Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare Ointment - All You Should Know

 A permanent eyeliner aftercare ointment is crucial to getting great results. Here’s what you need to know about choosing and using a healing cream after eyeliner PMU.

permanent eyeliner aftercare ointment

Image source: Freepik

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With all PMU, the healing period and the aftercare routine that comes with it are very important for the success of the treatment.

This is especially true for permanent eyeliner, where the choice and proper use of permanent eyeliner aftercare ointment can greatly contribute to the end result.

To help artists choose the best possible aftercare cream, or to educate clients on why this step of the aftercare routine is so important, we’ve prepared a simple yet thorough guide through PMU eyeliner aftercare ointments.

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Why Is a Good Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare Ointment Important?

Permanent eyeliner is done using a PMU machine which punctures the skin of the eyelid in countless little dots which are filled with pigment. After the procedure, the skin goes through a healing process in order to close up the micro-injuries.

While it takes 4-6 weeks for the skin to recover completely, the first 2 weeks are crucial and the most demanding – clients must follow aftercare rules that include applying an ointment to the treated area according to a prescribed schedule.

The roles of the permanent eyeliner aftercare ointment are:

  • Providing the treated skin with enough moisture to minimize scabbing, thus reducing the possibility of patchy results
  • Minimizing itchiness and preventing the client from scratching the treated area, thus reducing the risk of ripping off the scabs, patchy results and permanent scarring
  • Providing a protective barrier that prevents the contamination of the treated area (especially important with PMU eyeliner, due to the close proximity of the eyes)
  • Boosting the healing process and making sure it goes smoothly
  • Soothing the treated area and preventing it from feeling dry and tight

While keeping up with the aftercare routine is important for all PMU treatments, PMU eyeliner demands the most care and meticulousness, as complications during healing can affect the eyes.

For the same reason, the choice of a high-quality aftercare cream is particularly important. The formula has to be suitable for use around the eyes, and so does its consistency.

Check out our Comprehensive Guide Through Permanent Eyeliner Healing for more info on how the eyelids heal after the treatment.

permanent eyeliner healing process

Is Wet Healing Always Better than Dry Healing?

For PMU eyeliner, yes, the wet healing routine is much more suitable.

Dry healing, which implies only cleaning the treated area without using the aftercare cream, used to be the go-to before artists discovered that eyeliner healing ointment makes a big difference in the quality of healed results.

For one, moisturizing the treated area as it’s healing keeps it from feeling itchy, dry, and tight, which makes it tempting for clients to touch, rub or scratch their eyelids, resulting in patchy results and potential contamination.

Having the area coated with aftercare ointment works as a protective barrier which keeps dust, dirt, and bacteria from getting into the micro-wounds, and thus minimizes the possibility of infection.

Infections are particularly problematic in the case of permanent eyeliner as they can spread to the eye, so it’s important to use all available tricks to prevent them.

Generally, wet healing is the superior form of aftercare routine for PMU eyeliner, but it’s down to the artist to decide what they feel works best for their clients.

How to Use Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare Ointment

Only proper use of aftercare ointment is beneficial – deviating from the instructions can actually do more harm than good.

Here’s how an aftercare cream should be applied for permanent eyeliner healing to make sure the recovery goes smoothly and turns out as great as possible.

  • The ointment has to be applied to clean the skin. If the area isn’t cleaned, lymph secreted gets mixed with the product, dust, and sebum accumulated on the skin, providing a breeding ground for bacteria, and forming a thick “scab”.
  • The ointment has to be applied to completely dry skin. If the area is moist, and ointment is applied over it, the moisture gets trapped. This is a potential breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Aftercare cream has to be applied with clean fingers or a sterile q-tip to prevent contamination and subsequent infection.
  • Make sure the cream doesn’t get into the eyes. Some formulas won’t cause irritation, but others might. If this does happen, rinse the eyes with water.
  • A small amount of cream is enough. Applying a thick layer prevents the wound from breathing. Plus, the thicker the layer, the higher the chance of it getting into the eyes.
  • Each time the cream is reapplied, all residues of the previous application have to be removed. If fresh cream is layered on top, a thick film can form and bacteria can develop.

