Microblading is a great way to fix all your brows insecurities – it can fill in your brows and give them volume, modify their shape, or create entire brows from scratch, while still looking very realistic and natural. A form of permanent makeup where pigment is deposited into the skin, it lasts a relatively long time and can’t run and be smudged.
However, not everyone is a good candidate for microblading. Skin type plays a huge role in determining the success of the treatment, and clients with oily skin are usually pointed towards other versions of PMU.
Why? Because the results won’t last very very long. Here’s how long does microblading last on oily skin.
Why Is Oily Skin a Contraindication for Microblading?
Microblading is done by creating tiny incisions on the skin and filling them with PMU pigments. The strokes made are so thin they look like actual hairs, and the treatment is done in such a way that the results fade at some point.
How do the strokes fade? Well, PMU pigments are formulated in such a way that the body can break them down and extract them, gradually fading them into invisibility. But other factors also contribute to fading, and one of them is the sebum produced by the skin.
Sebum is produced by sebaceous glands found in the skin, and it’s excreted through pores to the surface of the skin. Its purpose is to moisturize the skin and create a protective barrier.
The sebum produced by glands underneath the pigmented areas of the skin pushes out the pigment with it, raising it to the surface of the skin and causing the strokes to fade.
Dry to normal skin produces a moderate amount of sebum and, while this does contribute to pigment fading to a point, it’s not that dramatic. Oily skin, however, produces a larger amount of sebum, and pushes out more pigment.
This process can significantly accelerate the process of strokes fading from oily skin.
Image source: Instagram @celestepalermo_phibrows
How Long Does Microblading Last on Oily Skin?
To explain why microblading isn’t advisable for clients with oily skin, let’s put things into perspective.
- On dry to normal skin, microblading lasts up to 18 months, at which point it will likely still be somewhat visible, but will need a significant color boost.
- On oily skin, however, the results likely won’t last out a year. In fact, they can fade away even at around 9 months. That’s half of the lifespan of microblading done on dry to normal skin!
It’s all very individual of course, and it depends on your body chemistry, too, as well as the oiliness of the sebum itself, but the general answer to the question of how long does microblading last on oily skin would be up to a year.
Any Other Issues?
The sebum overproduction pushes out the pigments and causes them to fade faster, but it also affects the look of the strokes in the meantime.
Oily skin often comes with large pores, which means texture on the skin. On textured skin, strokes can’t look that crisp and defined. They may look good right after the treatment, but large pores and sebum will cause them to blur and spread, and they may even merge together and give a block-of-color look.
This can look really messy, especially if pigments migrate outside of the edges of your ideal brow arch.
Can I Still Get Microblading If I Have Oily Skin?
Well, yes, but you need to be realistic with your expectations, and find an artist who’s experienced in microblading oily skin.
Microblading is not a cheap treatment, being priced at an average $600, with annual touch ups priced at about 60% of the full price, and you should ask yourself whether it’s worth the money, given that it won’t last as long as you’d probably want it to. You will need more frequent touch ups than clients with drier skin, and that brings about a whole set of new issues.
If your skin is bladed over and over again relatively frequently, there’s a high chance of it being overworked and permanent scarring emerging.
Then, although pigments are made to become invisible over time, most clients do retain a certain amount of them. The residue will likely be invisible if you only get microblading once or a couple of times, but with constant touch ups necessary to keep the strokes visible on oily skin, the area gets oversaturated with pigment and starts looking more and more like a block of color.
At some point, the shadow becomes so prominent that new strokes can’t be drawn, as they won’t really be visible.
So, if you have oily skin and really want to get brow PMU, there are alternative treatments that will work much better.
Image source: Instagram @jenny_boos_beauty_academy_pm
What Are the Alternatives That Work on Oily Skin?
Microblading is done manually, with a blade that’s dragged through the skin. This form of application isn’t suitable for oily skin, because the strokes blur.
Machine application is much more suitable. A PMU machine deposits the pigments by piercing the skin in tiny dots. Pigments deposited in this way are more resilient to sebum overproduction, and although oily skin will still push them out somewhat faster than dry/normal skin, the difference in the longevity according to skin type is not as significant as with microblading.
Here are machine alternatives.
Nano brows (or nanoblading, as some artists call it) gives a hair-stroke effect that looks just like microblading, but done with a machine. The machine makes tiny little dots that add up to a stroke. If you want a totally natural, no-makeup look, this is the way to go.
For more info on nano brows, check out this guide.
Image source: Instagram @moorebeautylove
Combo brows are a combination of microblading and shading. Strokes are drawn with a manual tool, but the spaces between them are shaded with either a manual shading tool or a machine. The shade between the strokes camouflages the blurring, and while the strokes will still fade relatively fast, the shadow will stay and your brows will still be enhanced.
For more info on combo brows, check out this guide.
Image source: Instagram @isishorabc
Powder brows are just the shadowy effect, without strokes. This treatment gives a more dramatic, makeup look, but it can look subtle and natural if done right. Powder brows should last around 15 months on oily skin.
For more info on powder brows, check out this guide.
Image source: Instagram @alisowska.esthetics
I Understand All This, But I Still Want Microblading
Okay! You can get it, but find an artist who knows the tricks of microblading oily skin: making fewer strokes and spacing them further apart, assessing them carefully at the touch up, adjusting the aftercare routine. Be realistic and understand that artists are not magicians and if they do their best yet your microblading still fades away quickly, it’s not their fault.
Cover image source: Freepik