So you decided to get a tattoo—now what? Back in the day, care for a fresh tattoo was minimal at best. Many tattooists recommended air drying (i.e., using nothing), or they gave their clients a petroleum-based product to rub on the new ink. Thankfully, the Stone Age times of tattooing have passed, and with tattoos now being socially accepted and even embraced in many cultures, people are looking for updated tips and organic aftercare products for body art care. These days, there’s much more knowledge being shared about how to properly look out for your ink—and its canvas!
A fresh tattoo is, in essence, a kind of injury. Unlike typical small cuts and scrapes, the “damage” incurred from being tattooed is generally more superficial, but broader, creating a fairly broad and vulnerable area during the healing process. As a “tattoo collector,” I’ve learned some important things over the years about tattoo aftercare. There are so many new tips and tools to help keep your tattoo looking good, and I’m happy to share my strategies helping body art set and shine!
All Natural Tattoo Care Tips
- First and foremost, listen to the advice of your tattoo artist!
- Keeping your tattoo clean is your first priority.
- Wash the recently tattooed area at least twice a day—morning and night are best. Wash more often after bouts of activity that leave you sweaty and/or grimy.
- Using a gentle and natural soap is generally recommended, as it will reduce the risk of adverse reactions or discomfort.
- High quality witch hazel extract can make for a quick and easy cleanse when a shower or sink isn’t immediately available, but be sure to moisturize later to avoid over-drying.
- When finished cleansing, pat dry to avoid disturbing any new scabs.
- Give your skin the hydration and nutrients it needs to repair itself, both after washing and periodically throughout the day. Gently apply a very thin layer of ointment like 'Ohana Organics Tattoo Butter or another mild and synthetic-chemical-free moisturizer.
- Remember that your skin is your biggest organ, so it’s best not to suffocate it—less is always better. Your tattoo needs to breathe, so if it is still shiny five minutes after applying the ointment or lotion, pat dry to absorb any extra.
- As the days pass and your skin recovers, your tattoo will start to get a bit itchy and dry. Gently massage and carefully apply ointment or a hydrating oil blend.
- You may be tempted to remove your scabs. Resist! These are areas that were overworked and need a little longer to get back to full strength, so leave your body’s natural protection intact for as long as it wants to be there.
- Remember to keep out of the sun and keep the tattooed area covered until it is completely healed, and be particularly vigilant with sunscreen on tattooed areas afterwards.
- Reinforce your skin’s recovery process by making sure to take care of your whole health. The beneficial herbs in a good organic tea blend, like 21st Century Tea or Blossoms of Health Tea can provide wellness support to help your body bounce back from many common injuries, including the tattooing process. Elderberry syrup and tincture of umckaloabo are also among my personal favorites for post-tattoo self care.
Tattoos can help commemorate stories and moments in our lives that helped us learn or grow. They may be tributes to loved ones or expressions of art and ourselves. You've obviously found these memories valuable enough to capture and carry with you, so honor them with proper care to keep your body art looking fresh and vibrant for years to come. Congratulations on your beautiful tattoo!
Want to Make Your Own Tattoo TLC?
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