Are you planning your next (or first) tattoo? Getting a new tattoo is exciting. You’re getting a piece of permanent art etched onto your body!

Did you know that tattoo aftercare can be the difference between a smooth healing process and a faded mess? That’s why you should do it, even if it adds a few extra steps to your daily routine.

But what is the best aftercare for a tattoo? Routines vary, and you might not use every single step we list. You want to make sure that you find the best routine for you (and that you follow the instructions of your artist).

Keep reading to learn your daily process for aftercare.

Wrapping and Unwrapping

This varies depending on your tattoo artist. Many tattoo artists are now choosing to use Saniderm or Tegaderm when they’re finished with their work. These are bandages made to protect wounds and keep them from drying out.

If an artist does this, you can skip the rest of the healing steps for the first few days while you leave the bandages in place. The tattoo will look strange under the bandage but leave it alone.

If the artist doesn’t do this, and instead uses cling wrap, make sure that you remove it when they say to. Unwrap it with care. If you’re unwrapping a Saniderm bandage, do so in the shower.

Also Read: Tattoo Above Knee


After your tattoo is out in the open, you want to make sure that you clean it roughly once per day until it’s no longer peeling. Use a gentle cleanser. You can find some of the best tattoo aftercare products for cleansing on the internet if you’re not sure what to use.

Don’t rub or use abrasive clothes. Pat the tattoo dry when you’re done. Make sure that you don’t take baths or go into any sitting water while the tattoo is healing; you want to do this in the shower only.


Your tattoo will peel, so you want to make sure that you’re keeping it hydrated. You want to lock in moisture to prevent scabbing.

You want to use a gentle unscented moisturizer. You can top it with Aquaphor or coconut oil after you’ve applied moisturizer to keep it hydrated for longer.


Sunscreen is the #1 most important thing for tattoo sun protection in aftercare, and you should never stop using it. You’re probably not aware, but one of the biggest causes of faded tattoos is sun damage. This is going to be most harmful when the tattoo is first finished, but it can happen at any time.

If the tattoo is somewhere with exposed skin, cover it with a high-SPF sunscreen and you’ll have bold tattoos for the foreseeable future.

Aftercare for a Tattoo Is Crucial

You want to make sure that you follow the right steps for aftercare for a tattoo if you want your art to stay bold and strong. There are many reasons to follow aftercare advice, and it’s not just to prevent infection.

Avoid a future of pesky touch-ups (or worse, cover-ups) by taking care of your ink.

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