This is an interesting question because the answer is both yes and no!
Some people prefer to describe the results of treatment as semi-permanent, purely because tattoos always fade over time. How quick the fade is, depends on several external factors which include (but are not limited to):
- Sun exposure
- Products used on the face (alcolol lifts pigment, skin lightening creams may contain a light bleach)
- Your body’s immune system (it knows the ink is a foreign object)
- Skin Type
- What ink has been used
- The procedure used to create the (semi) permanent eyebrows
Let’s examine some of those in more detail
1. Sun Exposure
One of the reasons we may want to have eyebrow tattoing or microblading, is the benefit when going on holiday – you can slip in and out the pool and not worry about your eyebrows running off.
However, it should be noted that are a few precautions; aftercare should always be taken seriously, and it is not only an extra-important part of the healing process during the summertime, but for ongoing care of tour brows too for longevity.
The sun will fade and soften the look of your eyebrow attoo and can possibly also change the colour of the pigment. A sunscreen should be used once your brows have fully healed to prolong your result. Whenever possible, you should wear hats to protect your beautiful brows (and skin too)!
2. Products used on the face
Some products contain ingredients that can help fade your eyebrow tattoo over time. When using acidic or brightening skincare products or services (chemical peels, Retin-A, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, etc) make sure you fully cover your eyebrow tattoo with Vaseline prior to applying the product on your skin.
Alcohol can also decrease the lifetime of your enhanced brows, so try to avoid any products with that in on your eyebrows.
3. Body’s immune system
The moment ink is inserted in to your skin, your body sees it as a threat and try to eliminate the intruder. Your immune system will kick in immediately and start to try to remove the ink. However, the ink particles are too big to be able to get of immediately so the majority of it will stay and your body will calm down, Over time, your body will still break down the ink extremely slowly. You will notice even regular tattoos will fade slowly over time. The only way to get rid of any tattoos (including eyebrows) is via Laser Tattoo Removal. This breaks down the ink in to smaller pieces so that your body can take away the ink faster.
Everyones’ body is different, so how well your body managed to remove the ink varies between clients.
4. Skin Type
Some skin types retain ink more than others. Oily skin is more challenging, especially for microblading which doesn’t penetrate as deep, as it is more prone to reject the pigment. OIly skin is also prone to pigment hydration, which is where the pigment merges into each other. The strokes start to blend the result ends up looking like a powder-filled brow more than it looks like distinct hair strokes. Keep this in mind if you have oily skin as a differentt technique might work better for you.
5. What ink has been used
There are so many different brands of ink and all will contain different ingredients. Ideally with eyebrow tattooing, you want something semi permanent. If you find after a while you wish you hadn’t had them done (hopefully not!) then you are safe knowing that they will eventually fade. Fashion changes also, so who know what kinds of brow shapes will be trendy in a few years!
You can find places to get your brows tattooed with regular tattoo ink, but don’t do it. They may look ok for a couple of years, but with time and sun exposure, these permanent pigments fade and can turn green or orange (black permanent pigments fade to grey-blue or green, brown permanent pigments fade to orange or pink). Blacks, browns, and taupes, the colours you need for eyebrows, are tricky colours in permanent eyebrow tattoos because they use a combination of colours to get the correct tone; some of those tones fade, some don’t, but that colour you start with won’t always be the same a few years down the line. Make sure your technician used the semi-permanent mineral pigments and know that if it goes wrong or you just don’t like your new brows, at least it isn’t forever.
Be careful if you have laser in case the pigment used has Iron in it, which can react with the laser and go lumpy – an experienced laser technician will offer a patch test on any brow tattooes that look red / brown that indicates maybe iron may be present (it isn’t always).
6. The procedure used
Microblading is a manual, hand-held tool with a blade. The skin is basically cut in the shape of hair strokes and ink rubbed within the skin. For this reason, the depth is more superficial so won’t last as long as eyebrow tattooing using an electronic machine, which penetrates slightly deeper.
Due to the factors affecting the fade of eyebrows tattoos, it isn’t possible to tell anyone how long it will last. Because there will also be some residual ink left in the skin, it can be referred to as permanent but keep in mind you will need top ups to keep it fresh and sharp looking.