New Tattoos and After Care for a Tattoo / Instructions

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How we came to Tattoo:

A tattoo is a permanent marking or design made by inserting pigments into the skin to for ornamental or other purposes. The word comes from the Tahitian "tatu" meaning, "to mark something". The purpose of tattooing has varies from culture to culture. Tattoos made on humans are a kind of decorative body modification, while tattoos on animals are mainly for identification purposes or branding.
Tattoos have been said to exist since 12,000 years BC. Depending on the culture and its place on the time line, they have been used for spiritual and religious rites as well as marks of fertility, decorations for bravery, amulets, protection, luck, and marks for convicts, or a signified membership in a clan or society.
During the 1700s, Captain Cook made a number of trips to the South Pacific. The people of London were anxious to see the art and artifacts he brought. Upon his return, he showed a heavily tattooed Polynesian named Omai who became a phenomenon in London. Following this, tattooing became a fad and the upper class started getting small tattoos in discreet places. Eventually, the electric tattoo machine evolved and allowed just about anyone to get a reasonably priced tattoo. Since then, an average person was able to easily get a tattoo for a reasonable price and as a result, the upper classes ultimately turned away from it.
Today, tattooing is making a strong comeback. People from all social classes seek the best tattoo artists. Skilled artists have emerged and tattoo pigments have undergone refinement as well as advancement in the equipments used for tattooing.

How we Tattoo:

The process of tattooing involves placement of ink or pigment into the skin's dermis. The dermis is the layer of connective tissue beneath the epidermis. During the procedure, a needle that is attached to a machine with tubes containing dye penetrates the skin repeatedly. In this way, the needle inserts tiny ink droplets. This process causes a small amount of bleeding and potentially significant pain. After the initial injection of the pigment, it is dispersed down through the epidermis and upper dermis. Since the pigment is considered as a foreign body, this causes activation of the body’s immune system. The phagocytes or “cell eaters” are white cells that engulf the foreign particles that enter the body.
As healing proceeds, the damaged epidermis layer peels away, thus removing the pigment on the surface. In the deeper layers of the skin, granulation tissue forms (soft, pink, fleshy projections that form during the healing process in a wound). This is then subsequently converted to connective tissue by collagen growth (collagen gives skin its strength and durability), mending the upper dermis.
The pigment then remains trapped within fibroblasts, ultimately concentrating in a layer just below the dermis/epidermis boundary. Tattoos appear to be in the outer layer of the skin or the dermis, but the pigment is actually deposited on the second layer of the skin, which is the dermis. The presence of the ink there is stable but still, in the long term, the pigment has a tendency to move deeper into the dermis. This is the reason for eventual fading and detail loss of old tattoos.
Tattoos are permanent marks on your skin and can only be removed by surgery or laser. The process is perfectly safe when done by professionals but it is still considered a minor operation.
After the procedure, the tattoo must be covered with bandage for a minimum of two hours but no longer than 12 hours. The bandage will keep the air borne bacteria from getting into the wound since this is very susceptible to bacteria and infection. Plastic wrap is not an appropriate covering material since this will suffocate the wound area. Once the bandage is removed, the tattoo is never rebandaged. All wounds need to breathe if they are to heal properly.
With clean hands, carefully remove the bandage. Ensure that this is done gently and aseptically. Cleanliness is an important part of tattoo aftercare.

How to care for your new tattoo:

Do not let other people touch the new tattoo as this may introduce infection to the site.
After removing the bandage, the area is then washed with water and antibacterial soap to remove blood and plasma. This should be mild and free of any harsh fragrances and oils. If the tattoo area feels slimy and slippery, this may be from oozing plasma. Remove as much of it as possible since plasma dries on the skin surface and creates scabs.
The area is then air-dried. If using a clean towel, gently pat the wound and do not rub.
Alcohols and peroxides should not be used to clean the tattoo area since they cause dryness.
Wear clean and dry clothes to cover the tattoo.
After Inked is a specialized product that can be used right after the tattooing process and is applied continuously three times a day until the tattoo is healed. Apply enough to keep the moisture in and to keep the wound from scabbing.
Itchiness during the healing period is normal but it is important not to scratch or rub the area. If the scab comes off too soon, this might leave a blank spot in the design.
A tattoo should initially heal within a week, but complete healing will take up to 45 days, which is the amount of time it takes for skin to regenerate itself after being damaged.
One of the key things to ensure a long-lasting colour and detail for tattoos is to keep it moisturised. The moisture will prevent the tattoo from developing a scab, which can rob it of colour.
Avoid swimming for the first two weeks to avoid infection from exposure to chlorine and bacteria. Hot baths and soaks also should be avoided until tattoo is fully healed since this may cause over-hydration of the skin and may wash out the tattoo ink. Short showers are best at this stage.
Avoid exposure to the sun and tanning salons for at least a month since this can initiate a reaction.
After the tattoo is healed, sunscreen is to be applied daily. Wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 15 will significantly extend the life of a tattoo and will keep the colors longer. Overexposure to the sun can fade the pigments or dyes used in the tattoos.
The amount of ink that remains in the dermal area will essentially influence the final look of the tattoo.

