Why do brow tattoos heal differently to how they first look?

Updated: May 13, 2020

When you first have your brows tattooed (whatever method your artist uses, machine or microblading) the hairstrokes look super crisp and sharp so why do the healed results look softer, lighter and less sharp?

Permanent Cosmetics is both a science and an art and understanding the science means that your artist can achieve the look you want with the art!

When the tiny needles puncture the skin they penetrate just past your epidermis into the underlying dermis layer. Pigment is deposited into this area which also contains everything which keeps the skin connected to the body such as blood vessels, collagen fibres, sweat glands and sebaceous glands.

As each stroke is carefully placed into the skin the body begins the healing process. This starts with immune cells (known as macrophages) travelling to the site of the wound in order to repair it. These macrophages carry the pigment in an attempt to dispose of it whilst they are repairing the skin.

Some of these macrophages are pulled back into the lymph nodes whilst still holding onto the pigment while others remain in the dermis until they realise the pigment cannot be carried away and this pigment is left in the skin.

This creates the effect of pulling the stroke ever so slightly wider than it was initially implanted. It is impossible for the strokes to remain exactly as they are implanted into the skin because of this healing process.

So why do they heal lighter?

When the pigment is initially implanted it is deposited in both the epidermis (on the top) and the dermis (just underneath). As the skin heals, the epidermis layers are replaced by new pigment-free ones. Because of this the colour looks less deep and vibrant as the initial channel as it is now covered over by new layers of skin.

This healing process takes approximately 4-6 weeks and explains why you experience exfoliation of the skin tissue and patchiness during this time as well as the brows healing slightly softer and slightly lighter than initially implanted.

When you have your retouch appointment your artist can assess how much pigment has been successfully healed into the skin, fill any parts where the pigment hasn’t held as well and add extra hairstrokes where gaps have been intentionally left to allow for this healing process.

It’s really important to wait the full healing time recommended by your artist as they will have taken many factors into account to ensure you get the best possible result for your personal circumstances.

The skin breaks down your Permanent Cosmetics over time so after around 12-18 months (possibly more, possibly less, depending on your skin and lifestyle) you will be ready for a refresh appointment where the pigment is gently reimplanted to keep your brows looking brand new!!

If you’d like to know more about Permanent Cosmetics please feel free to come and see me for a chat!

Love Kerri xxxx

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