In my opinion, tattoos are one of the purest forms of art nowadays. If you are forking out all kinds of money for this kind of art, going through all the pain, and investing your time to collect these pieces of fine art, there are a few things you need to know before you go on with your day to day life in order to preserve the life of your tattoos and keep them looking fresh.
1.) First and foremost, the sun is your ink’s worst nightmare! This doesn’t mean you can’t go out on a boat here and there, hang at the beach, or that you have to change the entire way you live…but you will have to make some adjustments if you want your ink looking new as the years go by. Assuming your tattoo has had proper time to heal, use high SPF sunscreen (somewhere between 30-50 is best) on your tattoos. I even wear sunscreen when I drive because my arm hangs out the window, but this is a bit extreme as i do really baby my work. It’s best to help your tattoos avoid sun entirely if possible. I choose to wear long sleeves in the heat most of the time simply because my art means that much to me.
2. Use a tattoo moisturizing product. There are plenty of great products out there and I’m not going to promote any certain one, just be sure that you are using a product that has good quality, natural ingredients. These products really do make a visible difference in your skin art/skin because when your skin is moisturized and fresh, your tattoos look and feel pristine.
3. Be sure to use a proper method for healing your pieces. From my experience, this means staying out of the sun, keeping the wound clean, moisturizing and applying a healing product. Be sure not to OVER-moisturize as this can lead to bad rashes, and just use your common sense on how to care for a large open wound on your body. Also avoid direct contact with unsanitary objects such as public restrooms, gyms, public tables, etc. If anything does accidentally touch your tattoo, wash immediately. Always use clean paper towels to PAT dry. Here’s a link to my article on how I personally heal my work: Tattoo Aftercare- My Personal Do’s and Don’ts
4. Shave. This definitely isn’t essential as far as the longevity of your work, but I do cringe when I see beautiful pieces of art that doesn’t look near as good as it could look because of the amount of body hair. I have seen it way too many times, and really do wonder why some people pay thousands of dollars for their tattoos but don’t shave often… I guess it’s all a matter of personal preference though.
I just feel like it’s very easy to throw some shaving gel on your arms or legs or wherever in the shower and smooth the pieces up so they’re looking sharp and crisp – to me it does make all the difference in the world when a piece is freshly shaven (arms and legs especially) as opposed to having a month or three months worth of hair grown on it.
You will receive a lot more kind words on your pieces while walking around (if that’s something that’s important to you which I know it is to many), and your artist will thank you big time and be very appreciative that you are proudly showing off his or her work, are taking great care of it, and doing the piece(s) justice.
5. Keep your work covered when outdoors as often as possible. Yes it’s hard, especially if you’re someone who works hard in the gym and maintains a clean diet which leads to a healthy physique. It is rewarding to be able to show off your hard work, but I personally value my tattoos much more than I value showing off my body which is why I keep a shirt on when I run outside. (and even usually try to run in sweats/longsleeves) I keep a shirt on often times when I’m outside, and I defintely avoid getting a tan or going to tanning booths. I have gone to great lengths to get this collection of art, and I am dedicated to keeping it looking pristine for as long as possible.
I hope these tips help you pay attention and take the proper steps to keep your ink looking pristine. It really is worth the effort. Check out my tips for keeping your tattoo artist happy! 12 Things You should Know So You Avoid Pissing Your Tattoo Artist Off!