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9 min read

Your tattoo is a lifelong investment, so never rush the decision!

Getting a new tattoo is exciting! But even if it's your first or 28th tattoo, never rush in! Believe me, I have and regret it. I learned firsthand about the significance of proper tattoo aftercare and selecting a talented artist. Unfortunately, some of my tattoos faded prematurely and lost their sharpness due to following incorrect advice, and using unclean petrolatum based products that are commonly recommended for healing new tattoos. It's easy to assume that all tattoo artists know the best aftercare methods, but this isn't always true.

When getting a new tattoo, it's important to remember that it's more than just choosing a design—it's a commitment that requires careful preparation, understanding the process, and dedicated aftercare.

Every step, from design choice to healing, is crucial to ensuring your new tattoo heals perfectly. In this blog, we explore key topics like tattoo design selection, dealing with tattoo regret, and finding the perfect placement on your body.

Discover the often overlooked aspects of pain variances on different body parts, choosing a reliable tattoo shop and skilled artist, ideal timing for tattooing to promote optimal healing, and the essential tattoo care tips for optimal tattoo healing.

We are dedicated to sharing our expert tattoo care knowledge and helping others care for their tattoos with passion and enthusiasm. Join us on this journey to make your next tattoo more than just art, but a cherished experience from start to finish.



Having a personal connection with your tattoo design should take precedence. Choose a design and style you love! What may seem like a cool tattoo design now, may not feel or look so cool years later. And always take a long hard look to the future before tattooing anyone's name on your body. Unless it's family which may be ok.

Tattoo regret is not fun, especially when it makes you self-conscious. To conceal an undesired tattoo, you might feel compelled to constantly cover it with clothing, consider laser removal, or seek a new design to overlay the old one. Much of this hassle could be saved with careful consideration of the design before taking the plunge.

Before visiting the tattoo shop or artist, always research your design ideas ahead of time. Your tattoo artist will greatly appreciate it if you provide them with as many design references as necessary. This will give your tattoo artist what they need to see your vision and create your custom tattoo. Invest time in your design; it's meant to last a lifetime.

Here are some popular tattoo styles and designs that you will want to consider:

Black & Grey

Traditional Old School



Fine line








Script & Lettering



New School 



Be confident about where you want your new tattoo inked onto your skin. Again, always think ahead and never rush in. Visibility could be an issue. Ask yourself, what you may be doing in 5-10 years for employment. Unfortunately, tattoo stigma is still relevant today as it was years ago. Anywhere that you can cover up should be fine.

On the day of getting inked, take time to approve its placement before the needle hits the skin. After your tattoo stencil is on your skin canvas, look in the mirror. Is it straight? Should it be higher or lower? Is it too big or too small for the area? If you're not happy, make sure to speak up.

If your tattoo artist resets the tattoo stencil placement, do not settle until you are 100% confident in how it will look. Remember it's your body, you make the final approval decision. And on that note, always consider the advice of your tattoo artist. You may think that the area for placement is best, but based on their extensive experience, your artist may have some suggestions on a better placement on your body, based on the tattoo size and design. 

Also, consider the pain factor. Some areas of your body will be more sensitive and painful than other areas. For some folks, this may be a detriment where they decide to get their tattoo. But in the end, the temporary discomfort is worth it. 

Tattoo Pain & Considerations

  • Pain Perception & Body Parts:
    • Men and women may perceive pain differently.
    • Women may experience higher pain intensity. 
    • Different body parts have varying pain levels during tattooing.
  • Most Painful Areas:
    • Armpit, rib cage, ankles & shins, nipples & breasts, groin, elbows & kneecaps, behind the knees, hips, neck & spine, head, face & ears, lips, hands & feet, stomach, and inner bicep.
  • Least Painful Areas:
    • Upper outer thigh, forearm, outer shoulders, outer bicep, calves, upper & lower back.
  • Factors Influencing Pain:
    • Experience: Those with previous tattoos may tolerate pain better.
    • Age & weight might influence pain, with older skin being more sensitive.
    • Tattoo location and needle technique impact the pain experience.
  • Pain Descriptions:
    • Burning, dull/background, scratching, sharp/stinging, vibrating.
  • Minimizing Pain:
    • Take breaks during the session.
    • Ensure your tattoo artist is experienced.
    • Get ample sleep beforehand.
    • Avoid alcohol; stay hydrated.
    • Consider numbing products.

