One misconception about microblading is that it is a one-time-only, zero-effort procedure. These claims are false. While permanent makeup is indeed easier to obtain and maintain than other beauty procedures, it is by no means a wash-and-wear look.
Like all premium beauty procedures, microblading requires specific prep and aftercare conditions. Anyone who says otherwise just wants to sell their services and doesn’t care about their clients.
The aftercare period lasts 4 to 6 weeks depending on the client’s body regeneration and age. The treated area will go through several healing phases, so clients need to be prepared for each phase.
To better serve future customers, you can refer to this article as your go-to guide for all things microblading aftercare.
Table of contents
Why microblading requires aftercare
For clients who have tattoos, aftercare is not a foreign concept.
Fresh tattoos cannot be exposed to water, direct sunlight, and literally almost anything that isn’t clean human skin. Microblading itself is a tattooing technique. So, it follows that microblading also requires aftercare.
Why? Because tattooing, whether or not it uses the microblading technique, opens the body to the possibility of infection.
Tattooing involves inserting ink underneath the skin with the use of a specialized needle. And any time the human skin is opened, the body becomes vulnerable to infections and scarring, even if it is just a teeny tiny opening.
By performing the proper aftercare, clients can avoid infections, scarring, or any other complications that come with improper tattoo care.
Your role as the microblading artist
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, being a microblading artist isn’t just about knowing how to draw on a perfect eyebrow. Permanent makeup carries risks, so artists need to ensure that clients are well aware of how to avoid these risks.
Not all states require microblading artists to inform their clients about aftercare. This is a shame since clients might not have immediate access to permanent makeup aftercare instructions following their procedure.
As the microblading artist, it is your responsibility to orient the client about:
- What microblading is
- What the risks of microblading are
- The longevity of permanent makeup procedures on their skin
- How to prepare for a microblading session
- What to expect after a permanent makeup session
- How to properly care for the skin after microblading
Giving clients the correct information isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also the safest.
Clients sometimes go after their permanent makeup artists if they feel like the procedure was a failure. And it’s easy to misinterpret failed microblading aftercare as the fault of the artist. One bad review could cost you several potential clients.
What to expect after the microblading procedure
After the procedure, the treated area always looks different from the desired result. This is because the pigment needs time to settle into the skin. Meanwhile, the skin also needs time to heal and recover.
Here are the two most important facts clients need to remember about aftercare:
- The aftercare period lasts 4 to 6 weeks
- There are several phases to the healing process
Keeping these things in mind, here’s a breakdown of what clients can expect after their microblading procedure:
Day 1: On the day of the procedure, the treated area will look perfect. The color of the brows or lips will be a little bolder than promised, but this is because the color will be fading in the next few weeks.
Day 2 to 4: For the next few days, the treated area will look darker, sharper, and more intense than expected. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
Day 5 to 8: On these days, the treated area may be flaking and scabbing off. This is also normal. Remind clients to not pick off any scabs. Otherwise, they might end up pulling out pigment deposits in the skin.
Day 9 to 10: The treated area will look waxy, as the body has done its job of healing the incisions in the skin. Clients need not panic if the treated area seems unsaturated or dull. The color will come back soon.
Day 14 onwards: By now, the color of the treated area has returned to normal. The color is now also evened out and smooth. However, the skin hasn’t yet completely healed at this point.
Day 30: The skin has now healed and is ready to return to your regular skin care routine.
How to care for microbladed eyebrows
The basic rule of aftercare is this: don’t expose the treated skin. Just let it breathe. The skin is healing at this point, so exposure to different elements might slow down the process.
The procedure might be hassle-free and painless for the client, sure. However, their skin still underwent severe stress. Therefore, some time is necessary to let the skin repair itself.
Here’s the complete list of dos and don’ts for eyebrow microblading aftercare:
What to avoid during microblading aftercare
- Hands off. No matter how tempting, clients need to avoid touching the treated area. Do not pick at scabs, do not stroke the area, and do not touch the area unless absolutely necessary.
- Don’t sweat it. Avoid sports, swimming, and other heavy activities that will make you sweat. Saunas, tan beds, and jacuzzis are out of the question, as well. Sweating can cause bacteria to find their way quickly to exposed tissues. This may lead to irritation and may prevent healing.
- #NoMakeup. As the skin is recovering, abstain from applying makeup, lotion, balms, ointments, gels, or any other product in the area. Always assume that the treated area will react negatively to any product you attempt to apply. To be on the safe side, don’t even try.
- Sun’s out. And by out, we mean “out of the question.” Do not expose the treated area to direct sunlight, rain, strong winds, or other harsh weather conditions. Doing so will endanger the healing process of your skin.
- Another one bites the dust. Avoid any activity that involves dust or other airborne debris. Whether it’s house cleaning or beach buggy, clients should postpone these activities until after the healing period. Similarly, driving with the windows down is a no-no.