These general instructions go hand in hand with the rest of the permanent eyeliner aftercare routine, which you can find in our Comprehensive Guide Through PMU Eyeliner Aftercare, explained in detail.

learn how to use permanent eyeliner aftercare ointment
Image source: Freepik

Good Ingredients for a Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare Ointment

A high-quality formula for eyeliner tattoo healing should contain soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients which will ease the uncomfortable symptoms of healing and boost the recovery process.

Here’s a list of ingredients desirable in a healing cream for permanent eyeliner:

Natural Extracts

Natural plant extracts can provide a wide range of benefits for the skin during the healing process. They soothe the skin and reduce inflammation, accelerate its healing, eliminate itchiness, etc.

Look for ointments that contain blends of plant extracts, but make sure to ask your client if they have any known allergies (citrus extracts are known to cause allergies in some clients). The eyes can be particularly sensitive.

Some Natural Oils

Natural oils are great moisturizers in general, and artists like incorporating them in the aftercare routine they prescribe their clients.

They like ointment formulas that contain at least one type of natural oil, but the pure stuff is also an option.

Pure grapeseed oil is a good option – it moisturizes the skin without inhibiting its breathing. Just beware – not all oils are good for freshly implemented pigments – more on that below.

Shea Butter

Shea butter provides the skin with nourishment and softens it, provides skin-soothing benefits, and it’s said to boost and aid the skin healing process.

Hyaluronic Acid

A universally beneficial moisturizing ingredient. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin, so it won’t inhibit the healing process in any way, and there’s no chance of irritation. It works particularly well against the sensation of dryness.

This list is not final. There are many other ingredients that can be beneficial in a permanent eyeliner aftercare ointment; these are just the most common ones.

What About Consistency?

While consistency isn’t that important in a brow tattoo healing ointment, it’s a significant factor in eyeliner healing, due to the close proximity of the eyes.

The cream needs to be applied directly above the lash line, really close to the eyeball. So runny, watery formulas can be problematic, as they can drip into the eyes very easily during application.

So it’s better to go for something thicker, like a lotion or an ointment, possibly a gel, but not so thick it takes force to spread it.

permanent eyeliner aftercare vaseline cream
Image source: Freepik


pH value is another factor that needs to be considered when choosing a permanent eyeliner aftercare ointment, again, due to the close proximity of the eyes.

The pH value of the eyes is normally neutral, so the cream that will be applied so close to it should also have a neutral pH. Anything more acidic is a no-no as it can sting the eyes.

Undesirable Ingredients for a Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare Ointment

On the other hand, there are some ingredients that should be avoided:


For permanent eyeliner aftercare vaseline is now considered outdated.

The thick consistency of petroleum jelly prevents the wound from breathing, slowing down healing, and the physical barrier causes sweating underneath and traps moisture, dirt and bacteria.

That said, formulas with small amounts of petroleum should be fine.

Exfoliating Acids

Exfoliating acids (AHAs, BHAs, glycolic, salicylic, etc) do a chemical peel, which removes a certain amount of skin from the surface. This can remove a portion of pigment along the way, especially during the healing, but also from healed PMU.

It’s also not a great option for such close proximity to the eyes.

Retinol, or Vitamin A

Retinol is another powerful brightening ingredient that provides exfoliation.

Rosehip Oil

There’s been talk over the years that rosehip oil can cause implemented pigments to fade, due to lycopene and beta carotene which are said to be brightening ingredients.

There’s no definite answer as to whether it can do this or not, but it’s best to steer clear of rosehip oil.


These are steroids often used to eliminate the itching sensation. Although freshly done PMU eyeliner can get quite itchy, reaching straight for steroids is unnecessary exposure to synthetic hormones.

Natural soothing ingredients are definitely a better option.

Artificial Fragrance

Perfume is something that should be avoided in skincare in general, especially in products that are used around the eyes. Synthetic fragrances contain alcohol more often than not, which is notoriously drying and can be irritating.

While the skin is healing from PMU, it can feel dry anyway and extra dryness is not something we want.

Synthetic Ingredients in General

Exposing a relatively fresh skin injury to often harsh synthetic ingredients is an unnecessary risk of skin irritation. There are so many options based on natural ingredients available there’s no need to go synthetic.

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