Toochi Tattoo - The Ultimate Tattoo Care Guide
We will take you through the ultimate care guide for your ink. Professionally and dermatologically backed information for your tattoos.
As tattoos get more and more detailed and specialized, with amazing and in depth artwork taken to new levels that years ago we could have only dreamed of, the days of slapping on some Vaseline and heading off to the beach are also pretty much over - with the price we pay for our beautiful artwork, it's fair to say we should put a bit of care into how we look after it also.
There is a lot of conflicting advice and guides out there so we have put together an Ultimate Tattoo Guide, which will take you through, step by step the best way to care for your tattoo. And you know at Toochi we practice what we preach so not only does our Ultimate guide have step by step instructions but you can get your own 'Toochi Stash Box', where we have put all of the Toochi items from the guide into the box, so you can grab it and be on your way, knowing you'll have all the goods you need on hand. On the other hand, if you have a favourite few items on the list, you can get all of our Toochi products individually also. Our Stash box has enough for 3x Tattoo appointments.
Preparing for your tattoo should start the day prior to your appointment, with shaving the area to be tattooed (this step can be skipped for body areas with no hair).
Why is it ideal to shave the area yourself the day before? This is because shaving causes damage to the epidermal barrier of the skin, although you likely cannot see the damage, every time your skin is shaved it affects the inflammatory response of the epidermis. Up to 20% of the material removed during shaving comprises skin, so it is therefore best to shave 24hours prior to your appointment and give the skin time to calm down from this prior to a tattoo.
Our Toochi Stash box contains 3x quality disposable razors. These should be used 1x and then discarded.
Numbing up for Tattoo appointments is becoming more and more common and is widely accepted by Tattoo Artists and Tattoo Enthusiasts alike (basically by everybody but 'tough guys' with daddy issues...), as tattoos are getting so detailed, sitting still is so important to the artist, and to end result. It saves time, as you will need less breaks, and the general moving etc is cut down noticeably in most people with the use of Tattoo Numbing Cream. Follow these steps to get the best results from Toochi Tattoo Numbing Cream (results from varying brands will vary and there instructions may also)
Prior to applying your numbing cream - It is important to clean your skin thoroughly with an Alcohol based & Antibacterial soap (we recommend Toochi Foaming Greensoap). This will remove all of the bacteria and dead skin cells sitting on your skin. With high quality numbing creams, they are placed on the surface of the skin, and are then absorbed into the skin's dermal layers to temporarily block the pathway of pain signals along the nerve - the Lidocaine acts as a 'blocking channel'. Any dirt or bacteria on the skin's surface can be absorbed with the cream, which can cause issues such as infection etc (this is the same for the actual tattooing itself, or any other time when skin is being penetrated)
Step by step to apply Toochi Numbing Cream:
Puncture seal with the cap
- Apply a thick and even layer of numbing cream to the area about 2 – 3 mm thick (do not rub in, simply spread evenly over the area), slightly larger than area being tattooed
Cover the area with cling wrap and leave on for 90mins (this allows the cream to heat and activate, and prevents drying)
- You or your professional can now remove the cream carefully before your procedure
As with our explanation above about cleaning the bacteria from the skin's surface before numbing cream is absorbed into the skin, it is equally important to thoroughly clean your skin prior to beginning your tattoo session (read above if you have skipped the numbing stage)
Our Toochi Foaming Greensoap has both alcohol and antibacterial soap which makes it ideal for not only cleaning but sterilizing the area prior to your tattoo session. Take your Toochi Greensoap along to your appointment and give it to your artist to use prior and throughout your appointment. This will keep it sterile, clean, and it is also very moisturizing to the skin throughout the tattoo appointment.
Tattoo appointment - now it is time for your Tattoo Appointment, the time is here, ready to relax and enjoy
If you want some extra relaxation throughout your appointment we recommend trying Toochi Blue Lotus Tea. Blue lotus extract may help promote deep body and mind relaxation. When taken at a higher dose, feelings of euphoria may potentially be felt.
Blue lotus extract helps to promote deep body and mind relaxation and when taken at a higher dose, feelings of euphoria may potentially be felt. So if you are game, pop some in your favourite on the go drink and relax through your appointment!
Right so your tattoo is finished up, it's looking great and you're happy as that it's over and already planning your next one! The next thing you should focus on is keeping your tattoo clean & free from germs and bacteria. Tattoo bandages are great for this as they prevent scabbing and infection, loss of color and detail, and prevent rubbing on clothing / bedding. They are a real game changer for after tattoo pain, especially when using numbing cream, as the area has been numb for some hours, and as this wears off, the full effect of the tattoo can feel like it is hitting you all of a sudden, the best thing to lessen this pain is to apply your Tattoo Bandages as soon as your appointment is finished. Choosing a tattoo bandage like Toochi Bandages that are medical-grade, breathable, and waterproof are the best option.
