When Should I Moisturize My Tattoo?
Week one – Some tattoo artists recommend waiting between 24-48 hours before applying moisturizer, though others recommend doing so as soon as the first wash. A person with a fresh tattoo should follow their tattoo artist’s instructions on when to start using moisturizer.
- For the first couple of days, the tattooed skin may feel warm to the touch and have a reddish appearance;
- The colors may also appear very bright against the rest of the skin;
- The tattoo will become less vibrant as the healing process continues;
A person should avoid submerging the tattoo in water or getting the tattoo wet during the first 3–6 weeks, except for when washing it. A person can continue using the washing technique above throughout the first week when needed. How often washing is necessary will vary depending on a person’s activity levels and environment.
- Someone who is sitting in an air-conditioned office all day may only need to wash the tattoo once a day;
- However, someone who is working in a hot or dirty environment and sweating may need to wash the tattoo every few hours;
It is best to wash the tattoo with clean fingers only and not a cloth or towel, which may irritate the skin and prematurely remove any scabs that may have formed. Scabs will often form in the first few days, and ink may still come up through the skin and need to be washed away.
It is important not to pick the scabs or scratch the skin. In general, Scabbing is not a sign of improper wound care. Scabs will form anytime the skin is injured, and can be a sign of healthy tissue forming underneath the wound.
Keeping some form of antibiotic ointment or moisturizer under occlusion (as long as there is no known allergy) on the wound can help it heal better and the sooner this is done the better healing will happen with less chances of scarring. Any redness or mild swelling usually goes away near the end of the first week.
- 1 When can I switch to Moisturiser tattoo?
- 2 Should I moisturize my tattoo while its peeling?
- 3 When can I stop using Bepanthen on my tattoo?
What happens if you moisturize your tattoo too soon?
What Are The Risks of Over Moisturizing a Tattoo? – By applying thicker layers of lotion or ointment, several times a day (or every hour or two as some people do), you’re risking over-moisturizing a tattoo. By over-moisturizing a tattoo, you can cause the following problems;
- Due to excess moisture, the tattoo won’t be able to dry and heal
- Excess moisture can create a perfect environment for bacteria and germ growth
- Over moisturizing can lead to tattoo inflammation and infection
- Excess moisture can cause clogged pores since the moisturizer prevents the skin from breathing
- Excess moisture can cause the tattooed skin to break out
To avoid these issues, make sure to follow the moisturizing rules we mentioned before. However, make sure to not under moisturizing your tattoo as well. Some people are afraid they might over-moisturize their tattoo, so they leave it dehydrated, which results in heavy scabbing and tattoo dryness. So, make sure to stay in the middle and simply apply a thin layer of lotion/ointment twice a day.
When can I switch to Moisturiser tattoo?
– There will come a point during your washing-drying-ointment routine when you’ll have to switch from using ointment to using lotion. This is usually after several days to a week or so after you first received your tattoo. There’s a difference between ointment and lotion.
- Ointments like Aquaphor do a more heavy-duty job of moisturizing the skin than do lotions;
- That’s because ointments have an oil base, while lotions have a water base;
- Lotions are more spreadable and breathable than ointments;
Aquaphor has the added benefit of anti-inflammatory effects, which can make the tattoo healing process speedier and more comfortable. After a given number of days of using ointment (your tattoo artist will specify how many), you’ll switch to lotion. This is because you need to keep your tattoo moist for several weeks until it’s completely healed.
During your aftercare routine, instead of adding ointment, apply a thin layer of lotion at least twice a day. However, you might need to apply lotion as much as up to four times a day to keep your healing tattoo hydrated.
Be sure to use unscented lotion. Perfumed lotions typically contain alcohol, which can dry out the skin.
Should I moisturize the day of a tattoo?
Get hydrated and moisturize – Both tattoo artists, skincare, and makeup professionals who graduated from the make-up academy highlight the importance to get hydrated and make sure to moisturize your skin before getting a tattoo. This is because the current condition and health of your skin affect your reaction.
Makeup professionals recommend not to use any makeup since a day before you are planning to get inked. Although proper hydration is necessary to keep your body healthy, it is particularly important when getting inked.
Staying well hydrated leading up to being tattooed, will put your skin in better condition. It helps your skin become more resilient which helps allow the tattoo ink application easier. Also, do not forget to moisturize your skin prior to your tattoo session.
Should you moisturize a dry tattoo?
In a method known as tattoo dry healing, you don’t use any moisturizer as part of your aftercare routine. However, you do follow the other steps, such as avoiding the sun.
What do you do first 24 hours after a tattoo?
