Don't use Bepanthen on new tattoos! | Recommended Tattoo Aftercare
After using Bepanthen on my tattoos for as long as I have been getting them, I was surprised when I recently found out that it is no longer the recommended tattoo aftercare cream. I was a little sceptical at first, I mean it’s always the same isn’t it, you’re told the best method on how to do something and you do it for years then suddenly you should never do it and it’s the worst thing you can do! When I did a little more digging though I found that there had been a recent change in the ingredients of Bepanthen hence the change in attitude. I won’t get too technical, I’ll only say that they increased the use of lanolin which irritates the skin around a fresh tattoo. So what will we reach for if not Bepanthen, personally I would suggest Fade the Itch tattoo aftercare cream but there are plenty of other safe brands to choose from. We always hear how important tattoo aftercare is because it is, but what actually is the recommended tattoo aftercare? Let’s refresh our memories.
After your tattoo is complete, no matter how many you have, your tattoo artist is bound to give you all the aftercare advice again. It is important that you listen every time as sometimes things change as is evident from the beginning of this post. It’s also important to listen because if you don’t follow the instructions that your artist gives you then they can’t be held responsible for anything that goes wrong with your tattoo, they want your tattoo to look the best it possibly can just as much as you do. So no matter how many times you’ve heard it, listen.
When your tattoo is complete the tattoo artist will cover it with either a bandage or cling film after they have applied some ointment. You should leave this on for a couple of hours, the recommended is between 2 and 6. If the artist uses cling film then you should remove it after at most 2 hours, as the cling film will trap in heat and moisture and create the perfect environment for an infection to grow.
You are now going to want to wash the tattoo as there will inevitably be some fluids that have seeped out such as blood and ink. You are going to want to use mildly warm water and antibacterial soap, unscented. Make sure you wash it with your clean hands, a sponge or a flannel will be bacteria guaranteed to be lurking in them and you don’t want that to come into contact with your tattoo. If you are in the shower try not to hold your tattoo directly under the flow of water, just let the water run over it.
You are going to want to lightly pat the tattoo dry, don’t rub it as it will be painful and aggravate the skin. Once it is dry let the air get to your tattoo for between 20 minutes to an hour.
Apply the cream of your choice, not Bepanthen remember, do this when the tattoo starts to feel dry as you don’t want it to form a scab as the tattoo will lose ink this way. Apply the cream in a relatively thin layer that your skin will be able to absorb, you don’t want to suffocate the skin or clog the pores.
You’ll want to repeat this process at least twice a day for about 3 to 5 days. Your tattoo will take about two weeks to heal make sure you apply cream to it during this time, during this process try not to pick it when it starts to flake and definitely don't scratch it. Other things to avoid are submerging and soaking the tattoo in water so ideally no swimming, try and keep it out of the sun and try not to wear tight fitting clothes. There may be some swelling, to keep the swelling at bay you can take Ibroprophen and apply a cold compress.
So that’s the recommended tattoo aftercare at the moment, it really is so important to adhere to as it really makes all the difference when it comes to the quality of your healed tattoo. What do you think, is there something I missed? Let us know in the comments.
- Katy Jackson