There are many articles online that discuss the topic of tattoo aftercare and many of them are unfortunately written by professional bloggers with no real life or clinical experience in caring for a fresh tattoo. Often they will compile information from different blog sources to create their own “expert opinion” with little or no clinical evidence or research to back up their claims. So you often hear the same ill-conceived advice being repeated.
It is common sense however to ensure you keep your fresh tattoo clean though in the modern world, there are new and improved options available to collectors so this article is aimed at bringing new technology into the equation when considering the way in which aftercare is applied.
Firstly, many articles talk about washing the tattoo on a daily basis. We agree but what if you're applying a protective tattoo film or bandage? How can you wash your tattoo if it is covered up? The answer is simple. If you are using a protective tattoo film or bandage, you don’t need to wash your tattoo except in between your first and second bandage application.
Transparent breathable tattoo bandage films are gradually becoming the norm in the industry, due to the effectiveness of these applications. On that note if you are still using cling wrap then unfortunately your practice is questionable. Cling plastic wraps don’t enable the tattoo to breathe which is paramount to a successful heal. So with that said, in determining when and how you wash your tattoo will depend on whether you're applying a protective tattoo bandage or film or not. When I refer to bandage, I'm not referring to a bandage in the traditional sense. I’m referring to the semi-permeable transparent type. This type of bandage is used across the medical industry for helping to keep skin wounds and tattoos free from infection. They are also great to prevent your tattoo from sticking to bed sheets and clothing.
So if you’re applying a protective tattoo bandage, you only need to wash the fresh tattooed skin once before applying the bandage film, once in between changes, and again for up to 7 days after your final application. In using tattoo bandage film, bodily fluids build up under the bandage which are beneficial to healing your tattoo. Though it’s important to wash the fluids away in the first 8-24 hours and then reapply a second application. The bandage change is where you need to think about a quality tattoo soap wash, when washing away the fluid build up.
In considering what soap to use at this stage, it’s important to avoid traditional soaps with surfactants and chemical fragrances. Many articles will tell you to avoid scented soaps which is just misinformation. There are two types of fragrances. Natural and synthetic, the latter being chemically derived mostly from petroleum which has been linked to birth defects, cancer, and the list goes on. That’s why you should avoid scented products that are made using synthetic fragrances. However, many scents that are derived from essential plant based oils can be extremely beneficial for healing skin wounds, and of course tattoos. Lemon balm is one of those oils. Lemon Balm has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and is also calming, soothing, healing and is just amazing for the skin whilst also stimulating circulation which is very important for tattoo aftercare.
An all natural organic tattoo soap wash should be high on your priority list in your aftercare kit. Z Wash for example is one product that was formulated specifically for tattoo aftercare and not only contains magical Lemon Balm, the hemp base is incredible for healing skin wounds which is essentially what a fresh tattoo is. The product is organic and palm oil free so you can heal your tattoos and feel good about yourself at the same time!