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What causes permanent makeup to fade?

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

9:18 PM

That is probably the most asked question by clients who have had their brows done recently and want to know what they can do to keep their new investment looking bright and fresh. There are SO MANY FACTORS that go into how much or little your brows will fade, and some of it has to do with your genetics (like hormones), and also your specific skin type. Generally, oily or combo skin types will have fading faster than dry to normal skin types. Also, younger clients VS. more mature clients will experience fading quicker due to the skins cellular turnover rate being higher when we are younger, and every year the rate slows down.

Using certain skin care products on your brows like alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids, and salicylic or glycolic acid can occasionally cause premature fading, darkening or discoloration. These are very commonly found in many facial products so be sure to check the ingredient label on your products and avoid putting directly over the brows. Your brows should definitely avoid chemical peels, laser and resurfacing services like microdermabrasion or microneedling.

You can expect lighter colors like blondes to fade quicker than dark browns, and that is just because of how light the pigments are to start out with, so the fading will be more noticeable.

There are also environmental factors like being out in the sun or tanning that will prematurely fade the tattoo and can also change the color darker. Every tattoo pigment is made up of a range of different colors to create that nice blonde, brown/ or black and each of those colors has a different lightfastness rating. Basically what that means is that each color breaks down under UV light at varying rates, causing one or more of the colors to fade quicker than others and leaving only the colors that have a higher lightfast rating. Most high-quality tattoo pigment companies try to create their formulas to have the same or very close lightfast ratings to prevent this from happening, so the brow color will fade at a even rate and not leave behind a unwanted color, like orange or green. Sometimes it cannot be avoided, like if you tan excessively. If you're going out in the sun, definitely use a high quality SPF of 30 or higher! The SPF in your foundation doesn’t count (haha). You invested a lot of time and money into your new brows, so invest in a good SPF to keep them beautiful, we do not want them turning darker or fading too soon.

All in all, it just depends on the person and their lifestyle. It is common for people to need a yearly color touch-up, and sometimes can go 2+ years without needing one. On the opposite side, it can be as soon as 9mo after your last touch-up. As always, feel free to message me with any questions you may have!

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