Permanent Makeup Removal

How Can Tattoos or Permanent Makeup Be Removed?

Unfortunately, it is faster and easier to get permanent makeup or body art than it is to remove either one. However, there are several methods to remove body or makeup tattoos: 

  • Dermabrasion: This is an older process where the tattooed skin is “sanded” by a physician with a special device. The top and middle skin layers that contain the ink or pigment are removed.
  • Lasers: Pulses of light break up the tattoo ink under the skin, then cells absorb (“eat it up”) the molecules. Results vary depending on the type of laser and wavelength of light used. Laser tattoo removal is popular for removing body art, but it is used less often for permanent makeup removal due to the risks. Because permanent makeup is on the face, there is greater risk for damage (e.g. the eye). Also, there is a risk of the laser turning permanent makeup black which may look worse.
  • Salt-Saline Technique: This method applies the science of osmosis combined with dry needling. Saline and salt or concentrated salt water is tattooed directly on top of any unwanted pigment or ink. This starts the process of the ink being drawn up and out of the skin into a scab. Once the scab falls off, the pigment will be lighter or gone. A more specific description would be to call this a “pigment lifting” process. Dr. Reed uses this method to remove permanent makeup because it is a precise “controlled scabbing.” She is certified to use various saline products including Tattoo Vanish™ that is a patented formula made from all natural ingredients.
  • Surgical Excision: This method is only used as a last resort. A physician surgically cuts the tattoo pattern out of the skin and then sutures the edges of the skin back together. The skin over and around the tattoo may need to be stretched first.
Salt Removal of Permanent Eyebrow End (original work not by Dr. Reed)
 Permanent Makeup Removal
 Permanent Makeup Removal
Immediately After Treatment
Healed Result Before Recoloring

How Many Treatments Are Needed?
Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately predict how many removal procedures will be necessary to achieve satisfactory results. The number of sessions depends upon the color, size, shape, and location of the permanent makeup tattoo (brows, eyeliner, or lips) or microbladed eyebrows. Dr. Reed will not know the type, brand, or chemical formula of the pigment(s) originally used in the permanent makeup. There is no way to know how deeply the ink was originally placed into the skin, and the thickness of the skin will vary by location. Some areas of permanent makeup can be removed with one or two sessions, but others will need additional treatments. As the permanent makeup lightens following one or two sessions, Dr. Reed will be able to give a better prognosis for additional treatment.

Will the Saline Removal Method Cause a Scar?
Although any type of permanent makeup or tattoo removal can cause some skin color changes or scarring, the salt or saline method has a low risk of creating heavy or raised scars. Usually the skin is slightly red or pink for several weeks up to months. This color gradually lightens as the new skin is reformed and collagen rebuilds. Sessions must be scheduled at least 8 weeks apart to allow for complete healing.

Pigment Lifting of Uneven Permanent Lip Liner
Permanent Makeup Removal
 Permanent Makeup Removal
Before (by another person)
After 3 Sessions (by Dr. Reed)