Winter Tattoo Care: Keeping Tattoos Vibrant In Cold Weather

Published May 7, 2024
By Celebrity Ink

While a tattoo is a great idea all year round, getting one in winter has its perks. Artists’ waiting times are shorter, and your tattoo is less likely to be damaged or affected by UV rays or contaminated by shared swimming areas than during the standard outdoorsy activities of the summer months. There is no need to miss out on the summer fun. But you might have some reservations about getting a new tattoo in cold weather. Does cold weather with the dry air affect tattoos, and how do you practice winter tattoo care?

Tattoos require proper aftercare during winter as much as any other time. While tattoos are more common than ever before, there will always be some risks you have to protect yourself against: infections, allergic reactions and anything else that may compromise the healing or the quality of your new piece. Picking the right tattoo artist or studio is just as important as choosing a design you’ll be proud to display, no matter what time of year it is.  

Winter, spring, summer or autumn, Celebrity Ink is dedicated to providing you with premium tattoo experiences that will make you feel like a star. If you’ve been dreaming of a new tattoo, don’t let the cooler change put you off. Follow some simple winter tattoo care tips, and your new tattoo will be ready to show off well before summer rolls around.  

Does Cold Weather Affect Tattoos?

If you’re in a colder climate, particularly one that’s in the grip of a particularly icy winter season, you may wonder if the cold weather affects tattoos. Perhaps surprisingly, summer heat and high UV rays are more dangerous to your fresh ink than a chill wind. All things considered, cold weather has little to no effect on your new tattoo and you’re free to get inked any time of year you please.

Of course, there are still a few things to consider when you choose to get new ink during the quiet months. Some people find low temperatures and cold winds dry their skin out and cause it to crack, which can be a problem. Heavy materials and thick fabrics are great for staying warm but can put additional weight or rub against your tattoo, extending the healing period.  

However, these concerns are relatively minor and easy to address. If you follow proper winter tattoo care procedures, you’ll find there’s no wrong time of the year to get the tattoo you want. Here are some tips for healing a fresh tattoo and caring for a healed one in winter.

Healing a Fresh Tattoo in Winter

Winter may be a great time to get a new tattoo, but skincare is a year-round commitment. Simply wearing more layers is no replacement for keeping your skin (and yourself) hydrated and healthy. Luckily, there are some simple ways you can protect your new tattoo in winter while it heals up:  

Follow your aftercare routine

Every time you get a new tattoo, it’s important to stick to an aftercare routine to help the healing process. This routine usually involves keeping plastic wrap on for at least an hour after your tattoo appointment, gently cleansing your tattoo and avoiding sun exposure. Your tattoo artist will talk you through the full process.

Use a tattoo healing balm

More than a cleanser, a specialised tattoo healing balm can provide the skin with extra nourishment and rejuvenation during a cold, dry winter. Soothing, refreshing, and often full of natural ingredients, special tattoo balms, such as Supreme Creme Tattoo Aftercare cream, offer extra help to heal.

Stay hydrated

There’s never a time when hydration isn’t important, and it plays a crucial part in both healing and caring for tattoos. Water helps transport nutrients necessary for skin repair around your body, and well-hydrated skin better displays the colours of your tattoo. Keep up the standard eight glasses of water a day, and both your tattoo and you will look better.

Cover up

Comfortable winter clothes are the best method for protecting your tattoo from the elements during winter while giving it a chance to heal. For best results, avoid rough and heavy fabrics that may scratch the scabs off your new tattoo, and use soft, smooth and breathable materials like cotton instead.

Caring For Your Tattoos in Winter

Winter doesn’t play nice with everybody’s skin. Even when your tattoo is healed, you still want to protect its look and feel this time—and every other time—of the year. Fortunately, whether your tattoos are new and fresh or you’ve had them for a number of years, it’s easy to care for them throughout the winter. Here are some winter tattoo care tips for pieces, both new and old.


Moisturising helps to promote the healing of your new tattoo and prevent scabs from forming. Some tattoo artists will recommend moisturising during your first wash, and some will suggest waiting 24-48 hours after you get your tattoo. We like to follow the 2, 2, 2 rule: don’t apply aftercare cream for 2 days, then apply 2 times per day for 2 weeks. While experts recommend moisturising a new tattoo quite frequently during the healing stage, there never comes a day when moisturising your new tattoo is a bad idea. What helps the rest of your skin will help your tattoo, too, and moisturising a tattoo keeps the look fresh and prevents dry skin from fading it.

Take lukewarm showers

While hot showers can be delightful, they can also strip your skin of its natural oils and leave your tattoo looking dry and lacklustre. To best preserve the look of your tattoos, take showers at a lukewarm temperature, keep your skin out of the water’s direct pressure, and pat dry with a clean, soft towel.  

Protect your tattoo outside

Even when your tattoos are long healed, UV rays can cause them to fade a lot faster, even in the winter months. Even on overcast days, a good sunscreen with a high level of SPF protection will increase your tattoo’s lifespan.

Don’t scrub too hard

When it comes to scrubbing your tattoos in the shower, a gentle approach is best. In winter, many people’s skin already becomes more prone to dryness and cracking, and a rough scrubbing routine can make the issue worse. To avoid irritating the area, use a gentle and fragrance-free soap on your skin. Avoid the use of exfoliating scrubs and harsh soaps directly on the tattooed area.

Get Your Next Tattoo at Celebrity Ink

Asia-Pacific’s largest tattoo brand with more than 25 studios worldwide, Celebrity Ink is the place to get a tattoo any time of the year. A beautiful, long-lasting tattoo starts with choosing the right tattoo artist, and Celebrity Ink sets the standard for premium tattoos and excellent customer service. Step into one of our studios in some of the biggest cities in the world, and we’ll give you the celebrity treatment when you book a tattoo appointment.

Taking care of your tattoo after your appointment is essential, which is why Celebrity Ink has put together a tattoo aftercare guide for you to follow. These instructions will help you keep your tattoo fresh and vibrant regardless of rain, hail or shine.
To chat about your perfect tattoo and how we can make it a reality, book a discovery consultation with our ink crew!

Get your next tattoo at Celebrity Ink

The team at Celebrity Ink can provide you with not only a tattoo that tells your story but also detailed aftercare information that goes beyond the question of how long does a tattoo take to heal.

Our team sets standards in tattoo design while working alongside you to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re seeking traditional tattoos, realistic designs, mandalas, or any other, we have artists specialising in a range of tattoo styles that can provide you with the tattoo you have envisioned.

Book a consultation to discuss your tattoo design, get in contact with the crew at Celebrity Ink, and we will lock you in for your next ink session.
Find a studio