The following simple steps will ensure that you end up with the best result.

  1. Leave the covering I put over your new tattoo overnight to prevent to prevent any bacteria from entering & allow the scab to start forming cleanly over your tattoo.
  2. Next morning, with clean hands – meaning freshly and thoroughly washed - remove the covering and wash the tattoo gently with warm water and your normal mild soap/shower gel. Make sure you remove all traces of blood & ink, but do not scrub or rub – be very gentle. Do not use a flannel or anything else to wash your tattoo as it would be too abrasive . Pat the tattoo dry gently with a soft clean towel.
  3. Cover the dried tattoo with a very thin layer of Bepanthen (a baby cream you can get from most chemists or supermarket's baby section). You can also use proprietary tattoo aftercare products such as Tattoo Goo, Tattoo Lube etc. Please do not use strong antiseptics such as Savlon, Dettol, Tea Tree oil etc, they are not necessary if you follow the rules of cleanliness and may irritate your new tattoo.
  4. Once the tattoo's initial covering is removed, do not cover it again during the healing process unless you work in, or are likely to be in, extremely dirty conditions. The tattoo will need to be exposed to the air in order to heal.
  5. Wash the tattoo at least twice a day for the first week. Apply ointment 2 or 3 times a day for the first few days, especially when you feel the tattoo is dry. Keeping it lightly moisturized will ensure the least amount of scabbing and peeling, thereby reducing the fading of the colour. Make sure your hands are perfectly clean each time you touch your tattoo. The introduction of bacteria or dirt via dirty hands could cause the tattoo to become infected.
  6. Do not swim in a pool or the sea, soak in a hot tub, sauna, or Jacuzzi for two weeks after getting your tattoo. Chemicals like chlorine and the bacteria present in Jacuzzis in sports centres etc, can cause infection. Avoid heavy weightlifting or body-contact sports for two weeks to allow full healing of your tattoo.
  7. Do not tan – either in the sun or at a tanning salon – for at least two weeks after tattooing to allow your tattoo to heal. Nothing will ruin your tattoo quicker than sunburn on a fresh tattoo. After two weeks has passed, you can expose it to the sun as long as you put a light layer of sunblock over the tattoo to preserve the beauty of the colours.
  8. Like any other wound, your tattoo will itch during the healing process. DO NOT SCRATCH IT. Ever. Scratching or picking will remove the scab and ruin your tattoo.


Joolz is now a Patron of the charity IDAS - a practical, grassroots organisation helping anyone who is a victim of sexual violence in the North of England.

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