Proper aftercare is a very important aspect of the long term success, effectiveness, health, and overall satisfaction with your new eyebrow tattoos. The type of permanent makeup technique/method you chose will determine the aftercare process required. Your certified permanent cosmetic professional (CPCP) should provide you with detailed instructions on how to properly care for your new tattoo eyebrows based on your specific type of method. It is very important to follow those instructions in order to achieve the best possible results from your permanent makeup procedure. Included here are general permanent makeup aftercare instructions that will help limit any infection or problems, and assure healthy and successful healing as quickly as possible.
Aftercare Immediately After Your Procedure
Immediately after your cosmetic eyebrow tattoo procedure, you will feel tingling and tenderness, and probably a bit of swelling in the tattoo area. This is because the numbing cream/anesthetic used on your brows before applying the tattoo, will start to wear off and the newly exposed wound will begin the process of healing immediately.
Also, it is highly likely that you will experience some skin sensitivity, redness and swelling for about 1-2 days. You might consider an over the counter pain reliever to help you get through. During the initial healing period, make sure you give the eyebrows approximately two (2) weeks to heal and set, and limit any physical activity (like swimming or saunas) or exposure to direct sunlight that might cause premature fading. All tattoos carry the inherent risk of infection and/or allergic reaction, if pain or tenderness persists for longer that a few days, consult your doctor and CPCP immediately.
Most certified permanent cosmetic professionals will give you some type of aftercare cream. Make sure to use it. During that first evening, it is recommended that you apply a bacitracin ointment or a triple antibiotic ointment before you go to bed. This will help prevent infection and keep the brows from drying out. The product Aquaphor is a popular post-tattoo lotion used by many for fast effective healing. Use the antibiotic ointment at night when you go to bed while your tattoo is healing. It is not recommended that you use it during the day, because your face will appear greasy which could draw unwanted attention to your new cosmetic procedure.
Swelling And/Or Bruising
Swelling, redness, skin sensitivity, and some minor bruising are normal side effects to the eyebrow tattoo procedure but they shouldn’t last longer than a day or two. How easily a person swells and bruises depends on factors such as their age, skin type, and circulation. Swelling and bruising may disperse into a larger surface areas of the face, like the forehead. On average, cosmetic tattoo eyebrows are least affected by swelling or bruising (compared to eyeliner, and lips) and should have very minimal issue if at all. If swelling or bruising persists for more than a few days, it may be a sign of infection, so be sure to contact your CPCP and/or doctor right away.
Be aware that the brand new ink from a fresh tattoo will most likely appear extremely dark and much thicker than expected, while others might seem exceedingly bright (eg. blondes and browns), so don’t be surprised. Usually after about a week or so, the area and top layer starts to scab and slough off in certain places. This process is called shedding. Comparatively, these sections may appear extremely light next to the non-shedded segments. Don’t worry, this pigment will eventually soften and settle into the appropriate shade when shedding is complete. In total, it should take about two (2) weeks for your new eyebrow tattoos to shed completely and appear natural.
Aftercare During The First Two Week Healing Period
The days following the procedure, as your swollen skin heals, it may feel itchy. This is normal part of the process and a good sign that you are healing properly. You might feel tempted to soothe the eyebrows with cold. Although they won’t necessarily minimize the swelling, a cold compress (NOT frozen), damp tea bags, or face cloths (not wet), lightly placed onto the eyebrows will help relieve the discomfort. Only do this for a day or so as repeated attempts to cool down the already traumatized tissue could actually increase the possibility of skin cell damage and infection. Never apply pressure to your new tattoo, and be very careful not to rub, scratch, scrub, or exfoliate the new eyebrow tattoo area.
Average Healing Time And Process
Average healing time will vary from person to person and will depend on several physiological factors that include age, skin type, circulation, hormonal cycles, and how easily and/or severely you swell and bruise. Generally, as with any type of skin trauma, older looser skin tends to take a bit longer than younger skin to heal. Other factors that may affect healing time include diet, excessive physical activity, exposure to direct sunlight, and any medications you might be taking.
Touch Up Procedure
After approximately two (2) weeks, your eyebrows will have mostly healed during the “shedding” or “scabbing” process. As a result, the initial intensity and thickness will fade, and the desired color shade will start appearing. At about the 4-6 week mark, you should schedule a “touch up” procedure especially if you would like to make any changes to the shape of your brow, or fill in any areas needing correction or modification. During this “touch up” procedure, the eyebrow tattoo artist will go over your eyebrows again, exactly repeating the initial session. This repetition helps the tattoo last longer and encourages the ink to embed more permanently into the skin.
For the next few weeks after your “touch up,” be very careful not to wash your brows directly, and be very gentle with them. Rubbing, scratching, or scrubbing them can, in fact, facilitate premature ink removal and cause scarring. If you love your new brow shape, don’t touch them until they have healed and set!
Lastly, your follow up appointment should be free of charge, so make sure you discuss it with your permanent eyebrow technician before any work is done, and have it included as part of the initial cost. Depending on how well you follow these aftercare recommendations, and how fast the semi-permanent ink fades, you shouldn’t have to make another appointment ( to color sharpen) for another 1-3 years.