Permanent Makeup: Is it safe?

Makeup has a long history, dating back to ancient times when soot and bones were used for religious purposes. Today, there are a wide range of makeup products available, from Maybelline, Covergirl to permanent makeup.

Permanent makeup, can be beneficial for those who have difficulty applying makeup due to conditions such as Bell's palsy or stroke. Like anything in life, many do have questions about its safety.

What is permanent makeup?

Woman getting her eyebrows done with permanent makeup

Permanent makeup, also known as micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing, uses advanced techniques that combine the artistry of tattooing with the science of medical restoration. Using a digital machine, a needle, and specially designed pigments long lasting makeup looks are created. The most common procedures for permanent makeup (PMU) are ombre eyebrows or microblading, lip liner, eyeliner and full lip color. Microblading is a form of tattooing, where pigment is implanted into the skin with a fine needle. Eyeliner and lip liner are applied using a handheld device to create the desired shape, while full lip color is applied all over the entire lip area. 


What is the difference between traditional makeup and permanent makeup?

Traditional makeup and permanent makeup are different in how they are applied and how long they last.

Traditional makeup, also called temporary makeup, is put on the surface of the skin and can be easily taken off with makeup remover or water. It comes in lots of different forms like liquid, cream, powder, pencil etc. It's used to make features look better, cover up blemishes, or change the way you look temporarily. The effects of traditional makeup don't last long and you need to put it on again regularly.

Permanent makeup, also called micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing, is a form of tattooing where a needle is used to put pigments into the skin. The pigments are made to last for several years and the procedure is used to create makeup looks that last a long time, like eyebrows, eyeliner, lip liner, and full lip color. The results of permanent makeup are more long-lasting than traditional makeup but also less flexible in terms of color change or removal. 


Are permanent makeup procedures safe?

Generally, permanent makeup is considered a safe procedure when done by a qualified and experienced professional. However, the safety of permanent makeup can vary depending on the product used and the artist’s technique.

If you have sensitive skin, there is a small possibility that you might have a reaction to the pigments used in permanent makeup. Most pigment reactions come from normal tattoo ink, however permanent makeup pigment is designed for sensitive skin.  In these rare cases, some of the reactions may be inflammation, redness, pain, swelling, rash or itching at the site.

"Allergic reactions to pigments are reasonably rare, but it's difficult to remove the irritant," says FDA spokesman Stanley Milstein, PhD, in Washington, D. C. "Anytime you implant a foreign body into the skin, it has the potential for results not anticipated. The reaction could occur years later as a rash or an immune system allergic reaction."

Permanent Makeup Artists also sterilize the area after every procedure. They use brand new needles, wrap all their tools, and all the equipment is covered in plastic to prevent any cross contamination. 



Overall, permanent makeup is a safe procedure when carried out by a professional, experienced artist. All necessary safety measures should be taken to ensure the client's health and wellbeing throughout the process. As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important to do your research and find a good artist who you like. Never be afraid to ask your PMU Artist questions or to share your concerns, they are there to help you.

Have questions? Feel free to fill out the from at the bottom of the page.

If you have ever thought about becoming a permanent makeup artist yourself please visit our training site here to learn more!

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