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.

What Is a Sacred/Spiritual Tattoo?

Tattooing has been used for spiritual, healing and decorative purposes in many cultures for thousands of years. Egypt, Japan, Philippines, Samoa, Persia, New Zealand and Taiwan are just some of the ancient cultures in which tattoos were used to facilitate spiritual growth and healing. In many of these ancient cultures tattoos were used in religious ceremonies for spiritual purposes, as a medicinal treatment tool and for the purpose of showing an individuals rank and accomplishments. Tattoos have also been used for centuries as a right of passage from childhood to adulthood. It was also believed that tattoos had magical properties by many ancient cultures. As a result of this belief the tattoo and the processes involved in applying the tattoo were sacred practices and the tattoo was most often applied by Shaman and Healers of the tribe.

Even today having a tattoo permanently inked on your body is a very personal and in many cases, spiritually cleansing experience. It is a personal experience you don’t ever forget, you will always remember the place, people and processes involved in the application of the tattoo. You will remember how you felt the day you had your tattoo done, whether you were happy, sad, feeling sick or tired. You will often even recall the day of the week, month and even what the weather was like outside. You will remember the emotions attached to the tattoo and the reasons behind getting it. Perhaps a person may be getting their tattoo to represent joy or love in their life, healing, change, triumph, just for fun or even a time of anger. These emotions will be re-experienced each time you look at the tattoo. The very nature of having a tattoo applied to your body lends it self exceptionally well to emotional, spiritual, mental and even physical healing.

Even the pain of getting a tattoo is an integral part of the tattoo experience. The pain involved in receiving a tattoo is not a punishment, you are receiving it because you have chosen to receive it and in the case of a spiritual tattoo this works as an integral part of the spiritual healing process. Accepting the pain and transcending through it can strengthen a scared tattoo experience and outcome.

Without even being aware of the nuances of receiving a tattoo many people choose to get tattooed as a way of healing a painful past. A tattoo in this case being representative of triumph over a painful physical, emotional or mental incident in their life. This could be a mentally painful past, a physically painful trauma or even the passing of a loved one, or anything else that has left a painful scar either mentally, emotionally or physically on the body that the person wants to move past and heal. This being the case tattoos applied in a sacred healing environment are especially helpful in the healing from trauma that is left from mental, emotional and physical scars on the body.

A sacred tattoo environment is also often utilized by those using tattoos as a way to spiritual advancement and to reinforce their spiritual beliefs. The images chosen to be applied are spiritually meaningful and help in facilitating each persons individual spiritual expansion.

Whatever the reason for your decision to have a sacred tattoo session, each session can help facilitate life changes by giving you a beautiful permanent spiritual pictorial anchor which will serve as a positive reinforcing reminder of the growth and change you are undergoing. Whether your tattoo is to help in the healing and closure of past trauma or in facilitating joy and spiritual growth and advancement into your future.

There are spiritual healers who are also tattoo artists who now offer spiritual sacred tattoo sessions that are designed to offer the client a sacred environment to utilizing the tattoo process as a tool in which to pursue personal spiritual growth and healing. Each session involves the artist/healer and the client and is individually tailored and designed to fill the spiritual and healing needs of the client.

Each tattoo session is done in a private relaxing sacred spiritual setting. A sacred tattoo is most often done by a spiritual healer / tattoo artist and it is individually tailored for each person often a session will include the use of meditation and spiritually sacred objects.

Traditional Tattoo Design Information

Traditional designs are using heavy black outlines with minimal color and a lot of black shades. So, they are usually darker in appearance and the color choice is limited to simple colors such as average blue, green, red and yellow. Colors are used in blocks with very few details. Also, they are being styled in such a standard way that everything they portray appears as a two-dimensional shape, without any three-dimensional depth.

Traditional designs usually lack a lot of complicity since they were done years ago with less advanced equipment and the tattoos were made fast at lower prices. Many traditional tattoo designs are portraying military and nautical motives and themes, as navy and army men were the primary tattoo clients. This traditional style preserved its popularity throughout the years, thanks to its historical significance, clearly readable simplicity and traditional American roots.

In order to make real traditional designs, tattoo artists have to work with a set of rules which will make their tattoos really traditional. These rules mostly apply on certain motives and themes and how these could be colored or drawn. For their basis traditional artists are using the work of respected and well known pioneers of this style, such as Sailor Jerry Collins, Don Ed Hardy and Lyle Tuttle. That is why a large number of traditional designs are being taken directly or interpreted from the sheets of tattoo designs prepared for mass replication, widely known as “flash”.

Those collectors who would like to get a real and fully “traditional” custom tattoo should be aware of the strict guidelines these tattoo designs imply. It is therefore wise that you choose a tattoo artist that is familiar with these guidelines and can give you the traditional tattoo with a twist of yourself or the artist. If they do not pay heed about this aspect of traditional tattoo designs, a person may end up with a “knock off” or “untrue” traditional tattoo, which will be discerned by all the people knowledgeable in the art of tattooing. Of course, this may not be important to you at all.

One of the newer aspects of traditional tattoo designs is the neo-traditional design, a design that has become more popular in the past few years. The neo-traditional tattoo is made by combining the rules of the traditional tattoos and some modern techniques and tools. This usually results in an original yet advanced tattoo. To give an example, a tattoo performed in a neo-traditional style, may still have simplified shapes and fat black outlines and characteristic for the traditional practice, while also introducing much broader color palette and some unusual, modern theme or motive. The neo-traditional tattoo designs are great for those people that like the traditional designs but would like something more original.