If we're going to commit to something permanent and meaningful being inked into our skin, we want to know it will stay that way forever.
Smudged lines and colour fade aren't a look we're into, so it's important that after the tattoo artist has taken care of the art itself, we do our bit to keep our ink looking fresh.
The best celebrity tattoos in the business
We asked tattoo artist Hayley Hayes for her top aftercare tips, which, if stuck to, will ensure your ink remains in peak condition.
As for the absolute worst thing you could do to your new tat? That would be applying hydrogen peroxide (found in some household cleaning products and even shampoos and conditioners, so make sure you check the ingredients list), a it messes with the ink and fades it like no other.
So don't do that, and do the below instead...
Cling film for colour pieces
Not every tattoo needs to be wrapped in cling film; it depends on the size and placement. When it comes to large, coloured pieces, Hayley says it's wise to wrap them. "Small, solely line workpieces should be ok." That said, "if the tattoo is going to be under clothing, it’s best to wrap it, especially if the tattoo is more than just linework."
Keep it clean but not soaked
A fresh tattoo is effectively a wound, so it's important to keep it clean in order to avoid infection. "It will need to be cleaned regularly, particularly in the first 24-48 hours", says Hayley. You can get them wet, but 'they shouldn't be submerged or soaked', for instance, in the bath or swimming.
Avoid too much sun and be extra diligent with sun cream
While your tattoo is healing, stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially if you have a coloured tattoo. "After it's healed, regular sun cream should be fine to use", says Hayley. "If you want to keep the colour vibrant, use a high SPF."
If it wasn't obvious already, coloured tattoo post-care is a little different. This is because colour tattoos often mean more trauma to the skin and a longer healing time. Whatever you do, Hayley says, do avoid picking any scabs. "It will pull the ink out and probably scar, making it difficult to touch up."
Moisturise twice a day
Keep your tattoo well hydrated while healing with a good fragrance-free moisturiser. "Apply 1-2 times a day, or just when the skin/tattoo has dried out, which can vary depending on your skin type, size and placement of the tattoo."
Good skin means good tattoos
It's as simple as that. Everything that is good for your skin – nutirional diet, drinking lots of water and being mindful in the sun – will benefit your tattoo, too.