I’ve been getting asked a lot of about tattoo aftercare recently and thought I should make another post about it.
First things first, don’t listen to your friends! I cannot even count how many horror stories have unfolded with the whole ‘My friend said to….’ Also don’t waste your time scouring tattoo forums, there will be grains of truth here and there but what it comes down to is that you have to keep your fresh tattoo clean and dry above all.
You could literally not use any cream and your new tattoo would still heal perfectly! Your skin is one of the cleverest, strongest organs you have, it knows how to heal itself perfectly well and doesn’t need much help other than keeping the area clean and dry.
Let me give you a clear example: your scrape your knee, would you keep putting creams on it, several times a day for 2 weeks? or just wash the wound and keep it dry and comfortable? I think the answer is obvious
I recommend that my customers keep their fresh tattoo clean by washing it with a high quality natural soap (no nasties, no moisturizing agents, no antibacterial non sense, no chemicals) and some hot water to open up the pores and really get in there. You only gotta do this a couple of times a day for the first week while the tattoo naturally dries out and begins to scab. You can ease off the cleaning routine by the times the scabs have formed.
By this point, your skin might start feeling a little dry and that’s normal, so maybe apply a little plain moisturizer (e45 or cocoa butter is great) once a day tops, and even then make sure it’s all absorbed otherwise wipe the excess off to stop it attracting dust and dirt. Sometimes your skin feels fine and you might not even need to moisturize the tattoo at all, I find different areas of the body need it and other do not.
The soap I recommend (and use both at home and work) is Dr Bronner’s Magic soaps, either the liquid kind or the soap bars. They are totally natural, scented with natural oils (apart from the unscented ‘baby mild’ one), organic, fair-trade, bio-degradable and your skin will totally love it. They also come in recycled plastic bottles for the green minded consumer.
I find it washes right through that horrible first-couple-of-days ‘gunk’ leaving your tattoo fresh feeling and deep-clean. Most other soaps I’ve tried fail at that because brands try to add synthetic moisturizer agents to their product and they just seem to slide around not getting a proper deep clean the fresh tattoo demands.
I cannot stress enough how keeping your tattoo clean is so much more important than whatever cream does this or that. Always discuss your after-care routine with your tattooer, if in doubt this way has always worked for my tattoos (after countless different ways I’ve tried through the ages) and my customers’.
Dr Bronner’s stockists in the UK: Dr Bronner’s website, some Holland & Barrett stores, some American Apparel stores, I’ve even had customers mention seeing them in some Tesco’s and local health food shops.
Here’s a little video I filmed with my phone, it’s my first one I’ve done and the quality is a bit low due to my settings, sorry! Will try harder next time.
The rib panels are on Paul who got them finished a few months ago, we have since started on his backpiece
Been meaning to let you all know about this, if you didn’t know already of course! Self-edited, self-funded, self-made. The below extract is from Stewart’s blog at fstontheshouldersofgiants.com
I finished Part Two – The World is Watching last week.
This player automatically displays the trailer but you can rent or buy it straight away. Thanks again for all the support.
I set up a page at Vimeo On Demand where I can add new parts as they are released.
I moved the series over to vimeo.com because the original service I used became increasingly amateurish and was unable to accept my payments via debit card or PayPal and were unwilling to fix the problem. So now you do need to sign up to vimeo before you can rent or buy the film but they won’t spam you or pester you if you don’t want them to. It’s a small inconvenience for an easy to use service with a great player, I think. There’s also other great independent documentaries and films available at Vimeo OnDemand.
The DVD for Part Two is going to be a little while longer. Sorry.
I’ve decided to focus my attention on editing and completing Part Three. Then Two and Three will be on the DVD together with extra stuff if there’s room. This will make our postage and shipping operation much simpler. Thank you for your patience.
- WATCH IT HERE -
I recently finished this snake woman on James’ ribs. He didn’t like the process but loved the finished tattoo, I can’t blame him, I’ve never been a fan of getting my ribs tattooed either!
None the less he sat like a total champ and I couldn’t be happier with how she turned out. One of my favourite things to tattoo is mythical women with a sprinkling of attitude, you can go crazy with fun little details and you never have to stick to a normal colour palette! It’s a nice break in my routine. Thanks James, can’t wait for the other side!
My friend Louise got this rad panther head on her belly last week, she came all the way from Aberdeen. Actually, I have been getting a lot of customers from up there recently, must be something in the water
She wanted to go as big as possible and we will probably extend the piece in the near future. I suggested going over her bellybutton to make the most of the space and she agreed, as it happens she didnt even know i was digging away until I told her we’d blacked it out. I think she expected it to feel worse than it did! Another tough tat for a tough lady!
Both of these belong to the same customer and were done one week apart as matching top of arm matching tattoos. I’d say he did good!
This lil dude was done for a cancellation filler to fill the back of a forearm.
I drew this design straight on the skin to fill the gap a little better and i’m very happy with how it came out, hopefully the healing on such a sensitive spot won’t stop Georgia from coming back for more
Jake was visiting from Australia and decided to pick up a little souvenir while he was here. We did this cool tiger vs snake chest piece in one shot, it was a slight cover up of a lasered-off tattoo and some scarring so was definitely a bit of a challenge!
None the less, I’m very happy with how it came out. I’m always up for a classic duel!
I’ve been working on larger and larger work hence lack of finished piece updates, this is a healed shot of a girl head part of a sleeve I’m working on. Making great progress so hopefully can show it all off real soon!