Demystifying the durability of Microblading
Hello, beautiful people!!
My clients and students question me all the time about the durability of the pigment used in microblading.
For those who don't know, microblading is also a type of dermopigmentation.
In a nutshell, specifically in the case of microblading, we implant ink/pigment in the skin through a manual inductor (a type of pen, also commonly called tebori) to which we attach a "micro blade," hence the name Microblading.
The well-known microblading procedure is the one done on eyebrows. But we also have microblading for lips, eyeliner, scalp, and all other types of permanent and semi-permanent makeup known on the market.
In this post, we will address, in particular, MICROBLADING in EYEBROWS.
The more natural-looking microblading lasts from 06 to 18 months.
On the other hand, microblading intending a darker effect can take up to 24 months to fade to the point where the pigment is no longer perceived on the skin. I will explain here the reasons for these variations and also the pros and cons in both cases.
The durability of Microblading (and basically all other types of dermopigmentation) is directly related to 5 main factors:
Younger people tend to have a faster metabolism than older people, which translates to, cell renewal happening more quickly in young people. Consequently, the skin that had been pigmented gradually loses its layers, day by day, at a much faster rate than middle-aged people (36 - 59 years) and the elderly (+ 60 years).
Women and men who perform facial peels, lasers, or any type of rejuvenation treatments, also have their cell renewal process accelerated. Such procedures cause the microblading pigment to fade, even if the eyebrows are protected throughout the treatment.
Depending on the type of procedure performed, the skin on the entire face will be stimulated, and the eyebrows will certainly fade.
Another point is sun exposure, given that the sun is undoubtedly one of the biggest villains when it comes to microblading durability. Ultraviolet rays can change the pigment molecules. That is why people who expose themselves to the sun and also to tanning beds have a very reduced durability when compared to people who avoid these types of exposures.
A good alternative is the use of sunscreens all over the face (including the eyebrows!). And for the most careful, the SPF + Hat combo is the best option.
Individuals that have an accelerated metabolism and uncontrolled hyperthyroidism, as well as those who take anabolic steroids or weight loss drugs, will also notice their dermopigmentation degrade/fade faster.
This is because the entire tissue system may have part of its functions unregulated, such as accelerating skin turnover (cell renewal), tissue fiber stiffening, increased vascularity, oiliness, and high sweating, among other changes that also lead to early degradation of the pigment implanted in the skin.
Oily skins, although generally thicker, tend to be more vascularized and are more prone to bleeding at the time of the procedure. And every time there's bleeding, there's a more significant "mobilization" between the defense cells in the dermopigmented area, which leads to a more substantial loss of the ink deposited.
Depth worked by the professional
More aggressive microblading techniques done reaching deeper skin layers tend to last longer. However, they tend to be more heavy-duty, and the chance of color change over the years is much higher. The color of the pigment tends to reveal cooler tones when deposited too deep.
Microblading procedures aiming for a subtle effect, reach more superficial layers of the skin, tending to last less. However, the chance of color change is smaller, and the pigment degradation happens in a more balanced way.
The main difference between the two types of procedures mentioned above is that, when depositing the pigment more deeply (reticular dermis, also called the deep dermis), ink particles are suspended in the dermal gelatinous matrix. In contrast, others are swallowed by dermal cells called fibroblasts. Since these pigment particles cannot be metabolized by the organism, they remain in the same place. The cell that contained the pigment particle dies and is again swallowed by another cell, which remains in the same place, continuing this continual cycle of cellular activity.
The more delicate procedures, on the other hand, seeking to deposit smaller amounts of ink in the papillary dermis (first layer of the dermis), do not cause as much damage and degrade more easily, with virtually no color changes.
Other questions I frequently get on the subject are:
Can the type of pigment influence durability?
Theoretically, yes, but in practice, it influences the durability very little.
I perform procedures, study, and analyze daily results tirelessly. I can assure you that, despite the discussions about durability related to the two types of pigments, organic and inorganic, the difference in durability is not significant when compared to the five main factors mentioned above.
Mainly because the vast majority of inks we use today are usually mixed (they have both types of pigments: organic and inorganic).
Microblading on the eyebrows of people with iron deficiency anemia (lack of iron in the body) also lasts less?
Yes, scientific data has proven this possibility.
Some of the pigments used in dermopigmentation are derived from iron (inorganic pigments: iron oxides). However, there is a protein in our body called ferritin, which is responsible for capturing all the iron left in the body. This protein serves as an iron carrier throughout the body. In an anemic person, there will be a lot of ferritin in the bloodstream carrying iron to all the cells in the body. It is at this point that these molecules can capture the iron in the ink.
Throughout my entire career, I had a single case of clearing due to anemia. After exams and medical follow-up, the client balanced her anemic condition and redid the microblading on her eyebrows, which lasted for approximately 14 months. This lightening factor can be minimized if the ink used contains organic pigments.
Are there any exceptions? Cases that fit a low durability profile, but the eyebrows pigment ends up lasting longer than expected?
Yes! There are exceptions to every rule.
I've had a few cases. One of them was a young client, an athlete with oily skin, that is, a client with a strong low durability profile. But the eyebrows looked fabulous for almost 17 months.
Each human being is unique, and it is impossible to accurately predict how long the procedure will last. That is why it is crucial to seek knowledge and explain to the client at his or her first appointment all the reasons that can make the microblading durability vary from 6 months (for extreme cases) to 18 months (ideal cases).
In conclusion, taking into account everything that I have had the pleasure of witnessing, experiencing, and studying between appointments and classes, "having an eyebrow that lasts more than 18 months or even a perpetual eyebrow is in no way a good option." This is one of the reasons that most bring clients to my office. They're seeking to correct work done more than three years ago that no longer pleases them and have stopped to fade naturally.
Remember that we change over the years. Sometimes we change our hair color and style, and we also age.
To avoid unwanted results years after the procedure, opt for Microblading techniques that consider the current and future integrity of your skin.
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