apply them the night before. See this article for more information.
- Optionally, mark the location of the breast form on your skin. I no longer do this since I have worn mine often enough to know where it should end up. If you want to mark the location of the forms, you can use a while makeup pencil or powder to get an outline of the form on your chest. Do what works best for you.
- Apply your PSA of choice around the edges of the breast form. I suggest adding some to the cleavage line between the breasts for breastplates. With PSAs, there is plenty of time to attach the form; you don't need to be in a hurry. You could put the adhesive on your form the day before, and it will work fine the next day, or in a week, for that matter. I usually do it when I'm at the midway point of my makeup. But you can do it any time.
- When ready to apply your breast forms, clean the chest area with alcohol.
- Optionally apply more antiperspirant and wait for it to dry. I don't do this, but people with heavy perspiration have told me that they find this an essential step.
- Apply ZnO powder to the area where your breast forms will be. I usually smear it all over the area with a makeup sponge. Then wash your hands carefully. ZnO is sticky and will adhere to your breast forms, making them look less than attractive. If you use ZnO, washing your hands before putting on your forms is crucial.
- Apply the breast forms, pressing firmly.
- Have a nice time. (This is a non-optional step.)
Please let me know how this works for you. This has worked better for everyone who has tried it, but I'm interested in collecting more statistics, so please let me know. And I always welcome questions and comments!