Getting a new tattoo is always exciting, from first one and on to the one hundredth. It never gets boring. And before getting a tattoo, for most people they will spend a great amount of time choosing a tattoo design, which may also involve a lot of input and direction from your tattoo artist.
But the work is not over. After leaving the tattoo shop, it's now time to get your fresh tattoo healed properly. And this is where I see many people ignore the fact that their bright new tattoo is an open wound. And if this wound is not treated properly, the fresh, bright looking new tattoo, will lose it's potential luster once it fully heals. This is speaking from first hand experience.
Follow these 17 steps for a better looking tattoo that lasts a lifetime.
1. Never re-wrap your Tattoo - If your tattoo artist covers your new tattoo with plastic cling film or a padded bandage, make sure to remove it after the first 2-3 hours, and do not apply it again. Re-wrapping your tattoo will cut off oxygen and suffocate your skin's ability to breathe, leading to poor quality healing and damaging your ink. Leaving your tattoo sealed without oxygen exposure can cause pus formation and infection, ultimately damaging your tattoo. Now if your tattoo artists uses self-adhesive tattoo films like Saniderm or Dermalize, make sure to follow their instructions from each company's website. These medical grade bandages are breathable and excellent for tattoo healing. They provide a protective waterproof barrier from germs, bacteria, dirt or sweat while allowing oxygen to pass through and heal your ink, while locking in your body's natural moisture. They also allow you to live without the risk of damaging your tattoo from rubbing your tattoo on clothing or other surfaces. No more waking up in the morning with your ink stuck to the bed sheets. We recommend using these types of films to protect your new tattoo during the first 7-10 days of healing. After then, start applying Inked Ritual Tattoo Care 3-4 times daily for the next couple of weeks, to finish the tattoos healing process.
2. Never touch your tattoo with dirty hands - Well this sounds obvious, but I’m sure many people seem to forget just how dirty their hands can be. Remember, your freshly tattooed skinis open wound that can be extremely at risk of infection for the first 7-10 days.
3. Never wash your tattoo with hot water - Your skin is very sensitive during healing, and running hot water over the newly inked skin, can cause irritation and your pores to open, potentially causing unsettled ink to leak out. When washing your tattoo, lightly rinse your tattoo with lukewarm water, and never soak it while in the shower.
4. Never use fragrance or alcohol-based soaps - These products contain ingredients that can irritate your skin during the healing phase. Artificial fragrances cause rashes, irritation, and itching. Alcohol-based products are very irritating to open wounds and will dry out your tattoo, leaving it at risk to damage, improper healing and premature fading.
5. Never wash or scrub your tattoo with a cloth or towel - During the tattoo healing phase, only use clean hands to wash your tattoo. In a circular motion, gently and lightly rub the tattoo area with lukewarm water and antibacterial fragrance-free soap, then rinse off with lukewarm water. Use a clean towel or paper towel and gently pat the tattoo area dry, never rub your tattoo when drying it.
6. Never use petroleum or mineral oil-based products - Thick anti-bacterial ointments like Aquaphor, A&D Ointment, Bepanthen, Bacitracin, Neosporin or Vaseline contain toxins like petroleum and mineral oil. These popular anti-bacterial products will suffocate your skin during the healing phase. They can damage your tattoo by pulling ink out from your skin. Sure, they may work great for diaper rash on a baby’s ass, but not something that should ever be used to heal a new tattoo. So, you may be asking why do people use these products? Simple, they're cheap. Be aware that some artists are old school and don’t like change. If your artist recommends any of these products, you might want to think twice, and politely say "no thanks". Times have changed, and we are much wiser now when it comes to skincare and toxins. There are much cleaner and better options, so why take the risk. Bottom line, these products are not made for use on tattoos, and they can negatively impact your tattoos future. Sure, people will say that their tattoo healed fine there is a good chance that their tattoo would look even better if they used an all-natural tattoo aftercare cream, balm or lotion. Remember, this article is about the 'best' ways to heal tattoos for long-term protection. Tip: Purchase your own natural tattoo aftercare before your tattoo session and take it with you when you go to get inked.
7. Never use excess tattoo creams or lotions - Just like re-wrapping your bandage, smothering your new ink with excess tattoo care creams or lotions, prevents your skin from breathing which will slow down the healing process. When using tattoo aftercare products, only apply a thin layer; but multiple times per day, to keep your new ink hydrated and moisturized. If you accidentally use too much, simply dab off the excess with a paper towel.
8. Never pick the scabs or peeling skin - Picking the scabs off your new tattoo is a recipe for disaster as this can cause ink to be pulled out of your skin, leaving behind a scar. To reduce scabbing and itching, make sure to keep your tattoo moisturized, with a high quality tattoo aftercare cream or lotion. Now after the first 7-10 days, you can switch from the tattoo aftercare healing cream, lotion or balm and start applying Inked Ritual Tattoo Care Serum. It's non-greasy, soothing, hydrating and stops itching or irritation. Apply Inked Ritual 3-4 times daily or as needed for the next 10-14 days. Thereafter, use Inked Ritual once daily to keep your ink bold and vibrant.
