Differences Between Microblading, Micro Pigmentation and Permanent Make-up

Bye bye, brow products!

21 March, 2018
Differences Between Microblading, Micro Pigmentation and Permanent Make-up

It's so hard to even remember how the eyebrows started making or breaking the look. But, thanks to the thicker eyebrow trend, we all have kicked ourselves in the gut for over-plucking brows during our teens. If you too have done this at some point in life, fret not, the beauty industry has many solutions to offer you.

Almost every beauty Guru on Instagram or YouTube is talking about these brow enhancing (or shall we call it life-changing) procedures like microblading, micropigmentation, etc.

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Before making up your mind and trying any of these procedure, we suggest you go through the following points and then make an informed decision.

Here are the 6 differences between Microblading, Micropigmentation and Permanent Make-up:


The technique used in microblading, a form of semi-permanent make-up, is very different than the technique used in permanent tattooing. Microblading uses either a bladed pen or small, electric machine to create hair-like strokes on the brows. Permanent make-up, or permanent tattooing, creates a shading effect on the skin that does not imitate natural hair strokes. If you want an enhanced brow that looks manicured but still natural, micropigmentation can be used for semi-permanent shading effect in addition to microblading. Micropigmentation can also be used on the scalp to imitate natural, male hair growth.


The semi-permanent make-up techniques of microblading and micropigmentation are much more superficial than permanent tattooing. The outermost layer of your skin is called the epidermis followed by the middle layer of your skin called the dermis. Semi-permanent make-up penetrates the skin to a depth of only 0.08mm to 0.15mm. At this depth, the pigment is deposited into the border between the epidermis and dermis. Permanent make-up penetrates much deeper, to a depth of 1mm. At this depth, pigmentation is deposited into the middle layer of the skin - the dermis.


The colors used in semi-permanent make-up appear much more natural than the color used in permanent make-up. The colors used in permanent make-up, that contain ingredients such as carbon, become oxidized and therefore change color over time. This is why tattoos become undesirable shades of blue, grey, and sometimes red as they age. Semi-permanent make-up, or microblading, address this by using more natural pigments, such as iron oxides, that do not change color. Semi-permanent tattoos will only fade into lighter shades of the original color as they age.


Due to the variations in technique, depth, and pigments, microblading appears much more natural than permanent tattooing. Permanent tattoos are unable to mimic natural hair strokes. Microblading, however, can appear natural even when the client starts with no eyebrows at all! This is great for cancer patients undergoing chemo, patients with very thin brows, or patients missing part of their brow.


Permanent make-up is, as the name suggest, permanent. It is irreversible due to the depth of penetration. Even the most modern tattoo removal protocols do not promise 100% removal and often leave faded coloring or scarring in place of the tattoo. Microblading only lasts 1.5 to 2 years and can be corrected during and immediately after the procedure. Typically, you will require a touch-up at a reduced cost every 6 months after your initial microblading or micropigmentation treatment to maintain your original results.

Associated Risk

Microblading is much safer than permanent tattooing. Not only is the risk of allergic reaction much less, but also the risk of infection. This is due to use of safer pigments and a less traumatic treatment process. With microblading and micropigmentation, results often look great directly after the treatment. Other than some mild scabbing, soreness, and redness… semi-permanent make-up is a very safe and relatively risk-free.

Inputs by Dr. Kiran Lohia, Celebrity Dermatologist, Lumiere Dermatology