Aftercare is crucial to the healing process of your tattoo. Following your artist's guidance helps to ensure that your new ink heals smoothly, and keeps the colours and lines that they worked so hard on crisp and bright. However, caring for your tattoos shouldn't stop after they've healed and the tattoo itch has subsided. They're on you forever after all, so heres a few tips to keep them as fresh as possible.
Mr. Golden Sun:
The sun can be damaging to our skin, reoccurring sunburns lead to irritation, premature wrinkles, and spots. Exposure of bare skin without SPF can cause the fading process of tattoos to speed up exponentially. The simple fix would be to cover up with long sleeves/pants, but for everyone at the skatepark this summer (or anyone who goes outside really), extra clothing isn't ideal in the heat. The next best thing you can do is to add a sunscreen to your daily routine. SPF 30 or higher will help to protect your skin from UV rays and preserve your tats. Put some on every time you need to go outside, and reapply if needed.
Moisturize Forever and Ever:
Everyone and their moms know tattoos should be moisturized during healing. But keeping a good lotion around can make a world of difference for your healed tattoos too. Lotion creates a barrier between your skin and the outside world; protecting it from wind and debris. This keeps the skin from getting too oily or too dry which can cause irritation. Staying moisturized will also retain the elasticity of your skin, which will help preserve the look of your tattoos. Slather some on ideally twice a day and every time you shower.
Once your tattoo has healed, no amount of loofah scrubbing will remove it. Exfoliating your skin will actually improve the look of your tattoo. Our skin regenerates and makes new cells all the time, and the top layer of skin that we don't need anymore will come off if we want it to or not over time. Using a scrub or a body soap with a gentle chemical exfoliant will help to keep our skin fresh and our tattoos looking the best they can. Invest in a scrub, a loofah or mitt (replace them though, bacteria is not our friend), or a wash for best results.
While the fading of tattoos is inevitable over time, there are absolutely things we can do to slow down the process and keep them in good shape. So! Avoid sun/use sunscreen, keep em moist, and exfoliate!