Moisturiser is necessary to keep the tattoo from cracking and flaking, but it’s important not to overdo things
I just got my sixth tattoo, and it has prompted people to ask how I care for inked skin. This is no surprise, given that an estimated 40% of under-40s are now tattooed, yet this is rarely reflected in mainstream beauty writing.
I have never been a slave to aftercare leaflets with any of my tattoos or piercings, but I always follow the same drill: removal of cellophane (wrapped around the new tattoo purely to protect others from plasma or blood contamination) as soon as I get home, followed by a rinse in clear, warm water (watch your water pressure: a gentle flow is ideal). I then gently smear on moisturiser, though not the petrol-derived creams commonly recommended. Many swear by Bepanthen Baby Moisturiser (£4.79, boots.com). I’m generally not one for evangelising about the infinite benefits of coconut oil, but I do think its natural simplicity makes it ideal on traumatised skin, if not precious clothing: don’t wear anything fancy for a few days. Vita Coco Coconut Oil (£6.99, Holland & Barrett) is as good a place to start as any. (Incidentally, coconut is a drupe, not a true nut, but do check with your GP if you’re especially susceptible to allergic reaction).