How Long Do Lip Tattoos Last?

Getting a semi permanent lip tattoos is a great way to enhance your lips without having to apply any makeup. The technique of lip PMU is very versatile and it can be used to recreate a whole range of lip makeup looks, from the basic lip liner, to the dramatic ombre lip.

Since the treatment involves coloring the lips from within, your lip enhancement won’t be removed by water, eating, talking, kissing. The biggest benefit of getting a lip tattoo is the fact that it doesn’t come off. But just how long-lasting is it?

How Long Do Lip Tattoos Last?

How Long Do Lip Tattoos Last on Average?

For most people, lip tattoos last about 2 years without additional touch ups.

There are cases where they fade after about a year, as well as those whose lip tattoo lasts up to 5 years. It’s all very individual and depends on many factors.

Some of these factors can be controlled, while others, like your body chemistry, cannot. It’s important to get informed about all the things that determine how long do lip tattoos last before you book an appointment to decide whether it’s worth it or not – the lip tattoo cost is not a bargain!

What Factors Determine How Long Do Lip Tattoos Last?

The longevity of the lip tattoo is about 2 years for most people, but it can fade much faster, or last much longer. The factors that will determine how long does permanent lip color last have to do with the properties of your system, the aftercare routine, and your lifestyle.

Here are the key factors:

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1. How Long Do Lip Tattoos Last? – Body Chemistry

Everyone’s system is different and everyone’s skin treats PMU pigments differently.

How long do lip tattoos last depends on how quickly your body dissolves the pigments, and how quickly your skin will regenerate itself and get rid of a portion of the pigmented cells. Some systems work hard to extract the foreign matter, while others tolerate pigments and retain them.

That’s why no artist can tell you exactly when the tattoo will fade.

One condition that is known to accelerate the fading of pigment significantly is anemia. Most PMU pigments contain iron oxides. An iron deficiency will cause your system to “eat up” these components, so to say. That’s why anemic people aren’t great candidates for permanent makeup.

2. Skin Type

Dry to normal skin retains pigments better than oily skin.

The overproduction of sebum pushes out the pigments, and the results fade faster. So if you have oily skin, you can still get permanent lip makeup, but be prepared for more frequent touch ups.

This is more prominent with permanent brows and eyeliner, but it also affects how long do lip tattoos last.

3. Aftercare

How long does permanent lipstick last is decided to a large degree in the days following the treatment.

In order for the pigments to settle into the skin properly, you need to follow a simple aftercare routine throughout the lip tattoo healing process, which lasts about 10 days. It implies coating your lips with a layer of moisturizing ointment that prevents the formation of thick scabs.


If thick scabs are formed, they can take large amounts of pigment with them when they fall off. The same goes for ripping off the scabs before the skin underneath has healed.

How long do lip tattoos last if you pick at the scabs? Less than 10 days. Talk about a waste of money.

Getting the lips wet during the healing process also disrupts the pigment settling. So it’s best to refrain from swimming, saunas and steam baths, and excessive exercise.

4. Your Lifestyle

If you expose your permanent lips to certain factors, the pigments will fade quicker. These factors include:

  • Sunlight exposure. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, the pigments fade faster. Also, if your skin is sunburnt, it will go through a cycle of excessive peeling, which will shed some of the pigmented cells.
  • Frequent swimming. The chemical compositions of salt and pool water react with the pigments and could potentially cause them to fade quicker.
  • Smoking.

5. Skincare Routine

Some skincare ingredients are known to accelerate the fading of PMU pigments, primarily retinol and acids. These ingredients are often found in anti-aging products, but they may appear in any formula. So you might want to rethink your skincare routine – study the ingredient list of the products you normally use and try to find alternatives that don’t contain these ingredients.

Many beauty treatments and facials can also accelerate fading. Exfoliating treatments get rid of the surface layer of the skin, so pigmented cells are also removed. This applies to both mechanical exfoliation and chemical peels.

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PMUHub Note: With all these factors in mind, you can try and predict how long does permanent lip color last in your case. However, no one can tell you with 100% precision. It’s all very individual and you should be prepared to get a touch up once in a while to refresh the color.

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