When permanent makeup works out, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. But even if you pick a professional artist with an impressive portfolio, sometimes the results are just not what you’d expected. Or, once the fading starts, you’re just not willing to wait it out.
Luckily, there are ways to remove the pigments, although some of them may do more damage than good. PMUHub explores how to remove permanent makeup at home.
Before we start…
DIY PMU removal may sound like a more practical, more affordable option that seeing a PMU removal specialist, but if you’re not extremely careful, you could cause damage to your skin, and still fail to remove the unwanted pigments. So only if seeing a specialist is absolutely impossible should you try these methods.
If you do decide to try permanent makeup removal at home, make sure you follow all instructions carefully and if you notice any unusual reactions, stop immediately.
If you’ve just had your procedure and you’re already unsatisfied with the results, ignoring aftercare instructions should diminish them.
Your PMU technician will warn you against certain activities within the first few weeks after the procedure. If premature fading is something you want, just do everything they told you not to.
Instead of hiding from the sun, expose your results to sunlight which fades freshly injected PMU pigments.
Moisture can fade unhealed PMU results too, so a way to push out a part of the pigments is to sweat them out through intense exercise in the first few days, or visiting the local spa and hitting the sauna, especially the FAR IR kind, or steam bath. Regular hot showers also work. Swimming in the ocean or at the local pool will also accelerate fading, as saltwater and chemicals found in pools affect pigment retention.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the treated skin needs some time to heal and is prone to infections following the procedure. Exposing your skin to bacteria and chemicals found in chlorinated water can lead to infections or irritations.
Your technician has probably also warned you to avoid makeup and some skincare products for a while. This is because certain skincare ingredients lead to pigment fading.
Following this logic, some skincare products can be used for PMU removal, although it could be a slow process.
Retinol and acid-based products
Retinol, ascorbic acid or vitamin C, glycolic acids, and salicylic acid can cut the duration of PMU results in half. These ingredients are often found in anti-aging and anti-acne products.
Mechanical exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, and with them, small amount of pigment. Some exfoliating products also contain exfoliating chemicals which work in more or less the same way, but can be more intense.
The most intense exfoliation methods are done by beauticians: chemical peels and microderoabrasion. PMU removal through any type of exfoliation is slow, and the results will fade unevenly and look patchy.
Salt removal is one of the most effective DIY removal methods. It combines exfoliation with the property of sodium chloride to bind PMU pigments and draw they out of the skin, diminishing the visibility of the results.
Basically, this means exfoliating the area where pigments were injected with salt and a bit of water. The grains will remove skin cells from the surface, and as they gradually dissolve the solution will penetrate the skin and dissolve a small amount of pigment.
This method should work, but it may take a while and make your skin more prone to infections.
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste
Hydrogen peroxide has been used for teeth whitening forever, but it can also be used to fade the results of permanent makeup within the 72 hours after they’ve been injected.
The process is simple. Make a paste-like concoction of baking soda and peroxide, apply it to the area where pigments were injected, and rinse it off after a few minutes.
The issue here is that applying this mixture onto sensitive skin that hasn’t had a chance to heal can cause discomfort and infections.
Tattoo bleaching and fading creams
There are tattoo bleaching creams available online that should remove the results of PMU with regular use, but this industry is largely unregulated, and these products could contain skin-bleaching ingredients that can cause lighter patches to emerge on the skin surrounding the area, which can be permanent.
Unless you’re knowledgeable about chemistry and are able to confirm that the ingredients are safe before applying the product to your skin, it’s best to avoid this method.
See a professional
If none of these at-home methods work, the only option left is to see a professional. Treatments like NanoRemoval or microneedling usually work, but for especially persistent pigments, laser removal is basically the only option.