Here are the step by step instructions to apply your bandages:
- Wash the tattoo thoroughly with Toochi Foaming Greensoap, then rinse thoroughly with water - so that the area is completely clean and there is no Greensoap left on the area
- Then either air dry / or gently pat dry until the area is clean and completely dry
- Cut your bandage to size (or use 2 or more if it is a large piece) - it is best to make the bandage slightly larger than the tattoo
- Remove the backing sticker (the white side of the bandage), and stick down onto the tattoo
- Then remove the front clear sticker and push down firmly again
The Tattoo Bandage should be left on for up to 24hours, it can be taken off sooner if there is a lot of weeping of the tattoo. It’s fine if there is some blood/lymph/plasma fluid buildup under the bandage during this period, but don’t leave it longer than 24 hours. Try to keep your tattoo bandage as clean and dry as possible whilst wearing it during the healing process.
The best way to remove a tattoo bandage is in the shower. Pull the edge down over itself slowly, whilst under the running water.
Another bandage can be put on the tattoo, which can be left on for up to 5days, although removing it sooner is also fine - this is more up to personal preference. Before applying the second bandage - clean the tattoo gently with Toochi Super Suds/or another antibacterial soap, pat dry with a clean towel and you can either apply a very light smear of Toochi Never Fear Aftercare/or similar - or you can leave dry, this is up to personal preference. Leave for 30mins, then reapply the second bandage. Carry on reading to find out more about the cleaning and aftercare process.
Once removing your Toochi Bandage, at this stage you can swap from using your Greensoap over to your Super Suds. Using a Tattoo soap that is mild, antibacterial, and moisturizing is best for the aftercare of your tattoo. Your tattoo is an open wound which can become infected if bacteria / germs get into the site. Using an antibacterial foaming soap is best, rather than a bar soap which germs will attach too and multiply, increasing the risk of infection, also if you are sharing a bathroom with other individuals the risk of cross contamination will increase with the use of bar soap. The best option is a mild and foaming antibacterial soap, as the light wash it provides will decrease the risk of damage to the artwork. Another added benefit to Toochi Super Suds is the added moisturizing coconut oil, as you do not want a soap that is too drying as this will negatively affect the inks healing process.
Gently clean your fresh ink 2 - 3 x daily for approx 3 weeks after your tattoo. Add a couple of pumps of the Foaming Super Suds to the area, and gently wash in a circular motion, rinse with warm water (not hot water as this will dry out the ink). When nearer to the 3 week mark, this can be cut back to 1 - 2 x daily.
Keeping your new ink protected and moisturized is a must for the healing process. Choosing a tattoo aftercare that is petroleum free, can be used right after your tattoo appointment and that has a nice consistency that is not too thick and heavy, yet stays on well after it is applied to keep the area moist is tricky! We developed Toochi Never Fear Aftercare to tick all of these boxes, so that you can use one high quality buttery balm on your tattoos, straight from your session, through to years afterwards if you like - we have lots of customers that carry on using it to make their tattoos keep popping. The best thing about it is it's smooth consistency that isn't too heavy and isn't too light - and it smells great too.
Adding soothing gels and the like to new tattoos is actually not great for the healing of new tattoos - they contain an extended list of chemical and unnatural ingredients which you are essentially putting straight into an open wound. It's best to skip products like this, and go for something with more natural ingredients that won't increase the risk of infection.
After washing your tattoo (2-3x daily for 3 weeks), pat the area dry with a clean towel - and then this is the best time to add a smear of Toochi Never Fear Aftercare (or something similar) over your tattoo. Make sure to use clean hands every time also. It is important to keep the ink well moisturized throughout the healing process, but over moisturizing is also not good for the ink, and can affect and slow down the healing process.
It is important not to pick / itch / rub your new tattoo even if it is very itchy as this will cause the ink to fall out and will ruin the tattoo.
As your tattoo is well into healing and past that itchy / peeling / flaking stage, say around 2 - 3 weeks time, you can switch over to using your Toochi Magic Potion Lotion. This is our long term lotion that is an everyday moisturizer to keep your tattoos soft, supple and popping. It can be used on tattooed and virgin skin alike, to finish up the healing process, and then to be used as an everyday go to lotion. The general healing of tattoos takes about 3 weeks, while the complete healing of the epidermis and dermis layers of skin can take as long as about 6months to fully heal, during this time extra care and moisturizing is really important.
It is also very important to use a high SPF sunscreen on your tattoos (and non tattooed skin too), to protect them long term from the sun. Repeated sun exposure can be damaging to tattoos and cause them to fade and discolour.
A few other things to remember during the healing process:
- Stay hydrated - this will help to speed up your recovery time
- Do not bath / soak / swim for at least 2 weeks after your tattoo appointment - showering is fine, but remember to keep the temperature warm, rather than hot
- Avoid rubbing the fresh ink, so no tight/restrictive clothing, and accessories etc that rub over a fresh tattoo
- Use only clean bedding / sheets / towels / clothes etc during the healing process to lower the risk of infection
- Avoid all direct sunlight on your tattoo during 3 weeks following your tattoo, and then following that always use an SPF50 sunscreen on your tattoos when in the sun
If you are worried your tattoo has become infected or there is something wrong, get in touch with your tattoo artist, or go see a doctor. These are a few things to watch out for:
- Chills / Fever - this could indicate that there is an infection
- Redness - all tattoos will be red but if the redness does not die down after a few days it could be a sign something is wrong
- Oozing - if your tattoo is oozing fluid or pus at day 2 - 3 it may be infected
- Puffy/Swollen Skin - it is normal for the skin to be raised for a few days, but if the tattoo is looking puffy a few days later, it could mean that you are having a reaction to the ink