So, you’re excited about your new tattoo?! Finally, ink on skin. But now you have to care for it and make sure it heals the right way. Stress less about the new ink, and use these tattoo skincare hacks to help you heal your tattoo. First things first, relax and hit mute on your internal panic button that says you won’t be able to do the things you love because you’re worried about ruining your tattoo. No need to walk on eggshells when it comes to your tattoo aftercare.
There are a lot of ways to nurse a new tattoo and also a lot of ways that you can damage it. Along with some of the basic tips, we know you’re looking for ways to heal your tattoo fast!
1. Say Hell No to Re-bandaging
Your artist will send you home with your tattoo covered. Leave it on for one to three hours after your session and then remove it. Just like any other wound, a tattoo needs air to breathe. That way it can start to dry out and scab over. If you re-bandage your new tattoo, you’re going to be cutting off its oxygen supply, which will actually make the healing process take longer. Which is the opposite of a hack.
2. Wash Your Tattoo with Antibacterial Soap
Right after you take off the bandage from your appointment, wash it using lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. This is really important actually so that you get off all of the product and blood that could be leftover. Leftover blood on tattoos can make your scabs bigger and thicker.
The Dangers of Hot Water
Using hot water on a new tattoo can cause real damage. That is because hot water will open your pores and make the area susceptible to bacteria and ink leaking.
Antibacterial & Fragrance Free Soaps Only
One of the best ways to heal a new tattoo is to look for antibacterial soaps that are also fragrance free. Other soaps contain ingredients that can irritate your skin during your tattoo's healing phase. These Artificial fragrances cause rashes, irritation, and itching. Alcohol-based products irritate open wounds and will dry out your tattoo, leaving it at risk of damage and bad healing.
Washcloths, Loofahs, Scrub Brushes, Oh My!
Never ever use a washcloth, loofah, or any kind of abrasive material on your new tattoo. Only use clean hands to wash your tattoo when it's healing. In a circular motion, gently rub the area with room temperature water and antibacterial fragrance-free soap, then rinse off with room temperature water. Use a clean cloth/ towel and gently pat the tattoo area dry
3. Leave Your Dead Skin On
Healing tattoos is a process. It can be shortened by leaving scabs and dead skin alone! Any interference with scabs can make the healing take much longer. And when the goal is to heal your tattoo fast, it seems like peeling off your skin is counterproductive. Itching and dryness is super normal, but you have to fight the urge to scratch your skin. If the itch becomes unbearable, use your open palm to “pat” your skin and imitate scratching.
4. Use the Right Amount of Moisturizer
Another good hack for healing a tattoo is to not only apply moisturizer on a very regular basis but to use the right amount.
Using a thin layer of a moisturizer or tattoo balm is the best way to go. This will make sure that your ink gets the water that it needs, while also allowing it to have proper air circulation. Our soothing tattoo gel has a lot of healing properties which are great but it also has some of the best thickness to make sure your tattoo isn't smothered. Whatever moisturizer you choose, apply it at least 3-5 times a day to keep your skin quenched.
5. No Baths, Hot Tubs, or Swimming
Healing a tattoo fast is all about the scabs. Keeping them on until they are ready to fall off naturally are numbers 1, 2, & 3 at the top of the importance list. Baths, hot tubs, lakes, oceans, any water that you would submerge yourself in will all make your scab soft and spongy. Sounds gross, and it is. What’s even grosser, is what a tattoo looks like covered in scars. Which is what could happen if that scab comes off too early. Long story short, do not submerge your tattoo in water for at least 3-4 weeks. That should be enough time for the skin to heal or almost completely heal to the point where long times in water are not dangerous.
Healing a New Tattoo is Easier Than Ever
Nowadays it's about art and the thrill. But what kind of thrill do you get by waiting around for your new tattoo to heal? Try these hacks to help heal your tattoo faster and take charge of your skincare. Stress less about making sure your routine is perfect and move on to thinking about what your next tattoo is going to be. For more information, please read our "How Long Does it Take Tattoos to Heal?" article