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Tattoo Aftercare - from a Tattoo Artist

Written by Maile Heikka (July 2023)

Hey there! So, you've just gotten a new tattoo and you're probably excited to show it off to the world. But, before you do that, it's important to know that taking care of your tattoo is crucial for its long-term health and vibrancy. In this blog post, we'll talk about why tattoo aftercare is important and provide a step-by-step guide on how to take care of your new ink. Aftercare routines can vary with the artist you choose but they all follow the same general concept of keeping your new tattoo, clean and moisturized.

Why is tattoo aftercare important, you ask? Well, first and foremost, it helps prevent infection. Getting a tattoo involves creating an open wound on your skin, which is susceptible to bacteria and other pathogens. Proper aftercare can help keep your tattoo clean and free of infection. Plus, good aftercare can help your tattoo heal faster and more efficiently, and reduce uncomfortable symptoms like itching and scabbing. Finally, taking care of your tattoo can help ensure that the ink stays vibrant and doesn't fade or blur over time.

So, how do you take care of your tattoo? Let's go through the steps:

1. Leave the bandage on for no longer than an hour max. Your tattoo artist will likely wrap your new ink with a sterile bandage to protect it from dirt and bacteria and act as a "ooze catcher". If your tattoo artists used a second skin bandage like Saniderm ask them for specific instructions on when to remove the bandage.

2. Wash your tattoo gently with mild, non-scented soap and warm water. Once you remove the bandage, wash your tattoo gently with mild, non-scented soap and warm water. Use your fingertips and be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Always make sure you wash your hands prior to washing your tattoo!

3. Pat dry with a clean towel. After washing, pat your tattoo dry with a clean, soft towel. Don't rub or scrub your tattoo, as this can damage the skin and ink. Only use your hands to wash your tattoo, no loofas or exfoliants!

4. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer. Once your tattoo is dry, apply a thin layer of moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and prevent itching and scabbing. Look for a product that's specifically designed for tattoos, as these are less likely to contain harsh chemicals that can damage the ink. If using a thicker or oil based moisturizer, a little goes a long way, if you use too much it could clog your pore not allowing the skin to breathe and can trap dirt on your tattoo.

5. Do not pick or scratch your tattoo. As tempting as it may be, don't scratch or pick at your tattoo. This can damage the skin and ink, and increase the risk of infection. Within a few days your tattoo may start peeling and flaking, this is normal do not peel or scratch, let it fall off naturally.

6. Reduce sun and water exposure. For the first few weeks after getting a tattoo, it's best to avoid sun exposure and swimming or soaking in water. These can cause your skin to dry out and increase the risk of infection. Do not put sunscreen on your tattoo until it is fully healed.

7. Follow your artist's instructions. Finally, make sure to follow any additional instructions or recommendations that your tattoo artist provides. They may suggest using a specific type of moisturizer or avoiding certain activities or foods during the healing process.

See? Taking care of your new tattoo isn't so hard! By following these simple steps and taking good care of your tattoo, you can help ensure that it heals properly and stays looking great for years to come.

A couple brands I personally recommend are:

Mad Rabbit: (use code MaisInk for 20% off)

Love Butter: Instagram: (@lovebutterorganics)

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