The Essential Guide to New Tattoo Care and Maintenance

You got a tattoo recently, and it looks good The Incredibles. Lines that are clean and strong. A perfect match with the sketch. Instant euphoria. After you’ve marvelled at the new masterpiece on your arm and snapped a few pics for the ‘gram, your tattoo artist bandages you up.

At this time, it’s likely your artist will do one of two things: apply a ‘second-skin’ type of bandage (a sterile medical grade adhesive patch that stays on for multiple days and protects your skin from infection), or they may apply some antibacterial ointment and bandage you up with some good old fashioned plastic wrap before sending you on your way. Even though you’ve created a beautiful piece of art, it is still an open cut. But how can you maintain your new tattoo at home on your own? To learn more, we talked with a skin specialist, a dermatologist and an expert on tattoo aftercare. Here are some constructive tips.

Experts in the field

JZ A professional tattoo artist is at Atelier Eva. JZ has over six years of experience in tattooing and aims to bridge past and present with his designs. As a child in China, JZ was involved in many creative projects, which he mastered with care. While living with other creatives, he was first inspired to tattoo. His work is also influenced by classic fine art.

Richie Bulldog You can also learn more about the following: Seth Love, Who are the founders? Hustle ButterHustle Butter is one of the first brands to offer tattoo aftercare. Hustle Butter was launched in 2012 and became known for its petroleum-free solution. Bulldog and Love have been a part of the tattoo community since the early ’80s—when tattooing wasn’t legal in New York City—and formulated their products with some of the industry’s best artists.

Erin Murray is senior vice president and marketing at Mad Rabbit, an organisation specialising in tattoo aftercare products. Murray has a marketing background of over ten years in the haircare, skincare and beauty industries.

Dr Elliot Love Love is also a fellowship-trained skin cancer and reconstructive Mohs Surgeon and a board member for Mad Rabbit Tattoo. Love is a board-certified dermatologist and a Mohs surgeon specialising in skin cancer. Love is the author of several research articles and a chapter in a book that deals with skin cancer. He is also the Director of Dermatologic Surgeons at Dermatology Group Of The Carolinas.

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First 24 to 48 Hours

Bulldog and Love mention that sticking to a timeline will ensure optimal healing for your new tattoo. [It’s best to] Follow the instructions provided by your tattoo artist. Each person and tattoo is unique. Recovery depends on a variety of factors. “One size fits everyone” approach. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with your artist.

Please follow the aftercare instructions provided by your artist.

Your skin is most sensitive within 24 to 48 hours following your tattoo. All our experts, including myself (a proud owner with five tattoos), agree that covering your tattoo for the first 24 hours is essential. Murray advises wearing the bandage placed on the tattoo for at least three hours. [I] It is best to cover it for the first 24 hours to allow settling time. You should only remove the bandage if you have to. You have to keep the open wound clean.

Don’t drink any alcohol.

JZ Adds, “[You should] Alcohol can thin your blood and increase bleeding from the tattooed area. Alcohol can thin the blood and increase bleeding. Your tattoo is an open wound, so you should do everything possible to heal it.

You can skip the gym or any strenuous activity.

Avoiding the gym during the first 10-14 days after getting a tattoo is best. JZ advises taking 10-14 days of rest from any intense exercise. This is because stretching/flexing and exposing the skin to sweat bacteria, and other gym-related concerns can lead to severe issues like scarring or infection.

Drink lots of water and avoid the beaches and pools

Avoid the beach and pool for the first 2 to 4 weeks, as you risk infecting the open wound. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Wear loose clothing

You’ll want any clothing that comes in contact with the area to be loose. This will prevent any rubbing and chafing.

Days 1-3

If you received a ‘second-skin’ type of bandage, you can remove it at the three-day mark. The strength of the wrap makes it difficult for some people to draw. Adhesive is. Murray recommends that during ‘second-skin’ removal, you’ll want to “pull slowly in the direction your hair is growing to ensure a smooth removal process and avoid any disruption to the tattoo. After removing it, we suggest using warm water with an antibacterial or a . Then, wash the tattoo off. Then, you can pat the tattoo dry. After tattooing, wipe the area with a clean paper towel. Then apply a petroleum-free lotion. .”

