1. Follow your tattoo artist’s advice
Aftercare advice will vary from studio to studio, and sometimes even artists in the same studio will have different ideas of what heals best. Listen to the instructions your artist gives you – most will have a leaflet with their advice printed out for you to take away.
2. After a few hours gently wash the tattoo
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 and mild liquid soap.
3. Apply a thin layer of Unedited Tattoo moisturiser cream
After 24 hours, you should then apply a thin layer of Unedited moisturising cream. You can either then recover with clingfilm/gauze, or leave it open to the air, depending on your artist’s advice. Generally, studios will advise you to repeat the cleaning process 3-5 times a day. Personally, I like to let the air to my new and healing tattoo and tend to wash it just once a day! Too much water and soap will ultimately dry the tattoo.
Our skin heals differently from one person to the next, some heal faster than others, this can be down to a number of factors including diet and recent illness. Our benchmark for applying Unedited Tattoo Moisturiser is 24 to 48 hours. Make sure that the tattoo is dry and that there is no infection or weeping to the tattooed area.
Ultimately, a new tattoo is an open wound and susceptible to infection, you need to treat like you would any area of broken skin.
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.
5. Avoid direct sunlight
Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight unless necessary. 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 (check out our best sun creams here), if you’re going to be catching some rays.
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.
7. Do. Not. Itch.
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 – slap 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.
8. Go back to the studio for touch-ups, if needed
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.
9. Keep your tattoo moisturised.
We developed Unedited Tattoo Moisturiser for old as well as new tattoo’s. Unedited will not only deeply moisturise your tattoo but also add a lustre and brightness to the colours and will bring an old tattoo back to life.
Unedited is made from organic extra virgin coconut oil which contains natural vitamin D, essential from maintaining healthy skin and preventing damage from free radicals and pollution.