Aftercare for Your Tattoo – So, how can you make sure that new tattoo is something you don’t end up regretting? Follow these steps while your new tattoo heals.
- Be sure your artist covers your new tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage.
- Remove the bandage after 24 hours. Gently wash the tattoo with antimicrobial soap and water and be sure to pat dry.
- Apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day, but don’t put on another bandage.
- Gently wash your tattoo area twice a day with soap and water and gently pat dry before reapplying the antibacterial/Vaseline ointment.
- Keep applying a moisturizer or ointment after you clean it to keep it moist.
You should repeat this process for 2 to 4 weeks. Also try not to wear clothes that will stick to your tattoo, and avoid swimming and the sun for about 2 weeks. And take cool showers. Scalding hot water will not only hurt, but it can also fade the ink. Wear a physical blocker sunscreen with at least 7% zinc oxide sunscreen during the daylight hours and/or cover it up (with clothing, a bandage).
When can I shower after a tattoo?
Download Article Download Article You have a new tattoo, and you love it! Now you need to take proper care of it to keep your skin healthy and your tattoo looking nice. Because of the way the ink is applied, a fresh tattoo is an open wound, and you must take care to allow it to heal properly. Start by taking off the bandage the tattoo artist put on, and then clean your tattoo. You’ll need to follow the artist’s instructions for cleaning your tattoo 3 times a day for at least 2 weeks.
- 1 Listen to the tattoo artist about when to take off your bandage. Tattoos heal at different speeds, depending on things like your skin sensitivity and how big or deep the tattoo is. Your tattoo artist will tell you how long you should keep your bandage over your tattoo. 
- If they don’t tell you, ask them.
- When the artist finishes your tattoo, they will wash it off and treat it with an antiseptic. They will then apply a bandage to your tattoo, which will help keep bacteria away from it.
- 2 Wait 2-3 hours to take off the bandage if you’re not given a time period. If you forget to ask or can’t get a hold of the tattoo artist, a good waiting period is 2-3 hours. If your tattoo is really large, you can wait up to 6 hours. That gives your tattoo time to get over the initial shock before you shower.
- Be sure to remove the bandage within the first day, as bacteria can breed in the moist environment underneath it. 
- 3 Remove the bandage applied by the tattoo artist before showering. Before touching the bandage, scrub your hands thoroughly. Wash them in warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds. Then, you can peel back the bandage that’s covering your tattoo. 
- Don’t try to shower with the bandage in place. The water will soak into the bandage, and the bandage will hold it against your tattoo, which can introduce bacteria to it.
- 4 Take the bandage off in the shower if it’s sticking to your tattoo. Sometimes, the bandage will stick to the tattoo, which can be painful when you try to take it off. Run the bandage under indirect, warm water in the shower, which will help loosen the adhesive. Then move on to cleaning up your tattoo.
- 1 Wait up to 24 hours to shower. Talk to your tattoo artist about how long it’s best to wait. Generally, though, you can shower within the first 24 hours after getting your new ink.
- Waiting 2 days gives your skin more time to form a barrier over the tattoo. 
- 2 Use lukewarm water. Hot water can make your tattoo sting, so it’s best to avoid it. Hot water too soon after getting a tattoo can also make you lose color from your tattoo, as it opens your pores, so it’s best to avoid it. 
- Try running cold water on the tattoo for 30 seconds at the end of your shower to tighten your pores.
- 3 Turn the spray to gentle or keep your tattoo out of the spray. Don’t use a hard spray on your tattoo, as it can irritate it. If you only have a showerhead with a heavy spray, let the water run over the tattoo indirectly.
- You can also use a clean cup or your hand to pour a gentle stream of water over your tattoo.
EXPERT TIP Burak Moreno is a Professional Tattoo Artist with over 10 years of experience. Burak is based in New York City and is a tattoo artist for Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, he has worked as a tattoo artist throughout Europe. He works on many different styles but mostly does bold lines and strong color. Burak Moreno Tattoo Artist Keep your shower short, as well. When you first have a new tattoo, don’t take very long or very hot showers, and don’t take baths while it’s healing.
- 4 Use your hands to apply a mild, unscented soap to your tattoo. Any mild soap will do, including bar soap or liquid hand soap. You can use antibacterial soap if you prefer. Lather the soap in your hands, then apply it to the tattoo. 
- Just rub it in gently with your fingers. Avoid using loofahs and sponges until the tattoo heals, as they can carry bacteria.
- Your tattoo will likely have dried blood and other debris on it, which you need to remove. However, you should not scrub it, as that can irritate it.
