Permanent makeup doesn’t come cheap. So if you’ve had a permanent makeup procedure and you’re thrilled with the results, you want them to last and stay fabulous for as long as possible.
Every artist will warn you against sunlight exposure and give you a rundown of aftercare rules and an aftercare kit, but there are many other factors to consider in the long run, like certain skincare products and procedures that damage the results and lead to premature fading.
If you’re a PMU artist and you’ve just given your clients a killer brow or a lush lip blush, you should give them as detailed instructions as possible, but skincare may not have been mentioned during your training.
So PMUHub has prepared a detailed list of dos and don’ts when it comes to skincare after permanent makeup!
Skincare Ingredients to Avoid
Skincare products usually have complex formulas with many ingredients, some of which can be detrimental to the results of permanent makeup. So the next time you’re at the drugstore, turn the bottle and study the ingredients list before you buy.
Here’s what you should avoid:
Retinol is the no 1 enemy of PMU, and unfortunately, it’s a very common ingredient found in skincare products. A type of vitamin A, it’s one of the most effective ingredients in anti-aging, as it boosts collagen production.
However, retinol does not only cause flaking which makes the results patchy and uneven, it also speeds up the regeneration of the epidermis, meaning that with regular use, new skin cells replace old ones twice as quickly. As cells are shed, so are pigments.
Retinol can be found in a large number of creams, serums and face masks, especially sheet ones. A rule of the thumb is, if a product is labeled anti-age, chances are it contains retinol. So make sure you always study the ingredient list.
Retinol is sometimes listed as Retin-A, retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, and propionic acid.
Widely known as vitamin C, ascorbic acid has been a huge trend in skincare lately. It is also known to cut the duration of permanent makeup results in half. Vitamin C is most often found in anti-aging serums, so read the ingredients carefully.
The same goes for salicylic acid. This one is common in facial washes and toners.
It’s a good idea to avoid retinol and these acids for about 30 days before the treatment, too, as they can thin out the skin and lead to excessive bleeding during the procedure.
A pleasant scent makes the skincare routine special, but perfume isn’t good for your skin in general – the American Academy of Dermatology warns that perfume is the most common cause of allergic reactions – and could affect your PMU results. Skin reacts in a number of ways, one of which is flaking.
Alcohol, which is the main ingredient of perfumes, dries the skin and could also cause flaking, and whenever an area where pigments were injected gets flaky, chances are patches of pigment could come off, too.
If you’ve had permanent eyeliner, make sure you toss your old mascara and get a new one. The bacteria in the tube that’s been used can cause serious infections.
Alternative Skincare Products That Don’t Affect PMU Results
Lightweight hydrating formulas that don’t contain brightening ingredients or chemical peeling agents won’t affect your PMU results in any way. If you’re not sure whether a formula is suitable or not, turn and learn! Study the ingredients list on the back of the packaging and if you don’t come across any of the ingredients mentioned above, the product should be fine.
Alternatively, you can try plant oils like almond, jojoba, argan, or olive which don’t contain any chemicals or fragrance. Going for the pure version is the most affordable skincare available!
If fragrance is a must for you, look into natural skincare which is usually scented with essential oils, but do be careful. Only top-quality essential oils don’t contain alcohol. Those labeled “absolute” usually do.
Beauty Treatments to Avoid
Certain beauty treatments damage the skin mechanically, which causes patchiness and makes the pigment color uneven, and it could also affect the shape of brows or lips.
1. Mechanical Exfoliation
Exfoliation removes the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, and with them, a portion of the pigments. Even the gentlest peels, like a DIY sugar and oil combination, could affect the crispness and evenness of your eyebrow microblading, permanent lipstick or lipliner.
Generally speaking, it isn’t forbidden to exfoliate the rest of the face, avoiding the area where pigments have been injected, but make sure you’re very, very careful.
When it comes to exfoliating products, apart from the mechanical effect, they could also feature ingredients that stimulate exfoliation which could make their way onto your PMU results, even if you’re not rubbing the area directly.
A popular type of exfoliation treatment. Microdermabrasion can help diminish all sorts of skin imperfections, but it will also damage PMU pigments. Of course, you can get the treatment as long as you instruct your technician to be extra careful to go around your PMU.
If you’re interested, we have a guide through the microdermabrasion treatment!
3. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are a more aggressive alternative to exfoliation. Unlike with non-chemical mechanical peels, it is extremely difficult to protect the area where pigments have been injected from the chemicals, so it’s best to avoid this treatment.
Final Tip – The Importance of SPF
We know you’re probably fed up with every single beauty source telling you to wear your SPF, but we can’t help it! If you want your PMU results to stay nicely defined for as long as possible, wearing SPF regularly is a must.