Whether it’s your first or 50th tattoo, it’s always important to take good care of the skin on and around the site not only for the best results, but also to protect your skin from damage or infection. And since it often takes one to two weeks for the skin to heal after being inked, it’s important to keep tattoo aftercare front of mind for the best results.
1. Remove the Bandage Within 24 Hours
When you leave the tattoo parlor, the artist will have applied some kind of bandage to protect the area during its most vulnerable stage. Depending on the type of covering, you’ll need to take this off within 24 hours to allow your skin to breathe. Some shops carry Saniderm, which is a semipermeable material that can be left on for several days as the tattoo heals, protecting the skin from harmful irritants and water while allowing it to breathe.
2. Clean the Area Regularly
Once you remove the bandage, immediately cleanse the tattoo area with a mild formula to help protect against infection and keep pores clear of debris. You’ll have to treat the area a little differently than if you were washing, say, your hands, as the skin is still very sensitive to moisture and irritation.
Using a gentle, antibacterial soap, wash and rinse the tattoo, patting it dry to avoid irritating the skin. Make sure to dry it completely, as you want to avoid excess water from absorbing into the area. Let it air dry thoroughly, and repeat this once a day for the first week; multiple times on the first day.
3. Moisturize Often
One of the keys to good skincare in general, and tattoo aftercare in particular, is effective moisturization. Using high quality moisturizers helps keep skin soft, strong, and lustrous with daily care. Stay away from overly perfumed or artificial ingredients, however, as these compounds can cause serious side effects like burning and stinging when applied to the tattooed area.
Epicuren Discovery’s powerful but mild Hydro Plus or Nourish Daily Antioxidant moisturizers are perfect for hydrating and providing vital nutrients your skin needs to after getting a tattoo. And needing to take good care of your skin doesn’t stop after your tattoo is healed, as veteran tattoo owners can tell you. Keep the area moisturized for a healthy, seamless appearance for life!
4. Don’t Pick at Peeling Skin
Getting a tattoo affects your skin in a similar way to getting a sunburn: the area is red, sensitive, and may peel or even scab when healing, as new skin replaces dead and damaged cells.
It’s important to resist the urge to pick and peel if and when this symptom of the healing process arrives, as pulling on the skin could damage the tattoo’s design, especially if it’s a color tattoo.
5. Avoid Soaking in the Tub or the Sun
One of the most widely recognized ways to help aid and speed the tattoo healing process is by avoiding behaviors and situations that could damage the skin or the appearance of the tattoo. Over-exposure to water, especially pool water that contains chlorine, can discolor or dissipate the ink particles as the skin cells lose their protective oil layer and expand and contract through water absorption and diffusion.
It’s also wise to use proper sun protection to protect your highly sensitive skin in the first week or so after getting a tattoo. Remember that while clothing is usually a good barrier from harmful UV rays, some amount of sun damage can penetrate nearly any fabric, so be sure to use sunscreen even if your tattoo is hidden.
Professional-Grade Tattoo Skincare Solutions
At Epicuren Discovery, we know you want to look your best with a regular skincare routine, and having the best products on hand can help you do that. Our complete collection of cleansers, moisturizers, and anti-aging skincare products are professional-strength and powered by natural ingredients so you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals and artificial dyes. Find out what products are best for your unique skin type by taking our Skin Quiz today!