Eyeliner Tattoo Removal

Find out all you need to know about 3 methods of eyeliner tattoo removal – how effective they are, how they work, risks, cost, and more.

Eyeliner Tattoo Removal - How to Remove Permanent Eyeliner?

Image source: Instagram @hkboldbrowsmaster.carol

Permanent eyeliner is a great solution for anyone who loves wearing on-point eyeliner, but doesn’t like reapplying it every day. It can recreate a number of looks that won’t come off for up to 3 years, or even longer. Which is perfect when it works out and you love your eyeliner tattoo.

But there are cases where the PMU blessing becomes a curse, and waiting for it to fade is not an option.

If you’re dealing with an eyeliner tattoo you no longer want, or need to correct some of its imperfections that emerged over the years, you might be considering eyeliner tattoo removal.

PMUHub brings you a guide on how to remove permanent eyeliner.

Click on the link to go directly to a specific step:

Is Eyeliner Tattoo Removal Possible?

Good news – permanent eyeliner removal is definitely possible.

It does, however, require time, patience, and a not insignificant amount of money.

You will need to go through a series of removal treatments that gradually lighten the PMU pigments, eventually fading them out so much they become invisible.

You can have the entire tattoo removed, or you can get partial eyeliner tattoo removal and correct any spots where pigments may have moved, or get rid of that thick wing you got on a whim.

Want to find out more about permanent eyeliner? Follow the links:

Permanent Eyeliner – The Ultimate Guide

Permanent Eyeliner Before and After

Permanent Eyeliner Longevity

Is Eyeliner Tattoo Removal Possible?Image source: Instagram @phimaster_zarrin

Is It Possible to Remove Permanent Eyeliner at Home?

No, there’s no method of at-home eyeliner tattoo removal that works.

That said, you can contribute a bit to fading your eyeliner by frequent exfoliation, or by using skincare ingredients known to fade PMU pigments, like Retinol. Frequent exposure to sunlight and salt or pool water can also accelerate pigment fading.

All these can make the eyeliner tattoo a bit lighter, but not remove it.

Laser Eyeliner Tattoo Removal

Laser is the oldest method of tattoo removal, and it can be used to remove permanent makeup, too.

How Does It Work?

The laser beam penetrates the skin and targets the PMU pigments. It uses light energy to shatter pigment molecules into even smaller particles that white blood cells can carry away. The pigments are extracted from within.

With each session, the laser breaks down more and more pigment molecules, leading to gradual fading. In order to avoid damage to the skin, the process has to be done gradually.

Is It Efficient?

Laser eyeliner tattoo removal is very efficient and works great on black and deep brown pigments generally used for eyeliner PMU but it takes time and patience.

It requires up to 8 sessions, or even more, for complete removal. The number of sessions you need depends on the saturation of pigments in the skin, the formula of the pigment, and how deep it was injected.

Eyeliner Tattoo removal with LaserImage source: Instagram @grantclinic

Is It Safe?

Generally, yes, if the removal tech knows what they’re doing.

However, not every laser device can work on the sensitive skin of the eyelids. Also, not every laser is safe for working on darker skin (the wrong wavelength can cause hypo- and hyper-pigmentation).

The treatment requires putting ocular shields into the eyes. They’re kind of like metal contact lenses. They protect the cornea from the laser beams. A bit uncomfortable, especially if you’ve never worn lenses, but they keep your eyes safe.

Does It Hurt?

We won’t lie, laser eyeliner tattoo removal is not comfortable.

A type of local anesthetic is used to diminish the pain, but the eyelid area is so delicate that you will probably feel some less than pleasant sensations.

Luckily, a session takes about 15 minutes.

How Much Does It Cost?

The average laser eyeliner tattoo removal cost is around $250 per session. You will probably need up to 8 sessions, so the bills can pile up.

Since eyeliner tattoo removal requires a special skill and equipment, it’s a bit more expensive than laser eyebrow tattoo removal.

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?

2 things.

First, laser eyeliner tattoo removal is only possible if the tattoo is at least 6 months old. If it’s fresher than that, the concentration of pigment in the skin can cause the laser beam to damage the skin.

Second, laser removal doesn’t work for reddish and yellowish pigments. Eyeliner tattoos are usually black, but if you have a warm brownish eyeliner tattoo, you may need to combine removal methods.

Saline Eyeliner Tattoo Removal

Saline removal is a technique used primarily for removing permanent makeup, and it works equally well for all pigment colors.

How Does It Work?

Saline removal is a non-laser technique that extracts the pigments directly from the skin. It’s done by opening up the skin above the unwanted pigments with a machine or a manual shading tool, and injecting a saline solution (a sterile solution of salt) into the cuts.

The salt dries up the pigments, and once the skin starts healing, the scab that’s formed takes a certain amount of pigment with it.

Is It Efficient?

Yes, saline permanent eyeliner removal is very efficient, but again, you have to be patient. Most clients need 2-6 sessions to get satisfactory results.

Saline Eyeliner Tattoo RemovalImage source: Instagram @cosmeticcliniccalgary

Is It Safe?

Saline eyeliner tattoo removal requires opening up the skin, so it entails a risk of permanent scarring. This shouldn’t occur if the technician is experienced and knows how much pressure to apply, but the skin of the eyelids is so delicate that it takes a special skill to treat.

That’s why many removal techs who remove brow PMU don’t do eyeliner tattoo removal.

Does It Hurt?

Saline permanent makeup removal is basically reverse tattooing, and the technique is virtually the same as PMU application.

