So, you’ve recently had your brows/eyes/lips done and are in LOVE with your fresh new look! You listened to your artist explain the aftercare process, made it through the rollercoaster adventure the pigment takes in the first few weeks of healing, and have just left your perfecting session with everything spruced to 💯.
You’ve read our blog post about knowing when you’ll be ready for a future color boost/refresher appointment, but how do you keep your PMU looking as fresh as possible for as long as possible? How do you get the maximum amount of life out of it?
There are a few aspects of the long-term healing process that are simply up to the fates – like genetics and skin type (oily/combo/dry) – but there are also things you can do (and not do) in order to make sure pigment does not age prematurely. After all, you’ve just made a significant investment in your face – and it should be protected at all costs!
This one isn’t necessarily completely out of anyone’s control like genetics, but it may be unavoidable in your individual life. If you live an active lifestyle and are frequently sweating, in water, out in the sun (wear SPF always!!), your personal timeline for a refresher appointment may come sooner than others. Sun exposure will always age pigment quicker over time, and the salt in sweat actively breaks down pigment molecules (which is why we ask you not to sweat during the first 14 days of aftercare). Of course, we are not the ones to tell you to change your routine and exercise regimen, but it is something to be aware of.
This may come as a shock (it shouldn’t), but the products you use on your skin absolutely affect the skin at all layers, including the upper dermis where the pigment is deposited, and not just the skin’s surface. What is an unfortunate thing is sometimes, when higher quality skincare products are used, they can age the pigment quicker than others.
Think about the reason you may pay more for medical-grade skincare products or lines you can only get at your dermatologist’s office: they’ve got the good stuff that can transform your skin’s appearance and keep you looking youthful! Retinols, glycolic/lactic/salicylic acids, vitamin A compounds – anything designed to “resurface” your skin and give you a “glow” is increasing the cellular turnover in your skin and encouraging your skin to shed its outer layers faster to reveal fresh, new skin underneath. When your skin includes pigment put there by your PMU artist, the same quickened turnover is going to happen to it too.
Any higher-grade skincare product designed to really put the work in in your skin is also going to “migrate” in your skin as it penetrates down to the deeper levels versus simply staying on the skin’s surface. Even if you aren’t using these products directly ON your brows, they can absolutely migrate underneath the skin upwards of 1.5-2 inches.
So what can you do? Avoiding using these products directly on your brows and/or giving your brows a wide berth by only using the products on your upper forehead or below eye level will certainly help to mitigate any premature fading that may occur, but to an extent it will be unavoidable. These products may also shift the color of the pigment in your brows, resulting in a cooler or warmer tone than what was originally achieved. Once your brows have faded to that 50% sweet spot, your artist will go back in and replace any tones that may have faded more than others, and restore your brows back to the life they once had.
Laser Treatments / Peels / Microdermabrasion
This one should not come as a surprise especially after the previous item. Any of these treatments are designed to resurface and renew your skin and will invariably penetrate down to the deeper layers of skin, causing increased cellular turnover and resulting in varied (and sometimes unpredictable) changes in any PMU pigment.
Any of these treatments (as well as anything beyond your typical base-level facial) also cause changes in your skin that take place over several weeks – far beyond any downtime that an esthetician may prepare you for (think: a chemical peel may have a typical turnaround time of 10-14 days, but the underneath work in your skin is going on for upwards of 6-8 weeks).
If any of these are going to be self-explanatory, it’s this one. Smoking comes with a myriad of unsavory physical effects, not the least of which is what it does to skin. It constricts blood vessels and deprives your skin of oxygen flow and nutrients, causing uneven coloring and texture, and absolutely aging any pigment in your skin faster than a non-smoker. This may be more obvious when talking about lip blushing, but it goes for brows as well – if your skin is not the most hospitable environment for any PMU, it stands to reason that desired results will not stand the test of time.
Again, a certain amount of the multifaceted equation that goes into “how long will my PMU last” is completely out of anyone’s hands, but there are a few aspects that may be within our control or at least take the guesswork out of things! If you have any questions on the above or want to check in with your artist, contact us right here! 🖤
xo, Natascha Rautenberg