When people hear that microblading is a form of tattooing, their thoughts go straight to pain and downtime. Well, pain isn’t something to worry about, since the microblading technique is different from traditional tattooing and it’s virtually painless, but, although there’s no actual downtime that would disrupt your life, there is a recovery period.
Let’s go through the microblading recovery day by day and find out what it’s like. Hint – it’s not that bad.
How Long Will My Brows Take to Recover from Microblading?
Artists will say 6-8 weeks. But don’t get discouraged, this has to do with internal tissue healing.
The period of intense microblading recovery actually comes down to 2 weeks after your treatment. This is how long it takes for the micro-incisions to close up and for new skin to emerge over your strokes.
After that, you won’t feel any more discomfort or have to take special care of your brows. You’ll just notice the color settling into its true shade, and after about a month and a half, you can get your touch up.
Image source: Instagram @brow.lashberry
What’s Microblading Recovery Like?
Microblading implies making incisions on the skin, which are basically scratch wounds. It needs to close up and heal just like any other similar wound. The skin has to go through a recovery process, and you can expect all the stages you normally experience when you have a superficial skin injury.
Let’s go through the stages of microblading recovery.
Microblading Recovery Day by Day
Your brows will start a recovery process as soon as the treatment is over, or even halfway through it.
The area will be reddish, somewhat irritated, and some minor swelling can happen even during the treatment. That’s more or less what they’ll look like for the rest of the day. Once the numbing wears off, they might feel sensitive and painful to the touch.
Pigments look their darkest when they’re freshly implemented, so your brows will probably look darker than you want them to. Relax, they’ll fade 30-40% over the next few weeks.
Your brows should have calmed down a bit, but it’s normal if they’re still reddish and irritated. They might even still be a bit tender.
Their color is still quite dark, perhaps even darker than on day 1.
You might notice a scabby film starting to form, but for most clients, this doesn’t happen for another day, especially if you clean them properly and regularly.
Signs of irritation should be subsiding, but scabs start forming. Microblading scabbing won’t be like scabbing after more intense injuries. Since the blade goes very shallow into the skin and it doesn’t cause more than pinpoint bleeding, the scabs won’t contain actual blood, just lymph and a bit of pigment residue.
Some clients get thicker scabs, some get a very thin film, while others get almost no scabbing at all. All these scenarios are normal and they just reflect how your skin reacts.
Leave the scabs alone. Don’t touch them.
Days 4 – 7
Expect itchiness! As the incisions heal, they likely become quite itchy. Do your best not to scratch them.
The scabs will start flaking and falling off, and this process will last for a couple of days. This is very individual, so we’re just giving you a general timeframe. It all depends on how quickly your skin heals, as the scabs will only fall off once new skin underneath has formed.
We should also mention that you may notice some pigment in the scabs. This doesn’t mean the pigment didn’t take, it’s just the residue the skin can’t absorb. Your artist knows about this, and they took it into account when choosing the pigment shade.
The strokes underneath the scabs will look very light. You have entered the ghosting stage.
Again, a very general timeframe.
Once the first round of scabs falls off, some clients notice their skin goes through a secondary peeling cycle. If this happens, it won’t be very intense.
Your brows look very light and you might be worried the treatment didn’t work. Don’t panic – this is normal. It’s called the ghosting stage, and it happens because the new skin that’s formed over the strokes is very light, plus the pigments haven’t settled into their true color yet.
They will darken back up over the next couple of weeks, but they’ll never reach the intensity of day 2.
Days 15 – 42
The incisions have closed up, and if all peeling is over, you don’t have to follow the aftercare routine anymore.
Over the next few weeks, the pigment will darken into its true shade. Some lighter patches may have emerged over the microblading recovery – this is normal and it’s fixed at the touch up.
Is There Any Aftercare?
Yes, microblading aftercare is a very important part of the process and it’s as important for the success of the treatment as the implementation itself.
It implies regular and proper cleaning of the brows according to a schedule prescribed by the artist, and applying an aftercare ointment if advised.
In short, you need to clean your brows a few times a day with a damp cotton pad, without getting them soaking wet, and, if the artist advised, cover them with a thin layer of aftercare ointment after each cleaning from day 3 until the peeling ends.
You can find more detailed aftercare instructions in this guide.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Microblading Recovery?
Here are a couple of points that should be highlighted.
- Aftercare is super important. Healing brows need to be protected from outside contamination by regular cleaning and, if recommended by the artist, applying a barrier in the form of ointment.
- No makeup or products apart from the prescribed aftercare for at least 2 weeks! You shouldn’t put anything on your brows that could irritate them, affect pigment retention, or cause an infection until the incisions have closed up.
- If you notice anything that deviates from the day-by-day recovery description given above, contact your artist. If your brows are extremely irritated or itchy past day 7, you might be developing an infection. The same goes for any pus, pain, rashes, anything suspicious really.
- Microblading recovery time might vary according to age. More mature clients heal more slowly.
- Microblading recovery can be an emotional rollercoaster. You may have moments where you regret getting microblading. Just be patient, it will be worth it in the end.
- You can find even more information on microblading recovery in this guide.
We have to be honest – during the microblading recovery period, your brows won’t look too attractive. They’ll be too dark, then scab, they flake, then look too light. They’ll settle into your dream brows within a few weeks, but they can be a source of frustration until they do. So we advise planning the date of your appointment wisely – if you have a special event or a vacay coming up, perhaps it’s better to wait until it’s passed to get your brows done.
Cover image source: Freepik