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Safe Procedure

How do Different Types of Permanent Makeup Work?

There are several different kinds of permanent makeup procedures and they all differ slightly depending on the area of treatment.

However, in general, the desired pigment for the permanent makeup procedure is applied to the top dermal layer of the skin with a hollow tipped needle. The needle makes tiny punctures in the skin and allows for the pigmented ink to seep through and penetrate the superficial layers of the epidermis.

The exact methods differ by the specific procedure.

    • Permanent Eyeliner: A topical anesthetic gel is used to numb the lash line. Then, a needle is used to apply pigment to this area.
    • Permanent Eyebrows: A topical anesthetic and, in some cases, an over-the-counter painkiller is administered before the procedure. A preliminary sketch of the desired shape is made. Then, a needle is used to imprint the desired shape.
  • Permanent Lip Makeup: A topical anesthetic and epinephrine are typically administered for this procedure because it is the most painful. Then, a needle is used to tint the lips to the desired color.

It is important to note that permanent makeup fades from anywhere between one to ten years depending on the pigment chosen, so these procedures are not as big of a commitment as actual tattoos.

What Should be Done Before your Procedure?

Depending on the area being treated, there are several measures you must take before your appointment to ensure a safe and smooth application process. These steps will minimize the chances of inflammation and infection immediately after the procedure. Here are the precautions broken down by category:

Permanent Eyeliner:

    • No contact lens wear before or immediately after the procedure.
    • Do not alter your lashes the week of the procedure.
    • No curling, dying or perming
    • Preferably no lash extensions or no touch-ups on existing ones
  • Stop the use of lash growth serums at least one month before the procedure.

Permanent Eyebrows:

    • Do not alter your natural brows the week of the procedure.
    • No tweezing, waxing or bleaching
  • Any botox treatments must be delayed up to one month after the procedure.

Permanent Lip Color:

Avoid any other cosmetic lip procedures, such as collagen injections, for at least six months before this one.

What does Permanent Makeup Look Like Immediately After the Procedures?

You shouldn’t expect to be out and about immediately after having these procedures done.

Although most people don’t know this, permanent makeup procedures take at least a week of healing followed by touch ups and then another round of downtime. This means that you won’t be able to flaunt your desired look for at least a few weeks.

Immediately after your procedure, you may notice that the color you chose looks intensely brighter or darker than your desired shade. The pigment itself may look excessive and bold, as if it’s bleeding through.

This is completely normal because the pigment will fade as your skin heals and absorbs the pigment into its deeper layers.

You may also notice swelling with the eyeliner and lip procedures. With the permanent eyeliner, your eyes may look puffy and red, as if you’ve been crying. Your lips, too, will look particularly swollen, as if bees stung them.

Again, these are all natural reactions.

What are the Common Mistakes After a Permanent Makeup Procedure?

The most common mistake made after any permanent makeup procedure is the client picking at or scratching their scabs.

Scabs form as part of the skin’s natural healing process after the procedure, but altering the skin’s inherent rate of shedding will cause uneven coloration. Doing so will only result in another repeat procedure and prolonged healing time. To avoid this, temporarily cover the healing area with gauze or a band-aid to resist the temptation.

For all permanent makeup procedures, you should avoid getting the treatment area wet for at least twenty-four hours afterwards. If the eyes are of concern, try showering with the help of goggles to keep the area dry.

As for the lips, a mask may help to deter water. Swimming pools, saunas and hot tubs must be avoided at all costs for at least two weeks after the procedure.

UV exposure is a huge risk factor for uneven coloration and the fading of pigment. This is especially true for freshly applied pigment, meaning that you should avoid sun exposure at all costs for at least 72 hours immediately after the procedure. Continue to be cautious and liberally apply sunscreen to the affected areas for a continued four to six weeks after the treatment.

It is also imperative that your religiously follow a touch-up schedule after the initial treatment. The healing process itself can cause kinks in the final product, which will only grow more obvious as the pigment fades with time.

By maintaining a touch-up schedule, you can save yourself from embarrassment and frustration.

The Common Side effects of Permanent Makeup

Having a licensed permanent makeup technician can minimize these risks and promote safe procedure.

Although rare, there can be several serious side effects to permanent makeup. Some of these risks can be avoided while others cannot be controlled.

    • Allergic Reactions: Anaphylactic responses to dyes and pigments are uncommon, but still exist. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so be sure that your pigment of choice is patch tested on your skin before it’s finalized for your procedure. Typically, organic pigments tend to be the riskiest, while iron oxide based pigments are the least reactive.
    • Infections: The needle is essentially creating multiple, tiny open wounds on the surface of your skin. Any open wound leaves chances for infection, but precautions can be taken to minimize this risk.
    • Ensure that the technician opens a new needle and bottle of pigment.
    • The work area and equipment must be sterilized.
    • Gloves must be used.
  • The treatment area must be sterilized.
    • Bleeding: Open wounds also leave risk for bleeding. Although some bleeding is normal within the first few days of the procedure, persistent or large quantities are alarming and considered an emergency. Please seek medical attention immediately if you notice this to be true in your case.
  • Swelling: Edema is expected from all permanent makeup procedures as the skin begins to repair itself. This swelling can be reduced with the help of over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and gently applied cold compresses.

Why is it Important to Choose an Experienced Technician?

Permanent makeup should not be taken lightly simply because it is a cosmetic procedure.

The use of needles in the technique places it in the category of other medical procedures.

For any medical procedure, you would not trust a random doctor you passed by on the street, so practice the same caution to receive safe permanent makeup.

    • Dermatologists, cosmetologists, tattoo artists, aestheticians and nurses can practice permanent makeup procedures.
    • Do your research and find licensed professionals to do your procedure.
  • Certain states don’t require licensing regulations for cosmetic procedures, so be cautious and look for experienced technicians.
    • Make sure that the salon you plan on visiting has a legal business license and certificate of inspection by your state’s board of health.
    • Check how many procedures the technician has completed during the span of his or her career.
  • Rather than relying on online reviews, reach out to mutual who have had these procedures done.

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