One of the advantages of permanent makeup is the fact that it fades over time. This may sound like a downside at first, but it’s actually great because it gives you the opportunity to modify and change up the look of it every couple of years.
Microblading lasts about 12-18 months, at which point you can refresh it and prolong the look, or let it fade into oblivion. If it fades properly, that is.
In some cases, clients report their microblading not fading as expected. Here are the most common causes, and a couple of fixes.
Causes of Microblading Not Fading
1. Pigments Were Implemented Too Deep
Microblading pigments are supposed to be implemented into the basal epidermis layer or the skin, so very shallow. This allows the skin’s natural exfoliation cycle to gradually shed the pigmented cells, and fade the results into disappearing.
To implement the pigments at the right depth, the blade should only barely scratch the surface of the skin. This means that a very light pressure needs to be applied to it. If the artist performing the treatment presses the blade too deep into the skin, the pigments will go deeper, into the dermis layer.
The dermis layer is never exfoliated, only the surface layer is, so a certain amount of pigment will stay there forever, or at least much longer than it’s supposed to, and lead to microblading not fading.
Image source: Instagram @skinsolutionsbycris
2. The Pigment Formula Can’t Be Broken Down by Your System
PMU pigments are formulated in a way that allows your body to break them down and absorb them. However, the formulas vary, and since this branch of the beauty industry is still largely unregulated, you can find all sorts of subpar formulas on the market.
The body tends to have a harder time breaking down certain substances, and if the pigment contains one of them, it can lead to microblading not fading completely. Organic pigments have proven to fade much less and much slower than non-organic, but they are not so common on the market.
Always check with your artist what type and brand of pigments they use.
The formulation also determines what shade your brows will fade into. Every formula contains several colors of pigment, and depending on your system’s properties and body chemistry, some of them will fade quicker than others.
That’s why most results of microblading not fading properly is an orange, or a bluish/gray shadow.
Another common phenomenon is the tail, or the outer half of the brow fading much slower. This is due to the fact that the inner corners of the brows, or the heads, are much more movable. As the muscles beneath them get activated, the blood flow into them is stimulated, which accelerates pigments being broken down.
3. The Pigments Migrated into Scar Tissue
Scar tissue does not exfoliate itself, so if pigments are injected into them, chances are they won’t fade at the pace they would from healthy skin.
If a microblading procedure is performed improperly and the skin is damaged, micro-scars will form, and if pigments migrate into them, it could lead to microblading not fading. That’s why you should never trust an uncertified, self-taught technician.
Microblading Not Fading Fixes
Luckily, techs have ways of fixing the unattractive consequences of microblading not fading. Here’s how:
Once the results of microblading fade into a significantly lighter shade and become a shadow, you can get a correction and cover it up with a new cosmetic tattoo.
The correction procedure depends on how light the shadow is, i.e. how saturated in pigment the skin is:
- If the shadow is very light, you can get the strokes replenished and the result is a new microblading look.
- If it is darker, microblading strokes on their own won’t look good, and shading is usually added to get a combo brow.
- In extreme cases of microblading not fading, shading is the only option and the result is a powder brow.
What you should know, though, is that a correction can never look as crisp as the first time you get your brows done. That’s why removal is generally a better option.
Image source: Instagram @kimberly.armstrong.pmu
There are several ways to remove an eyebrow tattoo.
Laser removal implies a laser beam penetrating the skin and dissolving the pigments. It usually takes multiple sessions – the lighter the shadow, the fewer the sessions. The problem with laser removal is that it doesn’t work on reddish and yellow pigments.
The alternative is saline removal. This implies opening up the skin with a machine or manual blade and injecting a solution that lifts the pigments out of the skin. This removal technique is efficient for all pigments, and 1-2 sessions should be enough to get rid of the shadow.
Image source: Instagram @dana_depta_pmu
Everyone’s skin reacts differently to PMU pigments. On some people, they fade extremely quickly and totally, while others retain pigments for much longer than their expected duration.
It can sometimes be hard to distinguish between microblading not fading, and microblading fading extremely slowly. Whatever the case, if your fabulous brows have faded into an unattractive shadow, consult a PMU artist and discuss your options as far as getting fresh PMU.
They will assess the pigment saturation and determine if you need a removal, or a quick color correction. But be aware that if your skin has the tendency to retain pigments, adding more to it will bring you right back to the start a few years down the line and you’ll probably need removal after all.
Cover image source: Pexels