In Ask a Dermatologist, Cosmetic, Skin Care

With thicker eyebrows being on trend in the past few years, you may want a way to increase the fullness of your brows. Microblading was once the go-to procedure for creating fuller eyebrows, but many women now opt for powder brows. You may wonder, how are powder brows different than microblading?

Both procedures are semi-permanent and can create natural-looking brows. Powder eyebrows have become more popular recently because the process creates softer brows. Microblading creates more structured, defined brows.

What’s the difference between powder brows and microblading?

A dermatologist or brow artist performs microblading with a handheld tool. The tool transfers semi-permanent pigment to top layers of skin at the base of the brows. Each movement creates small strokes replicating natural hairs and providing a textured appearance. Microblading is ideal for people who want precisely defined brows.

Microblading can last from six months up to two years. It depends on the products a person uses or other skin treatments that may fade the brows. People with oily skin tend to need eyebrow touch-ups because the microblading results fade faster. People with oily skin may prefer powder eyebrows because they last longer.

Powder brows, also known as ombre brows, are a semi-permanent makeup technique. Some people think they are a more natural-looking option than microblading. The powder brow process, or micro shading, creates a natural brow.

A licensed practitioner uses a permanent makeup device like a tattoo gun to enhance and define your eyebrows. The procedure involves depositing pigment into the skin’s upper layers, creating a powdery finish.

What can I expect during a powder brow session?

The procedure typically begins with a consultation. Your dermatologist will assess your skin type, discuss expectations and determine the most suitable pigment for your hair color. You may also discuss your goals and any changes to the shape or arch of your brows.

You may need to have a patch test performed to identify potential allergic reactions or sensitivities. Your practitioner may advise you to avoid caffeine and alcohol and stop products with retinol for 48 hours prior.

The procedure takes around two hours to complete. Your dermatologist or technician will first map out your eyebrows based on your face shape, current brow shape and desired outcome. This is the longest and most important part of the process to ensure your brows are natural-looking.

You can request numbing cream if you have skin sensitivities or have never had a traditional tattoo. Using the handheld machine, your dermatologist or technician will shade the outline of your brow with dots of color.

The next step is using hair-like strokes to create natural-looking brows. The technique creates a gradient effect. The lighter pigment at the front of the brows gradually darkens towards the tails. The effect will look like you have used a brow pencil or pomade, but the result will be more natural and last much longer.

After the session, the skin around your brows may be red, but it will subside. Your eyebrow hairs may be darker than your chosen color, but they will fade to the correct color once they fully heal. It may take six to eight weeks for the brow color to settle in.

Immediately after your session, keep the area dry for at least five days to protect the pigment. Also avoid the sun because the exposure can lighten your brows, especially in the beginning.

How long do powder brows last?

While the exact length of time varies from person to person, powder eyebrows typically last up to two years. They usually require major touch-ups every 12 to 18 months. Your dermatologist can provide more information about the expected lifespan of your powder brows. You can also schedule touch-up appointments every six to eight weeks, depending on your preference.

Microblading can last the same length of time or longer, depending on the person. Because microblading involves making tiny cuts in the skin, people with sensitive skin may prefer powder brows. Both options are safe when performed by a licensed professional.

Powder brows in Columbia, South Carolina

Call for a consultation on powder eyebrows or other cosmetic services. Columbia Skin Clinic provides personalized recommendations on procedures that can make you look and feel your best. We have offices in four locations for your convenience.

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