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Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare: Your Complete Guide

If only someone could effortlessly create perfect cat eyes for us! While that may not be feasible, permanent eyeliner offers a practical alternative. Whether due to unsteady hands or the hassle of smudges, permanent eyeliner provides a lasting solution to these issues.


It's a part of various permanent makeup services that keep your face looking camera-ready. However, proper aftercare is crucial to prevent potential infections. While eyeliner is relatively easy to heal compared to other permanent makeup, cutting corners is not advisable. Failure to adhere to your makeup artist’s instructions can increase the risk of infections.


This guide covers the general healing stages, methods, and essential information about permanent eyeliner aftercare to ensure a successful experience before scheduling your appointment.


Permanent Eyeliner at Lavoom Salon
Permanent Eyeliner at Lavoom Salon

How long does it take for permanent eyeliner to heal?

The complete healing process for permanent eyeliner typically spans four to six weeks. The majority of aftercare requirements are concentrated within the first week and a half post-application. During this period, expect some scabbing and flaking. Your makeup artist will provide specific instructions on cleaning and moisturizing the area, tailored to your healing process stages. This understanding will facilitate appropriate aftercare measures at each phase.


What are the permanent eyeliner healing stages?

The permanent eyeliner healing process typically unfolds in several stages, although individual experiences may vary due to differences in skin reactions. Despite this, most individuals progress through similar phases post-procedure. Here's a breakdown of each stage and what you can anticipate:


Days 1-2:

Following the treatment, slight swelling may occur, and the eyeliner may appear darker and more prominent than the eventual healed result. Sensations of tightness are common, and waking up with swollen eyelids is expected. Bloodshot eyes or light sensitivity may also be experienced.


Days 3-5:

During this period, flaking may commence as the skin initiates its healing process. The eyeliner begins to lighten, and its size may diminish. This flaking is a normal part of the skin's renewal process.


Days 6-10:

By this time, the eyeliner colour starts to stabilize, resembling its final hue. Aftercare during this phase varies based on the makeup artist's guidance and the individual's skin response.


Healing duration varies among individuals, and flaking may persist beyond the fifth day or cease earlier. It's crucial to be attuned to any unusual sensations or signs, seek medical attention promptly if needed.


Dry healing vs. wet healing vs. combination healing

Dry healing, wet healing, and combination healing are three primary approaches to aftercare following permanent eyeliner procedures. These methods are often tailored to individual skin types, with most plans incorporating a blend of techniques.

Here's a closer look at each:


Dry healing, once the preferred method before wet healing gained popularity, is particularly effective for individuals with oily skin. It involves regular cleaning of the treated area during the initial days, typically using a damp cotton pad or swab to remove lymph and dust. While some advocate for minimal moisture introduction, ensuring consistent fluid removal is essential to aid healing and minimize scabbing. Although scabbing is expected with this approach, it requires minimal aftercare effort. However, uneven coloration may result.


Conversely, wet healing, increasingly favoured by many makeup artists, requires frequent cleaning throughout the day, akin to dry healing. Following cleansing, a healing gel is applied, typically recommended or provided by the artist. The gel is thinly spread to cover the area entirely, with cleansing frequency varying based on individual requirements. Unlike dry healing, wet healing minimizes scabbing and promotes even colour distribution. However, it demands more extensive aftercare steps and necessitates consistent access to supplies throughout the day.


Combination healing merges aspects of both dry and wet healing methods. Typically, the treated area remains dry for the initial days, with intermittent cleaning sessions. Subsequently, a transition to wet healing occurs, involving continued cleaning and gel application. This approach offers a balance between the benefits of each method, providing effective healing while minimizing inconvenience.


What shouldn’t you do after permanent eyeliner application?

During the initial healing phase after permanent eyeliner application, it's crucial to refrain from certain activities and products that may interfere with the healing process. These include avoiding scratching or touching the treated area, exposure to moisture, and using unnecessary products near the eyes, such as creams, saline eye drops, lash serums, and eye makeup.


While the duration of these precautions may vary for each individual, most people typically need to adhere to these guidelines for approximately 10 days during the aftercare process.


Here are some specific examples of what to avoid during the healing period:

  • Refrain from receiving cosmetic treatments like Botox, facials, and lash treatments such as lash perms.

  • Avoid engaging in activities or visiting areas involving steam (such as gyms and saunas), water (like swimming pools and hot tubs), or excessive sweating (like intense exercise).

  • Stay away from dusty environments that may expose the treated area to bacteria.

  • Prevent direct exposure of the treated area to sunlight or tanning beds.

  • Do not apply harsh exfoliants like salicylic acid or glycolic acid to the treated area.

  • Avoid using eyelash curlers on your lashes.

  • Refrain from sleeping on your face to prevent pressure on the treated area.

  • Consider wearing glasses instead of contact lenses during the healing period.


Can I take a shower?

It's advisable to take brief showers to minimize exposure of the treated area to excessive steam. During showering, it's important to limit exposure to hot water and avoid prolonged contact with water on the area.


Can I cleanse my face?

You can cleanse your face gently, ensuring to avoid the treated area. Normal facial cleansing can resume after the initial few days following the treatment. It's recommended to use a mild facial cleanser for this purpose.


Can I wear contact lenses?

It's suggested to opt for glasses instead of contact lenses for at least five days after the procedure. This is due to the potential discomfort caused by swelling and itching in the initial stages of healing.


How should I care for my eyes post-permanent eyeliner application?

To maintain eye health, it's essential to adhere to a regular cleaning routine for the treated area and shield your eyes from sunlight exposure. Additionally, strict adherence to the aftercare instructions provided by your makeup artist is crucial. It's advisable to discard old eye products to prevent bacterial contamination and replace them with new ones. Here are detailed guidelines:

  • Follow your prescribed cleaning schedule to prevent infections and to allow the treated area to breathe.

  • Continue using the healing gel as prescribed.

  • Use disposable ice packs and sleep with your head slightly elevated to reduce swelling during the first couple of days.

  • Wear sunglasses or a hat to protect your eyes outdoors.

  • Use new eye makeup when you’re able to wear makeup. This minimizes contamination from your old makeup.

  • Use a new pillowcase to minimize infection.

  • Get new contact lenses if possible to prevent infections.


What steps should I take if my eyelids become adhered?

In such instances, use a moistened cotton swab or washcloth to delicately dab and separate your eyelids. While occasional adherence may occur during the healing process due to lymph crusting, this should not be a daily recurrence. Should you have any concerns or queries, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.


Why is a touch-up appointment necessary?

Touch-up appointments provide your artist with an opportunity to address any pigment flaking and refine the liner's shape if required. This session also allows you to voice any concerns or request adjustments. These appointments are scheduled once the healing process is complete, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of the final outcome.


These recommendations offer general guidance for permanent eyeliner aftercare. It is advisable to seek aftercare instructions directly from the makeup artist who administered your permanent eyeliner, as their advice is tailored to your specific needs and preferences.


Given that cosmetic tattoos like permanent eyeliner or lip blushing involve sensitive areas, it is imperative to seek services from an experienced artist to ensure a safe procedure. A skilled artist can offer valuable tips and support throughout the healing journey. Book an appointment at Lavoom Salon in Calgary to receive expert care and guidance.