Keep your ink fresh, not f*cked.
Thinking of getting some fresh ink? Whether you spotted a celebrity tattoo and fell in love, or are looking to start off your skin art with a small and cute tattoo design, the permanent inking of your skin will need some post-care.
We asked tattoo artist Hayley Hayes for her top aftercare tips, and if you proceed with these following your treatment, it will keep your ink in peak condition.
As for the absolute worst thing you could do to your new tat? That would be applying hydrogen peroxide, which will seriously mess with the ink and fade it like the first few sessions of laser.
So, don't do that, and do the below instead...
Cling film for colour pieces
Not every tattoo needs to be wrapped in cling film; it depends on the size and placement.
When it comes to large, coloured pieces, Hayley says it's wise to wrap them. "Small, solely line workpieces should be ok."
"If the tattoo is going to be under clothing, it’s best to wrap it, especially if the tattoo is more than just linework."
Keep it clean but not soaked
A fresh tattoo is effectively an open wound, so it's important to keep it clean in order to avoid infection.
"It will need to be cleaned regularly, particularly in the first 24-48 hours", says Hayley.
So yes, you can definitely get them wet, but 'it shouldn't be submerged or soaked', ie. in the bath or swimming.
Avoid the sun and be extra diligent with sun cream
While your tattoo is healing, stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially if you have a coloured tattoo.
"After it's healed, regular sun cream should be fine to use", says Hayley. "If you want to keep the colour vibrant, use a high SPF."
Colour tattoos take longer to heal
If it wasn't obvious already, coloured tattoo post-care is a little different. This is because colour tattoos often mean more trauma to the skin and a longer healing time.
Whatever you do, Hayley says to avoid picking any scabs. "it will pull the ink out and probably scar, making it difficult to touch up."
Moisturise twice a day
Keep your tattoo well hydrated while healing with a good fragrance-free moisturiser.
"Apply 1-2 times a day, or just when the skin/tattoo has dried out, which can vary depending on your skin type, size and placement of the tattoo."
It's as simple as that. Everything that is good for your skin – nutritional diet, drinking lots of water and being mindful in the sun – will benefit your tattoo, too.
Tattoo Aftercare Products
There's nothing better than fresh ink, and if you're ecstatic with how your tattoo ideas turned out (regretful souls, right this way for tattoo removal advice) make sure you keep it in tip-top condition.
Moisturising and sun protection will be your main priorities, but there may also come a time where you need to cover up your tattoo (job interviews, in front of Nanny etc).
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