Eyeliner Tattoos: What You Need to Know

In recent years cosmetic tattooing, also known as permanent makeup, has become more and more popular because of its perceived convenience. 

Brows, lips, eyeliner — you name it, and there are people that will get semi-permanent makeup to save time or enhance beauty. Whatever the reason, these tattoos are among some of the riskiest to get.

In a previous post we highlighted the latest trend in the world of ink, eyeball tattoos. If you read this post, then you know just how hazardous it is, and that laser removal is not an option. 

In sticking with this theme of eye-related tattoos, we’re going to focus on tattoo eyeliner. 

What does that entail, and what should you know? We’ll give you the rundown. 

What You Need to Know About Tattoo Eyeliner

close-up of a woman's eyes with heavy black winged tattoo eyeliner

While many refer to tattoo eyeliner as permanent, it’s actually more semi-permanent. 

There are a few reasons why, but the main ones being that the ink used in cosmetic tattooing differs from that done in body art tattooing. 

In addition, this ink is typically only inserted into the first layers of the skin. A big issue with cosmetic tattoo ink is its tendency to oxidize and change color, and its reaction to MRI procedures. 

There are many different pigments (over 50) and diluents used in tattooing, including color additives, which are approved for use in cosmetics, but not an injection into the skin. Many of these colors are industrial strength and are intended for printers’ ink or automobile paint.

This should give you enough pause for caution. However, if you need more information on why these tattoos can be risky, here are some good points to keep in mind.

Why are eyelid and eyeliner tattoos dangerous?

So, if they don’t last forever and the ink will eventually fade, what’s the big deal? 

Due to the nature of the location, there are still several risks in getting eyeliner (or eyelids) tattooed. 

Here are just a few of the most common issues you face with eyeliner tattoos:

  • Fading (or even changing colors) after 3-5 years.
  • Fanning, which is when the ink spread from its original site when injected poorly.
  • Skin reactions like blisters, keloids, and scars.
  • Cosmetic inks have been under scrutiny by the FDA.
  • Can have problems related to removal (not just laser).
woman receiving permanent eyeliner tattoo procedure

Apart from these risks, there is also cause for concern when it comes to the chemical composition of cosmetic inks and their potential reactions with medications (like Accutane and other retinoids) and supplements. 

If you’re getting eyeliner tattooed, you should stop taking blood thinners, some vitamins, fish oils, and aspirin a few days prior to your appointment. 

In addition, if you get any injections like Botox around the eye area, you should have it done before the eyeliner appointment. 

Whether you’re getting eyeliner tattooed or a brow tattoo done, you run the serious risk of damaging the skin around the eye or, at worst, penetrate the eyeball resulting in damage and vision loss.

Can eyeliner tattoos tattooed eyeliner be removed?

graphic of laser eyeliner tattoo removal showing three steps of before, during and after

We’ve been in the laser tattoo removal business for over a decade, and we have never encountered a patient wanting to have an eyelid tattoo removed. With that being said, it is a procedure we would never perform. 

Why? Your eyes and the skin around them are just too sensitive, and with the power of the laser, permanent damage that can lead to vision loss is possible. 

Safety is our biggest priority, and we want to ensure that every patient of ours leaves just as they came in, minus some ink, of course.

Anytime we use a laser on the face, we take all the necessary precautions like wearing special eye goggles and ensuring patients are very still throughout the appointment. The MEDermis Laser Clinic team will always make treatment recommendations that have your best interest at heart.

If you’re completely desperate to get an eyelid tattoo removed, your only option could be surgical excision or the injection of tannic acid. Both of which are risky and may lead to scarring or an altered appearance.

Call the Tattoo Removal Specialists Today!

The MEDermis Laser Clinic team has been guiding clients through the laser tattoo removal process for 14 years. Have questions about how laser tattoo removal works? Don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling our Austin clinic at 512-637-5277, the San Antonio clinic at 210-402-4030, or by filling out our online contact form.