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  • Writer's pictureCianni, RN BSN PMUA

How To: PMU Aftercare

Permanent Makeup Long Term Aftercare


After your Permanent Makeup (PMU) is completely healed, I bet you are wondering: " now what?" You invested so much money into this beautiful art, so I am sure you want to keep it as perfect looking as possible. Many factors such as your skin type, environment, lifestyle, age, aftercare, and any medical conditions you have will affect how long the pigment will last. The most crucial factor that you can control is how you care for your service area!

Aesthetically pleasing pigment saturation typically lasts anywhere from 1-3 years before you will want a touch-up. To help you have longevity in your healed results, we will look at the best ways to care for your PMU.

Immediately after the procedure, gently blot the area with a clean tissue to absorb excess lymph fluid. Do this until the oozing has stopped. Removing lymph fluid prevents pigment from pulling out of the skin. Wash to remove bacteria, the buildup of product, oils, and dead skin. (Don't worry, THIS DOES NOT REMOVE THE PIGMENT!) While over the sink, gently wash the area with the soap provided by your practitioner. Use your fingertips to gently cleanse the service area. Dry by gently patting with a clean tissue. When itchy, apply a SMALL amount of aftercare ointment across the treated area. Be sure not to over-apply. Do not apply aftercare ointment to a wet or peeling service area. This will delay healing. The aftercare ointment should be barely noticeable on the skin – if the site appears shiny, you have applied too much. In between care, the best practice is: Do Not Touch your healing PMU!

You may experience:

  • Tingling

  • Tenderness

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Flaking

  • Itchiness

The reason for this is that your skin is starting to go through the healing process. During these first few days, resist the temptation to itch your eyebrows or apply any sort of cream or ointment aside from any your practitioner has given you.

During the two weeks of healing, limit your showers to 5 minutes to prevent creating too much steam. When showering, protect your eyebrows from possible moisture. Never allow any direct stream of water or sunlight over the area. Keep your face away from the showerhead and clean the surrounding area with a washcloth or cleansing wipes.

Lastly, please avoid the following for at least 14 days to prevent drawing out of pigment:

  • DO NOT rub, pick, or scratch the treated area.

  • Use a fresh pillowcase while you sleep.

  • Avoid sleeping on your face.

  • Avoid sweaty exercise

  • Avoid direct sun exposure or tanning - wear a hat when outdoors.

  • Avoid long, hot showers.

  • Avoid swimming, lakes, saunas, and hot tubs.

  • Avoid makeup, sunscreen, creams, ointments, or cleansers on the area.

  • Avoid excessive touching of the treated area.

  • Avoid laser treatments in procedural areas.

  • Avoid facials, botox, chemical, or microdermabrasion treatments. Keep in mind use of antibiotics and hormonal therapy can cause pigmentation fading to occur faster.

  • Let any scabbing or dry skin naturally exfoliate away; picking can cause scarring or loss of color.

You should have been given a second follow-up appointment by your practitioner, six to eight weeks after your initial treatment. This is an excellent opportunity to evaluate the color and shape now that skin has begun to heal. Your Permanent Makeup practitioner will go over your service area by re-applying more pigment and addressing any issues of patchiness or uneven shape. After the follow-up appointment, the healing aftercare process should be repeated.

After 30 days, color changes will occur during the natural healing process. This means, during healing, you will experience the color disappearing and then coming back in the following weeks. The final color is seen 4-6 weeks after.

  • Always use sunscreen, as sunlight will prematurely fade your PMU

  • Avoid using anti-aging creams in the area.

  • Avoid specific skin treatments in the area such as chemical peels, facial scrubs, laser rejuvenation, microdermabrasion, etc.

  • If you plan a skin treatment, tell your beautician about your PMU

  • If you need an MRI scan or other medical procedure, inform your physician about your PMU

Although permanent makeup uses pigments instead of the ink used in traditional tattooing, the color may display on the scan. If your physician is not aware of where you have permanent makeup, they can misinterpret the scan and not diagnose you properly. Pigments used in PMU may actually hurt you during an MRI. The use of iron oxides in pigments can potentially react to the MRI. The FDA has reported people with tattoos complaining of burning or swelling sensations in the areas where ink was injected. For your safety, if you start to feel any burning during the MRI, it is crucial to tell your technician and stop the examination immediately. If this happens, a CT scan might be a safer alternative.

With PMU artists being poorly regulated in many states, the best way to ensure what is injected into your body is safe is to go to certified and experienced PMU artists, even if it means paying a bit more!

I know all these permanent makeup aftercare instructions may seem a little daunting at first, but your practitioner is always at the end of the phone for support. For more information on aftercare, or anything to do with our treatments, get in touch with Vanity Flair & Co. for help and advice.


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