Does an Eyebrow Pencil Ruin Your Eyebrows?

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Without a doubt, there are many eyebrow products out there. You can use eyebrow powder, eyebrow gels in pots, eyebrow mascara, and the classic eyebrow pencil. 

Of all the eyebrow products, the eyebrow pencil is the most commonly used one. It is easy to use and there are so many eyebrow pencils to choose from. 

Eyebrow pencils have been in use for many years, but does it really only help you achieve better-looking eyebrows? Is there no dark side to it? You may ask “Does an eyebrow pencil ruin your eyebrows?

Most eyebrow pencil users will tell you that it doesn’t ruin your eyebrows. However, in some cases, it can.

That will depend on how you use it and what eyebrow pencils you use. Let’s talk more about that below.


Types Of Eyebrow Pencil

Eyebrow Shaded with Pencil

Eyebrow pencils, when properly selected, and used will NOT ruin your eyebrows. 

However, there is still a potential that they could in some instances.

Before we get into that, let us first discuss the different types of eyebrow pencils. This will give us a better picture of how such products can ruin your eyebrows. 

Traditional Eyebrow Pencils

Traditional Eyebrow Pencil

Traditional eyebrow pencils  are what our grandmothers would have used back in the day. However, they are still available today and many of today’s best eyebrow products still come in this form.

Just like an ordinary pencil, traditional ones make use of wood. Instead of having a lead core, it comes with the waxy substance that we use for the eyebrows. Some are made of plastic or polymer material instead of wood. 

With these, you’d have to use a sharpener to expose the core and use the product. 

Eyebrow Autoliner

Eyebrow Autoliner

There is nothing more frustrating than to try and sharpen your eyebrow pencil and end up with a broken core multiple times. It could feel like you’ve just wasted the product.

One way to avoid that is to get eyebrow pencils that come in an autoliner  form. Say goodbye to sharpening your eyebrow pencil with this tool!

With an autoliner, you twist and the waxy substance comes out. Just be careful not to break it when it comes out. To avoid that, don’t expose too much of the product, just expose the tip and just enough to use it.

The core of the autoliners may vary in shape. Some are circular  while others can be pointed at one end and flat on the other. 

Either way, the shape can help with creating hairlike lines to easily fill in the eyebrows. 

Eyebrow Marker

Eyebrow Marker

If you want to completely avoid breaking your eyebrow product, you can switch to eyebrow markers. These have different formulations. It comes in a liquid that is sealed inside the marker. 

This usually comes with a felt tapered tip so you can do brush strokes to mimic hair strands. However, there are also some that have a tip that comes in the shape of a microblading tool , (without the needles of course).

These ones will help create multiple hair strands with each stroke. And no need to sharpen!

How Does an Eyebrow Pencil Ruin Your Eyebrows

There are a few reasons why your eyebrow pencil can damage your eyebrows. They are as follows:

Sharp Edges

Your eyebrows can be ruined with your eyebrow pencil due to the sharp edges of the pencil. If you are using pencils that need to be sharpened, make sure that the core is exposed. If not, the sharp edges of the wood or polymer could be scraping your eyebrows. 

It happens, we know. When you are rushing, or you can’t find your eyebrow sharpener and you decide to just use it anyway. You might end up with scrapes on your eyebrows. 

Bad Formulation

It is important to carefully select the makeup products you use. Avoid fakes and knockoffs if you can, because you don’t know what those are made of. 

Poor quality ingredients could be harmful to your skin and could cause a bad reaction.

Similarly, there are also some products that may not be as waxy or soft as you’ve thought. Some may not be as pigmented as you’d like. So you tend to use them over and over on the area to get sufficient color, but you end up just scratching your eyebrow due to the stiffness of the product. 


You have to remember that makeup products also have expirations. Do you still remember when you opened your eye makeup products?

If it’s been a little while, before using it, inspect it visually. Sometimes, there might already be molds or fungus developing due to improper storage. 

If the product doesn’t have a cover and was not properly stored, it could already be harboring bacteria. Although the skin acts as a barrier, tiny scrapes on the eyebrows due to the sharp edges could provide pathways for infection.


Eyebrow pencils will help define your eyebrows and fill areas where hair is sparse. They do not really ruin your eyebrows unless you make use of a bad product, or use your pencil improperly. 

When using your eyebrow pencil, make sure that it is properly sharpened so that you don’t scrape your eyebrow with the sharp edges of the wood or polymer substance. You should also carefully select which eyebrow pencils to use and avoid fake ones and knockoffs. 

Store your makeup properly to prevent infection. And don’t forget to throw out old or expired eyebrow pencils as well. 

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).