Key Takeaway: Getting a tattoo is a commitment, and while it's painful, various factors determine the intensity of the pain. Before getting inked, be aware of potential complications and ensure it's a well-thought-out decision.



Finding the right tattoo shop and artist can take time, so it's essential not to rush the process.

Start your search by reading online reviews of tattoo shops and browsing their social media profiles to gauge their style and reputation. Personal recommendations also hold weight. If someone you know sports tattoos you admire, ask about their experience and the artist they chose.

Once you've settled on a shop, familiarize yourself with their policies, including booking procedures, deposits, and cancellation terms.
While budget considerations are essential, avoid choosing a shop based solely on low prices. The adage, "You get what you pay for," rings true in the tattoo world. If a deal seems too favorable, approach with caution.

Lastly, prioritize cleanliness. A tattoo shop should maintain a level of hygiene comparable to, if not exceeding, medical standards. This ensures your safety and reduces the risk of post-tattoo complications like infections.



If you haven't yet settled on an artist, take the time to research. A good starting point is their social media presence. Artists often showcase their work on platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Browse through their posts to evaluate their artistic style and proficiency. Not only will you get a sense of their talents, but reading reviews and comments can also offer insights into their professionalism and customer satisfaction.

Finding a tattoo artist who understands and resonates with your vision is crucial. Seek an artist whose work aligns with the specific style or design you have in mind. Remember, each artist brings their unique interpretation to a concept; many have a signature style they specialize in.

After you find a tattoo shop and artist, schedule a consultation to meet them. Remember, they are tattooing you, so treat it like an interview.

Initial Interaction: Once you've shortlisted a shop and artist, arrange a consultation to get to know them better. This meeting is your chance to gauge their professionalism and skill — think of it as an interview where they're seeking to meet your requirements.

Self-Reflection: During the consultation, ask yourself the following:

  • Is the artist polite, personable, and professional?
  • Do they exude enthusiasm about collaborating on your tattoo, or do they seem disinterested?
  • Are they receptive to your design idea or insistent on something else? Remember, a commendable tattoo artist won't pressure you into a design you're unsure about. Ensure you're content with the final design before proceeding.
  • Do you feel valued and respected? If you feel rushed or pushed into a decision, it might be a sign that this artist or shop isn't the right fit.

Suggestion: Lastly, consider the artist's availability. While you might find an ideal artist, be prepared for longer wait times; sought-after artists often have bookings that extend for months or even years.



When planning a tattoo, it's crucial to think about the design, the artist, and the timing. The post-tattoo recovery process is pivotal to the tattoo's appearance and longevity. While an artist might have specific available appointment slots, they may not always align with what's best for you and your tattoo's healing.

Here are some key points to consider when determining the best time to get inked:

  • Tattoo Placement & Recovery: You might wonder, "What does placement have to do with timing?" The answer lies in the post-tattoo recovery process. Your work and personal commitments can influence the healing period. Questions to consider:
    • Could your tattoo be exposed to excessive sunlight during work or travel?
    • Will your new tattoo be in contact with dirt or unhygienic conditions?
    • Might you need to conceal the tattoo for professional reasons?
    • Exposure and Protection: Can you manage your tattoo on areas like your back or chest that require open exposure for healing? Products like Saniderm, an adhesive medical wrap, can sometimes offer a solution.
    • Physical Activity: Consider your work nature and daily activities. If your job involves strenuous physical labor or if you're an avid gym-goer, will you be able to take a break to ensure proper healing, especially considering the tattoo's placement?
    • Health & Immunity: A fresh tattoo resembles an open wound, which demands more from your immune system. If you're recuperating from an illness or even if you're battling a minor cold, it's wise to reschedule your appointment until you're in total health.

    In conclusion, while the excitement of getting a tattoo from a preferred artist can be tempting, it's essential not to rush. Considering these factors will ensure that your tattoo not only looks excellent but heals perfectly, too.



    • Recovery Instructions: Ensure that your tattoo artist provides you with post-tattoo recovery instructions. If not, proactively ask for them. Many individuals, unfortunately, leave the shop uncertain about proper tattoo healing.
    • Petrolatum-based Products: Many tattoo artists still recommend petrolatum and mineral oil-based products like Aquaphor, A+D Ointment, Lubriderm, and Bethpentan for healing. Some even apply Vaseline immediately after tattooing. While these products are known for their protective barriers and moisture retention, they come with risks. Such products can give the illusion of hydration but might clog pores, trap residue, and bacteria, and hinder your tattoo's healing process. Ensure you read the ingredients and avoid products containing Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Liquid Paraffin, or Paraffin Oil. And although they might make the skin seem moisturized, they lack the nourishing properties of advanced care products.

