When you get a new tattoo, your skin becomes sensitive as it heals from the trauma caused by the needles. One of the essential factors that will help speed up the healing process is to moisturize your tattoo regularly.
The fresh ink needs to stay moisturized to protect it from cracking and bleeding.
So how often should you be moisturizing your new tattoo? As a general rule, it is recommended that you moisturize your tattoo 2-3 times a day, which is every 8 - 12 hours a day. However, the process of moisturizing is personal to each individual.
Because there are some "if" around this topic, we have created this aftercare guide featuring the correct way of moisturizing, frequency of moisturizing, and avoiding over moisturizing your tattoo.
So, How Often Should You Moisturize Your Tattoo?
It is generally accepted that, on average it's recommended to moisturize the area around 2-3 times a day.
Proper moisturizing forms a thin membrane to protect your tattoo, helps generate new skin cells, and heals your tattoo. That way, we avoid our newly tattooed skin getting dry, which can ruin our piece of art.
Read also: Dry healing or "how to ruin your tattoo"
Can You Over Moisturize a Tattoo?
Yes, in fact it's common belief that the more you moisturize your tattoo, the better. But the truth is, that over moisturizing leads to clogged pores and breakouts in your skin.
Your tattoo is like an open wound and it will dry out occasionally, however, do not over moisturize in an attempt to keep it from drying out.
If a protective layer forms over your tattoo, it's normal in the process of healing
Over moisturizing or under moisturizing can crack your skin. Avoid this kind of scabbing through proper washing and moisturizing of your tattoo.
Read also: Is tattoo cracking normal?
How Much Moisturizer Should You Apply?
Example of thin layer applied:
Example of over moisturized tattoo:
What happens if you don’t moisturize your tattoo?
A common myth around tattoos is to let the wounds “dry out” naturally. This is counterproductive, and will only delay the healing process.
Moisturizing your tattoo helps reduce skin irritation, itching, and scabbing.
Drying, on the other hand, causes bleeding and cracking.
Is Dry Healing a Tattoo Bad?
Dry healing is highly counterproductive, and we strongly recommend you follow your tattoo artist's aftercare instructions.
Following the right advice, you will have healthier and nicer-looking tattoos.
Read Also: Benefits of Wet Healing Your Tattoo
Do I need to Keep Moisturizing my Tattoo After It Has Healed?
Do you ever wonder how some people’s tattoos look so fresh and radiant? This is because they follow proper aftercare routines religiously.
Even after your tattoo has healed completely, it is still important to take care of it.
Naturally your skin constantly repairs itself and replaces dead cells with new ones, and you want to make sure those new cells are tended to properly.
Use a non-irritating, oil free lotion to look after your tattoo after it has healed.
Lack of moisturizer can show wear and tear on your tattoo, which will mask its radiance.
It is generally recommended to moisturize for 2 weeks to one month after the tattoo has healed.
How to Choose the Best Moisturizer for Tattoo Healing
As a general rule, the ideal moisturizer will be gentle, unscented, and dermatologically tested.
When planning to buy an aftercare product, you have several options, like ointments or lotions.
Typically ointments are ideal for the first stages of the healing process (2 first weeks). Ointments are a good source of vitamins and minerals for your body.
A lotion is great after the healing process.
Remember that it can take a long time for a tattoo to heal. To keep it from drying out, itching or fading, you’ll want to keep it moisturized.
Taking care of your tattoo is as important as taking care of any other wound on your body.
Making sure that it's protected against harsh chemicals, sunlight, and bacteria, is vital to avoiding any unnecessary complications with your new ink.
Wash and clean your tattoo regularly, especially in the first few weeks of getting it.
Keep the moisturizing regimen strong, and avoid scratching your tattoo.
Lastly, have fun and show off your new tattoo to your friends!