How to Keep Your Tattoos Looking Fresh: Tips and Tricks

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Keeping your tattoos looking vibrant and beautiful is a great way to protect your investment and make sure that your tattoo stands out. In this article, we will discuss how to keep tattoos looking fresh and beautiful. We’ll cover the basics of tattoo maintenance and aftercare, as well as discuss tips and tricks for keeping your tattoo looking its best. With the right care and maintenance, you can keep your tattoos looking amazing for years to come!


Pre-Tattoo Care

Pre-Tattoo Care

Consult with a Professional Tattoo Artist

Finding an experienced, highly trained and licensed tattoo artist is essential to ensure the best possible results. Make sure the artist is up to date on all blood-borne pathogen and infection control standards. Ask to see the artist’s portfolio and discuss the tattoo design to ensure they understand what you want and can do the work safely.

Choose a Quality Tattoo Parlor

Select a tattoo parlor that is clean and well-maintained. Look for a shop that is certified by the local health department and has a valid license. Ask to see the artist’s supplies and make sure that the needles and other equipment are properly sterilized.

Get Tested for Blood-Borne Pathogens

Getting tested for blood-borne pathogens prior to getting a tattoo is an important step. This can help to reduce the risk of transmitting an infection to the tattoo artist and the person getting the tattoo.

Choose an Appropriate Tattoo Design

It is important to choose a tattoo design that you will be happy with for years to come. Consider the placement of the tattoo carefully, as this can also affect how long the tattoo will look fresh.

Consider Aftercare Products

Using the right aftercare products can help to keep your tattoo looking fresh and beautiful for many years. Look for products specifically designed for tattoos and follow the instructions for use. This will help to minimize the risk of infection, minimize fading, and keep the tattoo looking great. Following these tips can help to ensure that your tattoo looks new for years to come.

Aftercare Tips

Aftercare Tips

Keep the Tattoo Clean

It’s important to keep your tattoo clean, as this will help it last longer and look better. Wash the area twice a day with a mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water. Pat the area dry with a soft towel and apply a thin layer of healing ointment.

Moisturize Regularly

To keep your tattoo looking fresh and vibrant, it’s important to keep it moisturized. Use a fragrance-free lotion or cream and apply it twice a day. This will help keep the area hydrated and prevent the ink from fading.

Use Sun Protection

Exposure to the sun can cause your tattoo to fade and lose its vibrant colors over time. To help protect it, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 before going outdoors. Reapply every two hours, and wear protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses.

Avoid Swimming and Hot Tubs

Chlorinated water, hot tubs and Jacuzzis can irritate the skin and cause the colors in your tattoo to fade. Avoid swimming and using hot tubs until the tattoo has healed completely, which can take up to two weeks.

Avoid Picking or Scratching

The area around your tattoo may be itchy during the healing process, but resist the urge to pick or scratch it. This can cause the ink to fade and may even lead to infection. Instead, gently pat the area with a cold, damp cloth.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your tattoo looking new and vibrant for years to come.

When to See a Professional

  • If you notice signs of infection. These may include redness, swelling, heat, oozing, or tenderness. If left untreated, these can lead to scarring or other more serious problems.
  • If you develop an allergic reaction. This may include an itchy, red rash that can be painful and is usually accompanied by an unpleasant smell. If you experience any of these, it is best to seek medical attention.
  • If you want to make changes to your tattoo. Whether it is a small touch-up or a full redesign, it is always best to consult with a professional. They will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.
  • If you want to keep your tattoo looking good for years. Professional tattoo artists are skilled at keeping tattoos looking their best. They can re-ink faded tattoos, cover up old tattoos, or even help you with a complete redesign.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I moisturize my tattoos?

Tattoos should be moisturized daily to prevent fading and cracking. Use a fragrance-free, water-based moisturizer or ointment specifically designed for tattoos. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer to the entire tattooed area after washing with a mild soap and patting it dry. Avoid scrubbing and excess rubbing when applying the moisturizer, as this can damage the tattoo. Be sure to moisturize your tattoo every day for the first week and then moisturize as needed to keep your tattoo looking vibrant and beautiful.

How do I know when to get my tattoos touched up?

  • Fading: Tattoos naturally fade over time, but if you notice significant fading, it’s time to consider a touch-up.
  • Blurring or Smudging: If you notice the lines or colors of your tattoos are blurring or smudging, it’s time for a touch-up.
  • Incorrect Pigment: If the colors of your tattoos have changed dramatically, it’s likely due to incorrect pigment. A touch-up can fix this.
  • New Additions: If you want to add to your existing tattoos, a touch-up can help blend the new artwork with the old.

Can I Go Swimming with a New Tattoo?

  • Wait until the tattoo is completely healed. New tattoos should be allowed to fully heal before submerging in water. This can take up to three weeks, depending on the size and location of the tattoo.
  • Keep the area covered. When swimming, always keep the tattoo covered with clothing or waterproof bandages. This will help keep the tattoo from coming in contact with chlorine, bacteria, or any other foreign substances.
  • Rinse after swimming. After swimming, rinse the tattoo with clean, cool water to remove any chlorine or other contaminants. Gently pat dry with a clean towel.
  • Apply moisturizer. After swimming, it is important to apply a moisturizer to keep the tattoo hydrated and to prevent it from drying out. Look for a moisturizer designed specifically for tattoos.

Swimming with a new tattoo can be a difficult prospect, as it is important to protect the tattoo from any contaminants that may be lurking in the pool or other body of water. It is important to wait until the tattoo is fully healed before swimming, and to keep the area covered when possible. After swimming, be sure to rinse the tattoo and apply a moisturizer to keep the tattoo looking its best.

Is there any special care I should take for older tattoos?

  • Apply moisturizer: Regularly applying moisturizer to your tattoo can help to keep it hydrated and prevent it from fading or cracking.
  • Protect your skin: Wear sunscreen when you’re out in the sun for extended periods of time, as UV rays can cause tattoos to fade or distort over time.
  • Avoid scrubbing: When you’re cleaning your tattoo, avoid scrubbing it too hard. Use a soft cloth and gentle cleansers to keep it looking fresh.
  • Be mindful of your activities: Certain activities, such as swimming in chlorinated pools, sunbathing, or going to a tanning bed, can cause damage to your tattoo. Be mindful of these activities when caring for an older tattoo.

How can I make sure my tattoos stay vibrant for years to come?

Protecting tattoos from excessive sun exposure, moisturizing regularly and avoiding picking or scratching can help maintain the vibrancy of tattoos. Other practical ways to ensure tattoos remain vibrant for years include using sunscreen during outdoor activities and ensuring tattoos are properly cared for during the healing process. Keeping tattoos away from dirt, grime and harsh chemicals will also help maintain their vibrancy. Finally, consulting with a professional tattoo artist can help provide advice on how to keep tattoos looking their best.


To keep your tattoos looking fresh and beautiful, ensure you keep the area surrounding your tattoo clean and moisturized, and wear sunscreen to protect your tattoo from sun damage. Additionally, have your tattoo touched up regularly, and avoid picking at or scratching your tattoo. Following these steps will help keep your tattoos looking great for years to come.


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