    Find out more about these harmful ingredients in another blog post: '6 Things To Never Use On Your Tattoos'.

    • Product Recommendations: While many tattoo aftercare products are available, Inked Ritual Serum stands out. It has consistently shown quicker healing results, reducing inflammation, irritation, infections, or itchiness. We've formulated this serum to be toxin-free, vegan, and cruelty-free, aiming to provide optimal healing and long-lasting vibrancy for tattoos.
    • Additional Tips: If you experience peeling or irritation during healing, it might be due to the products you're using. Opt for quality aftercare products with natural bio-active ingredients, like Inked Ritual, for irritation-free healing, faster recovery, and vibrant tattoos. Whenever your artist recommends any tattoo aftercare products, scrutinize the ingredients list. Not all recommended products are the best options. Quality aftercare can significantly influence your tattoo's healing and final appearance. Explore more in our '17 Best Aftercare Tips For Your New Tattoos' blog. Always prioritize your skin and body's safety with the products you choose.

     Final Note: Preparation is vital. Always have an aftercare product before your tattoo session, ensuring immediate care and optimal healing after you leave the tattoo studio.



    Did you know that preparing your skin before getting inked is as essential as post-tattoo care. While it might be a new concept for many, having healthy skin before the tattoo session can significantly impact the tattooing process and subsequent recovery. Simply put: Healthy skin equals lasting, vibrant tattoos.

    Tattooing over dry, dehydrated, or unhealthy skin isn't ideal. To ensure your skin is in the best possible condition, here are some recommendations to adopt at least 2-6 weeks before your tattoo session:

    • Hydration: Aim to drink at least 64 ounces (or eight 8-ounce glasses) of water daily. Well-hydrated skin can lead to better tattoo results.
    • Dietary Choices:
      • Reduce Sugars and Processed Foods: They can weaken your immune system, negatively impact skin health, and accelerate skin aging.
      • Clean Eating: Add ample vegetables, proteins, and essential fats to your diet.
    • Limit Alcohol: Alcohol can weaken your immune system, cause dehydration, and speed up skin aging.
    • Vitamin Boost: Strengthen your immune system to support faster tattoo recovery by incorporating specific vitamins and antioxidants into your daily regimen. A robust immune system prepares the body for the procedure and aids post-tattoo healing.

    To bolster your immune system for swifter post-tattoo recovery, consider incorporating these vitamins and antioxidants into your daily regimen: 

    Recommended Dosages
    Vitamin-C: 2-15 grams
    Vitamin-A: 1000 iu
    Vitamin-E200-1600 iu
    Vitamin-D: 2000-10,000 iu
    Zinc: 25-50 mg
    Quercetin4-8 grams


    By adhering to these guidelines and giving your skin the care it deserves, you'll create the best foundation for a vibrant and beautiful tattoo for years.

    Note for Readers: Before starting or adjusting any vitamin or supplement routine, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional.


    • Inked Ritual Tattoo Care: Begin using Inked Ritual Tattoo Care several weeks before getting inked. Its formulation, enriched with natural bio-active ingredients like peptides, amino acids, vitamins, and hyaluronic acid, deeply nourishes the skin. This preparation fortifies your skin, making it a robust canvas for the tattoo, ensuring an optimal outcome.

    Before any tattoo session, I apply Inked Ritual 1-2 times daily to the area set to be inked. This ritual, starting at least a week prior, ensures the skin is in its healthiest state when the artist begins.

    For the best tattoo results, follow the above tips and avoid making rushed decisions. Without proper care, the final look of your tattoo might fall short of your expectations.

    Reflecting on my journey, I confess it took six tattoos before I truly grasped the importance of these aftercare tips. Now, with 28 tattoos and counting, I'm exceptionally confident in how my ink appears once healed, particularly due to the benefits of the Inked Ritual Tattoo Care serum.

      Feeling inspired? I sure am! Time to brainstorm my next tattoo design!

        Mike - Founder 


        INKED RITUAL Tattoo Aftercare Serum


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