Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare - Day by Day Guide
Find out all you need to know about permanent eyeliner aftercare. Follow the day-by-day guide and make sure your eyeliner tattoo heals properly.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2020. Updated August 2021.
Permanent eyeliner is a great long-lasting solution for anyone who wears eyeliner frequently. It saves you time in the morning, absolves you from worrying about smudging and running, plus it improves your look and makes you look glammed up 24/7.
Within a short cosmetic tattooing session, you’ll get the on-point eyeliner look you’ve always wanted.
The treatment does, however, involve a short aftercare period during which you have to take special care of the treated area. If you’ve been eyeing the procedure, you’re probably wondering how much effort you’ll have to put into it.
So, let’s see what permanent eyeliner aftercare involves.
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Is Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare Complicated?
When it comes to aftercare permanent eyeliner has the simplest rules of all permanent makeup procedures according to many PMU artists.
There are 3 versions of permanent eyeliner aftercare and they are prescribed based on your skin type. They differ from one another in how often you should apply an aftercare ointment, if at all. All 3 aftercare routines are quite straightforward, so you should really stick to them as closely as possible.
How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare Last?
The healing period after permanent eyeliner lasts about 4-6 weeks, but you don’t have to follow the aftercare routine for that long.
The permanent eyeliner aftercare lasts about 10 days, until the treated area has gone through the scabbing and the flaking phase. After that, you don’t have to follow aftercare instructions anymore, but you should stay away from eye makeup for about 5 more days.
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Image source: Instagram @arune_kundrotiene_pmu
What Are the Basic Rules of Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare?
Here’s a list of the most basic rules of permanent eyeliner aftercare you should always bear in mind, no matter what aftercare routine was prescribed:
- Do not touch, rub or scratch the treated area. It is very sensitive and you can peel the pigment off if you treat it inappropriately. Use a q-tip dipped into sterile water and gently clean the area.
- Do not wear eye makeup, especially mascara, for 15 days.
- Avoid sun exposure.
- Avoid sweating, saunas, gyms and working out as well as swimming pools.
- No facials, botox or any other cosmetic treatments for at least 4 weeks.
- Do not sleep on your face and use a clean pillowcase.
- Do not wear contact lenses during the permanent eyeliner aftercare period. Wear glasses instead and when it’s finished, get a new pair of contacts if possible.
3 Versions of Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare
At the appointment, your artist will assess your skin and prescribe an aftercare routine you’ll have to follow to keep the area safe from infections and irritations and secure maximum pigment retention.
Let’s take a look at 3 possible eyeliner tattoo aftercare routines:
Dry Healing Aftercare
Dry healing implies cleaning the area every couple of hours on the 1st and 2nd day, and then not putting anything on the treated area and keeping it completely dry until the flaking stage is over, so for about 10 days. This aftercare routine is usually prescribed to clients with oily skin.
DAYS 1 & 2: Clean the area with a cotton pad dampened with water every couple of hours to remove the lymph and dust.
DAYS 3 – 10: Don’t get the area wet. Don’t apply any product onto the treated area until all the scabs have flaked off on their own.
Wet Healing Aftercare
Wet healing involves cleaning the area regularly and then applying a prescribed aftercare ointment. The ointment protects the wound from contamination, but it’s important to only apply a thin layer, so the wound can still breathe. Wet healing can minimize the scabbing, which is beneficial for pigment retention.
DAY 1: Clean the area every couple of hours with a dampened cotton pad to remove the lymph and then apply a thin layer of the prescribed aftercare ointment.
DAYS 2 – 10: Clean the area 2-3 times a day with lukewarm water (and a very gentle cleanser if advised) and apply a thin layer of the prescribed aftercare ointment.
A favorite among PMU artists, this aftercare routine is a combination of the 2 previous ones. It implies letting the area dry for a couple of days, and resuming with wet healing.
DAYS 1 – 3: Don’t get the area wet, only clean it from lymph with a damp cotton pad from time to time.
DAYS 4 – 10: Clean the area with lukewarm water (and a very gentle cleanser if advised) and apply a thin layer of the prescribed aftercare ointment. Some artists don’t prescribe such a strict schedule, but rather advise applying the ointment if and when you feel like the area is getting tight and itchy.
NOTE: These are just general outlines of the 3 most common eyeliner tattoo aftercare routines. The routine your artist prescribes may differ. Always follow the prescribed instructions and use products recommended by your artist – they had the chance to assess your skin and can predict what will work best.
Image source: Instagram @phi_sona.jalali
Can I Shower After the Permanent Eyeliner Treatment?
Yes, you can shower after the treatment, but don’t take long showers because the steam can affect your eyeliner. Make it as quick as possible.
You should avoid steam, as well as excessive sweating, in other circumstances too, so no steam baths or saunas.
Can I Wash My Face After the Permanent Eyeliner Treatment?
Yes, washing your face is allowed if you are careful. You’ll have to be gentle and you mustn’t rub the treated area. The best option is to softly clean it with a wet cotton pad, avoiding the treated area. After 3 days, you can wash your face as you usually do, but avoid harsh cleaners.
Can I Wear Contact Lenses After the Permanent Eyeliner Treatment?
You shouldn’t wear contact lenses for about 5 days after your permanent eyeliner treatment. The permanent tattoo eyeliner aftercare period entails some swelling, itching and tightness, so wearing contact lenses can be uncomfortable until everything settles.
Why Do I Need the First Touch Up?
Most salons treat permanent eyeliner as a 2-visit procedure, and the 1st touch up is usually included in the price.
As the skin recovers, some of the pigment is lost due to flaking and the body working to extract the foreign substance. The lost pigment is replenished at the touch up, where the artist adds more color, and can modify the shape if you want it thicker.
Once you’re through with aftercare permanent eyeliner still needs some time to heal, so the touch up is scheduled after about 6 weeks after the initial application.
Image source: Instagram @shayli_phimaster
Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare – Main Takeaways
Proper permanent eyeliner aftercare is very essential for achieving maximum effects. The aftercare for permanent eyeliner comes in 3 verions – dry, wet, or combination – and they’re all short and simple. Whichever is prescribed to you, try to follow it as closely as possible in order to stay safe and healthy, and to achieve the best possible results.
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