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October 27, 2021
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Does Permanent Makeup (PMU) hurt?

As a PMU specialist you often get the question: ''Does Permanent Makeup (PMU) hurt?"

In this blog I go a little deeper to answer that question. In addition, I will also give you some tips against the pain.

First of all, it really depends on where the PMU or tattoo is placed. For example, where the so-called 'cupid bow' is experienced as painful with Lips PMU, this is usually experienced considerably less on the sides of the lips. The same principle applies to getting a tattoo. I found the tattoo on my knee particularly unpleasant and on my upper arm I just fell asleep! It also depends on a tattoo; how long has the artist been working for? Is it a large or small design, with or without color, many or few details. For example, the color white in ink is often slightly more sensitive because white is a bit thicker and therefore more difficult to penetrate the skin. All in all, the pain you may or may not experience with PMU is very much dependent on where. No matter where, there is never extreme pain.

Tips against pain when putting PMU!

  • Sleep well.

A good night's sleep is an excellent remedy for pain. Sometimes that is a bit difficult to control, maybe you find it so exciting that you can't sleep. Children who wake you at night or partners who snore. Anyway, it is always advisable to go to bed on time. A party into the late hours is not a good preparation prior to a PMU treatment. So be sure to go to bed on time.

  • Healthy and enough food

Lying in the treatment chair with an appetite is rarely a good idea. However controlled this is, the artist will injure you with a needle and your body will work hard to produce endorphins. This is a hormone that is released during physical exertion and pain. This is a natural pain reliever. A good resistance is important to give your body a helping hand. I'm not talking about fast food, but healthy food with lots of vitamins. Vitamins A, C, D, Zinc and Iron can help you with this. Not only the content of food is important, but also how it fills. We all get grumpy when we're hungry. Make sure your stomach is well filled and also take something with you to eat something in between or afterwards.

  • Painkillers without a prescription

You can help your body by taking some pain relief. Paracetamol is an excellent choice for this. Avoid Ibuprofen and Aspirin. Both have a blood-thinning effect and this can affect the end result of the PMU treatment. If you decide to take the paracetamol, build up a mirror. Start a day in advance and take the desired amount (500 or 1000 mg) every 6 hours. Always check with your doctor if you are taking any other medication to make sure it isn't causing any harm. Always read the package insert before taking any medicine.

  • Pain relief only available with prescription

For PMU you can call the doctor in advance and ask for the anesthetic EMLA cream/Lidocaine cream. You can apply this to your eyebrows beforehand. Always follow the package insert. Never put it on your eyes yourself.

  • Avoiding Menstruation

This is of course not always in your control. If you have already had an appointment for a few months and you suddenly have your period, you will not cancel the treatment for this. But know that if you are menstruating or about to start menstruating, the treatment/session will be more sensitive.

  • Meditation, relaxation and breathing.

If you experience something as more sensitive, you quickly put your body in tension, which makes everything hurt even more, so a vicious circle. Therefore, try to find a comfortable position where you do not have to lie tense. Keep breathing in and out, especially when it becomes more sensitive. You can bring a headphone or earplugs to put on an audiobook or music.

  • Comfortable clothes

If possible, wear loose-fitting clothing as much as possible. This allows you to better relax and find a position without having to lie on buttons, frills, straps and buckles. Try to think this out in advance.

  • No alcohol or drugs

This can thin your blood. Your body also has to work hard to get this out of your system, so that less energy can go to the pain-fighting of the tattoo or PMU. So leave the drink alone for a while.


Yerelin Guerrero
Yerelin Guerrero
Yerelin Guerrero is a renowned makeup artist in the Tampa Bay area and central Florida. She is a Microblading Certified/licensed Artist, Certified Makeup Artist, Advanced Certified Lash Artist and an Advanced Certified Lip Tattoo Artist.

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