Pros and Cons: Should I Get a Facial Piercing? February 26, 2020 – Posted in: Piercing Advice, Piercing Types – Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Society no longer relegates piercings to punk rockers, rebellious teenagers, or other subcultures. Thanks to the acceptance of individual expression by Millennials and Gen Z, piercings that were frowned upon in the past are now embraced and celebrated.

However, the piercing world is in a state of transition. Culturally, we’re split when it comes to our acceptance of piercings, especially in professional settings. Younger generations are apt to accept more piercing types than older generations, and often the two are unable to come to an agreement on what is acceptable. Because of this, your new eyebrow piercing might be met with adoration one moment and contempt the next.

Beyond cultural and professional acceptance, piercings on the face won’t be easy to ignore. A facial piercing that’s poorly done could cause damage that will scar your face. Any facial piercing hosts its own risks; you don’t want to pursue one on a whim.

To help you decide whether or not a facial piercing is for you, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Woman with two nostril piercings

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Pros of facial piercings

When you think of facial piercings, a few styles might come to mind; eyebrow piercings, nostril and septum piercings, and labret piercings have all found popularity in the last few years.

But, your face provides an entire canvas for facial piercing types. The lips alone offer a plethora of piercing options to choose from. Additionally, surface piercings allow you to pierce the flat areas of the skin, paving the way for piercings on your nose bridge, temple, and other areas of the face that you might not have thought about before.

Your face offers plenty of space for piercing, and well-planned facial piercings can accentuate your best features. Here are some of the best aspects of facial piercings.

You can make your facial piercing your own

Almost every facial piercing type has a variation. Even seemingly straightforward piercings, like eyebrow piercings, offer a few placement options to choose from. Once you’ve narrowed down the specific piercing and variation you’d like, you’ll have some jewelry options to peruse. Facial piercings offer a great way to show off your unique personality and style.

You can go bold or dainty

Most facial piercings can rock both larger jewelry choices or daintier items. With a smaller piece of jewelry, your piercing won’t stand out as much, allowing you to show off your piercing even at more conservative events. When it’s time to let your piercing shine, you can bring out the more elaborate jewelry.

The labret piercing, for example, looks fantastic decorated with a simple bead. However, when you’re getting ready for a night out, you can also sport a gorgeous, intricate hoop that refuses to be ignored. This makes it easy to adorn your labret in a way that can be acceptable in different settings. 

They aren’t as permanent as tattoos

Like piercings, tattoos offer a way for you to express your individuality through body modification. Unlike piercings, tattoos are permanent unless you have them removed.

You won’t have to worry too much about how your piercing will affect your life years down the line; simply remove the jewelry. The marks left from well-healed, healthy piercings are usually very minimal.

Cons of facial piercings

When it comes down to it, piercings are about individual expression, but some will still frown upon your personal style choices. Additionally, since these piercings are located on the face, any healing issues will be apparent. Here are some not-so-fun things to think about before you get pierced.

Your piercing can have an effect on your employability

While piercings are becoming more mainstream, some companies, especially larger corporations, have specific rules against facial piercings. This will pose a huge issue for a new piercing, which must be filled with a jewelry piece at all times. 

Once your piercing has fully healed, you can take out your jewelry during the workday. However, some piercings tend to close within hours of jewelry removal, so choosing this option might mean saying goodbye to your facial piercing. You can also get glass piercing retainers to put in your piercing, but although retainers are subtle, they can still be seen, so some employers might not allow this option.

Not all companies will have policies against facial piercings, and it may depend upon your role. But, you don’t want your piercings to make or break your career, so make sure that you keep your job in mind when making your piercing choices.

Some facial piercing types have a tendency to reject

Jewelry rejection occurs when your body starts pushing the new jewelry out of your skin, like it does with a splinter. While this can happen in any piercing, it’s highly common in surface piercings or eyebrow piercings.

Piercing rejection happens for a number of reasons, and you can take steps to avoid it, but sometimes it occurs even if you do everything right. If your piercing starts to migrate, immediately consult your piercer. If you ignore it, the rejection could leave a scar.

There’s a risk of infection

All piercings risk infection. But, infections on your face can be unsightly. If your piercing starts to suffer, you might see scarring or other permanent issues in a prevalent part of your body. If you choose to get a facial piercing, keep this in mind as you commit to your aftercare regimen.

The good news is that the use of saline solution during healing is proven to greatly reduce the risk of infection and even shorten healing times. Many facial piercings can be easily cleaned on the go with a fine mist saline spray like NeilMed Piercing Aftercare.

Facial Piercing Aftercare

To care for a new facial piercing, simply soak a clean cotton swab or paper towel in piercing aftercare saline solution, and gently clean the front and back of the piercing 2 – 3 times daily. To avoid complications, try to keep the jewelry as still as possible, avoid dampness, and make sure that you don’t put any pressure on the jewelry throughout the day.

Which facial piercings are more accepted?

Culturally, we view different piercings in different lights. For example, while nostril piercings have become widely accepted, society tends to view lip piercings as rebellious and less professional.

When considering the pros and cons of facial piercings, it’s important to note that not all piercings will be treated the same. Here are some facial piercing types that seem to be most accepted in a professional setting.

Nostril piercings are the most popular piercings outside of the ear. You’ll see these piercings gracing the noses of lawyers and college students alike. It can also be adorned with a tiny stud, making it less noticeable. Because of this, nostril piercings are often found acceptable by employers and those who are more conservative.

Septum piercings (a piercing located between the two nostrils) aren’t likely to be accepted in a corporate environment, but they are easy to hide. If you choose a curved or circular barbell, it can easily be flipped inside your nose where it will stay unseen for the duration of your work day. In addition, if you decide that you’re done with your septum piercing, the piercing hole is located inside your nose, so any scars will never be seen.

Tongue piercings, even though they’re within the mouth, can still be noticed when you talk. However, there is a variation of the tongue piercing—called the frenulum piercing—that pierces the webbing beneath the tongue. Its location makes it unnoticeable, but some have reported that this piercing can make speech difficult, especially in the first few days of receiving it.

There’s no doubt that facial piercings are gaining momentum. When done correctly, any facial piercing can bring your look to the next level. However, facial piercings run risks, both culturally and health-wise, so take some time to consider everything before you take the plunge.

« Stay Safe and Stylish: The Ultimate Guide to Jewelry for New Piercings
Getting Pierced: How to Find a Good Piercer »