After the fact

Congratulations on your new tattoo. You’re probably still in that in-between moment of, ‘I can’t believe I did it’ and ‘I want to show everyone I did it’. Perfectly normal. Here’s a few things you should do to make sure your tattoo heals successfully and looks amazing years from now.

Healing Time

Let’s start off by saying, everyone is different. So you may take longer than others to heal completely. In general, give it two months but expect the surface to heal in two to three weeks.

Hands Off

While your tattoo is healing, don’t touch it unless you’ve washed your hands with antibacterial soap. (Don’t let anyone else’s dirty paws on it, either.)

Under Cover

Leave your bandage on for up to three hours. After that, wash it gently with warm water and antibacterial soap. No scrubbing. Just pat dry with a paper towel. No more bandaids.

Salve it Up

After you wash it, we recommend using a natural product such as Griffin Salve. Creator Marisa Griffin explains:

“Griffin Salve ramps up the body’s natural healing process, yielding a shorter recovery time, less scabbing and brighter colors because the ink lays down better. Plus it provides an overall calming of the nerves. It works with the body. It’s natural so the skin will absorb what it needs.”

Just Don’t

Avoid these things before the surface of your tattoo is healed: Chlorine pools, hot tubs, lake/ocean water, direct sunlight, tanning beds and harsh chemicals. And don’t pick at it, either.

Griffin Salve’s Founder Matt Griffin puts it best:

“You just bought an amazing piece of artwork. The aftercare matters.”

And the best piece of advice? Take it from Marisa Griffin, who is getting a round of applause from our very own tattoo artists:

“Do exactly what the artist tells you. Every artist is different—different weights of their hands, using different machines and different products and they are going to give you advice for your skin and for their process. Follow your artist’s advice to the letter. From there, keep it clean, add a thin layer of Griffin and don’t scratch it.”

Congratulations again on your new tattoo. Now, don’t mess it up.