So, you’ve finally settled on a tattoo design and you can’t wait to get it. Maybe it’s your first ink, or you’ve already got a sleeve (or two!) and are ready to add more amazing artwork to your skin. Whether you’re a tattoo novice or veteran, you’re going to want to have an aftercare plan in place to ensure that your tattoo heals easily. From picking out the perfect tattoo numbing cream to apply before your appointment, to having healing lotion on hand to keep your fresh ink moisturized after it’s finished, we’re breaking down the best ways to care for your new tattoo.
First Things First: Numb It Up!
Before getting a tattoo, you might want to consider applying a tattoo numbing cream to your skin in order to reduce the pain that you’ll experience during the tattooing process. This is especially important for those who have sensitive skin, who are more likely to have an inflammatory reaction to a tattoo needle being used on them. Tattoo numbing cream can save you a great deal of discomfort by dulling the nerve signals of the skin, so you’re less likely to feel pain as you’re in the process of getting your tattoo.
To ensure that you get the maximum benefits from tattoo numbing cream, you’re going to want to apply the cream to the entire area of skin where the tattoo will go. Depending on the size of your tattoo, you’ll want to get different size bottles of tattoo numbing cream. As a rule of thumb, it’s typically advised to get a two ounce bottle for tattoos up to 12×12” and a four ounce bottle for tattoos up to 24×24.” It’s important that you have enough numbing tattoo cream on hand, so you can cover the entire area of skin that might be subject to a tattoo needle. If you’re nervous about applying the numbing cream with your hands, don’t worry! The effects of the cream wear off in approximately three hours, so your hands won’t be left limp. Typically, washing your hands after applying the numbing cream will help you to avoid any overbearing feelings of numbness in your hands. If you want to avoid feeling any numbness in your digits, you can wear a pair of gloves when you put the cream on your body.
Apply your tattoo numbing cream about an hour before your tattoo appointment and wrap it in plastic in order to help the skin fully absorb the cream. Remove the wrap, and now you’re ready to get tatted with little to no pain! It’s important to note that it’s not recommended to put numbing cream on a fresh tattoo, as you should keep all new ink covered for at least a day.
So, You’re Freshly Tattooed: What’s Next?
After you’ve applied your tattoo numbing cream and gotten your tattoo, it’s time to focus on aftercare. Tattoo aftercare is essential to promote the healing of your skin, so your tattoo stays looking good and free from infection. Some of the best products to use to aid in your tattoo aftercare include:
A Quality Soap
You want to treat a tattoo just like you would a burn or other open skin wound. With that, it’s important to keep your tattoo clean! When washing your tattoo, it’s essential to use a gentle soap that’s free of fragrances or dyes. Be sure to wash your tattoo approximately one-to-two times a day to ensure that it stays healthy.
A Moisturizer to Help You Heal
Another huge part of tattoo aftercare is ensuring that your tattoo stays moisturized so skin cells can heal. When looking for a good moisturizer for tattoo aftercare, you’re going to want something that’s free of fragrances and dyes. By applying moisturizer to your tattoo, you’re creating a semi-permeable barrier between your skin and the elements: that means that moisture stays in, while dirt and bacteria stay out. Some tattoo artists recommend moisturizers that are infused with CBD to aid in pain relief. CBD is a cannabinoid compound derived from hemp plants that helps to reduce redness and swelling caused by inflammation in the body. By using a moisturizer infused with CBD as a part of your tattoo aftercare routine, you get the protection of a moisture layer, and the soothing of a pain reliever all in one.
When preparing to get a new tattoo, you want to make sure that you’re taking care of your skin both before and after you get your new ink. Start by applying a tattoo numbing cream shortly before your new ink is applied so your skin is protected from feeling as much pain as it would without it. Once your tattoo is finished, be sure to follow a dedicated aftercare routine: wash and moisturize your tattoo daily so your skin can heal properly. What design are you planning on getting for your next tattoo?