- 5 Rinse the tattoo off gently with water. Once you rub the soap into your tattoo, pour water over it to rinse the soap off. If you need to, use your fingers to gently rub the soap off under the water. 
- Hop out of the shower quickly. When in the shower, your tattoo comes in contact with steam, water, and soap. That can be painful and irritating for your tattoo, so avoid staying in the shower too long. Also, try to keep your tattoo out from under running water when washing the rest of your body for at least a week. 
- 6 Pat the tattoo dry with a clean, soft towel. Don’t rub the tattoo with the towel, as that could irritate it. Simply dab at the tattoo gently, until it’s dry. You may notice a little bit of blood, which is fine. 
- You can use paper towels if you don’t have a newly cleaned towel on hand or if your usual bath towel leaves fibers on your skin. Dirty towels can introduce bacteria.
- 1 Wash your tattoo 3 times a day for the first week to keep it clean. While your tattoo is healing, you need to practice good hygiene to keep it from getting infected. Wash with a mild, unscented soap, and use your fingers to rub it in. Rinse it off gently with water. 
- Pat it dry with a clean towel.
- 2 Use a moisturizing ointment on your tattoo once it’s dry. Pick one that’s scent-free and preferably hypoallergenic so it won’t irritate your tattoo. Gently rub it in with clean hands. 
- Start with an ointment. You can try a lotion after a week or so.
- 3 Let your tattoo breathe by leaving the bandage off. Don’t re-bandage your tattoo once you’ve applied the moisturizer. You only need to keep a bandage on for the first day. After that, it’s better to let your tattoo get fresh air. 
- 4 Avoid getting in the tub while your tattoo is healing. Sitting a tub full of water can introduce bacteria to your tattoo. Stick to showers instead, which are less likely to introduce bacteria. 
- 5 Skip the swimming pool and lakes. Large bodies of water are teeming with bacteria, and you don’t want those bacteria getting in your tattoo. Wait until your tattoo is completely healed before you go swimming. 
- Healing can take 45 days to 6 months, depending on the size and depth of your tattoo. 
- You should also avoid going to the gym so that sweat and bacteria don’t build up on your skin.
Add New Question
- Question I just got a finger tattoo, how can I shower with that? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer You can shower regularly; just be careful. Finger tattoos are hard because they get wet so often
- Question Will my tattoo peel if I wash it on the second day after getting it done? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer The tattoo shouldn’t peel on the second day. If you see peeling, it could be your ink coming out.
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- If a bath is the only way you are able to wash yourself, take as brief a bath as possible and wash your tattoo afterward.
- Don’t soak the tattoo in the ointment. Put it on lightly so your tattoo is still able to breathe.
- Avoid letting your tattoo soak in water until it heals.
Should I let my tattoo dry out?
Are There Any Disadvantages to Dry Healing a Tattoo? – For every argument in favor of dry healing, you’ll find a counter-argument. Critics of dry healing will point out, for instance, that it does nothing to relieve the itchiness that comes when your skin is healing after a tattoo.
That would be bad enough if it simply means you’ll spend a few weeks being more uncomfortable, but it’s worse than that. If you have a hard time putting up with the itchiness and you give in to the urge to scratch your tattoo, you can damage your skin before it has fully recovered.
If that’s the case, using an ointment that relieves the itchiness is likely a better alternative. The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation.
When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing. Some people allege that those in favor of dry healing may have simply used the wrong types of ointments.
It’s true that some lotions have harsh chemicals or don’t contain enough of the ingredients that are friendly to your skin. However, if you do a bit of research you should be able to find creams that will deliver the vitamins your skin needs without any unnecessary additives. A tattoo that is so dry that the scabs have cracked and are now bleeding While proponents of dry healing profess that it speeds up the healing process, it could also tighten the skin, which makes it more likely that scabs will break. This, of course, will extend the amount of time it takes for your tattoo to heal, and could cause minor blemishes.
How do I know if my tattoo is dry?
Why Does Tattoo Cracking Happen? – When your tattoo begins to scab over in the healing process, the area around the tattoo generally becomes scaly , extremely dry, and also very itchy. Some tattoos will scab very lightly where the scabs are hardly visible, and some will scab heavily, with thick prominent crusts. A tattoo beginning to crack When the scabs lose moisture within them, they will become so dry that they begin to split, break apart, and often bleed. This is what is known as tattoo cracking. Below are the main reasons why your new ink may begin to crack:.
Should I moisturize my tattoo while its peeling?
Moisturizing is Essential During the peeling process, unless you’ve decided to take on the dry healing method it’s essential that you keep your tattoo moisturized. For the first three days after you get your tattoo, you should be cleaning your tattoo and washing, drying, and putting ointment on it regularly.
