A tattoo isn't completed until it is fully healed. This takes active participation on your part.
Remove the bandage after one hour, two maximum.
Wash the tattoo using clean fingertips/hand only. Use a mild antibacterial soap and warm water. Do not scrub the tattoo and always gently pat the tattoo dry with a clean soft cloth.
Apply a thin coat of ointment to the tattoo, we recommend only Tattoo Goo. Work it in well and dab off all the excess with a paper towel. You should barely be able to tell that it's there. Too much ointment will only suffocate the tattoo and liquefy any scabs that may have formed causing the ink to fall out and look blotchy.
Ointment can be applied whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry but beware of over-moisturising.
Apply ointment twice a day for two to three days then switch to a regular moisturiser.
Your skin will form a protective layer no matter what you do. If you do not keep it moist or keep it too moist (it's a personal balance, different for each individual), it will form a thick, hard scab that may crack when you move. When you form this kind of a scab the ink sits within it and slowly heals into the skin.
When the tattoo is kept moist it doesn't have a chance to form a scab but does form a thin membrane to protect the tattoo while it heals. This layer peels off very similar to a sunburn (do not peel your tattoo, you will pull the ink out!) and it is normal to see small flakes of coloured skin falling off during this stage of healing. You must keep your tattoo clean, however, long showers or baths must be avoided for 2 weeks.
Please refrain from scratching or picking at the tattoo. Scrubbing with a washcloth can be very harsh on a tattoo and will cause your colours to fade. It is normal for the tattoo to become very itchy during the healing time BUT DO NOT SCRATCH IT!! Wait until it is fully healed to go back in the sun or a tanning bed and make sure you put on a high quality SUNBLOCK. (Do not apply sun block while the tattoo is healing.)
Just a note: Remember that hands and feet reproduce skin cells much faster than other parts of the body. A tattoo in these areas will sometimes take an extra two weeks to heal. During this time refrain from washing dishes, wearing gloves, or wearing socks and shoes (sandals must not rub the tattoo). Any friction of this type WILL wear away the tattoo within a very short period of time. Tattoos in these areas are almost never guaranteed.
No matter how good the artist is, if you DO NOT care for the new tattoo in the correct way it will not look good. Once you leave the studio it is up to you to care for the tattoo - remember it's there for LIFE so make it a good one.