So you are looking at your tattoo and reminiscing about the days where you would get compliments on the great colors, the epic line work and what an overall great tattoo you had. Now, as time as passed, those compliments are few are far between.
Sadly as our tattoos get older the ink will start to fade from being exposed to the sun. The UV rays penetrate many layers of the skin and this can lead to the ink spreading below the skin also. This is the leading cause of the small details and line work becoming blurred. Accidents or trauma to the skin can lead to scars on a tattoo and may even lead to entire sections of a tattoo being completely erased from your skin.
Fortunately, there are a few options available to you. You may choose to have your tattoo touched up which can be as simple as having the line work darkened and the shading and colors refreshed. Or you could choose to be more drastic and have a portion of your current tattoo covered up or even go all out and have your tattoo 100% covered.
Touch – Ups
If your tattoo is beginning to look faded, the black ink is beginning to to take on a green like hue, and some of the lines are looking blurry and beginning to merge with other lines you may want to consider a touch-up. A touch up, is simply what it sounds like. You’ll go to a tattoo shop and an artist will retrace your old tattoo and add new colors. It can have a dramatic effect on your piece and make it look completely new.
If you aren’t able to use the same artist from the original tattoo make sure you do your research and hire someone who is skilled and produces quality work. Take a peak at their portfolio if they have one! Fortunately, touch-up’s are easier for an artist than original work.
Going with a touch up will be the more costly of the options available to you, but will produce the most dramatic improvement in the appearance of your tattoo.
The day you get your tattoo is the day you start doing everything thing you can to keep it from fading. High quality SPF sunscreen is your tattoos best friend. Ultraviolet rays will fade your tattoo and make it look dull fast.
It is also important that you regularly remove dead skin by exfoliating. All of dead skin that can dull your tattoos appearance, and find a moisturizer you want to put on every day!
There are numerous lotions , ointments, balms, oils, and creams on the market today that are geared specifically for tattoos. It’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed due to so many options being available. I’ll briefly tell you the most common types of products that you can find and what they do. Then, I’ll tell you the products I use and recommend to others.
Ointments – Most often ointments are used to help prevent bacteria from getting into the new tattoo and reduce the chance or possibility it becoming infected. Ointments are do a great job of keeping your newly tattooed skin hydrated and protected.
Balms – Most balms have a wax, like beeswax, or a plant oil as their main ingredient, making many balms have a consistency somewhere between a heavy liquid and a solid. Balms are great for nourishing your skin, but may seem to be a bit on the oily side until it is fully absorbed.
Oils – Oils are a great way to keep your skin hydrated. For the most part oils are an all natural product and are perfect when used for long term maintenance for keep in your tattoo looking as new and fresh as long as possible.
Creams – Water and oil are the key components in most of the creams you will find. Creams are intended to plump, smooth and soothe skin so there is a higher concentration of oil over water in these types of products. Creams have a thick feel about them and will absorb into the skin for a long period of time giving you skin long term hydration.
Now that you know a little bit about the differences between these types of products now you get to pick the ones you want to use for your tattoo maintenance. Make sure you choose something that is is compatible with your skin type and the climate where you live. Find something that is fragrance free will limit chances skin irritation, keeping tattoos free of infection, and keeping the design moisturized.
I recommend trying a variety of different products before you make your final choice, and just because you choose this one doesn’t mean you can’t change to a different one later. In the end make sure that you are happy to be putting this lotion, oil, balm, cream, etc. on your skin every day!
– Aquaphor – One of the most widely used tattoo aftercare treatments. This ointment absorb the skin’s natural moisture promotes healing, and keeps the tattoo fresh. Amazon has the best price of anyone I’ve found (Amazon Link).
– Ora’s Tattoo Salve – My favorite balm is called Ora’s Tattoo Salve. It’s all natural and has always done a great job for me. You can pick it up directly from the Ora site by clicking here or on Amazon.
– Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion With SPF 15 – Colloidal Oatmeal is found in all Aveeno products, promoting moisturization, smooths skin, and creates a protective barrier on top of the skin. All products are also paraben and scent-free. You can find Aveeno Body Lotion on Amazon by clicking here.
Where to purchase products for your tattoo
You can get these products at most retailers. You can head to a tattoo shop or to a local drug store like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, or something similar, to pick out a product that is best for you.
At the tattoo shops you are more likely to find a selection favorite lotions, balms, creams, oils, and many other products that are designed for specifically for tattoos. Most of the products will be hand selected from the shop artists.
The products will most often be the ones that they have had great results with and the ones that they have used personally, and what they like and dislike between the products they offer for sale. Although these products may be little pricer than the ones you buy from the, you will be able to tell the difference in quality so the extra money spent will be well worth it. You can always buy from the tattoo shop the first time, and then if you like it, buy it elsewhere for a cheaper price going forward.
If you want to be a bit more budget friendly you can get a quality product from your local drugstore. You can find some great quality products that will keep you tattoo looking great for a lower price. Make sure to read the product information before you purchase.
Pay very close attention to the ingredients and be sure to stay away from any type of drying agents. Also, stay away from products that say not for use on open wounds. Remember your tattoo is an open wound so until the healing process is complete be mindful of product warnings and if they are ok to use on open wounds or if they must be healed first.
Obviously, Amazon has a wide range of products devoted to tattoo aftercare. Typically, they are going to be very competitive on price, but you’ll also have the ability to read endless reviews from others. You can find all of Amazon’s tattoo aftercare products by clicking here.
Good quality tattoo’s are not cheap, and they are something that you will have on your body for a life time. So do everything you can to keep our tattoo looking great and if you find that our tattoo has started to look a bit tired, try out some of the amazing products to make your tattoo look new again or get a touch up bring your ink back to life!