Tattoo Aftercare


After leaving the shop, do not remove your tattoo’s protective covering for a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 4 hours.

This ensures your new tattoo is protected against bacteria and debris while your skin is still oozing plasma.

After removing the cover, wash your tattoo TWICE with water and a mild antibacterial soap; we recommend Dial gold (liquid).

Do not be too gentle here: use your fingertips (NOT your nails) to scrub the sliminess away. This is the plasma your skin expunged earlier. If you don’t get it all and it dries in the micro-tears created by the tattooing process, your skin will crack when it stretches, and expel the ink. This is when the most damage occurs that results in a needed touch-up. Wash your tattoo right the first time!

After washing, let your tattoo air-dry, or pat it dry with a paper towel (no washcloths or anything with lint). Let it breathe in open air for ONE HOUR before applying lotion/balm.

All of our artists practice/advocate healing tattoos with MINIMAL lotion. This ensures your tattoo retains the most ink while allowing for relief from dryness/cracking.

  • [Hustle Butter] is always recommended
  • White/color-free lotions marketed for Sensitive Skin – MUST be fragrance-free, lanolin-free, petroleum-free… check the ingredient list, don’t rely on what the front of the bottle says. These statements are not regulated in the US.
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Anything marked “ointment”
  • Neosporin

Too much lotion application (or use of petroleum products) interferes with the oxygen absorption of your skin, which is essential for proper healing and ink retention. If you think you’ve applied too much lotion, firmly pat the area with a paper towel to absorb excess. After moisturizing, your skin should be soft and smooth to the touch–not sticky, tacky or moist.

Wash and moisturize your new tattoo this way twice a day for 2 weeks. Avoid swimming and sun exposure during this time.


Your skin will itch during this time–slap the skin if you must, but don’t ever scratch or pick at a healing tattoo. You may loosely cover it at night if you fear scratching it in your sleep.

Tattoos take a total of 4-5 weeks to completely heal. After the initial 2 weeks, your scabs may have all fallen off, but the skin is still healing underneath. You may notice your tattoo isn’t as bright as it was when you walked out of the shop–THIS IS NORMAL. Regenerating skin forms a thin, milky layer over where the ink sits, which will fade shortly.
ALWAYS protect your tattoos with sunscreen/sunblock, beginning after week 2.