Never re-wrap your Tattoo – After the first 2-3 hours, remove the bandage or wrap to allow your skin to breathe and begin the healing process. Re-wrapping your tattoo will cut off exposure to oxygen and suffocate the area, leading to poorer quality healing. Also, leaving the bandage or wrap on for too long, can cause puss formation and a tattoo infection.
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, this is an open wound that can be extremely at risk of infection for the first 5-7 days.
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.
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 of damage and improper healing.
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 rub the area with lukewarm water and anti-bacterial fragrance-free soap, then rinse off with lukewarm water. Use a clean towel and gently pat the tattoo area dry, never rub your tattoo when drying it.
Never use petroleum or mineral oil-based products– Some of the popular ones are Bepanthen, Aquaphor, Vaseline, however, there's many more. Petroleum or mineral oil-based products will suffocate your skin, stop your tattoo from breathing and may cause acne. Not only this, but some petroleum-based products contain ingredients that can actually draw ink out from your tattoo. Sure, they may work great for diaper rash on a baby’s ass, but not something that should ever be used to on a new tattoo. 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, there are better options, so why take the risk. The bottom line, these products are super-shit, and they will negatively impact your tattoos' future. Remember; this article is about the best way to heal tattoos for long-term protection. Tip: Take your own tattoo aftercare product with you to your tattoo session. Always check the ingredients listing on your chosen tattoo aftercare product. Some new products contain CBD or hemp which can help your new tattoo heal faster.
Never use excess creams or lotions – Just like re-wrapping your bandage, smothering your new ink with excess creams or lotions, may prevent your skin from breathing and 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, merely dab off the excess with a paper towel. Note: If you're using an advanced product like Inked Ritual Tattoo Care, don’t waste the excess. Gently wipe it off with clean fingers and apply to other skin areas like your face and take advantage of the anti-aging properties. Your skin will love you.
Never pick the scabs or peeling skin– Picking the scabs off your new tattoo is a recipe for disaster as this may cause the ink to be pulled out of your skin, leaving behind a scar. To reduce scabbing and itching, use an advanced tattoo care product like Inked Ritual, to keep your ink hydrated and moisturized while accelerating the healing process and potentially reducing or eliminateany scabbing or itching.Apply Inked Ritual after the first 7-10 days to stop any irritation while soothing and hydrating your skin.
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 care lotion. This should help ease the itching if you're using the right tattoo care product, like Inked Ritual, after the first 7-10 days as it stops the itching. Also, be aware that scratching your ink can be a risk for bacterial infections or accidentally pulling off scabs or pieces of peeling skin.
Never submerge your new tattoo in water –Avoid swimming or skinny dipping in oceans, lakes, pools, or hot tubs for the first 4-6 weeks. There’s also a higher risk of infection, as you never really know how clean the water is. Also, 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, cause drying, peeling, burning and itching. Moreover, submerging your new tattoo in water can negatively affect healing and pull ink from your skin.
Avoid saunas and steam rooms – The extreme heat and humidity will cause a risk of ink loss and potential bacterial infections, as it increases the body’s thermogenesis, and sweating. Don’t risk it.
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 them more vulnerable to damage in a shorter period of exposure. During the first 4-5 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. Our Inked Ritual Tattoo Care lab is currently developing an advanced UV sunscreen for tattoos. And sorry, I almost forgot, stay out of tanning beds with your fresh ink. Once it’s healed, always cover them with some UV lotionto prevent any damage.
Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing – The reason for this recommendation is because if what you’re wearing is too tight, this may irritate your tattoo. This irritation could lead to a rash, infection or even having some scabs tearing off, resulting in a possible scar. Just don’t do it.
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 inked, you may want to consider taking a day or two 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.
Never let people or your pets touch your 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.
Never shave 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.
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, drinking too much booze before and after getting inked, can and will be detrimental in the way your tattoo heals. Alcohol is a blood thinner that will slow the healing process of your new tattoo, and increase the risk of infection. Remember the point above about avoiding the gym? Anything that hampers your immune system will negatively impact the healing of your new inked investment. Don’t be a fool, take care of it properly, if you want it to last.
Ok, so there you have it. Inked Ritual's 17 best and proven tips to protect and heal your new tattoos. Don’t get me wrong, I know there will be naysayers and old school tattoo addicts who say this is all BS. For them back in the day, their tattoo artists would simply smother their new tats in Vaseline and suffocate them with plastic Saran Wrap. Due to these monumental mistakes, some of us are much wiser today with our skincare.
I don’t know about you, but the way I see it, my body is a canvas. I have invested a great deal of time, money and passion in my tattoo collection. I'll do whatever possible to protect and preserve it, so it looks great until the day I’m in the grave. This is why I created such an advanced cosmeceutical skincare product.