Tattoo Aftercare and Preparation

We’re excited! You’ve decided to get inked!

Taking care of yourself and your tattoo is very important both before and after your tattoo session. We recommend closely following our tattoo pre-care and tattoo aftercare guides to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.

Now let’s get you prepped and ready for your next tattoo!

Tattoo Aftercare and Preparation

How to prepare for a tattoo (tattoo pre-care)

Before you come in for your tattoo appointment it’s important you take care of your skin and body. Our 8-step guide will help you prepare for your tattoo session.

  1. There are certain instances we may not be able to proceed with your tattoo. Please cross-check the list below and if any of them apply to you, please call your studio immediately.
      • Pregnancy.
      • Breastfeeding.
      • Prone to fainting or excessive bleeding.
      • Blood thinning medications (please consult your GP prior).
      • Have consumed alcohol or an illicit substance within 24 hours of your appointment.
  2. Apply SPF 50+ sunscreen daily and avoid sun exposure for two weeks prior to your appointment.
  3. Apply a moisturizer to the area daily for two weeks prior to your appointment (hydrated & supple skin will enhance your tattoo results).
  4. Avoid alcohol and blood thinning medications for 24 hours prior to the appointment (please speak to your GP if you’re concerned).
  5. Do not apply any topical anaesthetic or numbing agents prior to your appointment. Please speak to your artist beforehand if you’re wanting to use this.
  6. Avoid any cosmetic treatments or products that may impair your skin barrier.
  7. Drink plenty of water and ensure you’ve had a good meal prior to your arrival.
  8. Wear comfortable clothes.

How to care for your tattoo (tattoo aftercare)

You’ve done it! You have inked it your way and now it’s time to take care of your new tattoo. Simply follow our tattoo aftercare guide to ensure your tattoo heals the best way it can!

On the day

When your tattoo is complete, the artist will apply a plastic wrap to your skin. You must keep this on for a minimum of one hour to ensure optimal protection. There is no need to re-wrap your tattoo after removal.

1 – 48hrs

For the first two days cleanse your tattoo gently with an antibacterial cleanser and lukewarm water. Pat dry with a clean towel or disposable paper towel. Please do not use any soap or body wash.

48hrs – 14 days

  • Apply a thin layer of tattoo aftercare balm twice daily for two weeks. This will assist with protection and hydration whilst your new ink is healing. We use the 2, 2, 2 rule to remember this – don’t apply for 2 days, then apply 2 times per day for 2 weeks.
  • Avoid sun exposure as this can impair the healing process and negatively impact the outcome of your ink.
  • Excessive moisture and water can increase the chance of infection and impair your barrier from healing. Avoid swimming, spas, saunas, baths, or any prolonged water activities for 14 days post-tattoo.
  • Avoid excessive sweating and exercise for 14 days.

14– 30 days

Continue to avoid sun exposure.

What to expect:

  • It is common for your new ink to peel and scab. This is all part of the healing process. It is important though that you do not pick or scratch the area as this can lead to scarring, infection and ink dropouts.
  • Keep in mind that during the first few days tattoo ink can stain certain fabrics, such as linen and silk.
  • It can take up to six months for your tattoo to completely heal and settle into the skin’s tissue. For best results, avoid sun exposure, moisturise daily, and keep hydrated.

Please remember that we are here to help! If at any time you are concerned about the healing process of your new ink, please contact your local studio for tattoo aftercare support.

Recommended Tattoo Aftercare Products

Tattoo Aftercare FAQ's

What may prevent me from getting a tattoo?

To ensure your safety, there are certain circumstances where we would be unable to complete your tattoo. Please ensure you tell your artist and studio if you have any of the following as soon as possible to avoid cancellation fees.

  • Pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding.
  • Prone to fainting or excessive bleeding.
  • Blood thinning medications (please consult your GP prior).
  • Have consumed alcohol or an illicit substance within 24 hours of your appointment.

How long does a tattoo take to heal?

On average it takes 2-6 weeks for a tattoo to heal depending on size, location and design. For example, a tattoo with heavy colouring-in or shading will take longer to heal than a simple fine-line design. It is important to note that it can take up to 6-months for the ink to completely settle into the skin’s tissue.

How long after a tattoo can I swim?

We recommend that you avoid swimming after your tattoo for at least 14-days. Too much moisture can increase the potential for infection and impair your skin barrier from healing.

How long after a tattoo can I have a shower?

After the first hour you can shower normally. Ensure you avoid soaps and do not scrub your tattoo. Pat your tattoo dry with a clean towel or paper towel. It is not recommended that you submerge your tattoo in water for long periods.

My tattoo isn’t healing, what should I do?

It is rare for a tattoo not to heal correctly. If you have any concerns about the healing process of your tattoo, please contact your local studio or see your doctor.

Can I drink alcohol after my tattoo?

We suggest you wait at least 24 hours after your tattoo before drinking. Alcohol has the potential to weaken your immune system.

Can I get a tattoo with fake tan on?

No. You cannot have fake tan on when getting a tattoo. Our tattoo artists will remove the tan in the area to be inked. We do this as fake tan can negatively affect the colour and outcome of your tattoo.

Why is my tattoo itchy?

This is part of the healing process. It is normal for your tattoo to itch. Try to avoid scratching the tattoo. Light patting may assist in alleviating the itching.

When will my tattoo start peeling and scab?

Peeling and scabbing will start around 72 hours after your tattoo session. This is a normal healing process. Do not pick or scratch the area as this may cause scarring.

Should I moisturise my tattoo when it is peeling?

We suggest you use the recommended aftercare balm which will help to soothe and moisturise the skin.