If your tattoo artist has applied a medical-grade breathable sticker for protection, it is recommended to keep it on for 24 hours during summertime and up to 96 hours during wintertime. This protection film is considered the best tattoo aftercare product as it shields your skin from bacteria, debris, and friction from clothing. It is waterproof, vegan, and dermatologically tested. It is normal to see ink or body fluids inside the protection film, so there is no need to worry. However, if your skin develops a reaction to the sticker, remove it immediately. If your artist has applied aftercare cream and cling film, remove it after 2 hours.”
Once the covering comes off, gently clean your tat once a day (or more if you get sweaty) with lukewarm water and a fragrance-free soap. Subsequently, pat dry (do not rub) with a clean/soft towel or preferably kitchen paper (roll). Always thoroughly wash your hands with antimicrobial soap and water before touching your ink.
Moisturize your ink by applying a very thin layer of cream 4 times a day. We highly recommend specialized tattoo aftercare creams as they contain the right nutrients and vitamins for the healing process. Choosing a moisturizer that is easily absorbed by the skin is crucial during hot days because it helps to prevent the moisturizer from melting which can lead to skin irritation, heat rash, and even infection. Under no circumstances do not use baby oil, Vaseline, or off-the-shelf moisturizers as they contain harsh chemical additives. Remember to never over-moisturize your skin (by applying too much cream). When the dermis is fully covered, it cannot breathe properly, which can delay the healing process and potentially affect the appearance of the tattoo. After the first week, moisturize slightly less, 2-3 times a day depending on your skin type.
- Do not panic if for the first few days your skin is feeling sensitive, warm to the touch, weeping body fluids and ink, or has mild redness/swelling. This is absolutely normal according to the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. If you experience an allergic reaction or you think something is odd, contact us immediately.
- The epidermis re-generation process begins right after the session. Until the tat is fully healed, it might look faded or/and dull. This is because the outermost layer of the skin is adapting to the ink by creating a new, translucent layer that sits on the surface for a while.
Healing guide for best tattoo aftercare
- Wear loose, soft, clean clothing over your fresh body art.
- Stay away from dust, bacteria and follow hygiene standards.
- Do not expose the ink to direct sunlight for 3 weeks and if you absolutely have to apply sunblock with SPF 50 or let the shop know as they might recommend a UV Protection Film. Under direct sunlight always wear blackout clothing that fully covers your ink, not a thin see-through fabric.
- The American Academy of Dermatology states that tanning beds/sunlamps might fade the ink and can cause skin reactions therefore they should be avoided.
- If you scratch pick, peel or irritate the tattooed area you will cause permanent damage. Therefore, let it heal by itself.
- Do not soak in baths, swimming pools, or the ocean.
- Avoid heavy exercise or gym at least for the first days of the healing process. Gyms harbor a lot of bacteria and in combination with stretching your skin will likely result in permanent damage.
- The initial phase of the healing process is approximately 2 weeks. By that time your tat will completely peel but there is still some dry skin that formed over it that will slowly disappear at week 3/4. If it looks milky white after it has fully peeled (1.5-2 weeks), it is a result of over-hydration. In that case, you should moisturize less, only once a day. What most people don’t know, is how long does it take a tattoo to fully heal? It can take up to 6 months for it to fully settle in your skin. During that time we recommended moisturizing once a day. Some people continue moisturizing long after that period, you should consider that as it will keep the color looking as vibrant as possible. This is highly recommended for people with dry skin.