At Davis Permanent Cosmetics we refer to cosmetic tattooing as permanent makeup because we must assume that some residual trace of the pigment ingredients will remain in the skin indefinitely, even if you cannot see them.

Some in our industry refer to it as ‘semi permanent makeup’, because it does gradually fade over time as the pigments break down in the skin. However, we at DPC consider this to be slightly misleading as it gives an impression of being temporary but just because you can’t see it, does not mean it is not there.

Many people also wrongly assume that permanent makeup pigment is tattoo ink. Tattoo ink (for body art) is designed to be truly permanent and fades in a different way.

Body art tattoos are made by implanting the ink into your dermis (as is PMU). When tattoo needles puncture your skin it creates a tiny wound. Your body responds to the wound by firing up your immune system and sending special cells, known as macrophages to the area in order to heal the cut skin and swallow any ‘foreign bodies’. Other cells, such as fibroblasts will also suck up the tattoo ink.
These pigment particles are too large for macrophages to destroy, so they become stuck in the dermis.

Permanent makeup pigments lack the particle size which body art tattoo inks possess and so the colour fades more quickly. This is why we recommend your colour boost at around 12-18 months. Therefore, if permanent makeup pigment molecules were bigger, the colour would be denser and more permanent, just like body art tattoo ink. Also note worthy, permanent cosmetics pigments are specially designed to complement different skin tones so that your results are as natural as possible.

I have often heard people describe the difference between PMU & body art tattoos being that body art tattoos are “tattooed deeper in to the skin”. This is incorrect. Tattoo artists and permanent makeup technicians both tattoo into the dermis. If the ink doesn’t go in deep enough to reach the dermal layer, then it will only go in to the epidermis which will simply heal out as the skin goes through it’s natural shedding process over the course of 2-4 weeks.

If you are beginning your permanent makeup journey and wish to ask any questions and/or visit our beautiful clinic for a free consultation to discuss anything you can call, message us or book online via our website.

by Phil Davis