Since you already had PMU, you know what to expect. A local anesthetic is used to diminish the pain, but some discomfort is inevitable. A session takes about an hour, and having someone poke around your eyes for that long is uncomfortable even without needles.

But the general impression is that it’s more bearable than laser.

How Much Does It Cost?

The average saline eyebrow tattoo removal cost is around $300 per session. You will probably need around 6 sessions, so it’s not a small investment.

Since eyeliner tattoo removal requires a special skill, it’s a bit more expensive than saline eyebrow tattoo removal.

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?

The scabbing after saline eyeliner tattoo removal can be quite heavy, so prepare for some further discomfort. No matter how heavy it gets, you mustn’t touch the scabs!

Glycolic Acid Eyeliner Tattoo Removal

A technique very similar to saline permanent eyeliner removal, the only difference is the removal solution used.

How Does It Work?

A lot like saline.

Glycolic acid removal is another non-laser technique that extracts the pigments directly from the skin. Again, the skin above the unwanted pigments is opened with a machine or a manual shading tool, and a removal solution based on glycolic and lactic acids is injected into the cuts.

The formula usually contains additional ingredients that stimulate faster healing, or give other benefits.

The solution binds the pigment molecules to itself, and once the skin starts healing, the scab that’s formed takes a certain amount of pigment with it.

Is It Efficient?

Yes, in fact, glycolic acid is considered to potentially become the best technique for eyeliner tattoo removal.

It takes 2-6 or more sessions for total removal, but some removal techs who offer multiple techniques claim glycolic acid is more gentle on the skin than saline.

Glycolic Acid Eyeliner Tattoo RemovalImage source: Instagram @phibrasilcursos

Is It Safe?

Glycolic acid eyeliner tattoo removal requires opening up the skin, so it entails a risk of permanent scarring. This shouldn’t occur if the technician is experienced and knows how much pressure to apply, but the skin of the eyelids is so delicate that it takes a special skill to treat.

That’s why many removal techs who remove brow PMU don’t do eyeliner tattoo removal.

How Much Does It Cost?

Glycolic acid permanent eyeliner removal is a bit pricier than the other 2 techniques – the average price is around $400 per session. That said, you can find techs who charge much less than that, but it may take some research.

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?

Glycolic acid solutions can vary significantly from one brand to another. They often contain various natural extracts that are supposed to speed up healing, and these ingredients can cause allergies in some clients.

It’s advisable to do a patch test and check before the first procedure.

Partial Eyeliner Tattoo Removal

In case your permanent eyeliner has “bled out” in some spots, you may not have to have the whole thing removed.

The skin of the eyelids has special properties, and permanent eyeliner is prone to pigment migration. This most often happens in the outer corners, and it can make the whole thing look very messy.

If that’s the case, you can get partial eyeliner tattoo removal and just get that spot fixed. Any of the above described techniques will work, and you probably won’t need as many sessions as you would for total removal.

Partial Eyeliner Tattoo RemovalImage source: Instagram @lindsey_the_esthi

What’s Permanent Eyeliner Removal Healing Like?

After each removal session, your skin will go through a healing period very similar to the healing after you got your eyeliner tattoo.

It will be swollen and reddish for the first 2 days, scabs will form, and once they start falling off, you’ll go through a peeling period. Remember – you mustn’t touch the scabs!

All this should be over by day 14, but internal healing takes longer than that. You have to let the tissue recover entirely before you can get another removal session, so 6-8 weeks after each one.

Eyeliner Tattoo Removal Aftercare

Whichever method of removal you’re getting, there are some universal aftercare instructions you need

Follow these tips after each permanent eyeliner removal session, to avoid complications and get the best results possible:

  • Keep the treated area clean and dry during the first 3 days. Clean as instructed by your removal technician.
  • From day 3, use a moisturizer recommended by the technician to help the wound heal faster and to minimize itching.
  • Don’t pick the scabs if you want to avoid scarring.
  • Avoid heat, hot water, heavy sweating, swimming, and sun exposure.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid high-pressure water.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.

PMUHUb Note: These aftercare rules are general. If your removal tech advises a routine different from the one described above, listen to them and follow their advice as closely as possible.

Are There Any Risks to Eyeliner Tattoo Removal?

Although these methods are quite safe under the condition you go to a trained, certified, and experienced removal technician, they do imply breaking the surface of the skin. The possible risks are:

  • Scarring. The biggest risk to permanent eyeliner removal is scarring. If the removal tech isn’t very careful, they may cause excessive trauma to the skin that will result in permanent scarring. The risk of this is higher with saline and glycolic acid removal as those imply opening up the skin with an instrument, but the wrong laser wavelength can also cause it.
  • Infection. If the treatment isn’t performed according to all hygiene and safety standards, the area treated can get infected. Most infections are mild, but more severe cases can happen, and in any case, it’s best to prevent this altogether – never go to an uncertified, self-taught tech!
  • Allergies. The chemicals used for saline and glycolic acid removal may cause allergies. The tech should always do a patch test beforehand to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the products used.

Are There Any Risks to Eyeliner Tattoo Removal?Image source: Instagram @arviv_aesthetics

Eyeliner Tattoo Removal – Main Takeaways

There are 3 effective methods of permanent eyeliner removal – laser, saline, and glycolic acid removal.

The choice of removal method depends on the state of your tattoo, so it’s best to book a consultation appointment with a removal specialist and let them assess what approach would be best.

In any case, you will likely need multiple sessions, with 6-8 weeks of healing between them. The average eyeliner tattoo removal cost per session is $250 – $300 for laser and saline, and $400 for glycolic acid removal.

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