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The basic information you need to know as a microblading artist

All permanent makeup procedures involve breaking the surface of the skin, and although the needles or blades don’t go too deep into it, it can still be quite painful.

There has been an evolution in the industry, and the tools used today are much gentler on the skin than they used to be, however, the trauma is still painful, especially when the skin becomes irritated halfway through the procedure. Therefore, numbness is a necessity.

That is why it is important to know the basics of numbness that will serve you as a Microblading artist, we also share some professional tips on how to use different anesthetic creams to obtain maximum results.

The basic information you need to know as a microblading artist

How does the anesthesia work?


Topical anesthetics come in the form of creams and gels that can have different consistencies. When applied to the skin, they absorb and block nerve endings from sending signals to the brain.


This causes a numb feeling. As a result, your client will not feel pain, although they will still feel the pressure of a tool penetrating the skin.


Because topical anesthetics don’t penetrate blood vessels, they work within a relatively short time frame. Both topical and injectable anesthetics can be used on intact skin, but absorption from intact skin is not very high and the effects do not last long.


So usually, 2 types of numbness are combined.




What types of topical anesthetics exist?


Because 45 minutes is not enough time to complete the microblading procedure, two types of topical anesthetics are usually combined:


  • Primary: used on intact skin
  • Secondary: it is used once the skin is broken.


Not all formulas can be used both ways. You should check the suitability of any anesthetic before applying it to broken skin.


A second formula is applied once the primary numbness subsides, which is more powerful and is absorbed faster, as the skin is open during this process.


How long do anesthetic takes to make effect?


Primary numbness takes a relatively long time, between 25 to 30 minutes, while secondary numbness works very quickly; 1 minute. Be aware of the time it takes for primary numbness to kick in before scheduling an appointment with a client.


Leave some extra time, because some customers take longer to respond to numbness and may need a few extra minutes.


Note that you can only leave the primary numbness on for a little longer, not the secondary numbness. The skin will become extremely hard and difficult to work with if you leave the secondary anesthetic on for more than one to two minutes.




What should I look for in a topical anesthetic?


Both types of permanent makeup numbness contain lidocaine, and this is the basic ingredient. It is a powerful anesthetic, and cosmetic anesthetic creams contain up to 5% lidocaine. Microblading artists are not doctors and are not allowed to use stronger anesthetics than this.


The stronger the effects are, the more lidocaine is in the formula.


In addition to lidocaine, many formulas also contain tetracaine and benzocaine. Different customers respond differently to these ingredients, so if you want to make sure your customer falls asleep, look for a formula that contains all 3.


Secondary anesthetic formulas contain vasoconstrictors, usually epinephrine, which shrink the skin’s blood vessels and contracts blood flow, which means less bleeding during treatment and less redness and swelling.


The consistency of numbness is another factor to consider. In terms of consistency, some formulas are thick and oily, while others are more gel-like or watery. The formula you choose depends on your preference, but also on the treatment you are performing.


How do I maximize the effects of numbness?


You want the numbness to work as intensely as possible so that your client feels very little or no pain. Here are some tricks you can try to achieve maximum numbness in minimal time.


  • Exfoliation


You can’t use primary numbness once you cut the skin with a blade or prick it with a needle, and the same goes for doing a moderate exfoliation to remove a portion of dead skin cells from the skin surface and increase the absorption of numbness.


You can:


  1. Rub a reel against the customer’s skin
  2. Take a microblading blade and push the skin with it
  3. Apply secondary numbness.


This way, you can skip the primary numbness altogether and achieve numbness much faster.


  • Plastic wrap


Once you apply the numbness, take a strip of thin plastic sheet and cover the area with it. The wrap will seal moisture and heat and maximize the effects of the anesthetic cream.


  • Vaseline


Alternatively, you can put a layer of petroleum jelly over the layer of anesthetic cream. This will work the same way, the only issue is that it can be harder to remove.


Here are some anesthesia tips for each permanent makeup treatment:


  • For Microblading & Shading


Thorough cleaning is the prerequisite for intense and even numbness. Eyebrow hairs trap all unwanted debris, so they need a very deep cleaning. Clean the area with a disinfectant to remove debris and allow numbness to be concise. Microblading is especially feasible with direct alcohol since it dries out the skin and makes it firmer.


You don’t have to clean the numbness of both eyebrows at the same time. You can clean 1 eyebrow and work on it, while leaving the numbness for a while longer in the other one. This will also decrease the discomfort in the other eyebrow.


  • For permanent eyeliner


For eyeliner tattoo, do not use liquid formulas that can get into the client’s eyes. Find a thick formula that doesn’t melt.


  • For lip tattoos


The task of numbing the lips can be frustrating but stretching the skin well before applying a local anesthetic can solve the problem. The lips are not a smooth surface, they have many folds and wrinkles. If you only show the anesthetic cream through them, the cream cannot get into the folds and those areas will not become numb. So, stretch them as much as possible when applying the anesthesia.


Exfoliation is especially important for lip tattooing. If there is dead and dehydrated skin on the lips, the numbness will not be able to penetrate the lips and your client will have pain.


We hope that all this information is useful to you and that you put it into practice. This way you will be able to create better experiences for your customers and a greater reputation for you as a microblading artist.


We recommend you subscribe to our newsletter where we are also sharing valuable information that we know will be helpful.


Continue to learn and practice.

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