Microblading is a semi-permanent cosmetic procedure that has grown in popularity in the U.S. since around 2010. However, its origins go back to the early 2000s in Asia.
Sometimes called micro-stroking, microblading is the process in which hair-like strokes are tattooed into the upper epidermis layer of the skin.
Microblading vs. Tattooing
Microblading is not the same as traditional tattooing. Here are a few of the main differences.
The skin is made up of three main layers:
The hypodermis is the subcutaneous fat layer and the deepest layer of the skin. The hypodermis is made up of a vital network of fat cells and collagen that help preserve body heat and protect the body.
The dermis is the mid-layer of the skin. It contains a variety of elements, including:
- Hair follicles
- Sweat glands
- Collagen bundles
- Lymph vessels
- Blood vessels
This is the layer of skin upon which traditional tattoo ink is applied. Tattoos are etched into the dermis in order to provoke an immune response from your body. As the tattoo needle damages the dermis, your body’s immune system reacts by sending white blood cells to the affected areas.
Tattoo particles, however, are too big to be absorbed by the white blood cells, so those particles simply sit in the dermis, creating permanent visual changes.
The top layer of the skin is called the epidermis. The epidermis is made up of three types of cells:
- Melanocytes (which give the skin its color)
- Basal cells
- Squamous cells
Microblading ink is injected into the epidermis, which is why it is considered to be semi-permanent and needs to be touched up on a regular schedule.
Another key difference between microblading and tattooing is how the color actually gets into the skin.
Traditional tattooing punctures through the skin to deposit pigment, while microblading creates tiny cuts in the skin.
Finally, the type of pigment (or ink) used plays a major difference in the appearance of the color on your skin. Since tattoo inks are placed in the dermis, they interact with the lymph cells, which can result in the ink looking less defined.
Microblading ink does not interact with lymph cells, so the lines are able to be more precise and cleaner-looking. The result is a carefully drawn effect, rather than a blurred one.
Microblading on Oily Skin
The success of microblading is heavily dependent on your skin type.
The middle layer of the skin, the dermis, contains sebaceous glands, which produce oil (called sebum). Every human being in the world produces sebum. It’s what helps keep your skin hydrated and healthy!
Oily skin is nothing to be ashamed of – it simply requires its own unique form of care. Oily skin happens for a variety of reasons, including:
- Enlarged pores
- Dehydrated skin
- Incorrect skincare products
Genetics are one of the biggest indicators for oily skin. If your parents have it, you’ll probably have it. Age can also impact the oiliness of your skin. As you age, your skin produces less sebum, which is why younger people are more prone to oily skin.
However, there are external reasons why your skin may be oily, as well. Hot, humid climates typically result in oilier skin versus dry skin. Additionally, if you’re using dehydrating skincare products, your skin could overproduce oil in order to try to protect itself.
If you suspect this could be why your skin is oily, consider meeting with one of our aesthetic professionals to help determine the right seasonal skincare routine for you.
While oily skin is perfectly normal, it can present a challenge for microblading artists. Because oily skin tends to be softer and more supple, the microblading pigment is more prone to spreading out instead of staying crisp. Pigment also fades faster on oily skin because the sebum dilutes the pigment.
This is where ombre brows, or powdered brows, come into play. While microblading slices into the skin, ombre brows utilize a special tool to create pin-like dots in the skin. The results, depending on your goals, are similar to a softly-penciled appearance.
This method, also known as microshading, is appropriate for all skin types, whether dry, normal, or oily.
People with oily skin are the perfect candidates for powdered brows because the pigment goes deeper into the skin through the small dots created by the tool. This allows the color to set well in the skin, resulting in a cleaner, crisper appearance.
Microblading vs. Ombre Brows
Both microblading and ombre brows are semi-permanent procedures that provide better defined and filled-in brows. The results are slightly different, however.
Patients who choose microblading will have brows that appear more like individual hair strokes, while ombre brows look more filled-in.
Both procedures are a great way to improve the shape and structure of your brows while reducing maintenance. If you have dry or normal skin, you can choose your method based on your desired outcome.
However, if you have oily skin, ombre brows might be the way to go. Ombre brows will be a higher-quality investment for patients with oily skin because the shape and pigment will last longer.
Our licensed professionals at K.O. Blade & Beauty in Newport News, Virginia, are not only experts in microblading, but also in ombre brow techniques. We can discuss your skin type and your aesthetic goals to determine the perfect technique for your beautiful brows.
Request an appointment today to take your first step toward a new, hassle-free look that works with your skin instead of against it!