Understanding the Permanent Cosmetic Process

It is important that clients are well informed of the changes that occur in the appearance of procedures immediately after the procedure is conducted and afterwards during the healing process. Often the initial intense, or fresh, appearance of the procedural area is the primary concern. Understanding why the procedural area appears somewhat darker at first and knowing that this is temporary and predictable helps deal with the process. Although the skin tissue in various locations of the face is different, there are some commonalties that apply to all facial permanent cosmetic procedures:


The body sends lymphatic fluids to the site to provide the body’s unique healing fluids. Histamines results in a swelling(usually only slightly) of the tissue, thus bringing the compromised skin together closer in proximity to assist closing the wound site. The degree of swelling which is normally is not easily noticeable in regard to eyebrow procedures, varies from person to person. If you do experience any noticeable swelling, this is temporary and an application of a cooling compress is recommended.


Initial Darker Appearance of the Procedural Area:  

All permanent cosmetic procedures will initially appear somewhat darker or “fresh” as I refer to this condition than the subsequently healed version. The following explanations will provide the reason why this is so:

To apply pigment in the upper dermis location of the skin, it is necessary to implant through the top layers of the skin, the epidermis. The epidermis layers of the skin collects and then exfoliates dead skin cells as new cells are produced. As the dead skin cells in the epidermis layer of the skin are exfoliated, tiny particles of pigment that are trapped in the epidermis are also discarded with the dead skin cells. When the total process is complete only the pigment in the dermis will remain. As a result, the density of the pigment is less and the appearance of the healed procedure naturally appears lighter. Also, these new skin cells cover the procedural area veiling the procedure and causing it to be less visible than when initially implanted.

Lips procedures produce the most dramatic pigment color changes of the three commonly performed procedures, eyebrows, eyeliners, and lip color. Due to the fact that the lips tissue characteristics do not have pores or oil glands, they are the first to expel excess pigment, normally 50% to 70% of the applied pigment within three to four days after the initial procedure was conducted. The appearance of pigment lightening in the eyebrow and eyeliner areas is less noticeable, and normally can be effectively seen in 5 to 10 days depending on the client’s age. 

Before Full Lip Procedure

Immediately After Full Lip Procedure

Full Lip Procedure After
One Application Healed


Immediately After Full Lip Procedure

Full Lip Procedure After 
One Application Healed

Note: Full lip procedures can require one to three separate applications dependent on the healed color and depth desired and the color of the client’s natural lip color that the pigment is being applied to.

Overall the total percentage of pigment exfoliation on eyebrow and eyeliner procedures is approximately 15-25% of the initially applied pigment. The skin is thicker in the eyebrow area and retains more pigment.

Immediately After Eyebrow Procedure

After Eyebrows Healed
Two Applications


Immediately After Top Eyeliner
and Lower Eyeliner

Top Eyeliner and Lower Eyeliner  
After One Application Healed

Although technically the healing process may sound complicated, consider that this same process is something we all go through with everyday skin compromises i.e., minor cuts and scratches, it just sounds more dramatic when put in a text format.


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