Permanent eyeliner is a form of cosmetic tattooing that recreates your favorite eyeliner makeup look without all the hassle of manual application, and without the risks of smudging, running, and asymmetrical results. It saves a ton of time and effort when getting ready in the morning.
However, just like many other forms of permanent makeup, it entails some aftercare and general precautions. One of the most common questions people have is, can I use eye drops after permanent eyeliner?
Eye drops are an essential part of eye healthcare for many people. But can they affect your eyeliner tattoo? PMUHub investigates.
General Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare
The specific permanent eyeliner aftercare routine that you’ll have to follow will depend on several factors, including:
- Your skin type,
- Your overall immune system,
- Your natural healing rate,
- Your sensitivity,
- Your lifestyle,
- The climate you live in, etc.
That said, there are some general rules of aftercare that everyone should follow:
- Don’t touch, scratch, rub, or pick at the tattooed area
- Avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, saunas, steamy showers, gyms, swimming, and any activity that causes excessive sweating
- No eye makeup, especially mascara, for at least 2 weeks
- No facial cosmetic treatments (e.g. botox, peels) for at least 4 weeks
- No contact lenses during healing and aftercare – wear glasses instead and get new contacts after the healing is done
If you’d like to learn about permanent eyeliner aftercare in more detail, check out PMUHub’s comprehensive guide.
Now, let’s talk about eye drops after permanent eyeliner.
Artificial Tears After Permanent Eyeliner
Artificial tears, a.k.a. lubricating refresher drops, are a type of eye drops that relieve dryness and discomfort in the eyes. They’re formulated to mimic natural tears and their purpose is to lubricate the eyes and keep them comfortable.
Artificial tears can contain various ingredients, such as saline, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid. They’re available over-the-counter at most drugstores and pharmacies. They can be used to alleviate discomfort caused by different factors, like environment and lifestyle.
If they’re meant to help with inflammation or allergies, lubricating refresher drops can also contain antihistamines or redness relievers.
But, can they be used after a permanent eyeliner treatment?
Always follow the instructions provided with the specific brand of drops that you use, and consult with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about their use.
Generally, it should be safe to use artificial tears after getting a permanent eyeliner, since they can be helpful in relieving any dryness or irritation that may occur after a cosmetic tattoo procedure.
However, it’s essential to avoid getting any moisture on the tattooed area during the healing process, as this can potentially cause irritation, or affect pigment retention, especially if there’s saline in the formula.
Your artist may recommend avoiding the use of eye drops or any other products near the eye for a period of time after the procedure.
In that case, consult with both your tattoo artist and doctor. There might be a safe alternative product or strategy that you can use to help with eye dryness during your healing period.
Saline Eye Drops After Permanent Eyeliner
Saline eye drops are a sterile solution of salt and water that helps to hydrate and soothe the eyes. Like artificial tears, they can help alleviate discomfort or dryness after a cosmetic tattoo procedure.
It’s generally safe to use saline eye drops after a permanent eyeliner cosmetic tattoo, but you should prioritize the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist (unless you absolutely need your saline drops for some reason).
They might tell you to stay away from saline drops during healing, for two reasons.
First, as we previously mentioned, you shouldn’t get the tattooed area wet during the aftercare period, to avoid irritation. Eye drops often escape the eye itself and get the edge of the eyelid wet, which will interfere with your tattoo and potentially aggravate the microwounds on the skin.
Second, saline eye drops pose a risk of messing up your pigment retention.
Basically, you could end up with an eyeliner saline removal effect. The salt solution dries the pigments and lifts them up and out of the skin. It’s one of the most popular permanent makeup removal methods.
Medicinal Eye Drops After Permanent Eyeliner
If you use medicinal eye drops regularly, your artist will likely advise you to discontinue them, but ONLY with your ophthalmologist’s permission, for some time before your appointment.
Generally, they’ll probably also advise you to not use them immediately after your permanent eyeliner treatment.
