“Microblading is a form of cosmetic tattooing,” explains restorative tattoo artist Shaughnessy Otsuji, who’s based in Vancouver and Los Angeles. “This technique uses a handheld tool consisting of multiple fine needles to create the look of realistic hairlike strokes by implanting pigment beneath the skin.” For those with more sensitive skin, microshading brows may be a safer option.
The overall goal of microblading is to create a completely new, natural-looking set of eyebrows or add some density to existing brows. Each treatment can take two to three hours, and achieving the most natural-looking result depends on the client’s brow shape, color, and texture.
What is the microblading healing process?
It can take 10-14 days for the brow area to fully heal, says Otsuji. Brows will continue to lighten over a six-week period, as your skin regenerates and naturally exfoliates.
But even after the six-week mark, brow stylist Joey Healy explains, everyday factors such as sun exposure can fade your brows more quickly than you might expect: “Your face gets a ton of sun, even in the winter and cold climates, and it does degrade the ink faster.”
Healy continues, “The sun hitting your face will change the color of the ink to sometimes look orangey, blue, and I’ve even seen pink.” So even if your brows are completely healed, you may still want to wear large sunglasses and a hat for extra protection.
How long does microblading last?
When done correctly by a trained professional, microblading should last up to a year, says Diana Menendez, the owner of threading and microblading studio Accentuated in Scottsdale. After a year you will most likely need a regular annual touch-up appointment to maintain original results. Without these touch-ups, Menendez says, you will see the microbladed brows fade and eventually disappear completely after about three years.
This timeline could be even shorter, though, if you use retinol, tretinoin (a synthetic vitamin A medication that’s used to treat acne), or do frequent chemical peels. Says Otsuji, “Glycolic acid, microdermabrasion, and chemical face peel products should be kept away from the tattooed areas even after they are healed as continued use could lighten the pigment.”
New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, agrees that nixing these types of products is beneficial for best results: “Avoiding exfoliation is prudent for extending the life of the microblading.”