How to Take Care of A New Tattoo
- by Mike Wargo
So you pulled the trigger and got some new ink. Congratulations!
The pain was worth it and you catch yourself looking at it in the mirror at every opportunity. But you suddenly have this big wound on your body that needs to look good (tattoos are strange when you really think about it). Now that you have this ink, you want it to last for the rest of your life, right? But you’re going to need some help to keep it looking great and healthy.
Here at Whiskey, Ink, & Lace, we're here to help with our Tattoo Aftercare Kit.
Whiskey, Ink, & Lace founder Andi Whiskey tested out our tattoo aftercare kits on her new ink.
The First 3 Hours
- After getting your tattoo done, you should wait two to three hours before removing your bandage. You want the ink and blood to dry under the bandage so that it’s easier to clean. Before removing the bandage, thoroughly wash your hands. Do not touch your new tattoo with dirty hands. A tattoo is basically a giant open wound and getting dirt and bacteria in your new tattoo puts you on the fast train to infection. Once your hands are clean, carefully remove the bandage and it’s time to clean it.
- When washing your tattoo, use warm water and unscented bar or liquid soap (Dove or Dial is an easy to find brand). Thoroughly (but carefully) wash your tattoo, making sure to wash off all the excess/dried blood and plasma.
- After washing your tattoo, lightly pat your tattoo dry with a paper towel or a clean towel. Don’t rub it, as that can cause ink displacement.
- Apply some of our tattoo serum or our Tattoo Salve to your fresh ink and gently rub it all over. It’s light and cooling, which will allow the tattoo to breathe and helps with the heat from the irritated skin. When looking for a tattoo aftercare product, natural is always best. And because there is no petroleum in our tattoo products (or any others), the skin won’t be smothered, making breakouts much less likely than with other common tattoo aftercare products.
The First 1-4 Days
- For the next few days, continue to apply the tattoo serum to your new ink one to two times a day after showering. Continue to clean your tattoo with warm water and unscented soap.
- For the first few days, it’s a good idea to wear loose clothes, including when you’re sleeping. For the first few days your tattoo will be leaking plasma and blood and you don’t want that to stain your sheets or mattress (my girlfriend is still mad at me for staining our brand new mattress with my latest tattoo). When you wake up in the morning, your clothes might be stuck to your new tattoo. Don’t just pull it off or that may pull some of the healing skin away. Get the clothing wet with your morning shower and carefully peal it away.
The First 2-3 Weeks
- After the first four days of having your new tattoo, start applying our tattoo cream to your ink twice daily. The important thing is to keep the skin moisturized and clean.
- Continue to clean your tattoo daily with warm water and unscented soap.
- Around this time, your skin will start to flake and scab. You will probably be tempted to pick at it and peel off the dead skin. Don’t do it. This will just delay the healing process, cause the tattoo to start to prematurely fade, and increases your chances of infection. The skin will peel off at it’s own pace, just give it time.
- Stay away from the sun. Intense sunlight can cause tattoos to start to fade and all that pain you sat through will eventually have been pointless.
- Stay away from submerging the tattoo in water. Other than your daily showers, don’t let your tattoo get submerged in water. That includes baths, hot tubs, pools, and natural bodies of water. The water can contain bacteria that can ruin your new tattoo. Wait a couple weeks before impressing everyone with your mad diving skills.
The Rest of Your Life
Now that your tattoo is healed, it’s still important to take care of it. When you start exposing skin to the sun, make sure to use lots of sunblock to avoid fading of the ink. It’s also a good idea to moisturize the skin regularly to keep the skin healthy. Our tattoo cream works well for revitalizing older tattoos and keeping the skin moisturized.
Your tattoos are a part of who you are, literally. Like the rest of your body, it’s important to take good care of it. Don’t let your pain and money go to waste by not taking care of your tattoo. With Whiskey, Ink, & Lace’s Tattoo Aftercare Kit, you can keep your ink looking fresh and keep your skin healthy.