Skip to main content

It’s easy to ruin or fade your new tattoo if you do not care for it properly. Even worse, if neglected your tattoo could become infected or you may have to get it touched up frequently or even fully re-done. Luckily, proper tattoo care is not difficult. With the right care and products your tattoo will be bright and vibrant sooner and stay in perfect condition longer!

Here’s What to Do to Care for Your New Tattoo

There’s a process for tattoo healing, a systematic approach some of the most knowledgeable tattoo artists share with their clients in order to keep the tattoo vibrant and bright.

Keep the Tattoo Covered

For the first few hours, three at a minimum, wear the bandage that was initially put on your tattoo. When you do remove your bandage please wash your hands and dry them before you take it off.

Wash Your Tattoo

Once the bandages come off, use fragrance free, antibacterial soap to wash the area with lukewarm water and pat it dry. Do not scrub the skin or rub it dry.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize and Continue to Moisturize

After cleaning your tattoo, using a moisturizer is a crucial step in tattoo aftercare. Keeping the area moist will protect it from cracking, drying out and bleeding. Use a moisture sealing product two to three times per day (every eight to 10 hours) until the scabs have fully healed.

Inked Magazine recommends: Mad Rabbit Tattoo Soothing Gel + Mad Rabbit Tattoo Balm Stick.

Screen Shot 2022-07-11 at 4.56.58 PM

Apply Mad Rabbit’s Soothing Gel first to help calm itchiness and sensitivity. Follow with their unscented Tattoo Balm Stick to help lock in and double up on the hands-free soothing relief, even on the go.

Avoid using petroleum-based products (such as Vaseline or Aquaphor), basically anything that includes petroleum jelly in the ingredients list. These products can actually damage your newly acquired ink. Tattoo lotions or creams containing harsh perfumes and chemicals can also cause damage to the skin and affect the healing process.

Screen Shot 2022-07-11 at 4.55.09 PM

More Immediate Tattoo Aftercare Pro-Tips:

  • Do Not Do Any Strenuous Activity or Workouts: Working out can expose the area to bacteria from sweat and gym equipment. You could also overstretch the healing skin and tear scabs with various exercises.
  • No Tight Clothing: Tight clothes, much like workout clothes, can rub against your skin or cause chaffing. This can pull off scabs, stick to lotion or gels and cause more pain or discomfort.
  • Leave Your Scabs Alone: Scabbing on your tattoo is crucial to the healing of it. Don’t scratch it. Use your moisturizer, and try to focus on something else to take your mind off it.
  • Don’t Go Swimming (But Keep On Showering): You can try to “waterproof” your tattoo with coverings and wraps but it will never be fully protected, so why risk it? 
  • Use Lukewarm or Cold Water: When showering or cleaning your tattoo, avoid using hot water because it can loosen the scabs and pull them off before they have healed.
  • Avoid Drinking Alcohol for a Few Days: Alcohol, while it might help with the pain, will thin your blood which can lead to excess bleeding and further damage.
  • Don’t Shave After Your Tattoo: Running a razor or blade over a new tattoo can cause a lot of damage. It can cut the skin or peel away scabs and damage the fresh ink.
  • Warn Your Partner When Being Intimate: Make sure your partner knows to avoid touching your tattoo, especially with unwashed hands. Try having them help you apply your Tattoo Soothing Gel for a few days to stay physically connected.
  • If Anything… Stay Hydrated: Water is the key when it comes to your body’s natural skin barrier. It helps keep your skin clear and elastic.

These are some of our key Dos and Don'ts that we find most important. However, if your tattoo does become infected after you get it done, we recommend you see a doctor. Listen to your tattoo artist and keep a good tattoo aftercare regimen with clean products.

Just because you have had your tattoo for a while doesn't mean you should stop caring for it. Learn how to take proper care of your ink during the hot summer months by clicking here.