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Technological advancements in the cosmetic industry have seen semi-permanent makeup grow in popularity. But one of the first questions many ask is – how long does it last? Here’s an overview of what you can expect from this innovative cosmetic solution.  

What is semi-permanent makeup?

Semi-permanent makeup is a dynamic complexion treatment that gives definition to the face. Using a fine vibrating needle, pigmentation is injected into the skin’s superficial layers, providing a more lasting, finished look. Some of the biggest advantages of semi-permanent makeup are that it saves on time and money related to daily makeup application, and does not rub off in the heat. Semi-permanent makeup can be used in a number of ways, including enhancing eyebrows, eyelashes, lips, cheeks and even head hair (scalp micropigmentation); as well as camouflaging scars or re-pigmenting areola after breast surgery. 

How long does semi-permanent makeup last?

There are a number of factors that will impact the duration of any treatment. This is a rough idea of the longevity of various treatments, although it’s important to consult with industry specialists for your particular procedure. 

  • Digital machine eyebrows: 6 months to 2 years
  • Microblading eyebrows: 6 months to 1 year
  • Micro-shading: 1-3 years
  • Beauty Spot – 1-2 years
  • Semi-permanent eyeliner: 1-2 years
  • Semi-permanent lipstick: 1-2 years
  • Scalp micropigmentation: 2-3 years

What impacts the lifespan?

There are a number of factors that will determine how long the treatment lasts, but some key factors to discuss with your practitioner are:

  • The technique used to apply the semi-permanent makeup
  • The pigment type used in the application
  • The individual’s skin type 
  • The individual’s lifestyle

Getting the most out of your semi-permanent makeup treatment

There are steps that can be taken to assist in the longevity of your cosmetic treatment. While these might not add years to the lifespan, they can certainly ensure you’re getting the most out of the treatment while enhancing the finished effect. 

  • Pre-procedure care treatment

Before going for your semi-permanent makeup treatment, it’s worth doing what you can ahead of the procedure. Here are some tips on preparing for the day: 

  • Mental preparation: It’s likely you will feel a bit nervous before any cosmetic treatment, so try calming yourself by meditating or resting ahead of the procedure. 
  • Moisturise: Keep your skin well-moisturised in the days leading up to the procedure so that it is healthy and robust.
  • Check your skincare products: Do not use any form of skin thinning or skin exfoliating products (retinol or glycolic acid) ahead of the treatment. 
  • Monitor your consumption: Try to avoid drinking coffee or alcohol, or taking any form of drug the day before your procedure. 
  • Aftercare procedures 

Probably the most important steps taken to extend the lifespan of the semi-permanent makeup are directly after the treatment. Make sure you follow all the guidelines given by the practitioner; however, this is what you can probably expect. 

  • Use of ointment: Your practitioner will likely give you a specific healing balm to use after the treatment for some days. Using clean hands, this will be applied on a cotton bud, between two and three times daily. For some treatments, however, dry healing is best and no ointment will be needed at all. 
  • Don’t wash the area: Instead of using water, you will most likely use a cleanser to clean your face. However, you will not be able to get water on the tattooed area for a few days afterwards as this can damage the result. 
  • Don’t apply makeup: While makeup can be used elsewhere, the treated area must be left without cover for a few days, as it could cause infections. This will badly impact the finished result. 
  • Keep hair away: If your hair is likely to touch the treatment area, keep it pinned back until the area has healed. This could cause infection or affect the setting of the colour. 
  • Don’t scratch: The skin might start to feel itchy as it heals, but scratching could cause scarring and infection. 
  • Avoid UV rays: This means staying out of the sun and not using any form of sunbeds. When you do venture out, where a brimmed hat. Once healed, it’s important to use sunscreen as well. 
  • Avoid anti-aging creams: These can affect the tattooed area. 
  • Avoid skin treatments: Any facial scrub, laser treatment or chemical peel could affect the semi-permanent makeup longevity. 
  • Avoid swimming and sweating: For the first week after treatment, avoid swimming and avoid excessive sweating.
  • Avoid MRI machines: You should not have any MRI scans done at least six weeks after the treatment. 

Symptoms to expect after semi-permanent makeup treatment

It’s important not to get alarmed when experiencing certain symptoms after a semi-permanent makeup treatment. Customers can expect to experience: 

  • Tingling
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Flaking
  • Itchiness

There is no reason to be alarmed that these will impact the finished look, this just means the skin is going through a healing process. The symptoms are known to last around 72 hours and can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication. 

The semi-permanent makeup touch-up

Semi-permanent makeup will change over time because of a number of reasons. The colour can fade because of: 

  • UV exposure
  • Use of certain skin care products/makeup remover
  • The skin’s natural exfoliation process

The colour can also become oxidised if exposed to certain elements, changing brown hues to pink, and blacks to blue. Fortunately, semi-permanent makeup colours can be boosted with a simple touch-up session, but the time before a touch-up is needed will depend on the individual. Ideally, semi-permanent makeup should last at least a year (possibly two) before any form of touch-up is needed. 

Benefits of semi-permanent makeup

There are many benefits to this cosmetic procedure, and one of the benefits is that it is, in fact, semi-permanent. Makeup styles go in and out of fashion (think of the bright blue eyeliner of the previous generation!) which means you’ll likely want to change your look at some point. Just make sure you consult with industry professionals on exactly what look you’re wanting to achieve so that you’re happy with the end result.