Permanent Cosmetic Tattoo with Amy Zortman, RN
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Amy Z Cosmetic & Laser Skin Care Blog

Q: How long does permanent makeup really last?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A: While the title “permanent” does imply that permanent makeup would last forever in its perfect condition, but this is not entirely true. Permanent makeup is permanent in the way that you will wake up every morning with it on your face. While permanent makeup does last a long time, generally three to seven years, it is subject to fading – a problem easily and quickly fixable by a color enhancement procedure. Or, for some women, they feel as though the fading of their permanent makeup is to their advantage as it ages with them.

Following the initial visit, a period of four to six weeks is necessary to allow results to settle before assessing what needs to be touched up or brightened, if at all. The second appointment generally aids in increasing the permanence of your permanent cosmetic procedure whether it is permanent eyeliner, permanent lip color, or a permanent eyebrow procedure.

Depending on factors such as unprotected exposure to UV rays, body composition, and cellular turnover, touchups and color enhancements are generally recommended after three to seven years. Again, the amount of maintenance is determined on an individual basis. While one person’s permanent eyeliner fades within a couple of years, your permanent eyeliner may not fade for much longer. With that being said, you need to be absolutely sure that your intended permanent makeup procedure is something you are comfortable with having years down the road.

The procedure in question and the hue of pigment used also predetermines fading. Lighter permanent eyebrow colors will fade sooner than a medium or darker shade. Light to medium colored eyebrows may require maintenance every one to three years while eyeliner may need refreshing every two to five years.

Fading will be more or less pronounced based on how you treat your skin. Something I always recommend regardless of whether or not you have permanent eyeliner, permanent eyebrow color, or permanent lip color is to wear sun screen whenever you are outside! Sunscreen will block UV rays that are damaging to your permanent makeup. While they are wonderful for your skin, use of anti-aging creams and solutions that encourage cellular turnover also affect the longevity and vitality of your permanent makeup. There is no need to discontinue use of such products, but instead simply avoid applying them to permanent makeup sites. Smoking (also always a no-no) and certain medications also affect the dermis negatively which has an effect on the longevity of your permanent makeup.

Clearly, there is no simple and easy answer to “how long will it last?” Lots of internal and external factors need to be taken in account. However, permanent makeup, while not a no-maintenance procedure, is a low maintenance procedure – a simple, quick touchup in my office will keep your permanent makeup looking brand new and refreshed forever.

If you are currently considering a permanent makeup procedure, do not hesitate to give me a call, ask some more questions, and schedule a consultation.

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