A tattoo artist’s guide to keeping your ink as fresh as the day you got it

Thinking of getting some fresh ink? Whether you spotted a celebrity tattoo and fell in love, or are looking to start off your skin art with a small and cute tattoo design, the permanent inking of your skin will need some post-care.

We asked tattoo artist Hayley Hayes for her top aftercare tips, and if you proceed with these following your treatment, it will keep your ink in peak condition…

Cling film for colour pieces

Not every tattoo needs to be wrapped in cling film; it depends on the size and placement.

When it comes to large, coloured pieces, Hayley says it’s wise to wrap them. “Small, solely line workpieces should be ok.”

“If the tattoo is going to be under clothing, it’s best to wrap it, especially if the tattoo is more than just linework.”

Keep it clean but not soaked

A fresh tattoo is effectively an open wound, so it’s important to keep it clean in order to avoid infection.

“It will need to be cleaned regularly, particularly in the first 24-48 hours”, says Hayley.

So yes, you can definitely get them wet, but ‘it shouldn’t be submerged or soaked’, ie. in the bath or swimming.

Avoid the sun and be extra diligent with sun cream

While your tattoo is healing, stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially if you have a coloured tattoo.

“After it’s healed, regular sun cream should be fine to use”, says Hayley. “If you want to keep the colour vibrant, use a high SPF.”

Colour tattoos take longer to heal

If it wasn’t obvious already, coloured tattoo post-care is a little different. This is because colour tattoos often mean more trauma to the skin and a longer healing time.

Whatever you do, Hayley says to avoid picking any scabs. “it will pull the ink out and probably scar, making it difficult to touch up.”

Moisturise twice a day

Keep your tattoo well hydrated while healing with a good fragrance-free moisturiser.

“Apply 1-2 times a day, or just when the skin/tattoo has dried out, which can vary depending on your skin type, size and placement of the tattoo.”

Good skin = good tattoo

It’s as simple as that. Everything that is good for your skin – nutirional diet, drinking lots of water and being mindful in the sun – will benefit your tattoo, too.

And now, we bring you the very best products to take care of your new ink…

Tattoo Aftercare Products

There’s nothing better than fresh ink, and if you’re ecstatic with how your tattoo ideas turned out (regretful souls, right this way for tattoo removal advice) make sure you keep it in tip-top condition.

Moisturising and sun protection will be your main priorities, but there may also come a time where you need to cover up your tat too (job interviews, in front of Nanny etc).

So we’ve rounded up eight of the best products to keep in your tattoo arsenal…

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