As a permanent makeup technician, your top priority is making sure your clients have a pleasant and safe experience in your clinic, from the initial consultation to the last touch-up appointment. Happy customers mean repeat business and hopefully referrals, so it is important to do everything possible to ensure your clients are comfortable throughout the entire process.

Permanent makeup procedures  are invasive and potentially painful, so providing clients with effective topical anesthesia before, during and after their treatments will make a huge difference in their overall perception of the experience!

What you need to know about local anesthetics:

Pain is caused by the stimulation of pain receptors at the ends of nerves. The stimulation causes sodium to enter the nerve ending, which causes an electrical signal to build up in the nerve. When this electrical signal is big enough, it passes along the nerve to the brain, where the signal is interpreted as pain.

Anaesthetics work by temporarily blocking this pathway of pain signals along nerves. They do this by stopping the sodium entering the nerve ending at the site of the pain. This prevents an electrical signal building up and passing along the nerve fibers to the brain.

Local anaesthetics used in micropigmentation industry can be either ester or amide based. Ester local anesthetics (e.g., procaine, cocaine,benzocaine,tetracaine) are generally unstable in solution and fast-acting, allergic reactions are common. Amide local anesthetics (e.g., lidocaine, prilocaine, bupivicaine, levobupivacaine) are generally heat-stable, with a long shelf life (around 2 years). They have a slower onset and longer half-life than ester anesthetics.  Due to their longer duration of action amide based agents are more commonly used in permanent makeup.

Lidocaine based products are commonly used and proved efficiency. They can be used for all permanent makeup procedure EXCEPT(!) eyeliner. These product provides great versatility as it appropriate for pre-procedure, mid-procedure and post-procedure use. Just apply the lidocaine based potent cream 15-30 minutes prior to the first needle pass, and reapply as needed throughout the procedure.

Along with its needed effects, lidocaine may cause some unwanted effects,

  • anesthetics between pH 9-14(alkaline) and 0-5(acidic) can influence the cellular, healing process in a wrong way
  • it can cause color change in the pigment,
  • we need to be very careful around the eyes because it is sensitive and chemical injuries can happen,
  • furthermore a corneal abrasion can occur without the patient discorvery,






Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention, but most of the cases these side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine:

  • Flushing, redness of the skin
  • small red or purple spots on the skin
  • swelling at the site of application
  • unusually warm skin.

Anesthesia Research Society 2009 made a survey about anesthetics and their side effects, they tested 242 people of whom

  • 105 were related to Benzocaine,
  • 44 were related to Prilocaine,
  • 10 were related to Lodicaine,
  • 1 were related to Tetracaine.





As a result of this survey we can say that the Benzocaine is the riskiest agent to use for local anesthesia. Better to use Tetracaine and Lidocaine because these are the least harmful anesthetic agents.