April 12, 2024

Many individuals who opt for permanent makeup often wonder why their bold, fresh cosmetics start to fade over time. The magic of this application is evident right after the procedure, but long-term results can be confounding. By understanding the reason behind fading permanent make-up, you can act appropriately to maintain its vibrancy.

Understanding the Concept of Permanent Makeup

Permanent makeup, also called cosmetic tattooing or micropigmentation, is a cosmetic procedure that involves the implantation of pigments into the skin’s dermal layer. This technique is designed to create the appearance of makeup, enhancing the face’s natural features. A trained and certified cosmetic technician or artist performs this specialized process. Check online articles or ask your artist directly for more info about this procedure. 

Common Areas of Application

Permanent makeup can be applied to various areas of the face, including

  • Eyebrows: Permanent makeup for eyebrows is popular for filling in sparse or thin brows, reshaping brows, and creating a more defined and polished look.
  • Eyelids: It can be used to define the eyes by adding permanent eyeliner, making the lashes appear fuller and the eyes more expressive.
  • Lips: Permanent makeup for the lips can enhance their color, shape, and definition, often providing the appearance of fuller lips.

Why Does Permanent Makeup Fade Over Time?

Permanent makeup, despite its name, is not truly permanent. The pigments used in the procedure can fade over time for several reasons:

1. Natural Skin Regeneration

The skin is a dynamic organ that continuously regenerates itself. This process involves shedding old skin cells from the surface and producing new ones from the deeper layers. As new skin cells replace old ones, the implanted pigments in the dermal layer of the skin may gradually migrate closer to the surface. This migration can result in a faded appearance over time.

2. Exposure to UV Rays

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can be particularly harsh on pigments used in permanent makeup. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can break down these pigments and cause them to lighten or lose their vibrancy. Individuals with permanent makeup need to protect their investment by applying sunscreen regularly, especially on treated areas, to minimize the impact of UV radiation.

3. Skin Type and Aging

The longevity of permanent makeup can vary based on an individual’s skin type and the effects of aging. Oily skin types tend to experience quicker fading because the excess oil can gradually push the pigments closer to the skin’s surface. Additionally, as the skin naturally ages and loses elasticity, it may lead to shifts in the placement of pigments, potentially altering their appearance over time.

4. Color Choice

The choice of pigment color can significantly influence the duration of permanent makeup. Darker pigments like deep browns or blacks tend to hold their color longer and resist fading better than lighter pigments. Lighter colors, like soft pinks or beiges, may fade more quickly, requiring frequent touch-up sessions to maintain vibrancy.

5. Lifestyle Factors

Certain lifestyle choices and habits can accelerate the fading process of permanent makeup. For example, exposure to chlorinated water in swimming pools can have a bleaching effect on pigments. Frequent exfoliating skincare routines or harsh skin treatments can also contribute to pigment degradation. It’s essential to be mindful of these factors and adjust your skincare and lifestyle practices accordingly if you have permanent makeup.

Touch-Up Sessions

Individuals often require periodic touch-up sessions to ensure that permanent makeup maintains its desired look and remains fresh. These sessions are a crucial part of the maintenance process and involve reapplying pigments to refresh and enhance the appearance of the makeup. Here are some key points to understand about touch-up sessions for permanent makeup:

  • Frequency Varies: The frequency of touch-up sessions can vary from person to person. There is no one-size-fits-all schedule for touch-ups, as it depends on several factors, including the individual’s skin type, specific application area, and lifestyle.
  • Skin Type: People with oilier skin may find that their permanent makeup fades more quickly due to the natural oils pushing pigments closer to the surface. In such cases, touch-ups may be needed more frequently than those with drier skin.
  • Area of Application: The area where permanent makeup is applied can also influence the need for touch-ups. For example, eyebrows may require more frequent touch-ups because they are more exposed to environmental elements and facial expressions that can impact the longevity of the pigments.
  • Lifestyle Factors: An individual’s lifestyle can play a significant role in fading permanent makeup. Those exposed to chlorine in swimming pools or engaging in excessive sweating may find their makeup fades more quickly, necessitating more frequent touch-ups.
  • Pigment Color: The choice of pigment color can affect the duration of permanent makeup. Darker pigments tend to hold their color better over time than lighter pigments, which may require more frequent touch-ups to maintain their vibrancy.
  • Personal Preferences: Some individuals prefer a fresher, more intense look and may opt for touch-ups more frequently, even if their permanent makeup has not significantly faded.
  • Professional Recommendations: It’s essential to follow the recommendations of the trained and certified permanent makeup artist or technician who performed the initial procedure. They can assess the condition of your makeup during follow-up appointments and guide the ideal timing for touch-up sessions.
  • Maintenance and Care: Proper maintenance and care of the treated area can also influence the need for touch-ups. Following aftercare instructions and using sunscreen to protect the area from UV radiation can help prolong the life of permanent makeup.

Maintaining Your Permanent Makeup

You now know why your permanent makeup fades with time, but what can one do about it? Here are some practical tips to extend the vibrancy of your permanent makeup:

  • Limit sun exposure: As UV rays can accelerate fading, it is essential to protect your skin. Apply sunscreen before heading out to conserve the makeup’s vibrancy.
  • Mild skincare routine: Opt for a gentler skincare routine, using milder products that won’t aggressively exfoliate your skin.
  • Regular touch-ups: Visit your cosmetic technician for recommended touch-ups. Regular maintenance keeps your makeup looking fresh and vibrant.

Exploring Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp micropigmentation is another popular form of permanent makeup. This non-surgical treatment involves using micro-needles to tattoo pigment into the scalp. It creates an illusion of fuller hair and is praised as a solution for thinning hair or bald spots.

For those contemplating scalp micropigmentation services in Livingston, NJ, it offers a semi-permanent, non-invasive, and cost-effective solution to hair loss. It requires minimal maintenance and can boost your confidence by enhancing your appearance.


Your permanent makeup can stay vibrant for a long time with proper care and regular touch-ups. Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle also helps prolong the life of your makeup by improving your skin’s health and slowing down the metabolic rate. With a balanced diet, proper hydration, and a gentler skincare routine, you are well on your way to maintaining your beautiful permanent makeup.