You’ve finally bit the bullet and decided to get that tattoo you’ve been dreaming of for years. It’s totally understandable if you are itching to show it to the world, but before you do that, it’s important to take a couple of aftercare steps – so your work of art can heal properly and look just the way you imagined it.

Listen to Your Tattoo Artist
Healing time for each tattoo depends on its size and placement on the body. Your tattoo artists will be able to tell you how long you should keep the bandages on after leaving the parlor – this can be anywhere between two and eight hours.

Keep It Clean
During the initial stages, it is important to clean your tattoo properly several times a day. Use a product with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, since that area of the skin can be extremely delicate and prone to irritation. Once you’ve finished cleaning your tattoo, lightly tap it with a soft towel and avoid rubbing your skin.

Hydration is Important
In order to prevent the skin around your tattoo from drying out, you should regularly apply unscented moisturized in thin layers. Consult your tattoo artists if you’re not sure which products to use on your skin.

Avoid Sun Exposure
The sun can wreak havoc on your skin and cause your tattoo to fade. This is why you should avoid exposing it to sun, especially during scorching summer months. And whenever this is not possible, shield your tattoo with a thick coat of high-SPF sunscreen.