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Tattoo aftercare essentials: Tips and products to keep your ink bright


Getting a tattoo is a deeply personal and meaningful experience for many. Whether you're marking a milestone, expressing your individuality, or simply indulging in the art form, getting inked is exciting and transformative. However, the journey doesn't end when you leave the tattoo studio. Proper aftercare is important to ensure that your tattoo heals well and remains as vibrant and perfect as the day it was inked.

In this article, we'll explore essential tattoo tips and aftercare products to help you keep your ink looking flawless.

What makes tattoos fade fast?

Exposure to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet (UV) rays, is a leading cause of tattoo fading. UV rays can break down the tattoo pigments, causing a loss of colour and vibrancy. Additionally, wearing tight clothing that consistently rubs against the tattooed area can contribute to fading by wearing down the top layers of skin. Skin changes, such as stretching due to weight gain, pregnancy, or muscle growth, can also affect the tattoo's appearance by distorting its shape.

As the skin naturally ages, it loses elasticity and firmness, potentially leading to wrinkles and sagging that can impact the tattoo's sharpness. Inadequate aftercare during the initial healing phase, low-quality ink, and exposure to harsh chemicals can also contribute to tattoo fading.

Finally, lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and overall health can affect the skin's ability to maintain the tattoo's appearance. T

Tips to keep your tattoos bright and shiny

  1. Protect from sunlight: UV rays from the sun are one of the primary causes of tattoo fading. Always apply a high-SPF sunscreen (at least SPF 30) to your tattoos before going to the sun. Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially if you're spending an extended period outdoors.
  2. Cover up: If possible, cover your tattoos with clothing or accessories when exposed to intense sunlight. This provides an additional protection against UV damage.
  3. Stay hydrated: Well-hydrated skin looks healthier and can help maintain the appearance of your tattoos.
  4. Moisturise regularly: Use a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturiser to keep your tattooed skin well-hydrated. Moisturising helps prevent dryness, which can make tattoos appear dull.
  5. Avoid tanning beds: Tanning beds can be particularly harsh on tattoos due to the concentrated UV radiation. Avoid tanning beds altogether to protect your ink.
  6. Limit exfoliation: Avoid excessive exfoliation on tattooed areas. Scrubbing or using abrasive exfoliants can cause premature fading by removing the top layer of skin containing the tattoo pigments.
  7. Choose mild soaps: When cleaning your tattoo, use a mild, fragrance-free soap. Harsh soaps or those with strong fragrances can irritate the skin and potentially affect the tattoo's appearance.
  8. Pat dry: After washing your tattoo, pat it dry gently with a clean, soft towel. Avoid rubbing, as this can irritate.
  9. Avoid swimming in chlorinated water: Chlorine in swimming pools can be harsh on tattoos and may cause fading. If you must swim, apply a waterproof sunscreen or barrier cream to protect your ink.
  10. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet can promote good overall skin health. Skin that's in good condition will showcase your tattoos more vibrantly.
  11. Touch-up as needed: Tattoos may naturally fade over time due to factors beyond your control. If your tattoo starts to lose its vibrancy, consider getting a touch-up from a skilled tattoo artist to restore its brilliance.
  12. Consult a dermatologist: If you notice unusual changes in your tattoo's appearance, such as rapid fading, blistering, or discolouration, consult a dermatologist. These could be signs of an underlying skin issue or an allergic reaction.

Best aftercare products to use for tattoo

MTS Tattoo Balm

MTS Tattoo Balm is a versatile and specially designed product that can be used throughout the entire tattoo process. Whether you're preparing for a new tattoo, in the midst of healing, or maintaining an older piece of ink, this balm has got you covered.

With its rich, butter-like texture, the Tattoo Balm is easy to apply and moisturises and nourishes the skin. What sets it apart is that it's a 100% natural product with anti-inflammatory properties, making it particularly valuable during the healing phase.

The ingredients in this balm, including Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Calendula Oil, and Hemp Seed Oil, all work together to promote skin health and protect your tattoo. Plus, the "Original" version offers a clean and fresh scent, ensuring a pleasant user experience.


