Tattoo Care – 5 Tips For Proper Aftercare of a New Tattoo

The best advice I can offer on how to properly care for a new tattoo is NOT TO USE LOTION ON A FRESH TATTOO! Most tattoo artists advise their clients to use a rich ointment for the first few days of healing, followed by unscented, colorless lotions to keep the skin moisturized, protected, and prevent color fading. These lotions are relatively cheap and available at your local drugstore. However, almost all of these lotions contain ingredients that are recently proven to be more harmful than beneficial for tattoo health. Here are 5 tips for tattoo aftercare:

1. Gently Cleanse, Stay out of the sun, and away from heat- During the healing and aftercare process, which may take several weeks, gently cleanse the tattoo daily with fragrance-free, anti-bacterial body soap and luke warm water. For the first few days, no sun, swimming, sweating, or dirt. Keep your tattoo dry and clean. For the first 24 hours, try to ice the tattoo as often as you can, this will help reduce inflammation and also help with the pain.

2. Only oil or oil-based ointment for first 3 days- It is advised by some not to use lotion at all for the first few days because of the high risk of infection. However, there are safe, natural products that are very effective and actually speed up the healing process. For immediate tattoo aftercare, look for a light, oil-based product containing hemp seed oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera, and jojoba oil.

Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. It is a very effective remedy against countless skin ailments, infections, cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and skin spots etc. Using tea tree oil combined with hemp seed oil will provide rich omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. Using these oils will lightly moisturize, protect, and heal the skin without causing irritation or color loss.

3. Avoid plasma crusting on tattoo- For the first day, your tattoo will seep a clear liquid called plasma. Try not to let this crust on your skin, but if it does, gently wash it off with warm water.

4. After first 3 days, keep skin moisturized with all natural lotion- Keeping the skin hydrated during the peeling process and long after will help with itchiness, flakiness, and preserving the richness of your tattoo color. Like I said before, beware of lotions that contain harmful ingredients such as lanolin or petroleum. Instead use a lotion that is rich in fatty acids for free radical protection and non-greasy hydration. Hemp seed lotions are the best for this.

Hemp seed oil is rich in omega 3, 6, and 9 and it is easily absorbed into the skin. Hemp contains anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties that are healthy and non-irritating to the skin. Continue to use a hemp seed oil lotion long after your tattoo is healed and enjoy longer, truer tattoo color and skin health.

5. Watch the ingredients- Lanolin is an ingredient some will use, and lanolin causes allergic reactions in a lot of people. Lanolin is the natural oil that comes from sheep’s wool. Some tattoo aftercare also contain products such as bee’s wax or petroleum, which can clog pores and contain contaminants. These ingredients are widely popular in over-the-counter creams and lotions because they are cheap and easy to manufacture. The lanolin and mineral oil found in these lotions cause excessive seeping, clogging, scabbing, scarring and color loss. Stay away from products that contain mineral oil, dyes, propylene glycol, or parabens.

Earthly Body’s Tattoo Tonic preserves tattoo color, is non-fading, vegan, and free of petroleum, lanolin, and paraben. Works wonders on healing piercings as well.

Facts and Care for White Ink Tattoos

When you hear people talking about getting a white ink tattoo, they usually mean a design which is in all white ink with no other colours. These tats are typically more subtle than the blaringly loud designs you would get with black ink or coloured marks. A white ink tattoo will more often than not, look more like a scar/brand. It is a great way to get inked in a more private way. These marks are usually only really visible when you deliberately show it someone. It is the best of both worlds. You can have your very personal art, without getting any kind of negative attention at formal gatherings or at work.

Simplicity is key when it comes to white ink tattoos. Keep in mind that your tattoo artist will be working with ink which is a little bit trickier to see. Simplistic art has a solid shot at showing up more clearly than a complicated one. Trendy selections include shooting star tattoos, dragons, writing, key tattoos, Kanji symbols, hearts, and basic tribal patterns. These are so much easier to ink and way less likely to end up as a confusing and disappointing blur. All white tattoos will require to be inked over a few times to make sure the finished pattern is as noticeable as possible. Also, darker coloured skin tends to dampen the brightness of white ink.

With a typical tattoo, the design is usually stenciled in before shading begins. The outlines are done with a dark ink, usually black. This provides a very noticeable pattern the artist uses to keep on track. Tats without any dark ink tend to be a bit more blurred. It is more difficult to follow what you have inked when using only white ink. If a different coloured ink is used with the white, it can result in blended mess.

The ink used is completely different from base white inks which tint other colours. When used as the primary ink, you get a much thicker, top quality mixture which is created solely to stand out as much as it can.

White ink tattoos will lose a portion of their brightness and clarity if they are constantly in the sunshine. If you get this type of design, be sure to keep it out of the sun as much as possible. The easiest way to do this is to get inked in an area which you normally cover up. Your back or chest make for ideal areas. If you normally wear clothes with a bit more cover in the summer, you could also try using your shoulder or just below the ankle. (Keep in mind – any tattoo applied near a bone will hurt more than one that is put on muscle).

If a stencil is used on your white ink tattoo, the artist can either make the outline in your own blood or with purple dye. As a warning, your blood can sometimes tint the ink pink, and the purple can also mix. Your best bet is to have a pro do a simple design without a stencil. Ask your tattoo artist if he or she has much experience with white ink before you let them draw on your skin.

Sometimes people have some bad reactions to white ink. Reactions can also happen with black ink, but they are happen more often with white. Reactions include itching and swelling. In some cases the ink can also turn yellow if it mixes with sweat. As a prevention method, there is nothing wrong with asking for a small sample ink in the area you are aiming to have the full design. This way you be more confident that you will be left with a great tattoo instead of an ugly scar.

As with any ink, if you do not put in the effort to take special care of your new tattoo, you might end up with something that only barely resembles the art you wanted. Don’t scratch or touch the area. Always keep the gauze on for the minimum of 2 hours. Never ever cover up a new tattoo with plastic/saran wrap. Use only lukewarm water, mild liquid antibacterial soap, and your own hands to clean the area. Lightly dab with paper towel to dry it off. Do not put anything like sunscreen or Neosporin over the area. Lastly – take extra care to not let your new tattoo to get too much sunlight until it heals.

Just follow these steps and you will have the best chance of having a clear yet subtle design you can show of to your friends.