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My tattoo aftercare routine

tattoo aftercare routine

Okay, so I’m no expert but I thought I’d share how I look after my tattoos. Mainly because I think we forget about the seriousness of a tattoo sometimes. Well, I know I do.

Like I’m absolutely fine with the fact that there’s permanent ink on my body. What I didn’t think was so serious back when I was planning all my embarrassing body art at the age of 14, was the aftercare. After all, you’re getting poked with a needle injecting ink into your skin god knows how many times. It’s not exactly natural.

It’s a pretty big deal.

So the first few months of care are so important. The artists that have tattooed me have both said it takes around 6 weeks to fully heal. But it obviously depends on the size and detail. My thumb tattoo healed in about a week because of it’s simplicity. Well, the design is a little complex but ultimately, it’s just a few lines, so not a lot of ink.

Either way, I always keep up my aftercare routine for at least 2 weeks after I feel the tat has healed, just to be sure all is good.

You’ve probably seen a fresh tattoo wrapped up in cling film. After a few hours, it’s time to take off that first wrap. Gently clean the tat with warm water and a fragrance free soap (I use Imperial Leather). Then cover it in cling film again overnight. After my second tattoo, I was told that there would be a strange “goo” all over the tattoo when it’s under the film for a while.

This seems to be the part everyone hates, but me being gross, I actually enjoy it.

Usually, I wet some kitchen roll with warm water (to save ruining a flannel, like I did the first time) and wipe over the tattoo to get all the excess junk off. I think it’s strangely fun, to the point where I now get a little disappointed when there’s no more goo. I have a feeling that’s because the tattoo doesn’t feel so new anymore though.

After the tattoo is free of goo, I clean it with some soap again and dab it dry. When I got my arm tattooed, the artist gave me a new cream they were using, Fade the Itch. You rub a thin layer of this onto the artwork after you’ve washed it. The cream speeds up healing time without the annoying itchiness so I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something to use on a fresh tat! I’m pretty sure you can get it on Amazon.

I wait until the cream has air dried and then I wrap it up in cling film for the day again. I repeat all of that before I go to bed. I tend to repeat this whole routine for 2 – 3 days. Then the only difference is that I don’t use the film anymore as it’s not needed.

The Fade the Itch cream often lasts about a fortnight when I use it twice daily, so I keep using that until it runs out.

Then I still keep cleaning the tattoo morning and night, but just replace the cream with cocoa butter. The artist recommended using it after I got my arm done and it’s been my saviour since, for all my skin, not just the inked areas.

I still moisturise my tattoos every day even though they’ve healed. You can never be too smooth, right?

My calf healed a lot quicker than my arm did. Probably because it’s a tad smaller, but I’m certain it’s because of this aftercare routine. I was more confident I knew what I was doing this time after how well my arm tat healed, so naturally it seemed to work better.

tattoo aftercare routine

Like I said, I’m not a pro. I (currently) only have 3 tattoos. But this aftercare routine works really well for me, so hopefully it’ll give at least one of you some ideas, whether you’re new to tattoos or not!

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Tattoo Talk: Introducing the moon lady

moon lady tattoo

As much to my nan’s dismay, I got another tattoo. YAY! When I called to tell her I was going round that afternoon and that I had something to tell her, she told me my mom had already split the beans of where I was that morning, and that they were going to eat my slice of chocolate cake because I no longer deserved it for continuing to “ruin my body”.

Luckily, there was still a piece left for me when I got there and my god, it was good. But anyway, I’m getting distracted (typically by my sweet tooth).

We’re really here to talk about my little moon lady!

As cringy as it sounds, my inspiration for this tattoo came from my aspirations. I like to think I’m quite an ambitious person. There’s a lot of things I want to achieve in my life. I’m not sure if I’ll complete them all, but you’ve got to try, even if they are a bit wacky.

Somehow in my strange little mind I connected that to my craving for a tattoo of the moon. We physically dream under the moon, so why not flip that and make it more magical by having a woman dreaming about everything and anything she wants her life to be among the stars?

This design wasn’t what I pictured when I sent the request to the artist. I was imagining a girl, daydreaming, possibly with her hand on her chin, leaning over the base of a crescent moon. It’s hard to describe, but it looked cute in my head.

But when I saw what Elle (the artist) had drawn, I was so eager to get started. As soon as I saw the design, I loved it which helped me to relax which is so important when getting a tattoo.

We put the stencil on my leg and it was the perfect fit about mid way down my calf.

This one didn’t hurt half as much as when I got my arm tattooed. Of course there were moments where I was flinching a bit, mainly when it got to the many lines towards the back of my calf. But to be fair, the worst pain was actually the cramp caused by the position I had to sit in.

I had to lay on my left side with my legs bent. Oh my, I struggled to walk when I got up.

moon lady tattoo
This was taken by the artist (instagram: @elledonlon_tattoo) as soon as we’d finished!

Isn’t she gorgeous? Me and some friends decided that she could do with a name. I’ve been trying to come up with something but I haven’t managed to settle on anything yet. Right now I’m liking “Daisy” or “Luna”. Geddit?

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Painfully Poked: My New Tattoo

tattoo

I recently got my second tattoo and took a completely different approach to the whole process. There was a lot of thought put into what type of design I wanted for my first tattoo, but the actual process was rushed.

I got the Buddhist symbol of an unalome as I love their significance of reaching enlightenment. I took the idea to the nearest tattoo parlour and got it done on the day. Whereas with this new tat, I had a random idea what I thought would look cool. A skeleton hand holding flowers. Then I checked out some different tattoo artists, and once I found someone with a style I really liked, I sent them my idea.

I think it’s important to find a good artist that you feel comfortable with, and who is enthusiastic about your idea. It gives you a lot more confidence going into get the tattoo.

We begin with the outline.

Of course it hurts a little when you’re being poked with a needle hundreds of times. I was just focusing on all the artwork and funky little things on the walls. Honestly, I could probably recite everything that was in the room…

I’d planned to not take a look until it was finished, to have a sort of Tattoo Fixers-esque big reveal. But this was a dumb idea as I hate surprises and kept peeking every time there was a little pause. I’m glad I was too eager though. It was so cool to watch it coming along slowly – detail by detail.

The shading wasn’t a problem, at first.

The part that I always thought would hurt the most is filling in blocks of ink, but that was fairly easy. I think I even fell into a little daydream until the artist got higher up my arm. One jab hurt a bit too much and brought me back from wherever I was in my mind.

The further in on my arm, the more the pain. The few artists in the room said I sat really well, but by the end I was fidgeting like mad – my long left arm flapping about, even some little squeaks of pain.

But overall, the discomfort was so worth it. The tattoo is even better than I could’ve imagined!

tattoo

Before I had tattoos, I thought they’d have to mean something really deep and personal. Now I realise that’s not all that important. If you really like a piece of art and want that on your body, why the hell not. That’s not me saying get your favourite meme inked, but you get the gist.

Every time I catch a glimpse of this tattoo, I’m like “wow, that looks awesome”. As vein and silly as it sounds, it makes me feel good. So if having interesting artwork tattooed will make you happy, I say do it.