Laser Permanent Makeup Removal
PMUHub’s guide through one of the most effective methods for removing old, unwanted or botched permanent makeup. Read all about laser permanent makeup removal treatment.
Laser has been a proven method for removing traditional body tattoos, but now it found another purpose in removing old or unwanted permanent makeup.
Demand for permanent makeup removal is in proportion with the demand for permanent makeup treatment, which means that it’s currently on the increase. With the popularity of PMU treatments and lack of regulations, there are a lot of uncertified artists working without a license. So, botched PMU is something that happens, unfortunately.
Also, even though permanent makeup is supposed to fade with time, it sometimes leaves an unattractive shadow, so removal is necessary.
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What PMU Can Be Removed With Laser?
Laser permanent makeup removal is effective on all permanent makeup treatments, i.e. removing brow tattoo, permanent eyeliner, scalp micropigmentation, or a lip tattoo. It is most commonly used for removing microblading and powder brows, as well as other similar brow tattoo treatments.
Image source: Instagram @annamagistra
Can Any Type of Pigment Be Removed with Laser?
Laser has been used for decades to remove tattoo ink, but it also works great on permanent makeup pigments of black and brown color, which are the most common for brow tattoos and permanent eyeliner.
However, it does not give great results removing pigments that contain titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is used to lighten the pigments. Laser is not very effective at removing those pigments – they can turn grey during laser permanent makeup removal.
So, after a few sessions of permanent makeup laser removal, if the reddish shadow is still persistent, or turns grey, the best option is saline removal.
When Can I Go for Laser Permanent Makeup Removal Treatment?
Your cosmetic tattoo needs to be at least 6 months old in order to get it removed. The pigment is too intense in the first 6 months and there is a risk of scarring if treated with laser permanent makeup removal.
How To Prepare for Laser Removal?
Here are the things you should avoid to prepare properly for permanent makeup laser removal:
- Your skin mustn’t be tanned or sunburned.
- You should be hydrated properly.
- Avoid shaving, waxing, and exfoliating the area.
- Don’t take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, as these can sometimes increase bleeding.
How Does Laser Permanent Makeup Removal Work?
The laser beam breaks the pigment particles by emitting short pulses of light energy. Pigment particles are shattered and absorbed by the body. This is done in several sessions, and with each treatment, the particles are further broken, making the cosmetic tattoo less visible.
Image source: Instagram @inna_abdiyeva_craftmaster
How Many Sessions of Laser Permanent Makeup Removal Do I Need?
The number of sessions depends on different factors, such as how saturated the tattoo is, how old it is (i.e. is it already faded or not), and the characteristics of your skin and system.
So, whether you want to remove an old, unwanted brow tattoo, permanent eyeliner or lip liner, you can expect to have from 2 to 10 sessions. Permanent makeup is much easier and faster to remove than a traditional tattoo because the pigments are inserted shallow in the skin, but some unskilled PMU artists place the pigment too deep, which makes them harder to remove.
Some people will see great results after only 2 sessions, while someone can’t get rid of the tattoo completely even after many sessions especially if it contains red color.
How Long Do I Have to Wait Between the Laser Permanent Makeup Removal Sessions?
After each laser session, your skin will take some time to heal. So, you will need to wait 6-8 weeks between each session. So, if your permanent makeup is too saturated, the whole removal procedure can last up to two years!
Laser Permanent Makeup Removal Healing
The healing process of laser permanent makeup removal usually includes swelling, peeling and even blisters. It is important not to pick the scabs and pop the blisters or you risk scarring. You can reduce swelling with an ice pack.
Aftercare for Laser Permanent Makeup Removal
Follow these tips after each laser permanent makeup removal treatment, 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.
Laser Removal for Each PMU Treatment
Brow Tattoo Laser Removal
Microblading, powder brows, nano brows and other brow treatments are most commonly removed by a laser. As said above, a laser doesn’t give good results with pigments that contain titanium dioxide. So, clients who want to remove an eyebrow tattoo most commonly start treating it with laser and continue with saline removal to get rid of the red color.
Image source: Instagram @midgardtattoo
Permanent Eyeliner Laser Removal
This is a very risky procedure and needs to be done by a certified and experienced laser technician. Protective ocular shields are placed under the eyelids, just like contact lenses. It is very important to protect the eyes properly.
The procedure is uncomfortable, but a numbing ointment is dropped into the eyes, or onto the protective shield to minimize discomfort. Also, topical numbing is applied.
Image source: Instagram @grantclinic
Lip Liner Laser Removal
When it comes to lip PMU, the pigments on the lips themselves are not removed by a laser because it is risky and usually unnecessary, since the color can be covered with lipstick.
A lip liner that looks off due to pigment migration, on the other hand, is something you can’t hide easily.
It can be removed by certain lasers, but there is the possibility that the tattoo will change color into grey or blue. It can later be removed with a different kind of laser, the one for dark colors. Or you can continue the removal process with saline. However, since you need to wait 6-8 weeks between the sessions, you will have to go around with an unattractive color around your lips for some time.
Image source: Instagram @_beautyenhanced
Scalp Micropigmentation Laser Removal
Botched scalp micropigmentation can only be removed with a laser. It is done similarly to removing any other body tattoo, but the results are achieved faster since pigments are used for scalp pigmentation, not ink.
Image source: Instagram @scalpetics
Is Laser Permanent Makeup Removal Safe?
It is, if you find a skilled, trained and certified technician, who knows which laser wavelength to use for different colors.
One thing to bear in mind is that not all lasers are safe for working on darker skin – they can cause hypo- and hyperpigmentation – so it might take some research to find a technician who has proper equipment and experience.
Is Permanent Makeup Laser Removal Painful?
There is a lot of numbing involved, but some clients say that it is quite painful nevertheless. Others experience mild heat and prickling during the treatment. So the level of pain basically depends on the skin sensitivity, but it can be pretty uncomfortable. Luckily, the laser treatment usually lasts about 10 minutes, so it is bearable.
How Much Does Laser Permanent Makeup Removal Cost?
The price of the laser permanent makeup removal goes from $100 to $500 per session, but the most common cost is somewhere around $215.
Image source: Instagram @letty_aesthetics_
Laser Permanent Makeup Removal Pros and Cons
Benefits of permanent makeup removal laser:
- Fast and effective
- Minimal recovery
- Not too painful
Cons of Laser Eyebrow Tattoo Removal
- Cost – you may need multiple sessions, so it can be pricey
- Some side effects, such as inflammation, infection, or even blisters may appear, but they are not serious. If the treated area is eyelids, bruising is also common.
- While it is a great solution for removing tattoo ink, the laser is not the best option for pigments that have a yellow, red, or pink tone.
- It will probably burn off brow hair, but not for good. The hair will grow back.
Laser Permanent Makeup Removal – Main Takeaways
Laser permanent makeup removal is an effective way to get rid of an unwanted or old cosmetic tattoo. 2-10 sessions may be required, depending on how saturated the tattoo is and the nature of the pigments used. The average price is $215 per session. You will need to wait 6-8 weeks between the sessions.