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Is Permanent Makeup Safe?

Is Permanent Makeup Safe?

A lot of us have had that morning: you accidentally wake up late and have to rush as fast as you can to get ready for the day. When it comes to being on time, doing your makeup can take up 10, 20, maybe even 30 minutes of your precious time when you could (and probably need to) be doing something else. A lot of us have had that thought, too: wouldn’t it be nice to not have to apply your makeup every single day? Maybe that’s one of the reasons why permanent makeup – a convenient, long-lasting alternative to day to day makeup – has become so popular. With the rising popularity of permanent makeup, not to mention its convenience and looks, many people have been left asking-

Is permanent makeup safe? To put it briefly, permanent makeup is considered generally safe. However, the safety of permanent makeup depends on a few different factors, like who it’s applied by and what it’s applied with.

If you’ve wondered recently if permanent makeup is safe, and maybe even wanted to know more about permanent makeup, you’re in the right place. I’ll walk you through what you need to know about permanent makeup and its safety.

An In-Depth Look at the Safety of Permanent Makeup

In order to know how safe permanent makeup is, it’s helpful to first know what permanent makeup actually is and what it can be used for. Like previously stated, permanent makeup is pigment that is applied to the skin, usually to mimic the look of normal makeup. It is considered micropigmentation, and uses a process similar to tattooing in order to administer.

In this process, small needles place the micro pigments in the skin in order to give it the desired color and shape. Permanent makeup can be applied in just about any place, similar to tattoos, but it’s most commonly administered to the lips, eyebrows, eyelids, eyes and areolas.

Like we said before, permanent makeup is generally safe, but there are a few factors that may influence its safety. Some of these big factors include the facility in which permanent makeup is done, who is applying the permanent makeup, what tools the permanent makeup is being administered with, and how you take care of it afterwards.

When choosing a facility in which to get your permanent makeup done, you will want to make sure its a reputable facility with a business license. If you feel the need, you can also visit potential facilities to ensure they are professional, clean, and up to par.

A huge part of permanent makeup safety is the practitioner who applies it. With the boom in popularity of permanent makeup, some state regulatory agencies haven’t kept up with the industry, which means some people can have access to doing permanent makeup when they aren’t trained or certified. So, in short: you want to make sure the practitioner who does permanent makeup is licensed, trained and/or certified. There are a number of professionals who may be licensed or trained to apply permanent makeup. Some of them are:

  • Medical Aestheticians
  • Cosmetic Technicians
  • Dermatologists
  • Master Estheticians
  • Cosmetologists

Since there’s a wide array of professionals who can practice permanent makeup, it’s important to research potential practitioners, ask them themselves, and schedule consultations with them to ensure their training and experience.

The tools used in the permanent makeup application process are also an important factor in the safety of permanent makeup. Equipment and tools that may be used in the process are needles, pigment, stencils, and machines. The cleanliness of equipment in permanent makeup is very important!

Always make sure the practitioner applying your permanent makeup removes sterile needles from a fresh package, opens new pigment packages, is wearing gloves, and that the rest of the equipment is clean and sterile. Unclean or unsterile equipment can lead to skin infections and infectious diseases, and no one wants those!

Some of the safety of permanent makeup can actually depend on you, too. Doing your research on permanent makeup beforehand can definitely increase the safety of permanent makeup, but permanent makeup doesn’t automatically become completely safe when it’s finished. If you have gotten a permanent makeup procedure, make sure to closely follow any aftercare instructions your practitioner has given you. Practicing the correct care of your permanent makeup can avoid infections, allergies, and even potential scarring. If you see any adverse effects or reactions, seek advice from your practitioner and a medical professional.

Other Factors to Consider

Like with most things, there are other factors you’ll want to consider when you are thinking of getting permanent makeup. Below are some of the top factors to keep in mind.

Consider the Risks

Yes, luckily for a lot of us, permanent makeup is generally safe. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without its risks, though. Risks shouldn’t shy you away from getting that permanent makeup procedure(s) you’ve always wanted, but they should be taken into consideration so you can be aware and mindful of them. Some of the potential risks involved with permanent makeup are:

  • Dissatisfaction. Trends change, personalities and personal styles change, and down the road you may end up not being as smitten with your permanent makeup as you were in the first place.
  • Removal Problems. With dissatisfaction may come the desire to get your permanent makeup removed. This isn’t always completely possible. Permanent makeup is permanent – so be sure to keep that in mind.
  • Allergic Reactions. Be sure to know your potential allergies, especially when it comes to your skin.
  • MRI Complications. According to the FDA, there have been a few accounts of swelling or burning in the areas where permanent makeup was applied in MRI patients. If you have permanent makeup and need to get an MRI, make sure to inform your doctor or radiologist so they can help you avoid potential discomforts.
  • Nodule Formation. Sometimes, the body forms nodules, or small bumps around areas that are foreign to the body (like permanent makeup pigment). If you get permanent makeup, be on the watch for any nodule formations and consult a medical professional for help with them.

Consider the Costs

Permanent makeup costs money, like every other service. Permanent makeup can cost anywhere from $200 to $1000 per procedure, and prices will vary from place to place. Touch-ups may also be required in some permanent makeup procedures, which will sometimes be an additional cost. It’s important not to “skimp” on the cost of permanent makeup (think of all those “tattoo fails” you’ve seen before) because a lot of the time, extremely low cost may mean low quality of work and safety, too.

Consider the Procedure

You may have noticed that throughout this article, permanent makeup is sometimes compared to tattoos. That’s because the general application method is extremely similar to that of getting a tattoo! So, keeping that in mind, the process of getting permanent makeup may come along with some pain, or irritation at the very least. A lot of practitioners may use topical anesthetics, or “numbing cream” to dull the pain involved in getting permanent makeup. However, make sure to consider your pain tolerance before choosing to get any procedures done.

Consider the Most Popular Procedures

We previously discussed that permanent makeup can be applied to a lot of different areas, like the eyes, lips, and areolas. So, let’s take a look at a few of the most popular permanent makeup procedures (in no particular order).

  • Microblading – permanent makeup on the eyebrows.
  • Lip blushing – a tint of color across all of the lips.
  • Permanent eyeliner – permanent makeup above the upper lash line or below the lower lash line.
  • Freckles – permanent tattoos on the face made to look like freckles.


All in all, if you’ve ever considered getting permanent makeup and wondered if it was safe to do so – the answer is yes! There are of course some factors that may influence the safety of permanent makeup, like the type of facility it’s done in, training of the practitioner, it’s done by,  and equipment it’s done with. However, with some research and precautions, getting permanent makeup can be a great experience for those who seek to get it done.

Learn More

If you are interested, here is a link to the Makeup section on Amazon.