Getting a tattoo is fun, exciting and always an adventure. Every tattoo tells a story, but what happens when you leave the shop?
Most of us know, the healing process of a tattoo is probably the most “annoying” part of the whole process. The scabbing, the itching, trying to sleep, its not always enjoyable.
Hopefully this go-to after care guide can help you with any questions, concerns and thoughts you might have when it comes to your new tattoo after care.
First things first, once your new tattoo is finally complete, whether you’ve been sitting in the chair for 30 minutes or 6 hours, nothing feels better the sound of your artist saying “We’re finished!”
When leaving the chair you may find your fresh new ink wrapped in plastic wrap or second skin. Depending on how your artist covered your tattoo, depends on how you will care for it during the healing process.
If your new ink was wrapped in plastic wrap, here is what you should do:
Once returning home, go ahead and remove the plastic wrap and gently wash your tattoo with warm water and soap. The soap you use, should be a non-colored, non-perfumed, anti-bacterial soap.
While there are a few brands of soap tattoo shops recommend, Good Vibrations Ink advise using IKONIK’s brand of aftercare products.
Do not use shower gel or bar soap to wash your tattoo. Once you have the correct soap in hand, GENTLY wash your tattoo with warm water and soap.
Vigorously washing or wiping your tattoo can lead to irritation and/or bleeding.
After a gentle wash, take a paper towel and lightly tap your new tattoo. Do not wipe your skin. A light tap or pat will do just the trick. Let your tattoo air try before proceeding to the next step.
With a fresh tattoo, we don’t recommend using an aftercare lotion till the following day. Your body will start to heal your tattoo on its own. Let your white blood cells form that nice light scab to protect your skin.
Once this process occurs, then you will apply IKONIK’s Epik Cream to ensure your tattoo looks its best long after the ink dries.
Epik Cream, designed for immediate use post-tattoo, contains restorative ingredients that reduce inflammation, soothe irritation, and lock in moisture to promote healing. When used daily, it not only sustains the vibrancy of your ink but also enhances its radiance, ensuring your tattoo makes a lasting statement. With Epik Cream, your tattoo receives the care it deserves, ensuring optimal healing and long-term vibrancy.
Continue further reading for your aftercare instructions.
If your new Ink was wrapped in second skin, here is what you should do:
Second skin is a breathable, thin-self adhesive film that provides a moist healing environment for your new tattoo. When your ink is fresh, this initial stage is the most critical in the healing process.
Second Skin protects your skin from friction and provides a waterproof, protective barrier that prevents contamination. This barrier also allows you to do anything you need while your tattoo is healing, from work to sleeping without a mess on your bed sheets.
Your artist may recommend you wear this for 1-5 days.
There are many benefits to second skin. The major benefit being, it allows your body’s own plasma to help heal the tattoo. Once you remove the second skin, your tattoo will be further along on the healing process.
To remove second skin from your tattoo, it is best to hop in the shower.
We recommend using soap with warm water to peel it off. The soap you use should be a non-colored, non-perfumed, anti-bacterial soap. Our gallery prefers Cosmik Soap. Cosmik Soap is a gentle cleanser that aids in healing by effectively removing ink and plasma when applied with warm water, all while keeping pores open for a soothing and thorough cleansing experience.
Do not use shower gel or bar soap to wash your tattoo.
Once your soap and water are in place, lift a corner of the film and stretch it toward the center of the tattoo. Grab another corner and repeat.
Keep applying the soap as you peel it off. This will help to gently remove it from the skin.
After removal of the film, wash your tattoo with the warm water and soap. Vigorously washing or wiping your tattoo can lead to irritation and/or bleeding. After a gentle wash, take a paper towel and lightly tap your new tattoo.
Do not wipe your skin. a light tap or pat will do just the trick. Let your tattoo air try before proceeding to the next step.
Here is what you should avoid with your new tattoo:
As part of the healing process, you’ll find that your tattoo will begin to scab and or flake. DO NOT PICK AND OR SCRATCH YOUR NEW TATTOO.
Doing so can lead to color loss in your tattoo and or scarring. If your tattoo becomes itchy at any point, do not scratch or rub, it is best to pat your tattoo and apply your appropriate aftercare lotion.
Additional things to avoid in the next several days after getting your tattoo would be
- tanning beds,
- sun tanning,
- salt water,
- hot tubs,
- and saunas.
Also avoid submerging your tattoo for the first week or two. All of these actions jeopardize the overall healing of the new skins the area of your tattoo.
Here is some additional tips for your new ink:
Once you notice your tattoo has finished flaking and seems to be healed, make sure to periodically use a moisturizing skin lotion to keep the tattoo vibrant.
Also a strong sunblock or sunscreen over your tattoo will protect it. The sun and tattoos aren’t the best of friends. The sun tends to fade tattoos drastically. After being in the sun for long periods, follow up with again another good skin moisturizer.
Do not be afraid to shave over your tattoo! Body hair can make your tattoo look faded and dull, shaving can help bring the vibrance back to your tattoo. Body hair does not come back thicker once shaved, it is perfectly safe to shave over tattoos.
Also, what you eat and drink can play a huge part in how your body heals your ink. Staying on a healthy diet can drastically improve the process. What you eat can influence how quickly your skin heals after getting inked.
After getting your tattoo (and following our aftercare instructions) you should focus on nourishing your body with anti-inflammatory food and avoid food that isn’t so healthy. Processed foods lack a ton of essential elements.
Consuming lots of fruits and vegetables with omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants will aid in the healing process. A lot of these foods have anti-inflammatory properties.
Most importantly, drink water! Water is essential and you should be drinking plenty of water, whether or not you just got a new tattoo. Staying hydrated will prevent your skin from drying up, hence promoting an ideal environment for your tattoo to heal. Avoiding alcohol in large quantities is also recommended since alcohol causes overall inflammation in the body.
In plain words, eat clean!
Here is the sum of it all:
With all that being said, getting a tattoo is a great experience whether it’s your 1st tattoo or your 20th! Aftercare plays a huge part in the aftermath of the health of your tattoo.
At Good Vibrations Ink we highly encourage our customers and clients to really understand the meaning of good aftercare. We want your tattoos to stay beautiful and vibrant for as long as possible and that means being aware of all of the instructions we just discussed.
A tattoo is a work of art, don’t be careless and follow our aftercare instructions for the best results. You can always contact us with any questions you may have. Thanks for reading and enjoy your new ink!