MTS Tattoo Balm


Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion

Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion is an excellent choice, especially if you have sensitive skin. It's gentle enough to use on your face and is suitable for everyday use. This lotion contains a unique blend of Vitamins A and D, along with other healthy skin ingredients and moisturisers. These ingredients work together to heal and protect dry skin effectively.

Proper care is vital for a new tattoo to heal quickly and maintain its vibrant colours. Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Lotion is quickly absorbed into the skin, helping the healing process while preventing scab formation. It doesn't leave a greasy feeling, thanks to its water-based formula, and creates a protective barrier against dry air. This lotion is also infused with vitamins A and D, essential nutrients for maintaining healthy skin. Notably, it's gentle enough to be used on the face and neck, making it versatile for all your tattoo care needs.

Additionally, Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion is free from alcohol and fragrances, making it suitable for sensitive skin. It can be used with other Tattoo Goo products and is available in individual 60ml tubes or a full box of 24 x 60ml tubes.

Tattoo Goo Antimicrobial Aftercare Soap

Cleanliness is paramount during tattoo healing, and Tattoo Goo's Antimicrobial Aftercare Soap is an effective choice. This tattoo soap deeply cleanses the skin by removing dead skin cells and bacteria without causing any harm. It features moisture-rich olive oil, leaving your skin feeling silky and free from dryness or residue.

When used in conjunction with Tattoo Goo Balm or Lotion, it contributes to the beautiful healing of your tattoo. Notably, it's free from alcohol, fragrance, and drying residues, making it gentle and safe for cleaning tattoos and piercings.


Tattoo Goo Antimicrobial Aftercare Soap


Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block - Protective Tattoo Film (Pack of 5)

The Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block is an innovative and unique product designed to protect your tattoos, especially in sunny conditions. This barrier film acts as a "second skin," safeguarding tattooed areas from germs, bacteria, and the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.

Dermalize is an all-in-one solution for the initial healing stage of a tattoo. It acts as a breathable and flexible film, protecting the tattoo from friction and preventing pathogens from entering the wound. This approach eliminates scabbing and reduces the risk of infection while keeping your tattoo looking as intended.

The film is in pre-cut sheets, ensuring easy application and a comfortable fit on various body parts. Each pack contains five sheets, making it a convenient and cost-effective choice for your tattoo care needs.

Bepanthen Ointment

Bepanthen Ointment is a trusted and reliable skincare product that has been a household staple for years. This ointment is specifically formulated to nourish and soothe the tattooed skin, making it an excellent choice for tattoo aftercare.

With its gentle and non-irritating formula, Bepanthen Ointment is suitable for all types of skin, including sensitive skin. It effectively promotes skin regeneration and accelerates the healing process, ensuring your tattoo gets the care it deserves.

Whether caring for a new tattoo or maintaining an existing one, Bepanthen Ointment can help preserve the vibrancy and quality of your ink.


Bepanthen Ointment (30g)


Is a dry healing tattoo effective?

Dry healing, also known as the "dry tattoo healing method," is an alternative approach to traditional tattoo aftercare that emphasises minimal or no use of ointments, lotions, or creams during the initial healing phase. Instead, dry healing relies on allowing the tattoo to heal naturally without external moisturisers or protectants. While some individuals choose this method to avoid allergic reactions to skincare products, it's important to note that dry healing is not generally recommended in the tattoo community.

The primary reason for caution is that dry healing can have several disadvantages. Without adequate moisturisation, the tattoo may develop thicker scabs, which can be uncomfortable and increase the risk of itching or temptation to scratch, potentially leading to damage or colour loss. Additionally, dry healing may extend the overall healing time of the tattoo, and it could result in less vibrant and long-lasting colours compared to proper moisturisation and aftercare.

Proper tattoo aftercare typically involves keeping the tattoo clean, applying a suitable tattoo-specific moisturiser, and protecting it from external factors like sunlight and friction. Consult with your tattoo artist to get the best aftercare approach for your tattoo and skin type, as their guidance is invaluable in preserving the quality and appearance of your ink.


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  • Mark Joshua Luz