Removing Permanent Makeup Safely: A Complete Guide


Permanent makeup is convenient, beautiful and definitely has a place in the cosmetics industry, but just like regular tattoos, there are a small number of people who go through with the procedure and years later decide that their cosmetic tattoo is no longer for them. This guide is written for those who are looking for safe ways to remove their permanent makeup.

How long does it take to remove permanent makeup?

The time it takes to remove a cosmetic tattoo depends on the method of removal, but in most cases it will take multiple sessions with a 2 week interval between treatments until your cosmetic tattoo is completely removed.

What is the quickest way to remove permanent makeup?

Laser tattoo removal is the most time effective method for removing permanent makeup. Between 3 and 10 sessions within a 6 month period should ensure your cosmetic tattoo is completely removed.

You should consult a specialist laser tattoo removal clinic for your treatment.

Methods of permanent makeup removal

Laser removal

How does laser removal for permanent makeup work?

The laser tattoo pen used for removal emits powerful light rays that break-down the permanent makeup tattoo pigment. This treatment works effectively on dark pigments.

Does laser removal hurt?

You’ll feel a hot scratching sensation on the treated area.

How long does it take for laser treatment to remove permanent makeup?

3+ months

Saline-Salt Solution

How does saline-salt solution it work?

The application of salt-saline solution topically draws pigment out of the skin. This is the easiest and safest method to fade permanent makeup, but in most cases salt will just lighten the appearance of your cosmetic tattoo. If you want to completely fade the tattoo, you should consider alternative treatments.

How long does it take for salt to remove permanent makeup?

It can take 6 months to see a noticeable change in the visibility of the pigment.

Fading cream

How does fading cream work?

You can use permanent lightening solution and tattoo removal creams which, in most cases, will remove the upper layers of your skin. As a result, your cosmetic tattoos will appear more faint. 

It’s not possible to entirely remove your tattoos using this method.

How long does it take for fading cream to remove permanent makeup?

6-7 months of application of tattoo removal cream until permanent makeup starts to fade.

Ignoring aftercare

Why do people ignore permanent makeup aftercare?

Some sources online suggest that going against aftercare advice provided by their PMU artist will cause fading of your cosmetic tattoo. Whilst your permanent makeup will fade more than usual, Ignoring aftercare is not recommended as there is a risk of scarring, infection and other complications around your treated area. 

Naturally fading

How does it work?

Your cosmetic tattoo can completely fade over time. This fading process starts 6 weeks after your treatment and can take up to 4 years until the cosmetic tattoo completely fades.

This is the least painful and most natural process, and it’s strongly recommended that you allow your tattoo to fade naturally.

How long does it take?

Between 2-4 years

Debunking reasons for removal

Here is a permanent makeup expert’s take on the reasons people might regret their permanent makeup.

Permanent makeup and microblading isn’t the same as it was 10-20 years ago, ‘scouse brows’ are no more and PMU artists have perfected the art of the natural appearance. So, why are some people still unhappy with their results?

Whatever the reason, it’s important not to panic, until the tattoo is completely healed permanent makeup pigment might appear completely different until at each stage of healing. 

Colours are too dark

The colours of a permanent makeup tattoo will appear bold and darker in the first 4-6 weeks, your permanent makeup tattoo will fade between 10-60% and the colour will settle to a more natural look.

How to fix it?

This is a common concern, but don’t panic, permanent makeup tattoos are actually semi-permanent. This means they gradually fade over time so your cosmetic tattoo will naturally lose colour.

Permanent makeup turning green/blue

Permanent eyeliner, brows and lips can appear blue/green throughout the healing process. This is because too many ‘cool’ tones of colour have been used by your permanent makeup artist. 

How to fix it?

To fix a blue/green appearance of your permanent brows, your PMU artist will need to tattoo ‘warm’ colours which will neutralise and counter the blue and green tones.

Permanent makeup turning red

While most of your tattoo pigment will settle in your skin layers semi-permanently, our immune system treats permanent makeup pigments as a foreign substance and attempts to migrate them through the lymphatic system which is towards the bottom layers of the skin and some of the other pigment colour fades off into the upper layers of the skin too. Although this is only a small percentage of the pigment used, the pigment that is transferred to the top and bottom layers can turn red. 

UV light exposure can also cause your permanent makeup pigment to turn red.

How to fix it?

An experienced PMU artist can prevent this from choosing a correctly composed pigment. You shouldn’t seek assistance until your cosmetic tattoo has completely healed, the appearance may differ at each stage of healing.

If your permanent makeup tattoo appears discoloured 6 weeks after your procedure, you should first consult the practitioner who originally tattooed you.

Correcting your permanent makeup

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your permanent tattoo, in most cases you’ll be able to have your cosmetic tattoo corrected for that desired look. So before you turn to permanent makeup removal methods, make sure you consult a permanent makeup professional for a resolution.

If you’re local, our permanent makeup team based in Liverpool might be able to help, we always guide our clients through each stage of recovery and ensure they achieve the natural beautiful look as promised.