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What Is Microblading and How Long Does It Last? Is It Safe?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that creates the illusion of fuller brows.

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that creates the illusion of fuller brows. In this process, mineral-based pigments such as iron oxide and titanium dioxide are deposited underneath the first two layers of the patient’s skin. It is also known as micro-stroking, micro-pigmentation, eyebrow embroidery, or three-dimensional (3D)-eyebrows.

The pigments implanted in this process are safe, non-reactive substances and specifically manufactured for implantation into the human skin.

A tattoo machine is not used in this procedure, rather a single blade tool that looks like a pen is used to draw gentle strokes. This creates fuller brows and fills areas that the patient might have overplucked.

How long does it last?

The pigment fades away over the next 8-10 months making it a semipermanent procedure. Once the patient notices that the pigments from their eyebrows have begun to noticeably fade, they will need to go back to their cosmetologist for touch-up application.

During the touch-up, the cosmetologist may address color and pigment loss. They can also discuss if the patient would like any changes in the shape and color of their brows.

After the touch-up, their brows will last for 6-9 months or sometimes a year depending on their skin type and preferred look. The patient will only need an annual touch-up to refresh the color of their brows. The color of their makeup is semipermanent. Therefore, it will require some maintenance.

The duration of fading of the patient’s eyebrow color depends on

  • How they are following the after-care instructions
  • Sun exposure
  • Other skincare treatments such as chemical peels and Retinol use
  • Consumption of medicines aspirin, niacin, and vitamin E
  • Lifestyle factors such as
  • Colors chosen (lighter colors may fade away faster).

What to expect after the procedure?

Immediately after the microblading procedure, the patient’s eyebrows may appear to be too dark or too thick or even look unnatural. Within 1 or 2 weeks, the color of their eyebrows will begin to fade, and they may appear more natural. After around 6-8 weeks, the color may get too faint or light. It means that the patient needs a touch-up session. During a touch-up session, the therapist will adjust or correct the color that faded. The patient will lose on an average 20-40% of their initial color.

What things should be avoided before and after microblading?

Before going for microblading, the patient must avoid:

  • Botox treatment at least 3 weeks before and 4 weeks after the procedure.
  • Chemical peeling procedure on the face 60 days prior and after this procedure, otherwise their brows will peel quicker due to chemicals traveling under the skin.
  • Waxing or tinting 3 days before.
  • Make-up on the day of the procedure and after the procedure for a week.
  • Picking, scabbing, tubbing, or itching their eyebrows.
  • Saunas and swimming until the area is properly healed.
  • Retinol (Retin-A) or anti-aging treatments or acne creams or serums that contain acids for at least 7 days before this procedure, otherwise their brows will fade away prematurely.
  • Tanning and sun exposure of the face on the day of this procedure.
  • Consumption of aspirin, niacin, vitamin E, fish oil, primrose oil, CoQ10, and ibuprofen at least 48 hours before this procedure.
  • Heavy workout or sweat on the day of the procedure or 2 weeks before the procedure.

What are the side effects of microblading?

The patient may get the following side effects after microblading:

  • Residual tattooing
  • Paradoxical darkening
  • Dark eyebrows
  • Faint eyebrows
  • Infection of skin and boils where the needle cuts into the skin
  • Reaction to the tattoo ink

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