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Tattoo Newbie Hacks: 7 Ways To Better Healing

So, you’re excited about your first tattoo?! Congratulations! But how do you to care of it and make sure it heals the best way? We have jotted down these tattoo skincare hacks to help you heal your tattoo with ease. 

First things first, relax and hit mute on your internal panic button that says you won’t be able to do the things you love because you’re worried about ruining your tattoo. There is no need to walk on eggshells when it comes to your tattoo aftercare. 

There are a few ways to nurse a new tattoo and also a few ways that you can damage it. Along with some of the basic tips, lets dig in to seven ways to better healing of your first work of art:

1. Say No to Re-bandaging 

Your artist will send you home with your tattoo covered i a second skin or cling wrap. Leave it on for one to three hours after your session, and then remove it to clean. Just like any other wound, a tattoo needs air to breathe. That way, it can start to dry out and scab over. 

If you re-bandage your new tattoo to heal it wet, you’re going to be cutting off its oxygen supply, which will actually make the healing process take longer. That’s the opposite of what we want to achieve and could introduce issues like a bacterial infection. 

2. Wash Your Tattoo With Pure Wash

Pure wash tattoo cleansing foam and forearm tattoo

After you remove the bandage from your appointment, wash it using lukewarm water and antibacterial Pure Wash foam. This is really important, so that you get off all of the product and blood that could be left over. Its goo to remember that leftover blood on tattoos can make your scabs bigger and thicker. 

You don’t need to overcomplicate the process when it comes to cleaning. Just apply the water, gently wash the area with soap, and wash away any lingering bits of ink, plasma or blood. No need to press hard on the area or use complex cleaning products. Simply take a gentle and cautious approach that ensures the tattooed skin stays clean and healthy.

With that said, there are a few pitfalls to avoid when it comes to washing your newly-inked skin. Here are some points to remember so your tattoo heals to perfection.

The Dangers of Hot Water

There’s nothing like a long, hot shower, especially in the winter. However, using hot water on a new tattoo can cause real damage. That is because hot water will open your pores and make the area susceptible to bacteria and ink leaking. 

Resist the temptation to turn up the heat in the shower or basin when washing your fresh tattoo. Keep the water temperature lukewarm, and turn down the dial if you see steam forming in the bathroom. You can also play it safe by washing your tattoo in the sink with lukewarm water so you aren’t tempted to go overboard with heat. 

You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy hot showers and baths once your tattoo is healed, so avoid this simple mistake just for the first 2 weeks.

Washcloths, Loofahs, Scrub Brushes, is a No No!

Never ever use a washcloth, loofah, or any kind of abrasive material on your new tattoo. Only use clean hands to wash your tattoo when it's healing. 

In a circular motion, gently rub the area with room temperature water and antibacterial fragrance-free soap, then rinse off with room temperature water. Use a clean cloth/ towel and gently pat the tattoo area dry, ensuring you don’t dislodge any scabs or flakes.

Remember that your tattoo is an open wound for the first week following application. Wash your towels and sheets so everything is clean and ready for a safe aftercare process. Finally, air dry your ink after a cleaning session, or gently pat the area with a paper towel instead of wiping or rubbing.

3. Leave Your Dead Skin On

Healing tattoos is a process. It can be shortened by leaving scabs and dead skin alone! Any interference with scabs can make the healing take much longer when the scabs are not ready to fall.

We know it’s tough, especially after the end of the first week, but the integrity of your tattoo depends on it! Those scabs mean that the pigment is fully lodged into the skin so that it stays there for the long term.

Itching and dryness are super normal, that is why we introduced Awaken Hydra Mist to our Inked for Life Collection to spray on during those intense healing itchy dry times to hydrate and soften hard poky scabs and prevent the chances of you scratching. Hydra mist will alleviate the itchy sensations and keep your mind off the discomfort.

In the meantime, let’s offer a few more tips to ensure your scabs remain in place for a healthy tattoo healing process.