Since it’s a cosmetic tattoo, it entails breaking the surface of the skin. The eye drops can potentially cause irritation or infection to the freshly tattooed area, or negatively affect your pigment retention.
If you feel any discomfort in your eyes during your healing process, consult with both your artist and your eye doctor for advice. Don’t resume your eye drop routine on your own judgment.
Image source: Instagram @permabeu_pmu
Permanent Eyeliner and Glaucoma
There are conflicting opinions on whether glaucoma is a contraindication for permanent eyeliner. You should talk to both artists and ophthalmologists, and particularly to the specialist who manages your own glaucoma case.
Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to partial vision loss or even blindness. One of the main risk factors for glaucoma is increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye).
Getting a cosmetic tattoo involves repeatedly puncturing the sensitive skin of the eyelid with a needle at a steady pace, which can potentially increase the pressure in the eye.
If a person with glaucoma goes for permanent eyeliner, it could potentially worsen their condition and cause further damage to their optic nerve.
That said, there’s no guarantee that it will happen – and no guarantee that it won’t happen.
That’s why it’s critical to consult with your eye doctor before booking a cosmetic tattoo appointment, and to fully disclose your medical history and current conditions to the artist.
Most people’s glaucoma treatment implies using a prescribed medication in the form of eye drops, which have to be applied every day, at around the same time. Obviously, your glaucoma therapy is more important than your eyeliner tattoo, and you shouldn’t discontinue your therapy because of it.
But since applying the drops might not be the best thing for your eyeliner tattoo healing, discuss your options with your artist. If pigment retention is the only thing your artist is worried about, you might be able to just get an extra session to build up pigment saturation.
Image source: Instagram @meggiebeautystudio
Boric Acid Eye Drops After Permanent Eyeliner
Boric acid is an antiseptic and astringent, meaning it prevents infections and dries up secretions (like lymph after a tattoo). It’s sometimes used to treat certain eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis or dry eye syndrome.
However, it is not typically recommended for use after a permanent eyeliner procedure. It can be too harsh on the freshly traumatized skin and too drying on the sensitive mucous membranes of the tattooed eye area.
If you typically use boric acid eye drops for your eye care routine, consult with your artist and your ophthalmologist. They might be able to recommend an alternative eye product to safely use during your post-eyeliner tattoo healing process.
Permanent Eyeliner After Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is not necessarily a contraindication for permanent eyeliner, but you must wait until you fully heal and your eye stabilizes after the surgery before considering any cosmetic tattoo procedure.
Cataract surgery may temporarily affect the shape and position of your eyelid and the skin around your eye. That can affect the placement of the permanent eyeliner and distort its final appearance.
Wait at least three months after surgery before undergoing a permanent makeup procedure.
This gives your eye enough time to fully heal and for any swelling or inflammation to subside. Once your eyelid and the surrounding skin are back in their proper place, you can start considering an eyeliner tattoo with your surgeon’s approval.
Remember to discuss your cataract surgery, any eye care products you’re using after it, and any previous eye issues, with your artist before going through with the appointment. They may have specific recommendations based on your individual situation and risk factors.
Image source: Instagram @institut_mariecharlotte
Final Note: What to Do With Conflicting Advice
Eye care is a touchy subject, since they’re such a sensitive part of our bodies and we only have one precious pair. If your ophthalmologist and permanent makeup artist have conflicting opinions about using eye drops after a permanent eyeliner procedure, it can be difficult to know who to listen to.
In this case, your best bet is to seek out an unbiased third opinion. Consult a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable in both ophthalmology and cosmetic tattooing. A doctor who would bridge these two areas of expertise would likely be a dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon.
Prioritize your eye health and safety. If you feel any doubt or uncertainty about using eye drops after permanent eyeliner, it may be best to err on the side of caution and follow the recommendations of your ophthalmologist.
Cover image source: Freepik