Aftercare is the most important part of your tattoo.

Remember: Never touch a healing tattoo without first washing your hands!


Cleanliness and proper moisture are key to making sure your new art looks great. The final appearance depends on how well you care for it as it heals. Read up on what to do here.

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After One - Three Hours & Reccomended Lotions:

Reccomended Lotions (make sure you buy scent/dye free versions only!)

  • Aquaphor or A&D Ointment can be used as first stage heavier lotions
  • Burt's Bees"Milk and Honey", Lubriderm, Curel, Eucerin (or any gentle fragrance and dye free moisturizer you have experience with) are all great second stage lighter lotions
  • After Inked, Hustle Butter, and "Ink Balm" by Wild Rose Herbs are products that can be used throughout the whole healing process
  • Remove the bandage from your tattoo. Wash it with non-scented, dye free, soap & lukewarm water in a clean sink with clean hands. Ink, blood, and other residue is normal to see under your bandage and on your tattoo (remove all residue from skin without scrubbing).

    Very gently pat dry with a clean paper towel then allow to air dry for a few minutes. Apply a very small, pea sized or less, amount of your first lotion. DO NOT RE-BANDAGE! If your tattoo is still weeping at bed time feel free to wear clean clothing over it. Upon waking, get in the shower & dampen clothing to allow it to naturally separate from your healing tattoo without ripping the scab.

Day One - Day Five:

  • Continue to wash twice a day with scent/dye free soap using clean hands. Moisturize two or three times a day as needed.
  • During this time you will notice paper thin flaking skin begin peel away. Heavier scabs may form.

Day Five - Day Fourteen:

  • You may now switch to a second thinner lotion if you choose. Continue to clean once a day and moisturize as needed to keep the tattoo at the same moisture level as the surrounding skin.
  • See "healing concerns" section for help judging moisture levels.

After Seven - Ten Days:

  • The flaking will stop and you will be at the Primary Heal Stage. At this point the layer of skin holding the ink has healed, but new skin has not formed over top. The tattooed skin will have a waxy or shiny appearance. Continue to clean and moisturize daily.
  • On average, Within 2-3 Weeks: The epidermis will form and your tattoo should be fully healed.

Healing Concerns & Ongoing Care:

Healing Concerns

  • If you are taking longer to heal then I've described: Some people take up to two months to fully heal a tattoo.
  • If your tattoo is scabbing heavily or small pimples are forming around it you are likely over moisturizing. Please reduce lotion use or "dry heal" by using no lotion for the rest of the healing period.
  • If your tattoo is red and irritated: In the first few days this is normal. After that time it may be caused by moisturizing too little.
  • If you are concerned that you may have infected your tattoo please contact your doctor.
  • If a small area of your tattoo has healed lighter or has "fallen out" you may be eligible for touch up at no cost to you (only availiable 1-6 months following your final appointment). Email me a photo to begin the touch-up process.
  • Ongoing Care

    • Your final healed tattoo will be lower in contrast than your fresh tattoo. This is due to the fact that the top of skin acts as sort of a veil over the ink. Tattoos will also fade and blur naturally over time as your body disperses the ink particles.
    • The aftercare process doesn't end after initial healing. Poor skin health, lack of moisture, and sun exposure can age, fade, and blur your tattoo quicker.
    • Keeping your tattoo moisturized daily after it is healed will help your tattoo look fresh for longer.
    • When healed, protect your artwork with a sunblock lotion of SPF 45 or above before going into the sun.
    • Some clients prefer to have their tattoo touched up every five years or so (at standard hourly prices). This isn't necessary but is an option.

    -Please do not ever Pick, Peel, or Scratch your tattoo!-

    During the first 14 days:

    • DO NOT Swim or use a hot tub, sauna, or Jacuzzi.
    • DO NOT Expose your new tattoo to gyms, yoga studios, or other locations containing a high amount of bacteria.
    • DO NOT forget to treat your new tattoo like the open wound it is.
    Photo by polegaew/iStock / Getty Images
    • DO NOT Expose your new tattoo to the sun
    • DO NOT Follow anyone else's instructions
    • DO NOT Expose your new tattoo to a direct or hot shower jet.