- "Should I clean my tattoo while it is still healing? How?”
Yes. We recommend that you clean your tattoo once or twice a day during the healing process (which begins two hours after inking and ends once it has fully healed). To clean your tattoo correctly, moisten your hand with cold or lukewarm water, then gently rinse your tattoo with the SOOTHE & CLEAN
cleanser. During the healing process, your tattoo may drain some blood, clear fluid or ink: these will come off by rubbing the area gently with your cleanser. This is not the case for scabs, which must not be removed: disinfect them with soap and never pick them off.
- "Can I shower while my tattoo is still healing?"
Sure! You can (and should) shower during your tattoo’s healing process. Just make sure to cover your tattoo with some protective film, whether you take a shower or a bath. In any case, you should avoid immersing your new tattoo in water.
- "Can I sunbathe while my tattoo is healing?”
No. Sun exposure on your new tattoo is detrimental to healing. So make sure you don’t lay out in the sun for hours with your fresh tattoo in plain sight. Avoid going to the beach or sunbathing on your balcony and, of course, stay out of tanning beds. If you have to stay out in the sun for some reason, cover your tattoo with cotton cloths so that the sun's rays won’t filter in (taking care not to irritate your skin).
- "Can I go to the swimming pool while my tattoo is still healing? And immediately after that?"
No. Your tattoo should not be immersed in water during the healing process, especially if the water contains foreign agents such as chlorine (or salt, if you’re swimming in the sea). Also, swimming pools are an ideal place for fungal and bacterial contamination: if you have an extensive wound like a tattoo, there may be some unpleasant consequences for your healing process. So stay out of the swimming pool and your tattoo will look better. If your tattoo has healed after 7 days and you need to go to the swimming pool you can, but wear a layer of BEFORE INK
, which creates a protective barrier and makes sure that your tattoo doesn’t get infected and chlorine doesn’t ruin it. Once you’re done at the pool, rinse your tattoo with some antibacterial soap and apply AFTER INK NATURE
by Tattoo Defender.
- "How long will it take for my new tattoo to heal?"
If you use the AFTER INK NATURE
cream by Tattoo Defender, it will take 7 to 10 days for your tattoo to heal. It can take a bit longer for very large tattoos. However, be careful with dirt, dust, and sun exposure even the week after it has fully healed.
- "Can I go to the beach while my tattoo is healing?”
No. We highly recommend that you don’t go the beach with a fresh tattoo. Sand, sun, heat and salt water will disturb the healing process, so we advise that you go once it has fully healed. If you really have to go to the beach, be careful not to expose your new tattoo to the sun; also, cover it to protect it from the sand and avoid swimming. Keep in mind that your skin should not get irritated for any reason.
- "My tattoo is itchy... Can I scratch it?"
No. Don’t scratch your tattoo! Scratching can cause damage exactly where you tattoo should heal. If it’s too itchy, clean it following the instructions described above; excessive itching could be caused by some irritation. However, some itching is normal, especially in summer. In any case, don’t touch your fresh tattoo with dirty hands - always wash them first.
- "What clothes can I wear over my fresh tattoo? Will it stain my clothes?”
If you are using AFTER INK NATURE
by Tattoo Defender, you don’t need to use any cling film and your tattoo will not stain your clothes. We can’t tell for sure if you are using other products. In any case, wear cotton clothes (which are less likely to cause irritation) and let the tattoo breathe, so it will heal sooner.
- "My new tattoo is scabbing. What should I do? Should I pick them off?”
No. Scabs should never be pulled off until your tattoo has healed; picking them off during the healing process can ruin your tattoo forever. Keep in mind that if you are using AFTER INK NATURE
you will probably avoid scabbing and discharges. If you experience scabbing anyway, we recommend that you clean it as described above, without picking the scabs, which will crumble and fall off naturally - just be patient!
- "I have very sensitive skin. Can I use Tattoo Defender products?"
All Tattoo Defender products are dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic, so you can use them safely. Also, our skincare products are free of parabens, titanium oxides and any type of metal, and they are not tested on animals.
- "I have a new tattoo on my arm and I work in a dusty or dirty environment. What should I do?"
If you work in a dusty environment or spend a lot of time outdoors, you will need to protect your fresh tattoo with long-sleeve shirts or T-shirts or long cotton trousers (making sure they are not tight). If you cannot take these precautions, soften the affected area with a thin layer of AFTER INK NATURE
, then cover it with cling film but be careful to keep the wrap for the shortest possible time.
- "I have a new tattoo on my feet and I work in a dirty or dusty environment. What can I do?"
