The Nitty Gritty on Airbrush - let’s do this

Sooooo… another day another blog ( are you fed up of me yet) 🤣


As airbrush continues to grow across the industry globally, we are seeing a slight shift in the thought process. 

The naysayers and those who are quick to say it was a fad are now happily jumping on this airbrush bandwagon, and we love to see it. 

As there are a few classes available now, and of course many brands that are offering specific airbrush products for the brows. We have been asked to comment on the safety aspect of this treatment and we will happily oblige 


As usual, you ask and you shall receive (Brow Geek style) and alongside Natalie of @Badgal.Brows we are here to help



Firstly let’s talk about what airbrush actually is : 


The airbrush is a painting tool that sprays paint or ink onto a surface using compressed air. It was first patented in 1876 by Francis Edgar Stanley of Newton, Massachusetts. The concept of the airbrush was further refined by Charles Burdick in 1893, who obtained a significant improvement in the atomization of the paint.

The airbrush became popular in the early 20th century, particularly in the field of illustration and commercial art. It allowed artists to create smooth gradients and intricate details with greater precision and control than traditional brushes or spray guns.

Throughout the years, the airbrush has been widely used in various applications, including car painting, fine art, makeup artistry, and even cake decorating. It has evolved with advancements in technology, resulting in more efficient and versatile airbrush systems.

Today, the airbrush remains a valuable tool for artists and professionals seeking precise and high-quality results in their work… and this is where beauty comes in. 


Airbrush makeup has become increasingly popular in the beauty industry due to its flawless finish and long-lasting results. Airbrush is applied using a small, handheld airbrush gun that sprays a fine mist of foundation onto the skin, or art to the nail.

One of the main benefits of airbrush makeup is its ability to create a lightweight, natural-looking coverage that is buildable and customizable to the individual's skin tone and preferences. The airbrush technique also allows for a seamless, even application that can help minimize the appearance of imperfections and provide a smooth, airbrushed finish.

Many beauty professionals and makeup buffs have embraced airbrush makeup for its versatility and professional results. With a wide range of foundation shades and formulas available, airbrush makeup has become a go-to option for achieving a flawless complexion with a natural-looking finish.

The composition of foundations for the face can vary depending on the brand and formulation. However, most liquid foundations typically contain a combination of the following key ingredients:

1. Pigments: These provide the color and coverage to even out the skin tone and conceal imperfections.

2. Emollients and oils: These help moisturize and hydrate the skin, giving the foundation a smooth texture and aiding in its application.

3. Binders: These ingredients help hold the product together and ensure that it adheres to the skin.

4. Preservatives: These are added to prevent the growth of bacteria and prolong the shelf life of the product.

5. Fillers and thickeners: These ingredients help give the foundation its texture and consistency.

And of course - heavy metals in cosmetics, including foundations, it is essential to note that heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium can sometimes be found as impurities in cosmetic products due to contamination during the manufacturing process. Regulatory agencies, like the FDA in the United States and the European Union's Cosmetics Regulation, have set limits on the allowable levels of these heavy metals in cosmetic products to ensure consumer safety, 

It is important to choose reputable brands and products that comply with these regulations and undergo rigorous testing for heavy metal contamination. Additionally, if you have concerns about heavy metals in your cosmetics, you can look for products that are labeled as "heavy metal-free" or opt for natural and organic cosmetic brands that may have stricter standards for ingredient purity.

Lets Bring it back to Airbrush Brows ... THE trend of the moment. 

As someone who was one of (if not THE first in the UK to teach lamination in early 2019), i have been at the forefront of new trends and techniques that have changed the face of how we "do brows" 

Back in 2019, & the huge fall out of the industry using incorrect products to do a brow lam (we ALL remember this i hope!!) then this is different.  We are using a product that is on the market and is being used for this EXACT treatment, we are only changing the application method. 

PPD - The Nitty Gritty 

PPD, or paraphenylenediamine, is a chemical compound commonly used in hair dyes, particularly darker shades, to create permanent or semi-permanent color. PPD is also sometimes found in temporary tattoos and other personal care products.

PPD is a common allergen and can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, ranging from mild skin irritation to more severe allergic contact dermatitis. Symptoms of a reaction to PPD may include redness, itching, swelling, blistering, and in severe cases, even anaphylaxis.

