You spend lots of time and money getting your new tattoo, so giving it the best treatment afterward quickly becomes a top priority. Proper tattoo aftercare and using the right tattoo healing cream can preserve your ink for years to come. While your tattoo artist gives you specific timelines regarding your tattoo recovery and possible skin sensitivities, our tattoo aftercare guide offers general tips and the best tattoo ointment for keeping your design sharp and vibrant.
Tattoo Aftercare Instructions
It’s important to understand that a fresh tattoo is essentially an open wound that is highly susceptible to infection. Therefore, always handle it with clean hands and don’t let friends transfer their germs to the area while they’re admiring your new ink. Here are some helpful steps for cleaning and moisturizing your tattoo.
You will want to clean your new tattoo at least twice a day until it is completely healed (about 2-4 weeks) but refer to your tattoo artist’s advice for specific instructions.
Carefully remove your bandage. If it is a plastic cling wrap material, then it should come off easily; however, gauze can stick to the area, so be sure not to force it off. Instead, dampen the dressing with water until it comes off easily.
Step 1: Wet your tattoo with lukewarm water. Be careful that you are not using hot water as it can irritate sensitive skin.
Step 2: Work a fragrance- and alcohol-free antibacterial soap into a lather in your hands.
Step 3: Using circular motions, gently apply the lather to your tattoo, washing away any excess or dried blood and plasma.
Step 4: Rinse your tattoo thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Step 5: Pat/dab dry with a clean paper towel or let air dry. Rubbing can create too much friction and disturb your healing ink.
*Do not use cloths, sponges, etc. to clean or dry your new tattoo. These items – even when just washed – can harbor germs and bacteria that you don’t want to get into your open wound. Cloths can also leave behind small fibers that slow the healing process.
Once your tattoo is completely dry, apply a thin layer of tattoo cream. Blot it with a clean paper towel to remove any excess ointment. You can apply moisturizer a few times a day to ensure that the area doesn’t dry out. Using too much tattoo cream or lotion may clog your pores, lift unsettled ink or allow dirt and germs to cling to your design.
We recommend our CBD Tattoo Ointment for your after-ink care. Not only does it contain a potent dose of pure CBD to combat pain and inflammation, but it also comprises several soothing, natural ingredients to make healing more comfortable for you. This natural formula contains a blend of oils that each serve a unique purpose:
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil provides your tattoo with protection. The fatty acids present in the oil act as disinfectants against germs and bacteria that can cause a nasty infection.
- Vitamin E Oil – Vitamin E, also present in coconut oil, is extremely moisturizing. However, it is not heavy, giving your tattoo air to breathe and heal properly.
- Lavender Essential Oil – The lavender oil in our CBD Tattoo Healing Cream reduces pain while soothing irritation. This oil provides an all-natural aroma that won’t harm your sensitive skin like artificial fragrance and chemicals.
More people are moving toward natural moisturizers for their ink because they tend to accelerate healing and enhance your ink by delivering benefits to your skin.
*Be wary of using thick oils like petroleum jelly or triple antibiotic ointment, as these can clog the pores and don’t give your tattoo air to breathe. Over time, petroleum jelly or Vaseline may even start to lift some of the unsettled ink from your design.
Stages of Tattoo Recovery
The healing process generally comes in stages, so knowing what to expect can reduce any stress, worries or mishaps with your tattoo.
Before you leave the chair, your artist will likely tell you
how long to keep your bandage on whether it is for 2-3 hours or 24 hours.
Leaving your bandage on for 24 hours allows time for the
healing process to start and helps you sleep without your wound sticking to the
sheets or staining your bedding.
After removing your initial bandage, do not rewrap your
tattoo. Plastic wraps can cut off air flow to the area and slow down your
recovery. Not to mention, the plastic creates a moist environment for bacteria
to grow and potentially cause infection.
You can expect redness, pain and swelling for the first week,
but it should resolve gradually over the first six days. If it gets worse,
check in with your tattoo artist to ensure that the area is not infected.
Moisture is the name of the game from here on out with your
new tattoo. The drier the area, the itchier it will become. Keeping your ink
moisturized with a thin layer of Hemp Bombs CBD Ink Aftercare may ease
irritation and encourage proper healing.
During this stage of , your tattoo will likely start
scabbing. As tempting as it may be, do not manually remove your scab. It may slow
down the process and lift unsettled ink, leaving unsightly scars patches in
Week 3 & 4
These last stages of healing will include lots of peeling - like with a sunburn - but fight the urge to pull these flakes off yourself. Sometimes this skin is rooted in deeper cells with unsettled ink. Even if it looks like it's about to come off, manually removing it could also lift away ink and cause a dull design.
Your tattoo may feel itchier but resist the urge to scratch. Instead, lightly tap the are and apply tattoo ointment 6 to 7 times a day - or as needed - to soothe itching and provide nourishment.
Tips For Your Tattoo Aftercare
- Don’t wear tight clothing that will rub against and irritate your tattoo. The friction can pull off scabs and slow down healing, potentially ruining your art in the process
- Stay out of the sun until your tattoo is healed. Even small amounts of UV rays can cause your tattoo to fade, especially when it’s fresh. Don’t apply sunscreen to a new tattoo because of the chemicals and thick formula.
- Opt for shorter showers while your tattoo is healing and definitely stay away from baths. Soaking your tattoo in bath water can encourage bacteria and interfere with healing.
Are you thinking about getting some new art? Enhance your tattoo aftercare plan with our CBD Tattoo Ointment. This formula also maintains healed designs to prolong the vibrancy and clarity of your tattoo.