Table of contents for Aftercare
- Onward and… (what happens after you get your ink)
- Aftercare, part 3 (specialized tattoo aftercare products)
- Aftercare, Part 2 (protecting your skin and your ink)
- Aftercare, part 1 (about bandages)
So, should you use any of the specialized products designed for tattoo aftercare? (Black Cat and Tattoo Goo are two well-known brands.)
On the plus side, those were designed by people who really know about tattoo aftercare, and they contain all-natural ingredients and are far less likely to cause any kind of skin problems. They are not greasy, and easy to apply to the skin. They have a pleasant scent and come in smaller containers that hold more than enough to care for one tattoo while it’s healing. You can find both salve for immediately-after care, and lotion for long-term application. You can buy the products from many tattoo artists so you can just pick up what you need before you leave the shop.
On the minus side, those products aren’t drugstore items and they are a little on the expensive side compared to more readily available products. Since they are made from fragrant herbs (such as lavender) the scent is noticeable and everyone’s preferences in scents are different so there’s no guarantee that any one individual will like the smell. (For the record, I happen to think they smell pleasant and have used both products with no problems.) The salves are not readily absorbed into the skin so it might get on your clothing (although it doesn’t stain).
But here’s a hint for anyone who wants to try those specialized products: The ingredients in Burt’s Bees Hand Salve are almost identical, and that product can be found in almost any drugstore these days. Burt’s Bees is also all-natural, smells pleasant and is easy to apply. So if you’re not sure you want to shell out for special tattoo aftercare, it might well be worth buying a tin of Burt’s Bees. I’ve also used that and it worked great on my ankle tattoo.
So in the end what you try is up to you. It helps if you do your research ahead of time so you’re not standing in line at the drugstore with your new tattoo weeping into its covering while you sniff bottles of this and that and try to figure out what chemicals are what.
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