To minimize the risk of an allergic reaction to PPD, it is essential to perform a patch test before using a hair dye or any product containing PPD. This involves applying a small amount of the product on a small area of the skin to check for any adverse reactions.

There are also PPD-free or low-PPD hair dye alternatives available for individuals who are sensitive or allergic to PPD. These products use alternative ingredients to achieve color results without the use of PPD.

LOW PPD - what does that mean?

Using products with low paraphenylenediamine (PPD) content in an airbrush machine for brow application can be a suitable option for individuals who may have sensitivities or allergies to PPD. Here are some potential benefits and considerations when using products with low PPD in an airbrush machine:

1. **Reduced Allergy Risk**: Lower PPD content in products may reduce the risk of allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to this chemical.

2. **Safety Precautions**: Using low PPD products can provide an extra layer of safety for clients who may have concerns about allergens in traditional products.

3. **Versatility**: Airbrush offers precision and control, and using low PPD content products can allow makeup artists to create various looks with fewer allergen concerns.

1. **Product Compatibility**: Ensure that the low PPD products are compatible with your airbrush machine to achieve optimal results without clogging or affecting performance.

2. **Patch Testing**: Even with low PPD content, it is still advisable to conduct patch tests on clients, especially those with known sensitivities to hair dyes or cosmetic ingredients.

3. **Client Communication**: Inform clients about the use of low PPD products in your airbrush machine and address any concerns or questions they may have about allergens or product ingredients.

What % PPD is in Hybrid Tints 

Hybrid Tints that are EU approved, and made by reputable companies will adhere to the standard allowed amount of PPD, in USA the limit is also stringently checked by the FDA. 

This limit is 2%.

What does this mean? It means the the total allowable strength or potency of the ingredient is allowed in your formula, and this is the maximum %.  In reality, in lighter colours this is much much less. 

As you know when we then "mix" our products, this % becomes even less.  landing at around 0.8-1% potency of the overall mix. This is classed as LOW PPD. 


We are not using industrial machines, we are using battery powered or cable attached machines to perform this very accurate treatment. And given the low PSI (pounds per inch pressure) and higher viscosity (thickness) the reality is the "particles" in the air are much much less than if you were using an industrial machine, or a mineral based formula such as foundation, that is designed to leave a powder finish. 

The correct measurement of this is TRACE.  Like anything that we consume or are exposed to, there must be guidance around this to check the safety. 

To understand trace measurements, grab your next packet of food from the supermarket and check the labels, if it states trace on an item, that means its there, but in such small quantities it cannot be measured.  


So what do you need to do as a therapist or artist? 

1. Check the SDS of your product. Reputable products will have SDS readily available for you to download, this is our "check list" for you as the end user to check this is safe.  You can find sections on inhalation risk and ingestion risk. (If a company doesnt have this info readily available for any products that contain any chemicals, this is a massive RED FLAG - RUN) 

2. Work in a well ventilated area. We are artists and therapists who use a multitude of chemicals, working in a ventilated area is a requirement as part of your health and safety assessment. 

3. Practice safety first, just like you do with any other products such as HIGH TGA on lash lift products, lash extension glues, dermaplane or PMU - this is no different.  We are professionals and we practice all safety measures at all times. 

4. Mask up.  If you are at all concerned, wearing a mask and giving your client a mask, is something we can do.  We all lived through the wonders of covid derived PPE, so this isnt new info.

5. Complete some training. Like any new treatment, training is imperative.  Yes im sure you can youtube someone doing the treatment, but do you really know PSI? Spidering? Back flushing, Deep cleaning, How to mix (metals and tint are not suitable for mixing), Viscosity.  If you do, then great, proceed with your safety procedures in place. 

If not? Then invest in yourself and your clients, do the training, learn the info and you will enjoy safe and consistent results for your paying clients. 


To end, and summarize:  Is this a fad? Who knows, i know we all thought Brow Lam was a fad, and 30,000 students later, its here to stay 

Stay Safe, practice positivity, and enjoy 

Debs x

2 comentarios

  • susan

    Hiya, I am wanting to invest in your tints, I have completed your on line course. I have also purchased a battery airbrush which tints of yours are best suited to the airbrush. Ive worked with airbrushes for many years as a film/tv makeupartist for last 29 years .
    many thanks!!

  • Lisa

    Super happy with this new treatment! It’s given a much needed boost to the brow industry all round! 🫶🫶🫶 thank you Nat & Debs xoxo

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