JZ shares that taking off the bandage with a steady stream lukewarm is best. The water is a natural lubricant that makes it easier to remove. Slowly peel the application away. Pull [from either] The bandage can be placed on the top, bottom or both. [and away from your skin] To prevent early scabbing, avoid pulling it up.

Bulldog and love Use warm water, not hot, to remove the stains. If you want to use a gentle tattoo soap, you should choose this—hustle Bubbles. When washing the tattoo post-second-skin removal, drizzle it over the tattooed area and let the water pressure do the rest if you’re using liquid soap. If you use bar soap, you should lather the soap on your hand instead of directly on your skin. Then gently apply it to the tattoo.

After drying your skin, be sure to use an unscented aftercare product. (Our editors love Aquaphor. You can also learn more about CeraVe Healing Ointment For the early stages of healing.

Dr Love points out that in terms of frequency, your new tattoo should be cleaned at least twice a day in the first three to five days after removing a ‘second skin’ or similar bandage. Mad Rabbit offers hydrogel These products are designed to create a barrier that protects tattooed skin. They should be used within three days of getting a new tattoo.

Days 4-14

Murray says that cleaning your tattoo thoroughly for the first 3 to 5 days is essential, but you should continue to do so until day 21. This will ensure your tattoo remains in top condition and prevent infection. It’s best to do this at least once per day. However, if you are determined to keep your tattoo pristine, cleaning it up three times daily wouldn’t harm you. Dr Love says your tattoo could heal in the first seven to ten days, depending on the size. If this happens, keep the tattoo moisturised by using an unscented lotion. Reapply it throughout the day and up until the 30th day. Murray says moisturising your skin will “keep the ink vibrant and hydrated.” Since your tattoo will not be fully covered for days 4-14, keep it away from direct sunlight. Also, avoid exposing your tattoo to surfaces prone to bacteria, such as sinks, toilets, and other places of contamination. Bulldog and Love warn, “You may notice scabbing or flaking—this is normal and part of the process. Do not pick at or scratch the tattoo.

Days 21-30

Sometimes, larger tattoos may not heal fully for the first 30 days. As stated above, moisturising should be continued for the entire 30 days. As soon as your tattoo has begun to scab over and new skin begins to show, it would be best to start using SPFs to protect the ink. Note that sunscreen should not be used on a new or healing tattoo. Bulldog and Love say sunscreen should only be used after the tattoo has healed.

How to keep tattoos vibrant and healthy? Moisturised, use a nourishing balm regularly. Hustle Butter Deluxe Ingredients can help you check off these boxes. Like shea, aloe, mango, and coconut butter. Coconut, sunflower, and rice bran oil. Vitamin E.

Use a balm that contains healthy ingredients to maintain the vibrancy and brightness of your tattoo. It will also nourish and moisturise the area. Hustle Butter Deluxe checks off all of these boxes using elements like shea, mango and aloe butter, coconut, sunflower and rice bran oils, rosemary oleoresin, green tea, Vitamin E Complex & Mint Arvenis essential oil in their product to keep the skin fresh and supple and your tattoos looking radiant as hell.

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Here are some additional tips from our experts


“Exfoliation is key—gently removing the dead skin cells, similar to how you would take care of your face, will help accelerate the moisturising and vibrancy benefits,” shares Murray. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t exfoliate a new tattoo. Wait until the tattoo has fully healed before you begin this process. When right, “Be careful not to exfoliate over as this can cause skin irritation and damage.” Bulldog and Love explain.


Murray mentions to “avoid excess sun exposure and wear sunscreen always.” JZ You should also take care of your skin. Moisturised. “Even after the initial healing period. I moisturise my face before leaving the house.” He says. Make sure to use sunscreen with both UVA protection and UVB protection. Doctor Love recommends You either cover the tattoo when you are in the sun or use sunscreen containing zinc or titanium and reapply it every 90 minutes. SPF will keep your tattoo in excellent condition.

Our experts all recommended that during your aftercare, you should watch the tattoo to check for any abnormalities. If there is anything concerning, consult a physician. Tattoos, just like other types of art, must be maintained and taken care of to last. Bulldog and Love advise that you continue caring for it after healing.

What’s this for aftercare? Here are some of the editors’ favourite tattoo aftercare products.

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