Short & Long Term Tattoo Aftercare Advice

tattoo aftercare

There are many pieces of over the top, complicated advice on tattoo aftercare. Most of them are product only based advice on how to protect the vibrancy of your new ink. Very few people talk about self-respect, or a lack thereof, in the quest for long term care of tattoos. For example, if you get a nice new tattoo then get fat as fuck…you stretch it beyond recognition. So don’t do that. Have self-respect.

We think there are four main pillars to the tattoo aftercare methodology such as:

  • Keep it clean. Wash your skin daily with a gentle, unscented soap.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin moisturised.
  • Watch what you wear. Wear SPF clothing so the sun won’t fade your tattoo.
  • Avoid excess weight gain or loss. You could stretch out or distort the tattoo.

Tattoo aftercare top tips – 8 Common sense steps to follow to improve healing and to protect the vibrancy of your ink in the long term.

Tattoo Aftercare Tip 1 – Always follow your tattoo artist’s advice

Aftercare advice will vary from studio to studio, But listen to the instructions your artist gives you. They are the experts and have the experience to teach you the right way about looking after your new ink – most will have a leaflet with their advice printed out for you to take away.

Tattoo Aftercare Tip 2 – Gentle wash after a few hours

The majority of advice will tell you to leave the covering on the tattoo for the first 2-5 hours, then to carefully remove it and gently wash the tattoo with lukewarm water. Some advice will say to use a mild soap but this again varies from artist to artist.


Tattoo Aftercare Tip 3 – Apply a thin layer of unscented moisturising cream

You should then apply a thin layer of an unscented moisturising cream like ours – your artist will tell you which they recommend. You can either then recover with clingfilm/gauze, or leave it open to the air, depending on your artists advice. Generally, studios will advise you to repeat the cleaning process 3-5 times a day.

Tattoo Aftercare Tip 4 – Keep the tattoo clean and dry

Keep the tattoo clean and dry, and avoid soaking it in water for at least a month (showers are ok, baths are not). If your clothes are likely to rub on it, keep it covered with gauze/clingfilm and medical tape.

Tattoo Aftercare Tip 5 – Avoid direct sunlight

Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight unless necessary. NO bloody sunbeds folks!!! Healed tattoos, especially coloured ones, can fade in the sun – so when it’s completely healed, make sure it’s covered in a high SPF cream if you’re going to be going on holiday.

Tattoo Aftercare Tip 6 – Be patient with healing times

Healing times depend on how well you heal and the size of the design. This can range anywhere from around a week for simple, small line designs, to several months for complex, larger designs. Keep following your aftercare instructions for as long as the artist told you to, and make sure the tattoo is kept well-moisturised and clean for a good few months after that, avoiding abrasive skin products.

Tattoo Aftercare Tip 7 – As much as you will want too, please don’t scratch!

As the tattoo heals, it may scab or flake slightly. Avoid picking at it, as this may remove the ink in that area and lead to patches fading or being removed altogether. If it itches, don’t scratch – tap it lightly instead. This should only last for the first few weeks or so – if it stays raised, itches uncontrollably, is red around the design, keeps bleeding for more than a day or so after having it done, or is continuously hot to the touch, go back to your artist or seek medical advice. Infected tattoos are very rare but can happen, and it’s always worth getting it checked out if you’re worried about it.

Tattoo Aftercare Tip 8 – Go back to the studio for touch-ups

If you do lose ink, your studio should retouch it for free – bad tattoos and service lead to bad reputations, so it’s in their interests to make sure you’re happy with the final product. After about 6 weeks, go back if you need touch-ups on any area of the tattoo.

Tattoo Aftercare Top Tip Of Them All – Self Respect

When nursing a brand new tattoo, eating and drinking the right foods and liquids can be just as important as the cream you slap on it. In other words, what you put inside your body as well as out, will have an impact.

So you’ve got a fresh tattoo and are following the correct aftercare. A focus on nutrition can also help you through the often painful tattoo healing process. Whether you’re tattooed or not, nutrients and vitamins are necessary – you are what you eat.

Drinking lots of alcohol and eating junk food (or something low in nutritional value) after a large tattoo always prolongs tattoo recovery. When you have self-respect and consume as many good foods as possible in the following days after being inked, you will notice the difference in how you feel and how quickly your tattoo heals. You should always focus on boosting your immune system by keeping topped up with more natural antioxidants and vitamins.

If you’ve had a really long tattoo session, and feel drained when you get home. Make sure to eat lots of comfort food that evening. Fruit and vegetables are essential, of course, but so are carbohydrates and sugars. Pasta, rice, bread – refuel the energy that you’ve lost sweating and writhing in pain! Have a big pudding, cook your favorite meal (or better yet, get someone to cook it for you!)… just eat something that makes you happy that you know is good for you.

tattoo recovery

Tattoo Aftercare – Here are 8 foods to keep in the kitchen for the healing period following a new tattoo:

Oranges / Orange Juice

One of the best sources of vitamin C out there. A good idea would be to take vitamin C supplements for a few days after a new tattoo. This powerful vitamin is known to help with healing wounds. Oranges are also great for the skin in general as they can protect cells from damage and fight viral infections.


Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants. It’s great for your skin as it keeps it hydrated and supple by increasing blood flow to it. There are some yummy dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan dark chocolate options available, too. Don’t forget chocolate is good for your skin on the outside too – it can work wonders for dry, recently tattooed skin.


Just like oranges, broccoli is an amazing source of vitamin C and is a natural anti-inflammatory. It’s full of antioxidants, good for your heart, bones, cholesterol… get some broccoli in your diet whether you’re tattooed or not!


Often called a ‘superfood’, blueberries are believed to have more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. Antioxidants heal damaged cells and can aid many different types of healing in the body.


These tropical fruits are packed with vitamin C and are known to boost your immune system. Following the trauma of a major tattoo session, your body (and mind) can feel tired, making you vulnerable to infection, colds, flu and feeling generally run-down. Foods like pineapples and oranges keep you fighting fit and feeling healthy.


For thousands of years, garlic has been known and loved for its medicinal properties. Like many of the others in this list, it boosts the function of our immune systems and can even fight potential infection.


The body is made up of 60% water but needs topping up regularly. Staying well-hydrated benefits dry, damaged skin and makes you feel perk too as drinking water can combat tiredness.


Full of our good old friend vitamin C, tomatoes are also amazing for your skin as they protect it from future damage.

Remember that there are no quick fixes. You should aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet all of the time, not just after a new tattoo, although focusing on what you put in your body at this time can be really important.

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