Permanent Makeup Healing Stages and Aftercare Advice

Permanent Makeup Healing Stages and Aftercare Advice

We’ve put together an extensive step-by-step guide to permanent makeup aftercare. This guide is suitable for all permanent makeup procedures including lip, brow, eyeliner and beauty spots.

How Long Does Permanent Makeup Take To Heal?

Healing times will vary for each person, but It usually takes around 7-10 days for the area treated with permanent makeup pigment to heal and usually 2 weeks for colour to fully form. 

Permanent Makeup Healing Process Breakdown

Immediately After Treatment

Immediately after your cosmetic tattoo procedure, the healing process begins. During the early stages, you may experience slight redness, skin sensitivity and possibly minor swelling. It’s common for the pigment to appear darker and thicker than the healed result 2 weeks later.

Weeks 1-3

Between weeks 1-3, the top layer starts flaking off and initially the colour appears washed out and faint, but this is completely normal as upper skin layers die and new skin grows in its place. The permanent makeup colour starts to fully form at week 4 in the healing process.

At this stage, you’ll experience scabbing up to 4 weeks after your treatment. 

For cosmetic lip tattoos, scabs will likely fall out within 7 days.

Weeks 4-6

After 4-6 weeks the skin should have fully healed, the colour on the treated area will approximately fade between 10-60% depending on your skin complexity. This is because some people have a resistant skin type that rejects permanent makeup pigments. If this happens, you’ll need your first top up.

Aftercare advice for your cosmetic tattoo

We’ve discussed all of the healing stages, but here is some general permanent makeup aftercare advice from our cosmetic practitioners.

  1. Avoid rubbing skin around the treated area for a minimum of 7 days.
  2. Don’t pick or scratch the tattooed area(s).
  3. Avoid applying and contact with chemicals (chlorinated pools and jacuzzis) for at least 1 month.
  4. When showering, try to keep the water temperature low and time spent in the shower brief. This is because water exposure can dry skin and ultimately affect the healing process.
  5. Do not wear makeup on the tattooed area for at least two weeks.
  6. Avoid exercise for 2 weeks after treatment.

Factors affecting healing time

Permanent makeup tattooing causes trauma to the skin, and like any wound, the healing time will vary depending on factors like the age and general health of the recipient. But specifically, here are all of the different factors that might affect your healing time after treatment:

  1. Age – The healing process is nearly the same on younger skin as it is old, but looser skin will still take longer to heal and regenerate new skin layers.
  2. Skin type – Scarring affects different skin types based on collagen production.
  3. How easily or severely you swell and/or bruise – Although permanent makeup will be at least affected by swelling and bruising, some individuals are extremely prone which can extend the amount of time it takes to heal.
  4. Diet – Eating a high calorie, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc diet will help promote fast healing of permanent makeup.
  5. Dehydration – Lack of fluid will negatively affect nutrient and oxygen delivery to the treated area. You should try to drink around 4 liters of water a day.
  6. Smoking – The chemicals from smoking can complicate the cosmetic tattoo healing process by damaging your immune system and leading to several issues including poor collagen production.
  7. Sunlight – New cosmetic tattoos shouldn’t be exposed to sunlight as there is a risk of burning the treated area which can lead to irritation and blistering of the skin.
  8. Exercise – For at least 2 weeks, avoid excessive exercise. You could potentially promote bleeding and stretch your cosmetic tattoo which will disturb the scabbing process.
  9. Medications – Certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, will affect your body’s ability to clot which will delay the healing time of your permanent makeup wound.
  10. Medical conditions – Diabetes and oxygen transport conditions can inhibit your ability to heal acute wounds. 
  11. Circulation – As your heart pumps oxygen and nutrients around the body, and if you have poor circulation it will affect the delivery of healthy blood to the treated area.
  12. Estrogen – A healthy level of estrogen is important for the healing of cosmetic tattoos.
  13. Stress – Stress can slow the rate of healing of your cosmetic tattoo. 

Getting a touch up on your permanent makeup

12-15 months after your permanent makeup tattoo, your permanent makeup pigment may have faded and you may be due to your first top up treatment. You should consult the original practitioner and they’ll discuss further options. 

In our permanent makeup clinic based in Liverpool, we’ll be there for you at every stage after your treatment and it’s our aim to create a pain-free permanent makeup experience from your first consultation and the aftercare process. This guide was created by Krysia Johnson who is an expert permanent makeup practitioner, we hope you found this aftercare guide useful. If you have any questions don’t be afraid to reach out to our team.

Cold sores and lip tattoos

Cold sores are a risk to your permanent lip tattoo, so If you’ve previously had a cold sore, we recommend you start a 5 day course of Aciclovir tablets to prevent a breakout.