Wear Loose Clothing (or Less Clothing)

Tight clothing might be part of your everyday wardrobe, but when healing a tattoo, these garments can do more harm than good. Not only do tight clothing restrict airflow and cause friction, but they can also disrupt the healing process by scraping or dislodging scabs.

Opt for loose-fit clothing when your tattoo is healing, or leave the area exposed if possible.

4. Use the Right Amount of Moisturizer 

Another good hack for healing a tattoo is to not only apply balm on regularly, but to use the right amount. A common mistake we see is believing that the more balm you put on the faster it heals. This is not the truth. Besides being a waste of good product, smothering on balm can lead to suffocating the delicate skin.

Using a thin layer of Curator tattoo balm is the best way to go. This will make sure that your ink gets the water that it needs, while also allowing it to have proper air circulation. Our Curator Reparative Balm has a lot of healing properties and has been formulated to perfection. It has a solid balm consistency in the tin but once it is touched by the skin it immediately melts and glides effortlessly over your tattoo coating it with perfect amount of plant nutrients whilst still allowing your skin to breathe.

Whatever moisturizer you choose, apply it at least three to five times a day to keep your skin quenched. 

Of course, the quality of your moisturizer matters, too. Petroleum-based products should be avoided at all costs. Firstly because they are super bad for the skin and they can clog pores and prevent your skin from breathing properly. The best skincare products for tattoos are petroleum-free, essential oil free and allow the skin to maintain homeostasis for complete healing. aka Curator Balm.

5. No Baths, Hot Tubs, or Swimming 

lady lying in a milk bath with tattoo that has healed

Healing a tattoo fast is all about the scabs. Keeping them on until they are ready to fall off naturally are numbers 1, 2, & 3 at the top of the importance list. Baths, hot tubs, rivers, oceans, and any water you would submerge yourself in will make your scab soft and spongy. 

Sounds gross, and it is. What’s worse is the end result of a healed tattoo covered in scars. Which is what could happen if that scab comes off too early. The risk of impurities or bacteria from the water bringing on infection is also likely.

Long story short, do not submerge your tattoo in water for at least 3-4 weeks. That should be enough time for the skin to heal or almost completely heal to the point where long times in water are not dangerous. 

6. Stay Out of the Sun (For Now)

We know — you want to get out in the sun and show off your new ink ASAP! Unfortunately, sun exposure is not your friend when it comes to healing your newly tattooed skin. UV rays are a source of stress on the skin, which is the last thing you want when healing a tattoo

Stay out of the sun for at least two weeks when the wound has been closed, and new skin has formed. Even at this point, you’ll want to avoid prolonged sun exposure and use sunblock when enjoying the outdoors. 

With the right natural SPF product designed for tattoos, you can soak up the sun responsibly and keep your ink looking great for the road ahead.

7. Do not Consume Alcohol The Night Before

Yes, you read that correctly. Alcohol in the bloodstream increases the chance of bleeding excessively and you want to do what you can to avoid too much bleeding during the procedure. While most aftercare tips focus on healing the tattooed area and preventing infection, we believe that the the power of good lifestyle habits facilitates healing by a huge percentage.

Your body needs all the help it can get when healing a tattoo, especially larger pieces in sensitive areas. Be sure to stay hydrated, get adequate sleep, and fuel up with a balanced diet before going in. 

Also, consider doing some light stretching or walking to boost blood flow and continue to deliver nutrients to the affected area. You don’t need a heavy lifting session at the gym to get the benefits of moderate exercise.

In the meantime, try to avoid unhealthy habits like drinking or smoking, which can suppress your immune system and slows down healing. Staying healthy overall is key to healthy skin, so take this opportunity to dial in those positive self-care habits.

Healing a New Tattoo Is Easier Than Ever 

Try these hacks to help heal your tattoo faster and take charge of your skincare. Use our 3 step ink care collection and you will have a tattoo that will remain as vibrant as the day you got it.

For more information read our post Breaking Ground in Tattoo Aftercare

3 step tattoo care on display for all tattoo care needs Sabine G Holistics inked for life collection


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