Lorena Oberg Skincare

Does Permanent Makeup (Microblading) Fade Completely? Ever Go Away?

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microblading eyeliner removal.  Does permanent makeup fade completely

Microblading and permanent makeup have gained immense popularity in recent years, offering the opportunity to enhance their facial features with semi-permanent cosmetic procedures. However, a common concern among those considering these treatments is if Permanent Makeup Fades Completely.

The use of the term SEMI Permanent Makeup has created a lot of confusion in among those that have had the procedure done. Permanent Makeup does fade, but in very few cases it fades completely. When I underwent training (I no longer perform PMU and now focus on removal), our instructors informed us unequivocally that it would fade – it was SEMI PERMANENT, without question.This is simply not true. There are many reasons for the rate of fading.

Understanding Microblading and Permanent Makeup

Microblading and permanent makeup involve the application of pigments into the skin’s upper layers to create the appearance of fuller eyebrows, defined lips, or other desired features. Microblading employs a manual handheld tool with ultra-fine needles to deposit pigment strokes that mimic natural hair, while permanent makeup involves a tattooing technique using a machine to implant pigment into the skin.

Understanding The Differece Between Microblading and Permanent Makeup

Microblading and permanent makeup both involve the application of pigments into the skin’s upper layers to create the appearance of fuller eyebrows, defined lips, eyeliner. Microblading uses a manual handheld tool with ultra-fine needles. Depositing pigment strokes that mimic natural hair. Permanent makeup involves a tattooing technique using a machine to implant pigment into the skin. This micropigmentation machine is a high tech tattoo gun that gives the technician a huge amount of flexibility due to being able to regulate speed and having different needle sizes for different jobs.

Factors Affecting Longevity

Several factors influence the lifespan of microblading and permanent makeup, including:

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  1. Skin Type: The type of skin plays a significant role in how long the pigment retains its colour. Oily skin types may experience faster fading compared to dry or combination skin.
  2. Type of Pigment: We have traditional pigments and New Generation pigments. The latter are essentially permanent pigment colours and therefore stay in the skin, often, indefinitely.
  3. Pigment Color: The choice of pigment colour can impact longevity, with darker pigments often lasting longer than lighter ones. This is entirely due to your skin tone. A blond will require a very soft brown whilst a brunette will require a dark brown. The darker colour will have a longer lifespan.
  4. Aftercare: Proper aftercare, including avoiding excessive sun exposure and following post-procedure instructions, can prolong the lifespan of microblading and permanent makeup.
  5. Technician Skill: The expertise of the technician performing the procedure can influence the quality and durability of the results. An experienced technician will use a very light hand, ensuring that the correct healed color is achieved and allowing for fading over time. A heavy handed technician will implant the pigment in the lower layers of the skin making it permanent. These are the blue brows that we see after 10 years.

How Do Pigments Affect if Permanent Makeup Fade Completely?

Does permanent makeup fade completely, microblading
  1. The type of pigment used – The composition of the pigment has a lot to do with the fade rate. Some pigments are less stable, for instance Carbon based pigments. However, this is only part of the puzzle. I have seen many eyeliners that are carbon based and have been safely in place for 20 plus years. This is because of the technique used to implant the pigment. As a general rule, the lighter the colour the more likely it is to fade completely. If you’re a blond you are likely to need to have your brows topped up every few years whilst us brunettes will always be left with a shadow with a bluish tint after a few years. It is just the nature of the beast.
  2. Traditional Pigments – Traditional Permanent Makeup Pigments were made to fade. These pigments made of organic and non organic materials, would break down in the skin fading over time. However, even when done by expert hands, very rarely do they fade to nothing. I still have a light tint on my brows from work done 7 years ago. It now serves as a template for when I do my makeup as I have made the decision to not have PMU again. These traditional pigments are a joy to remove. Specially the brows. They will react to the laser very efficiently.
  3. New Generation Pigments – These little devil spawns have popped up in the past 5 years and technicians have gone crazy for them. It’s understandable why because they are a dream to tattoo with. The retention is much better than traditional pigments and the longevity is well…for ever… These pigments are a true challenge to remove. Giving a red or florescent yellow colour after 1 or 2 laser sessions. These residual colours are nearly impossible to remove. If you’re having your brows tattooed with new generation pigments, please know, they are for keeps.

How Deeply The Pigment Was Implanted By The Artist

This is the single most relevant factor of how much your Permanent Makeup will fade. If the artist applies a light hand, the tattoo is likely to fade more than if the artist applies a heavy hand. This is because pigment implanted into the dermis tends to settle in comfortably and resist fading. This is why tattoos in general are permanent. However, if the pigment is implanted into the top layer of the dermis, it is likely to be gradually exfoliated away over time, making it more susceptible to fading from normal sun exposure. This is specially true if traditional pigments were used.

The method used to implant the pigment – The method has a lot to do with how deep the pigment can be implanted. The more experienced that a tech is the more light handed that they become. I have found that those using manual tools such a microblading tend to implant the pigment quite superficially, whilst a new tech on a machine can go much deeper.

Other Variables

  1. Skin Regeneration: The skin’s natural regeneration process can cause pigments to fade gradually over time, typically ranging from one to three years. Older skin is slower than our young counterparts.
  2. Touch-up Sessions: Periodic touch-up sessions are often required to maintain the desired appearance and address any fading or unevenness. However, this could lead to blocky overly saturated brows. If you wish to keep those crisp hair strokes, you will need to have one laser session before a top up.
  3. Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle choices, such as sun exposure, smoking, and skincare routines, can impact the longevity of microblading and permanent makeup results. The sun is the biggest factor.

Managing Fading and Maintenance

Whilst microblading and permanent makeup may fade over time, there are steps individuals can take to manage fading and prolong the results:

  1. Sun Protection: Sunscreen application and wearing protective clothing can help prevent premature fading caused by sun exposure.
  2. Avoiding Harsh Skincare Products: Certain skincare products containing exfoliating ingredients or acids can accelerate pigment fading. Opt for gentle products recommended by your technician.
  3. Regular Touch-ups: Schedule periodic touch-up sessions to refresh the pigments and maintain the desired appearance.
  4. Choosing Experienced Technicians: Selecting skilled and experienced technicians ensures high-quality results and minimises the risk of premature fading.

If we consider all of the above, we need to be aware that Permanent Makeup may NEVER fade. Most people that have this procedure will need tattoo eyebrow removal. Not to mention if you simply don’t like the work and want it changed or removed. If you found this article because you want to know how long until your brows fade, this is the general rule. If you have them more than 3 years, they will not fade more past this point.

I invite you to have a look at my Permanent Makeup Removal Page. If you are not in London, do drop us a line as I train all over the world and can sometimes point you in the direction of one of my students.

Related Pages:

Permanent Makeup and Microblading Removal in London – Brows and Eyeliner

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