Tattoo Care.

Being a self-proclaimed tattoo enthusiast (I have 7 right now, most recent being a memorial tattoo for my dad on my foot), I know how important it is to properly take care of your ink. And since tattoo aftercare is still a part of my everyday routine right now, I thought I’d share some of the best tips I’ve come across in caring for your forever art.

Memorial Tattoo for my dad. The Airforce logo with angel wings instead of jet wings, and that’s his actual signature the artist was able to transpose from an old check. It’s my favorite piece. It’s not as red anymore either. A fitting tribute I’d say.

 

  Follow care instructions given to you by your artist– the basics tend to go something like:
  • Dont’ remove your bandage until it’s time to! You’ll want to show off your new ink, but the bandage is there for a reason–a tattoo is still technically an open wound that is easily susceptible to bacteria and infection. So leave that sucker on there for “at least” 2 hours after your artist puts it on initially.
  • NOTE: If for some reason your artist only covered your new tattoo with saran wrap, get an actual bandage on there soon as you can–just saran/plastic wrap can suffocate your tattoo.
  • After removing your bandage, gently wash your tattoo with lukewarm water and an antibacterial/antimicrobial soap. This will wash away any excess ointment, blood, or ink and completely clean the area of your tattoo. Use your hands to wash–a cloth or loofah is too harsh at this point. Pat dry with a clean towel and follow with an ointment application.
  • A lot of people like to use A&D ointment on their tattoos. I used to use it until I learned after my last few tattoos that a fragrant-free lotion like Lubriderm also does they trick (the A&D ointment thing can be quite a debate!).  I personally prefer the lotion because it’s less greasy, but use which ever you prefer. Don’t use neosporin though! This might be a good product for your run-of-the-mill cuts and scrapes, but it can actually be damaging to a tattoo, believe it or not–tattoos can have an allergic reaction to the neosporin which causes little red bumpls. When the bumps eventually do go away, so does the ink in that area–and I’m pretty sure you don’t want a polka-dotted, splotchy hot mess of a tattoo.
  • A lot of people also like Tattoo Goo. I have never used this personally since over-the-counter products work just fine, but if you do want that extra something something for whatever reason, just use the product as directed.
  • You can of course shower with a new tattoo but you want to avoid the hot tub, swimming pool, and fresh/salt water for at least 2 weeks, as not to over-saturate your ink or irritate the healing process.
  • Scabbing and peeling is a normal part of the healing process, but if you’re ever concerned make sure to follow up with your tattoo artist. Warm compresses can be applied to scabbing areas for like 5 minutes a couple of times a day. You want to soften the scabs so they fall off naturally. Never pick the scabs or peel any areas of the tattoo, it can result in discoloration and ruin the overall asthetic.
  • Even after your tattoo has healed you’ll want to take proper precautions when out in the sun–this is always the hardest part for me since I go to tanning beds and I’m a lover of the beach–but if you want to maintain the quality of your tattoo you will need to protect it from ultra violet rays. It’s recommended to use a minimum of SPF 30 to keep your body art nice and vibrant.
BONUS JONAS:
Are you a tattooed tanner like me? Check out Hellbent Tanning Lotion by Australian Gold! This lotion contains 10 bronzers to enhance your golden glow. It also contains hempseed oil, vitamins, aloe vera to soften and smooth your skin to enhance your color. ColorGuard technology helps to protect the color of your tattoo (a combination of Tiger Grass and and ColorRepair Complex).
Happy Tattooing!! Share your tips below, or a pic of your fave tattoo!
XOXO,
J.
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