Ok, you’ve heard it all about tattoos this month. The who’s, the what’s, the where’s and the why’s. So now it’s the time where I do a little product recommendation. Usually, after you get your ink, your artist will give you enough ointment (A&D usually) to get you through its healing time. Always remember, a packet of ointment goes a long way–“you don’t have to save the world with the stuff.” But soon after, you will need some basic drugstore necessities to keep your ink at its best. Here are the top items you should get even before you get the art:
1. Antibacterial Soap. Sounds like a given but you need to put a little thought into this. Bath and Body Works lovers, you’re going to need to slow it down for a while. When it comes to a good antibacterial soap, less is best. In fact, less is NECESSARY. No dyes, no perfumes, no foo foo flowers. Soap, people. Just. Plain. Soap. Save the grapefruit and sweet peas for after you’re healed. Now? Just the basics. Sassy suggests:
Dial Original Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash or Colgate-Palmolive Antibacterial Soap
2. A Good Lotion. Once you’ve healed, it’s imperative you keep the skin soft. The softer it is, the truer the color and design will stay. Again, perfumes and dyes are drying and you want to avoid anything that’s going to tighten up the skin. Sure, there is nothing wrong with wearing your favorite lotion, fragrance or glitter where it makes you feel sexy. But if where you feel sexy is now covered with a big, plasma-draining rose (sorry so graphic), you are going to want to avoid to avoid putting it there for at least a few months. Definitely put the moisturizer on before bed too. That’s when skin cell turnover is usually at its fastest. Sassy suggests: Eucerin Original Moisturizing Creme and Curel Fragrance Free – Original Lotion for Dry & Sensitive Skin
3. A damn good sunscreen. This is where things get a little tricky. Because your skin is essentially burned when it is tattooed, it can easily burn more when it is exposed to direct sunlight. Wearing a good sunscreen over your ink is essential, especially if you cant cover it with clothes. Again, you really want to avoid dyes, fragrances and any alcohol-containing product. You want to get at least an SPF50 for the best coverage nowadays. Remember when you thought a 15 was high? Yeah… ummm… like SO yesterday. Between the protection of your tattoo and the prevention of skin cancer, most people will tell you to get an SPF of 50 or higher in a broad-spectrum sunscreen. You need to reapply it frequently especially when in water or are sweating (read here http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/sun-care/how-often-apply-sunscreen.htm for great sun care info). Don’t cheap out on your sunscreen–and use it like you ARE trying to save the world with it. You should apply a shotglass worth all over, whether it be oil or cream! Sassy suggests: Neutrogena® Pure & Free® Baby Sunscreeen Lotion SPF 60+ and Coppertone® Tattoo GUARD™ Lotion SPF 50 Sunscreen
See? There is no need to worry that you wont be able to find the items you will need to keep your new art looking fresh and new for a long time. Your neighborhood drugstore should have all of these things you will need. Make sure of one thing: when you open your products, write the date on them. All skin care products–especially sunscreens–begin losing their main properties and begin breaking down from bacteria in about a year. Instead of using more and hoping for the best just go out and restock! Your skin and your tattoo will thank you.