As with your forearm and calf, you will need to protect your tattoo from dust and dirt; this is also why we recommend that you soften the affected area with a thin layer of AFTER INK NATURE
, covering it with cling film to avoid direct contact between your shoe (or sock) and the affected area. This will prevent any scabs to be rubbed off. If possible, try to leave your tattoo uncovered, so it will heal faster.
- "Is it normal for my tattoo to bleed a little in the first 24 hours?”
Yes, it’s normal. Healing time is highly subjective; in any case, if there are still traces of blood after two days, contact your tattoo artist. Usually it’s nothing serious.
- "Is it normal to see traces of ink while I clean my tattoo?"
Yes, it’s normal. It’s dead skin mixed with ink, which heals in contact with the air and forms a coloured scab.
- "My tattoo and the area around is swollen… what is happening?"
It is quite normal. It depends on your skin type and your type of tattoo; it will usually disappear within a couple of days. Do not hesitate to contact your tattoo artist if you have any doubts.
- "I think I didn’t follow all recommendations, and now I have some redness and pus coming out of my tattoo. What can I do now?"
Talk to your tattoo artist, physician or your pharmacist before you take any action; they will give you the right advice.
What to do:
This short guide will show you how to keep your tattoos looking beautiful and vibrant, and what you should not do.
Have you decided to get a tattoo? If you went to a trusted tattoo artist who used the best materials and met all hygiene standards, your tattoo will look perfect… But what happens next? The destiny of your tattoo is in your hands. It’s a bit like a work of art; it is up to the owner to preserve it as best as possible and to keep it from ageing badly with time.
First, you will need effective aftercare (for more information, see our tattoo aftercare guide).
After that, you will have to keep it beautiful over time with specific actions. If you don’t follow these tips you may have to touch up your tattoo, which will double the money you have to spend (and the pain you have to feel).
- Choose the body place where you want to get tattooed carefully. Your body will change with time - wrinkles, cellulite or stretch marks are visible signs of ageing. A tattoo on your wrists, feet, ankles, calves (and your biceps and back, to a lesser extent) is less likely to change over time. The same cannot be said for tattoos on the buttocks, thighs and stomach.
- Check your skin type carefully. On some skin types, such as very pale skins or skins with lots of moles, tattoos tend to lose their definition quickly because these skin types have a soft structure that tends to change in its layers.
- Choose a professional tattoo artist. If you want a long-lasting tattoo, you need to make sure that your tattoo artist uses high-quality ink that meets all safety standards. Quality ink is the only way to get a tattoo that will keep looking good over time; if you choose an improvised tattoo artist who uses poor quality ink, your tattoo will fade in just a few months.
- Pick dark colours. Beyond the type of ink used, keep in mind that the darker the colour, the longer it will stay dark. Black tattoos tend to stand the test of time better than colour tattoos. Tattoos made with lighter colours (which are used to create a greater contrast, for example) such as yellow, orange, white and pink, last half the time.
- Avoid chlorine. We are sorry to inform pool lovers that chlorinated water causes tattoos to fade. This is why you may want to stay out of chlorinated water as much as possible to keep your tattoo looking vibrant over time. In any case, you can still go to the pool sometimes if you feel like you really want to.
- Stay hydrated. A tattoo is an integral part of our body and changes its shape and appearance over time: it will stretch and shrink, until it looks faded. As years go by, our skin becomes drier, tattoos become duller and the edges undefined. Hydration is the answer to these problems: proper hydration of tattooed skin increases the size of the pigmented cells, increasing their visibility from the outside. To sum it up, the more your skin is hydrated, the more beautiful and vibrant your tattoo will look. Conversely, if your skin is dry, chapped, with thick layers of dead skin cells, your tattoo will look duller and the edges will become less defined. INK REVITALIZER is an excellent moisturiser.
- Sun and tanning beds are your tattoo’s worst enemies! Sun and UV rays tend to try the skin, damaging its more superficial layers and making tattoos look less defined. This is why it is advisable to always protect your tattoo with a specific high SPF sunscreen (see our “SUNNY SIDE” lotion) before exposing your skin to the sun. If you don’t take these precautions, you may end up having greyish, dull and blurred tattoos (as happens to many old lifeguards, sailors and outdoor workers, who work in the sun without wearing any sunscreen).
To keep your tattoo looking bold and beautiful over time, you can also use our INK REVITALIZER
cream. This cream has a dual function: first of all, it uses a moisturising ingredient to keep skin cells plump and improve tattoo visibility; secondly, it contains Chromocare™, a patented excipient used in skincare products for treating skin discolourations such as vitiligo. This excipient acts on cromophores, the cells responsible for skin colour. Chromophores are activated by Chromocare and make the skin more reactive to the ink, making your tattoo look brighter and bolder. Also, INK REVITALIZER
contains antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, which make your skin healthier and more elastic over time, making your tattoo last longer.