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Does the magnetic field created by the MRI machine affect permanent makeup or tattoos?

The opinions of permanent makeup artists on this issue vary greatly. Some say that the contours of the eyebrows or eyeliners may blur, others say that a person may get a burn. None of them dared to experiment on their friends/acquaintances, let alone on themselves. They all unanimously rely on an article from a decade ago describing the horrors of magnetic resonance imaging involving tattooed people.

Well, we conducted a large experiment, and it turned out that everything is not quite what may think.


A bit of theory, to understand better what we are talking about.

The basis of this article stems from the article about the ferromagnetic properties of pigments. If you haven't read it, we recommend you first acquaint yourself with the previous article.

About MRI:

The strength of the magnetic field is measured in units called Tesla.There are weaker machines that create a field with a strength of 0.2-0.5 Tesla, and powerful machines that create fields with a strength of 1.5–3 Tesla. Depending on the power of the machine, we get a clearer or less clear image of the part of the body being examined. We ran an MRI with a power of 3 Tesla.

Jewelry is usually removed to eliminate radio frequency interference in the image. Due to jewelry, the effectiveness of the image is primarily reduced, and shadows appear in the picture. Gold jewelry does not need to be removed, as it does not cast shadows.

It is important to note immediately that it is not wise to think and say that an MRI machine will affect any tattoo or permanent makeup.


If you have read the article about magnets and dry inorganic pigments, then you understand that the only pigments in question are these three:

  • Yellow ink based on yellow iron oxide CI#77492
  • Red ink based on red iron oxide CI#77491
  • Black ink based on black iron oxide CI#77499

That's all. No other inorganic pigments possess ferromagnetic properties.

  • Carbon black does not possess them
  • Titanium dioxide does not possess them
  • Copper phthalocyanine does not possess them

And so on.

Moreover, none of the organic pigments possess such properties. Even if it is a hybrid pigment based on titanium dioxide.

From this, we can conclude that any artistic tattoo (black Polynesian/colorful in new school or realism) will not react to the MRI machine because these components do not possess ferromagnetic properties.

The hypothesis was as follows:

Of the three specified pigments, a tattoo/permanent makeup made with ink based on black iron oxide (not Carbon Black) will 100% react to the MRI machine. Ink based on red oxide is questionable. Ink based on yellow oxide will not react to MRI.

By testing this hypothesis, we empirically prove to you that:

  • People with eyebrows made with ink based on black iron oxide will react to MRI
  • Also, ladies who have had their eyelids done entirely with black ink from black iron oxide will react to MRI
  • No contours will blur
  • There will be no burns on the skin, but most likely there will be redness and irritation of the skin, similar to what happens right after permanent makeup or a tattoo is made, but it will quickly pass

What was done to achieve this?

  • In our laboratory, pure colors were produced from inorganic components without titanium dioxide: yellow, orange, and black. All from iron oxides
  • Small tattoos were applied in the studio with these inks
  • The tattooed skin healed for 4 weeks
  • A tomography session was conducted. We specifically examined the sacrolumbar region to make sure the entire body fits inside the machine.

What happened?

A slight reddening of the black tattoo—this is all that happened during a 10-minute session in the tomograph. Yellow and orange tattoos did not react to the magnetic field. There was no burning, there were no unpleasant sensations.

The redness subsided after about 3 minutes.


  • Since some people complain about irritation of the eyebrows and eyelids in the MRI machine, it can be said that the MRI has a minimal effect on the permanent makeup made with iron oxide inks. Most likely, this is related to the fact that the skin on the eyelids, as well as on the eyebrows, is much thinner than on the arm.
  • The contours do not blur.
  • There will be no burns. Slight redness is possible. But it is not critical.

Possible questions towards us:

Should I be afraid of the MRI machine if I have large black tattoos?

No. They are made with Carbon Black ink, not black iron oxide.

Should I be afraid of the MRI machine if my permanent makeup is made with inorganic inks?

No. Even if you get some redness, it will quickly go away, even before you leave the clinic.

Should I be afraid of the MRI machine if my permanent makeup is made with inorganic BROVI inks?

Not at all. We do not use black iron oxide in our production. We work with Carbon Black. And yellow and orange iron oxides do not react to the magnetic field.

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