Skip to Content

How Long Does It Take Permanent Makeup to Fade?

How Long Does It Take Permanent Makeup to Fade?

When it comes to permanent makeup, there are many benefits, which may be why so many people have sought it out. However, due to a few different reasons, permanent makeup eventually fades over time and needs to be touched up to regain its original result. Because of this, one of the most popular questions asked about permanent makeup is: How long does it take permanent makeup to fade?

How long it takes permanent makeup to fade depends on a few factors like where it’s placed, what pigment is used, and how it’s taken care of, but overall, it can take permanent makeup anywhere from a year to ten years to fade.

If you’ve ever been curious about why permanent makeup fades in the first place and how long it takes different permanent makeup procedures to fade, below is a complete guide on the most popular permanent makeup procedures and how long they last. 

How Long Does It Take Permanent Makeup to Fade?

There are many different types of permanent makeup procedures, each with varying lasting periods.  

Permanent Makeup TypeHow Long it Lasts
Permanent Eyeliner1 year to 5 years
Permanent Eyebrows1 year to 3 years
Stretch Mark Permanent Makeup3 to 5 years
Permanent Lip Makeup1 year to 10 years
Scars Permanent Makeup3 to 5 years
Areola Permanent Makeup5 to 10 years

Remember, these are estimations, and permanent makeup may last different times on different people. These estimates are based on the time from the initial procedure. For example, permanent eyebrow makeup can last one year to three years from the initial procedure, and after that, touch-ups may be needed and desired to allow it to last longer.

Why Permanent Makeup Fades

First and foremost, it can actually be a great thing that permanent makeup fades. Some people may get their permanent makeup applied according to trends, and trends tend to change. For example, someone who got permanent eyeliner in the wing shape or cat-eye shape may no longer desire that if those shapes go out of style or if they no longer like them.

Since permanent makeup fades, it could be easier for that person to remove their permanent makeup (which is possible) or get their permanent makeup applied differently. The fact that permanent makeup fades can make it much easier to get it applied the next time differently or get it removed if one desires.

There are a few different reasons why permanent makeup fades in the first place.

Type of Pigment Used

The first reason is because of the type of pigment that’s used in permanent makeup. When you think of permanent makeup, you may think of it as a tattoo. You wouldn’t be completely wrong as the two are very similar, but permanent makeup and regular body tattoos have key differences.

The pigment used in permanent makeup is different than that of regular body tattoos. Permanent makeup pigment contains some ingredients that actually allow it to fade over time. It is also denser than the pigment used in regular tattoo ink, which allows it to have its less harsh textures.

Location of the Permanent Makeup

Another reason why permanent makeup fades is because of where it’s applied. Permanent makeup pigment is applied to the top layers of the skin rather than deeper down in the skin like regular body tattoos. This leaves it more exposed to the elements and more prone to fading.

Like mentioned before, permanent makeup fading can actually be a good thing. Also, don’t worry: it can be easily touched up!

How to Make Permanent Makeup Last Longer

Thankfully, there are a few ways to potentially keep your permanent makeup lasting longer!


Permanent makeup can theoretically last as long as desired if it’s regularly touched up. Permanent makeup artists do touch-ups to reapply pigment to areas that need it and keep it looking fresh and like it was originally intended.

Different permanent makeup procedures may have different times for touch-ups, and those who get permanent makeup can decide to get touch-ups frequently, or even not at all. Touch-ups on permanent makeup can happen one year, two years, three years, or even more after the initial permanent makeup procedure. It largely depends on what your permanent makeup artist recommends and what you feel is best.

For example, if you’ve only had your permanent eyebrows for six months but feel they need a touch-up in certain areas, you can schedule a touch-up appointment with your permanent makeup artist. The same goes for all permanent makeup procedures.

Keep in mind that touch-up appointments are typically an additional cost. They generally cost less than the initial procedure. One touch-up appointment may be included in the initial service’s cost, but it’s important to ask as that isn’t always the case.

Aftercare is Important

Taking care of your permanent makeup once it’s initially been applied is a huge factor that can play into how long it lasts. Like with regular body tattoos, the aftercare process is important in how permanent makeup turns out and how long it lasts.

Your permanent makeup artist will have specific aftercare instructions for you once you have finished a procedure, and aftercare instructions can be different for each procedure. There are some general guidelines to follow to make sure you’re taking care of your permanent makeup, though:

  • Avoid picking at, rubbing, or peeling anything from the area in which permanent makeup was applied
  • Avoid overexposure to sunlight
  • Avoid completely submerging the area in water for the first while
  • Keep the area moist with recommended products

There are, of course, more aftercare tips to be aware of, and it’s important to discuss them with your permanent makeup artist to make sure you understand them and are following them correctly. There are reasons aftercare tips are in place!

For example, picking at, rubbing, or peeling anything from the area in which your permanent makeup was applied can result in the pigment not being the same color or holding the color at all. Overexposing the area to a lot of sunlight, especially right after it’s done, can lead to the pigment fading faster.