It's been quite the week of celeb face tattoos. In fact, according to The Guardian, there's been a rise in face tattoos for nearly two years now—in both the celeb and normal people world. As with any tattoo, after care is important—but people have a tendency of using special products on their face to fight acne, aging, and more. Could those products possibly be damaging to tattoos? Depending on ingredients, they could be.
If you use acne fighting products, special moisturizers, or serums on your face, you might be wondering which products are safe for your face tattoo. Your first line of defense is of course to talk to your tattoo artist—ask them if your exact products are safe for long term use on your tattoos, but there are some staple ingredients to always avoid using on tattoos. Most artists are happy to answer questions, especially when it comes to taking the best care of their artwork.
There are some ingredients that should simply never come into contact with your tattoo, new or old. Of course, you know the rules of cleaning and moisturizing your tattoo while it's fresh—but your age old acne fighting face wash might not be safe for even your healed face tattoo.
Ingredients to look out for in washes and moisturizers according to Tattoo Like The Pros include alcohol, fragrance, or any heavy lotions that clog your pores. Alcohol and fragrances dry out and damage skin even when you don't have tattoos, making them a nightmare for inked skin as they break the ink and skin down quickly. Make sure your daily face wash, moisturizer, and whatever else you may use for your face are alcohol free as to avoid irritation and fading.
Clogged pores can lead to infections, but Healthline says that the worst thing a person can do is pick at a zit on a tattoo. If you happen to get a pimple on your tattoo, you should just leave it alone—that's right, don't pick or treat it. If anything, go to your doctor and ask for help. If you notice a pore is clogged and becoming painful, visit your dermatologist for advice (but we don't need to tell you that). Tattoo forums share that popular acne fighting products such as benzoyl peroxide can lighten and discolor tattoos, which means you might need to stop using that acne fighting face wash if you want your face ink to hold up. Many acne fighting products are astringent and far too harsh for tattoo ink, a safer bet might be looking into more natural washes that don't contain harsh chemicals.
Sunscreen is one of the most important parts of long term, tattoo aftercare—especially when your tattoo is on the face and won't be covered by clothes. According to an artist who interviewed with Bustle, using sunscreens with minimal amounts of chemicals and high SPF is crucial for keeping your ink crisp. Again, since this is a product going on your face, be sure to search for noncomedogenic SPF and moisturizers to avoid break outs and clogged pores.
Tattoos need special care, so if you can't stop the Accutane or the harsh chemical treatments, face tattoos might not be for you. Who knows though, maybe you'll find a new and improved face routine after getting your face tattoo.