9. Never scratch your Tattoo - Fact: healing tattoos can sometimes get itchy, but no matter how itchy it feels, never scratch it. Instead, just wash it using lukewarm water with fragrance-free antibacterial soap, pat dry and apply more tattoo aftercare cream or lotion. This should help ease the itching if you're using a clean natural ingredient tattoo aftercare product. Also, be aware that scratching your ink can be a risk for bacterial infections or accidentally pulling off scabs or pieces of peeling skin. Inked Ritual stops any itch or irritation and actually soothes your skin.
10. Never submerge your new tattoo in water - Avoid baths, swimming or skinny dipping in oceans, lakes, pools, or hot tubs for the first 4-6 weeks. Submerging your new tattoo under water and too much water exposure can damage your tattoo. Your skin is a sponge and it absorbs water. The last thing you want is a water logged tattoo during healing. Also, there’s a higher risk of infection, as you never really know how clean the water is. Don’t forget that chlorine in pools and hot tubs, is another nasty chemical that you will want to avoid. Chlorine can damage a new tattoo, and cause drying, peeling, burning and itching.
11. Avoid saunas and steam rooms - The extreme heat and humidity will cause the risk of ink loss and potential bacterial infections, as it increases the body’s thermogenesis, and sweating. Don’t risk it, wait until after your new ink has fully healed approximately 4-6 weeks.
12. Avoid the Sun - We've all heard just how bad the sun is for our skin. Well, guess what, it gets even better! The sun’s UV rays are the most damaging thing for your tattoos. Fresh ink is extremely sensitive to the sun, making it more vulnerable to damage in a shorter period of exposure. During the first 6-8 weeks of healing, keep your new tattoo covered if going outside, even if it’s not sunny. After your ink is healed, always use a good UV sunscreen lotion. I almost forgot, stay out of tanning beds with your fresh ink.
13. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing - Wearing tight fitting clothing can damage a new tattoo. The friction can cause irritation, rash, infection or even scabs, resulting in a possible scar. Friction on your skin can pull the ink and dull the look of your new tattoo.
14. Avoid working out or exercising too soon - Most people do not realize this, but working out strains your immune system to some extent, which is also true for getting inked. Now depending on how many hours you were in the chair getting that new tattoo, you may want to consider taking a several days off the gym, and let your body heal. Another issue with exercising too soon during the tattoo healing phase is the increased body temperature and sweating. Just like sitting in a hot sauna, the sweating opens your pores, increasing the risk of bacterial infections or pulling the ink. Or, depending on the tattoos location, you may be stretching the skin with the increased blood flow (pump), which may cause damage to your ink during healing.
15. Never let people or your pets touch your fresh tattoo - Just like all the other tips, avoid infections at all costs. People and animals carry around all kinds of nasty germs and bacteria. As cool and sexy as your new tattoo looks, politely tell them “hands off” until it is fully healed.
16. Never shave fresh tattooed skin - Unfortunately, you will have to accept the stubble for the first 6-8 weeks after getting your new ink. Cutting yourself or pulling away any scabbing is not worth the risk. If you find the hairy area embarrassing, consider wearing some loose-fitting clothing to cover up.
17. Limit your alcohol consumption - Ok, not to be a killjoy, but surely there’s nothing better than having a celebratory drink or two after getting some fresh ink. However, be aware, consuming alcohol before and after getting inked, can be detrimental in the way your tattoo heals. Alcohol is a blood thinner that will slow the healing process of your new tattoo, and possibly increase the risk of infection. Remember anything that hampers your immune system will negatively impact the healing of your new inked investment.
18. Avoid excess sugar and junk foods - Like alcohol, sugar is an immune suppressor. Sugar causes inflammation, that stresses and lowers your immune system which also fuels cancer. Junk foods also negatively affect your immune system and liver. Since your tattoo is an open wound, having a strong healthy immune system will help your tattoo heal better and faster. This is why we recommend to never get inked while you are under the weather. Reschedule until you are healthy. As good as those treats may be, it's best to avoid them a few weeks before and several weeks after getting your new ink.
Your body is a canvas. You have invested a great deal of time, money and passion in your tattoo skin art collection. Do whatever you can to protect and preserve it, so it looks great as you age.
Now if you want to keep your awesome tattoo looking as fresh as the day you got inked, consider starting an inked ritual. Inked Ritualshortens the post tattoo recovery to less than a week, while reducing inflammation, infection, irritation and itchiness. Inked Ritual Tattoo Serum for bold vibrant tattoos Guaranteed!