Getting a new tattoo is exciting, and you might be wondering what you need to help it heal quickly and protect it from fading.
In this blog post, you’ll learn:
- Tattoo facts
- What to do before getting a tattoo
- What to do immediately afterwards
- The importance of long-term tattoo care
Let’s dig in.
Thirty-five percent of Americans have at least one tattoo. The most common place for a tattoo in women is the ankle, and most men get a tattoo on the shoulder. Forty-three percent of tattooed people get a tattoo to honor a loved one.
Most importantly, 100% of those people want those pieces of inked artwork to last and new tattoo care is crucial. Here are some tips to keeping tattoos looking sharp for years to come.
1. Take your Vitamins
Getting a tattoo is an invasive procedure, and it places a strain on your immune system. It’s important to eat healthy and take multivitamins at least a few weeks before and a few weeks after getting new ink.
2. Wash your Hands
Your skin needs some time to heal and doesn’t need the introduction of germs to exposed areas. Before you start to clean your fresh tattoo, thoroughly wash your hands and fingers with antibacterial soap and water. Rub your hands together until you see bubbles, about 20 seconds of more. This is such a simple step and should not be avoided.
3. Remove Bandage + Wash your Wound
Follow your tattoo artist’s orders (each has their own recommended procedure) about when and how to clean the area. Most will suggest leaving the bandage on for about 2 hours and then using an unscented, clean-label soap, fresh hot water and very lightly patting dry with a dry cloth (do not rub).
4. Cover with Natural Ointment
Your tattoo artist will likely have a favorite brand of aftercare cream. We love 100% all-natural shea butter for any kind of irritated skin — it is loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants to soothe and nourish skin.
Many prefer organic coconut oil which can also aid in the protection from bacteria entering the wound and can repair skin tissue. Read your labels though and don’t put anything with harsh chemicals on the wound. Repeat washing and applying ointment for several days, but don’t forget to let it breath, too. The area needs air to heal properly.
PRO TIP Do not submerge your new tattoo in a bathtub, jacuzzi, lake, ocean or pond for at least 3 weeks!
5. Wear Non-toxic Sunscreen
Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight with clothing or a cover for at least 1 week. UV damage is the leading cause of tattoo fading, so make sure they're always protected by sunscreen of uncommonly high quality.
Wait until the wound has completely healed (3-4 weeks) and then protect your tattoos with a clean-label, broad spectrum, non-toxic, zinc oxide sunscreen. You’ll also want to look for ingredients that will moisturize and nourish your skin, while providing full UVA and UVB sun protection.
The sun’s UV radiation can lead to sunburn, premature skin aging, cancer, as well as speeding up the tattoo fading process, so choose a good sunscreen for tattoos.
One hundred percent of tattooed people want their skin to heal quickly and properly and want it looking good for years to come. There’s just a few simple but important steps you should follow: eat healthy, stay clean, use clean skincare, and always use safe skin-nourishing sunscreen.
Last piece of advice, if your new tattoo area starts to cause severe pain or bleeding or swelling, please see a medical professional immediately.
1. Know your ingredients — Flip over your sunscreen and read the ingredients. We want everyone to know what good ingredients are, regardless of whether they use our products or not. Your health is worth it.
2. Buy safe sunscreen — Waxhead is dedicated to using only the healthiest, safest, most effective ingredients in our sunscreens. Shop Safe Sunscreen here.
3. Teach a friend — If you know someone who might still be buying sunscreen with questionable ingredients, please share this post with him/her.