Tattoo Aftercare

//Tattoo Aftercare

So you’ve had an awesome tattoo at Pictures of Lily, now you’re wondering how to keep it looking that way. Here’s our advice on how to care for your tattoo…

Leaving the studio, your artist will have covered your tattoo with a wrap. You must:

  • Leave this on for TWO HOURS. After these two hours, clean the tattooed area with plain water, DO NOT use soap. Pat the area dry with clean kitchen roll (not a towel as they hold bacteria) then leave it to breathe and dry out for the rest of the day.
  • Our top tip to thoroughly dry your tattoo is to use a hairdryer on a cool setting (ensure the filter is clean) until it is bone dry for a good few minutes; even with small tattoos, to ensure you’re not just drying the surface layer. This really does make a difference to the quality of your healing, even if it may seem like a faff and time consuming. If your tattoo is still leaking plasma on the first night, re-wrap it before going to bed to avoid getting it sticking to your bedding.
  • No lotion or balm required on the first day.

The next day, wash your tattoo with a gentle, mild soap/body wash and same as before, pat dry and use a hairdryer again to thoroughly dry the area. With freshly washed hands sparingly apply lotion (keep reading for our recommendations). It’s very important not to smother the tattoo; don’t slather lotion all over it. If there is any excess left on the surface, dab it with kitchen roll or spread it to another area on your body. Over moisturising can lead to blocked pores and a gooey film, which does not make for happy healing.

Going forward, you should aim to keep your newly tattooed skin soft and supple. You don’t want it getting exceedingly dry which could lead to irritation, excessive itching or your tattoo cracking. However, flaky, scaly silver-skin is a normal part of the healing process, so don’t panic if this happens. Scratching and picking are absolute no-no’s!

Everyone’s skin differs so it’s up to you to keep on top of how many times a day you need to reapply. People heal at different rates, generally it’s around the two week mark but other factors can affect healing:

  • A healthy immune system is key
  • Conditions such as diabetes can make healing slower
  • Good personal hygiene is important
  • Your job. If you work in a very mucky environment or where there is a lot of humidity, this could have an impact

Things to Avoid

Antiseptic creamsthese creams will dull the pigment and draw the tattoo ink out of your body. DO NOT USE even if you think there is an infection.

UV Raysexposing a new tattoo to UV rays can have a negative effect on the healing. Use full factor sun cream after the first two weeks and then factor 50+ to maintain your tattoo.

Steamyour new tattoo will become too moist and will not heal properly. Avoid Jacuzzis and saunas etc. You can still shower as usual but avoid taking baths until your tattoo has fully healed.

Chlorinethis is a chemical and is too harsh for a new tattoo to be exposed to. No swimming until it’s healed.



You’ve spent time and money on your tattoo so it’s just as important to invest as much into the aftercare. Here’s what we recommend using:

Bam Balm

We adore Bam Balm for so many reasons; firstly, it smells divine, secondly, it’s made from all natural ingredients and contained in a cardboard tube which means as well as being good for the environment, it doesn’t expose your tattoo to harsh chemicals. Thirdly, the roll on stick means it’s easy to apply the right amount, just smooth it on (not too much!). Lastly as it’s handmade from a local producer in Hitchin, not only do you get a great product, you’re supporting a local independent business too!


Palmer’s Fragrance Free Cocoa Butter

We recommend the fragrance-free LOTION version as it’s paraben and phthalate free, making it suitable for even sensitive skin and doesn’t contain those nasty chemicals that can draw the ink from your tattoo. Just remember to use sparingly.

You now have an awesome piece of art that needs looking after, how it heals depends on you. Following these instructions will help your tattoo heal in the preferred time. If you think there are any issues with your tattoo, then please come back and see your tattooist or get in contact with the studio for advice. Do not Dr Google!



*If you have any allergies or beliefs which prevent our artist using their typical aftercare procedure, please let us know so we can suggest alternatives*


Happy healing from the team at Pictures of Lily