After Inked is used by some of the most famous tattoo artists such as Ami James of tv shows, Miami Ink and NYInk.

Best products to use:

  • Petroleum jelly is inexpensive and readily available but it has been found that petroleum-based products have no healing agents. Petroleum jelly or petrolatum was originally promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties. Today, its medicinal value as a "cure-all" has since been limited. It should not be used on wounds fresh burns of any kind, including sunburn. These products traps heat inside, thus worsening burns and fresh wounds. Furthermore, petroleum jelly tends to drain the color from a tattoo.
  • Neosporin is an antibiotic ointment (combination of bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B) that has also been previously popular in tattoo care. However, even when used topically, this causes side effects; in particular, neomycin in Neosporin is well known for causing adverse reactions such as contact dermatitis. Bacitracin in Neosporin contains petroleum that drain the color from a tattoo and clogs the skin’s pores. Commonly, Neosporin tends to exaggerate the pain of abrasions and external injuries. Several people have been found to develop allergic reactions to Neosporin. This resulted in the appearance of tiny red bumps on the skin. When the bumps disappear, what is left is a “spotted” tattoo”.
  • Bacitracin is a medication used to prevent skin infections in minor skin injuries (e.g., scrapes, cuts, small burns). It is an antibiotic that works by killing the bacteria on the skin that can cause infection. Bacitracin was also used in tattoo aftercare for the reason that it was reported to cause fewer allergic reactions than Neosporin. Bacitracin is not recommended for use on large areas of the skin. It contains petrolatum that traps heat inside, worsening the tattoo wounds. Petroleum jelly tends to drain the color from a tattoo and the prolonged use of antibiotic-containing preparations may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, particularly fungi.
  • Bepanthan Nappy rash cream is another favourite especially in the UK. We understand why it is so popular - many years ago there simply were no dedicated tattoo aftercare products on the market. However it should be understood that Bepanthan should not be used on tattoos . 

Let us look at the ingredients of Bepanthen nappy ointment.

The main  ingredient of Bepanthen is dexpanthenol. It comes from panthenol. In the cosmetic industry, this is used as an emollient and moisturiser. As an ointment, it penetrates the skin and is used for minor skin irritation such as diaper rash and sunburn. This is why some use it to moisturise tattoos.

Next, Bepanthen contains petrolatum, which is commonly known as petroleum jelly. It has been widely used as an over the counter skin protectant and as an additive in many cosmetic products. Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly, which is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. It is a good way to prevent evaporation of moisture from the skin, but on the other hand, the skin cannot then absorb, excrete, or breathe. Petrolatum can have adverse effects such as suffocation of the skin, premature aging, acne, and even breast tumors. People who have sensitive skin may also experience allergic contact dermatitis.

Bepanthen also contains paraffinum liquidum, more commonly known as mineral oil. Mineral oil is also a petroleum by-product and is basically a liquid form of petroleum jelly. It is popular in cosmetics because of its wide availability and low cost. Aside from cosmetic products, it is also used as a preservative, coolant, lubricant, and thermal fluid. Although it has many advantages, mineral oil or paraffinum liquidum has also been found to increase the risk of cancer in rats that are irradiated twice a week for 20 weeks.