Will my tattoo dry out overnight?
Clean Frequently – In the early days of the tattoo healing process, we can’t stress enough how important it is to clean your tattoo frequently, but also moisturize it with nutrients that your skin needs to heal faster. After you take your wraps off, there’s a chance that your bed and mattress could make your tattoo dry.
- Always clean your tattoo and moisturize it with special and antimicrobial moisturizers with hypoallergenic materials;
- It’d be also good if the moisturizer is unscented so it wouldn’t bother you at the night;
Editor’s notes: It’d be also good to apply a painkiller cream without aspirin that will spread across your tattoo and minimize the pain you experience. This is probably something that will also make the sleeping process much easier. If your tattoo dries out and glues onto the bed sheet or pillowcase, don’t pull it out violently or cut the sheet off.
What happens if you don’t lotion a tattoo?
TATTOO AFTERCARE -my advice for healing
If you don’t moisturize a new tattoo, there are chances it won’t heal properly. Moisturising keeps it safe from infections and allows the quality of the tattoo to be preserved. It’ll also prevent you from itching, which will stop the area from healing. After getting your tattoo done, the skin tries to rejuvenate and recover from the trauma it’s been through.
When can I stop washing my tattoo with antibacterial soap?
You should never stop washing your new tattoo with soap. After the tattoo has healed, you should continue to wash it just as you would any other piece of skin on your body. That being said, you can definitely ease up on your tattoo cleansing routine as soon as the area has fully healed. This is the point in which germs and bacteria will no longer be able to successfully infiltrate the wound. As part of the healing process, you can stop washing your tattoo with soap after:
- The tattooed area has completely finished scabbing and peeling
- Your artist has confirmed it’s ok to do so
- Your doctor has advised you to stop
When can I stop using Bepanthen on my tattoo?
Niamh Coughlan: @niamhcoughlantattoo – What products do you recommend?
- The cream I would use would be Bepanthen nappy rash cream which is for babies. Some people may not like using this because of the texture but if it’s good enough for a baby’s bum it’s good enough for us.
- Alternatives to Bepanthen nappy rash cream are Tattoo Goo and Hustle Butter. They are sold in some tattoo studios or you can buy them online.
- My go-to soap is Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar by Dove.
How best to look after your tattoo? Every artist/shop will tell you something completely different about aftercare. As you get more tattoos you will understand your body more and how it heals, so you can try different ways and find out your preferred method. The way I tell customers to heal tattoos is the way I heal mine.
- After getting tattooed I leave the cling film on until I get home; no more than 3-4 hours.
- I wash my tatoo with warm soapy water. No shower gels and no scented soaps; the more natural the better.
- Wash it and pat it dry with a clean towel and then apply the Bepanthen. Put a thin layer of it over the tattoo – by thin I mean so you can still see the colour of the tattoo. After that, wrap it again with cling film.
- Repeat this twice a day for the next three days, every morning and night. If you do it in the morning it should last you until the evening and then again before bed.
- On the fourth day, wash it like normal, let it air dry and from that day stop wrapping it in cling film and stop using Bepanthen. Now start moisturising it. I use E45 moisturising lotion. It works for all different skin types. Apply it 4/5 times a day whenever you feel it getting dry.
- Continue doing this every day until it’s healed. I always say it takes two weeks to fully settle into the skin.
Aftercare is so important and I always tell my customers to stay in touch and let me know how they are healing and if they have any questions/worries to just message me day or night, as everyone is different and we can all react to things in different ways. Do different styles of tattoo need more attention? Whether it’s a small minimal word tattoo or a large colour piece, follow the exact same aftercare for all tattoos. What is the most common mistake you see people making after they get a tattoo? Applying too much cream on the tattoo as this can sometimes clog the pores and the tattoo wouldn’t be able to breathe which can cause a rash. Another mistake people make is washing it too much! All tattoos need a little bit of bacteria to heal.
How often should you moisturize a peeling tattoo?
How often should I moisturize my new tattoo? – Once you get a new tattoo, adequately moisturizing is just as essential as proper cleaning. Knowing how often to moisturize a new tattoo can be the difference between a long term healthy tattoo and one that fades.
Generally, it is ideal to apply a good quality tattoo cream on the tattooed area once every 6-8 hours, or sooner if it’s seeming overly dry. With a brand new tattoo you should aim to apply tattoo cream 2-3 times a day.
Using the moisturizer more frequently than this may create adverse effects on the tattoo. If you’ve over-moisturized your new tattoo, no sweat. Here’s a quick guide on how to fix an over moisturized tattoo ! .