- One drink’s too many. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, as it might slow down the healing process.
- Simmer the spice. Like alcohol, spicy foods will slow down the body’s healing process. For best results, lay off the spicy meals until after skin is healed.
- Lay off the laser. Laser and chemical treatments are a bad idea. In general, avoid additional cosmetic procedures on or near the microbladed area.
- Secret ingredients. Don’t use products that contain Retin-A or Glycolic Acid, as these also affect the healing process.
Best practices for microblading aftercare
- Stay away from the showerhead. When bathing or showering, do not get the area in direct contact with water. Instruct clients to wash their face carefully, making sure to avoid the microbladed area.
- Change sheets once you get home. The idea is to avoid contact with any beauty or skin care products that might have rubbed on the client’s pillowcase.
- Sleep on your back. Advise clients to avoid sleeping on their front. The treated area may rub against pillows or the bed.
- Get the dog a dog bed. Refrain from sleeping next to any pets for the duration of the healing process. Coming into contact with their fur may irritate the treated skin.
- Watch out for bad signs. Contact your microblading artist immediately if you spot or experience any of the following red flags:
- Prolonged redness in the microbladed area
- Prolonged swelling and/or tenderness in the microbladed area
- Foul green or yellow discharge
- Have a doctor on speed dial. When worse comes to worst, it’s best to be prepared. Have clients research where the nearest hospital is in their area. Make it a practice to get their emergency contact, as well.
Microblading aftercare for permanent eyeliner
All the guidelines for eyebrow microblading apply to permanent eyeliner, as well. However, there are a few additional reminders that you should give your clients.
Permanent eyeliner is done on a more sensitive area than the brows or lips. Therefore, there is a heightened sense of discomfort for the client.
To achieve the best permanent eyeliner results, clients need to keep in mind the following:
- Cold compress. Clients may apply ice packs during the first few days to alleviate discomfort or pain.
- Eye drops. Clients may also use lubricating eye drops if needed.
- Use glasses. Refrain from wearing contact lenses during the healing period, as they may irritate the healing lash line.
- No mascara. Avoid wearing mascara for at least 5 days after the procedure. If the mascara bottle is newly opened, clients may wait only 3 days instead of five. Absolutely no waterproof mascara is to be worn for 30 days after the procedure.
Caring for microbladed lips
Permanent lip makeup differs significantly from eyebrow microblading. For one thing, the lip is a muscle and not a patch of skin. The lips also don’t have hair follicles but have a large supply of blood.
All these characteristics make the lips a more sensitive area to treat than the brows or the lash line. They also heal differently from other areas, since we use our mouth every day. Constant lip movement can slow down the body’s healing process, although not by an alarming amount.
In addition to the general guidelines for eyebrow microblading aftercare, here are reminders specific to permanent lip makeup:
- Cold compress. Pat the lips with ice pads every hour to reduce swelling. Rinse with ice water 2 to 3 times a day to moisten the lips and loosen any forming crusts on the area. Let the skin dry for 5 minutes before applying aftercare ointment.
- Balm ban. Do not use any Glycolic, Hydroxy, Carmex or Fruit Acid products on the lips.
- Wash up? Keep the mouth clean at all times, and rinse with mouthwash after every brush. The idea is to kill any germs at the onset before they can affect the lips.
- Dull diet. No spicy or sour foods until the skin is healed. These intense flavors may burn your lips.
- Use a straw. Avoid getting in contact with liquid, especially if it’s not water. Use straws when drinking.
- Lay off the lipstick. Only wear lipstick once the skin is healed. As a rule of thumb, refrain from using lip products that cause you discomfort or pain. Wait another week before trying these products on your lips.
Touch ups are part of aftercare
Retouches are integral in the microblading process. Like all tattoos, permanent makeup fades with time. To keep brows, lips, or liner looking fresh, have clients schedule frequent touch ups with you.
Touch ups within 2 or 3 months of the microblading procedure often cost around $150. The longer clients wait for a retouch, the more pigment you’ll have to use. Therefore, the higher the price.
For instance, touch ups cost $250 once the 3-month mark passes. If the retouch is scheduled more than a year since the original session, clients will need to pay $350. If the retouch is scheduled more than 3 years since the original session, a full price of $500 is needed to cover pigment costs.
To avoid pigment discoloration after long periods of time, we encourage the use of organic microblading pigments.
Organic pigments are made with natural, food- and mineral-based products. These pigments are specifically formulated to be environment-friendly, long-lasting, and compatible with all skin types. They also do not contain the chemicals that cause discoloration.
Clients are also more easily put at ease when they know that you’re using organic products.
There is a recent rise in awareness regarding environmental preservation. It is only natural that the beauty industry keeps up with consumer demand for safer and healthier products and services.
To learn more about organic microblading, click here.