Tattoo Care Tips to Keep Your Ink Looking Fresh

You’ve got some fresh ink. The line work is spot-on, and the colors pop. You’re feeling good about your brand-new tattoo. So what now? It’s time to take care of your freshly inked skin. With proper aftercare and long-term maintenance, you can keep new and old tattoos looking great for many years to come. Most importantly, always listen to your tattoo artist’s instructions! From using tattoo care salve to not itching your tender skin, you may also find the following tips helpful as your tattoo heals.

Make Aftercare a Priority

You can protect your tattoo investment by prioritizing aftercare. Whether you get a tiny tat or a full sleeve, it takes time, attention, and care before you can rock your new favorite body art. That’s not to mention the literal blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. Tattoos are a lifelong commitment, so you want them to continue looking great for years. No matter how you look at it, aftercare is probably the most important part of the process. Without proper aftercare, your brand-new tattoo could become irritated or even infected. Keep in mind, even with the right aftercare strategy, you’ll likely experience redness and sensitivity around your newly tattooed skin. That’s totally normal.

The First Few Hours

Before leaving the shop, your tattooist will clean and disinfect the area and wrap it with plastic wrap. This helps protect your tattoo on the way home and also keep bacteria from getting on your fresh ink. You should leave the dressing on for several hours. If it’s comfortable, you may keep the same wrap on overnight before changing it. This can be a great idea, especially if your tattoo is weeping ink or getting particularly messy under the wrap.

Tattoo Care Salve Provides a Protective Barrier

Another important aspect of tattoo care is keeping the area clean. After washing your hands, you can gently wash your tattooed skin with unscented soap and water. If you do not want to put a petroleum-based product on your skin, look for a tattoo care salve made with plant-based ingredients. A high-quality, herbal-infused ointment should help soothe pain. A tattoo care salve also provides a protective barrier for your freshly-inked skin. Over time, that same ointment should also help moisturize and nourish your skin to keep colors vibrant and looking fresh.

Continue the Process

During those first few days especially, you’ll have to gently clean the area several times each day. After your skin is dry, immediately apply a thin layer of tattoo ointment to keep it moisturized. Even if you do, it’s normal for a new tattoo to become itchy. This recommendation probably goes without saying, but don’t scratch it. After 24 hours or so, you probably don’t need to rebandage the tattoo but be mindful of direct skin contact with surfaces. Within two to four weeks, your tattoo should be completely healed.

Nothing Fades a Tattoo Faster Than the Sun

Tattoos are vulnerable to dirt, bacteria, friction, and, of course, the sun. Exposing your new tattoo to the sun before it’s fully healed can cause the colors to look duller and lines to appear blurry. Once it’s healed, the best way to preserve and protect your tattoo is with a non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen. A broad-spectrum SPF 30 product can help protect your skin from harsh UV rays. Be as selective with the sunscreen you use as your tattoo care salve. Search for a nutrient-rich, moisturizing sunscreen made with shea butter and calendula to help prevent dryness and protect the skin.

About Green Goo

Plants with Purpose are the foundation of every Green Goo product. Explore all their offerings, from natural toothpaste to rosemary shampoo to liquid castile soap. You’ll find plant-based goodness everywhere. Since day one, Green Goo has created innovative, plant-based first aid, skincare, and personal care products. They consciously select specific ingredients for purpose and potency with the goal of giving you products that are safe, are effective, and exceed your expectations. To make it happen, they craft every product using tried-and-true methods. The result is a collection of salves, balms, and more that actually work. As you enjoy a more plant-based lifestyle, you can trust Green Goo to deliver on their promises with whole-plant ingredients every time.

Choose nourishing, moisturizing, and protecting skin care products from Green Goo at

LuAnn Tinley

I've been writing about skincare for four years now, but have been interested and invested in it for much longer. There are literally thousands of skincare brands to choose from when addressing things like dry skin, acne, eye bags, and so much more. I’ve worked with a ton of these companies and while there isn’t one I recommend more than another, I hope the information I provide can you help you pick the perfect one for your skincare needs. Thanks for checking out my blog!

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