3 Methods of Tattoo Aftercare – which type works best?
A mooky tattoo queen reviews tattoo healing methods from personal experience. Goo. Natural. LITFA. Which tattoo aftercare product will best work for you? Take especial care when doing aftercare for sensitive areas like finger tattoos…
On leaving the tattooist you’ll be given advice about how to care for your tattoo. Initially avoiding prolonged contact with water and keeping your tat out of the sun are universally agreed to be good safety measures, but when researching the best method to heal a tattoo the web provides a lot of conflicting advice. For example, some tattooists will bandage a tattoo (usually with clingfilm) and others will say you should never do this! Most tattooists will bandage your brand new ink for initial protection and have you remove it after a few hours to let the skin breathe.
To help you choose how to take care of your tattoo, I’ve reviewed my personal experience of three different methods of tattoo aftercare.
Goo Tattoo Aftercare
A tattooist will usually recommend a particular cream, ointment or potion to smear on your tattoo. I could road test a selection of different products but you should be able to find buyer reviews and ratings when shopping online. The gunk I used was Bepanthen: yes, a nappy cream. Simply smear it on whenever the skin is feeling dry and rub in until it goes clear.
Using a cream was great for keeping the skin hydrated and you can put it on whenever the tattoo itches to stop you scratching it.
Having a cream rub off on your clothes and making your arm sticky is a little annoying though.
Natural Tattoo Aftercare
Aloe vera is famed for its skin soothing properties, and when it comes to tattoo aftercare, soothed skin is exactly what you need. Sorry, Gertrude (my plant) but I’ll be rubbing your gooey insides all over me. Ooer! Natural substances with no added anything has surely got to be better for you?
Simply break off a small part of an aloe leaf, split it open and rub on the translucent goo. One leaf should give you about three applications; a little goes a long way.
Even though aloe veras are hardy by nature, I still felt a pang of guilt when breaking off parts of the plant. On the upside, the aloe’s insides are very slimy and there’s something really quite fun about the whole process; aloe vera feels very light on the skin with none of the greasy feeling that can come with a cream.
LITFA Tattoo Aftercare
Leave It The F**K Alone! That’s right – don’t prod it, pick it, rub it and never ever scratch it. You don’t need to try and gently peel off that inky bit of scab that’s lifting. Just ignore it and it’ll come off in the shower soon enough. Even clean-looking hands can be harbouring all sorts of bacteria and the last thing you want to do is introduce them to a wound. Remember, a tattoo is one colourful wound – so paws off.
Personally the LITFA tattooo care method works for me. I barely notice any itching and don’t mind the flaky look of the healing stage. While the cost of a cream is negligible I definitely save time and effort (mainly hunting for the cream so I can plaster it on).
One source cited you should clean a tattoo 3 – 5 times a day. Unfortunately, it’s when I’m cleaning or applying a cream to a tattoo that I have the urge to pick any scabbing off, so frequent tattoo cleaning definitely wouldn’t be suitable for me. Whilst I LITFA I only clean the tat in the shower, patting and not rubbing it dry.
So… Which method won in the tattoo care deathmatch?
My personal and entirely unscientific findings are that there was no noticeable difference in the healed tattoo using any of these different methods. I honestly can’t tell which tattoos were healed using which process. They all appear solid with no loss of pigment.
So its entirely up to you. Notice your tattoo itches? LITFA isn’t for you. Hate a greasy arm? Then maybe you should LITFA. Aloe Vera works too for the DIY natural girls out there.
Of course, this was just my experience. The human body can work very differently from person to person, so you may have different findings: my tattoos are all black and grey so I can’t possibly comment on the results or healing process of a colour tattoo.
Have fun showing off your new piece however you choose to heal it.
Tattoo aftercare tips from the mooky community
Follow @mookychick for life, the universe and everything…
“Ultrabalm from Lush is really good at moisturising and making tattoos look bright shiny new again.” – @originalchull
“On the 1st hot soapy wash don’t dab it, press & swipe down to take off the goo… hurts but better healing” – @Steema
“Savlon do an awesome antiseptic spray that I used for both my tattoos.” – @Meowy24
“Treat the tattoo as if it were your face, spf 20 everyday and more if it’s sunny!” – @alexandraa7x
“For 1st week, wash tattoo gently 6x daily with warm water/soap. Pat dry and apply a match-head-size ONLY, savlon and rub in.” – @KagstheHedgehog