There are many ways you can use your beauty look to express yourself. You can rock a gorgeous makeup look, you can change up your hair or, better yet, you can even flaunt a new tattoo as a more permanent option. Like makeup, tattoos are a form of self-expression, art and personalization, and they can be used to reflect yourself. Of course, with tattoos comes a whole set of skin care rules — and if you’re not up to speed, you run the risk of ruining your fresh ink. That’s why it’s a must to do your research on the aftercare before going under the needle. Lucky for you we have all the details on how to care for your skin after getting a tattoo, below. Keep scrolling for eight skin care tips for tattooed skin.
1. Keep Your Skin Clean
Just as you cleanse your face twice a day as part of your regular skin care routine, you also want to make sure you cleanse your tattoo area daily to avoid the risk of infection. The Mayo Clinic recommends using plain soap and water to gently cleanse tattoos. They also advise against allowing direct streams of water to hit newly tattooed skin (in other words, don’t stand directly under the shower’s stream) and suggest that you pat, rather than rub when drying off.
2. Choose A Water-Based Moisturizer
After cleansing, moisturizing your tattooed skin is a must — but you’ll want to make sure to choose a moisturizer that won’t irritate your tattoo(s). According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), when your tattooed skin feels dry, apply a water-based lotion or cream rather than petroleum-based products, which can cause the ink to fade.
3. Use Sun Protection
You already know sun protection is essential for protecting your skin from harsh rays. But what you might have not known is that it’s also an important part of tattoo aftercare. The AAD states that you should protect your tattoo from the sun as UV light can cause some inks to fade. When going outside, apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more onto the tattooed area 15 minutes before sun exposure. Be sure to reapply it at least every two hours for maximum, all-day protection.
4. Allow Enough Healing Time
Giving your tattoo enough time to heal is an important tip when learning how to care for a tattoo. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should allow up to two weeks for healing and avoid picking at any scabs during that time since this can increase the risk of infection, damage the design and lead to scarring.
5. Be Mindful Of Your Clothing
The Mayo Clinic also states that you should choose your clothing carefully to avoid wearing anything that might stick to the tattoo. So, while your tattoo is healing, trade in your tight-fitting clothes for loose and breathable ones.
6. Say No To Tanning Beds
As much as you may love the look of sun-kissed skin, it’s essential to steer clear of tanning beds and sun lamps. According to the AAD, these devices can fade the ink in tattoos and can increase your risk for certain skin cancers. The AAD also states that in some people, the UV light can react with the tattoo ink causing a painful skin reaction. That means if you’re looking to get a little color, you’re better off reaching for a hydrating self-tanner. Try the L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse — it’s infused with coconut water and vitamin E, making it unbelievably nourishing.
7. Ditch The Pool
The Mayo Clinic states that while your tattoo is healing, you should also avoid swimming. This means steering clear of pools, hot tubs, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water for the time being.
Editor’s tip: Since swimming and the sun are a no-no for tattooed skin, you may want to avoid getting a tattoo during the summer when these two things tend to be a lot more difficult to avoid.
8. Visit A Dermatologist If You Have A Reaction
If your skin is having a bad reaction to the tattoo, you should visit a dermatologist, stat. Per the AAD, your skin can have an adverse reaction immediately after getting a tattoo or years later. A derm will be able to let you know what’s what and the correct next steps to take.
Edited by: Sophie Dweck, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
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