Lanolin and lanolin alcohol are also found in Bepanthen ointment. Lanolin is an oily material that is taken from sheep’s wool, thus is also known as wool alcohol, wool grease, or wool wax.  It is used as an emulsifier, meaning it binds well with water. This makes it very useful in cosmetic formulations and is generally safe on the skin. However, if ingested, it can cause lanolin poisoning which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also cause allergic reaction or contact dermatitis rash in some people who are sensitive to lanolin. Other possible skin reactions are: stinging or burning sensation, softening of the skin, feeling as though the skin is soggy, and some people may also notice that the skin appears lighter.

Other ingredients are aqua or water, Prunus dulcis or almond oil as emollient, cera alba or white wax which is a bleached form of or cera flava or yellow wax. It also contains cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and glyceryl oleate as emollients and thickening agents. Most emollients can be used safely but may sometimes cause burning, stinging, redness, or irritation in susceptible individuals.

The reason for Bepanthen’s use in tattoo aftercare is due to its moisturising properties. However, since this is not specifically made for fresh wounds, it can cause itching, tingling, urticaria, and pimple like spots on the tattoo area, because of sensitivity to any of the above ingredients.

If you have a fresh tattoo, you should provide proper tattoo aftercare or you may risk turning your beautiful tattoo into a disaster. Although an ordinary moisturising ointment may work for most people, it is best to use a tattoo aftercare specialty product, especially one that is cruelty free, vegan and hypoallergenic. A good tattoo aftercare lotion will not only moisturise the skin but will also accelerate healing time and keep tattoos vibrant.

Currently, specialty creams and lotions are available be used to further support healing of the tattoo. However, many of these formulas are petroleum-based, contain fragrance, methyl parabens, poly parabens, henoxyethanol, propylene glycol, and iazolidinyl urea – all of which can do damage to the tattooed skin.


  • After Inked Tattoo Aftercare After Inked is paraben-free. What are parabens? Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives for medicines and cosmetics. However, parabens have been known to cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis, and reportedly causes certain cancers. Further research is necessary to determine the safety of parabens and many natural personal care manufacturers and products have stopped using parabens and are seeking alternatives.
  • Bacteria often form when skin care products are exposed to air or are introduced when the user touches the product during application. Humidity and heat speed up bacterial growth in environments such bathrooms where most skin care products are stored. Airless dispensers are becoming more popular since they help protect a product by keeping air out of the container. They have 100% proven mechanical reliability and works well with a wide array of viscosities. The products used are usually gels, emulsions, lotions, and the like.
  • After Inked is packaged in a resealable sachet and an upside down squeezy tube. The squeezy tube dispensing mechanism prevents air and impurities from affecting the contents.


Because After Inked is contained in a squeezy tube, this allows a more measured amount of the product. Repeated contact is also eliminated when the product is applied. Eliminating bacterial transfer during application and reducing exposure to air significantly improves shelf life, effectiveness, and product stability.

Grape Seed Oil is the key ingredient of After Inked. It is a vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of various varieties of grapes. Grape seed oil is a preferred cosmetic ingredient to use in all products for damaged and stressed tissues. It has been known to possess regenerative and restructuring qualities that provide better skin moisturisation. It can facilitate retention of the normal structure of the skin’s epithelium. Grape seed oil contains more linoleic acid (proven anti-inflammatory and moisture retention properties) than many other carrier oils. When used on tattoos, it aids in the healing by regenerating the damaged blood vessels, strengthening skin tissue, and preserving the skin’s natural moisture.
After Inked  is used from start to finish, After Inked is applied as soon as the artist finishes tattooing, every day, 2-3 times a day to aid in the healing of the tattoo and then to keep the tattoo moisturized and vibrant. After Inked provides superior skin hydration with minimal scabbing, resulting in tattoos that heal better and colours that last much longer.
A tattoo is like an investment. Proper care should be provided from the start and even if the tattoo looks healed, it must not be neglected.
Any tattoo will eventually fade to some degree with age. This cannot be totally stopped but it can be kept to a minimum. In choosing the right cream or lotion for tattoo care, consider the substances included in the formulation. Look out for products that do not list the ingredients on the package since they may contain substances that may cause damage to the tattoo and the surrounding skin.
The purpose of tattoo aftercare is to make the tattoo last longer and preserve its original appearance and minimise the need for touch-ups. Whether you just got fresh ink or you have an existing tattoo that you want to maintain, After Inked provides both immediate care and long-term maintenance.
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