AfterCare + Community Care
What everyone needs - a refresher on aftercare, and some info on how i aim to serve my community. Here you'll get info on color swatches, free tattoos for BIPOC, and trauma Coverups.
Although I offer every tattoo client one of my aftercare zines, I know how easy those lil things are to lose! Check out the below info in case you lost your aftercare, or just need a refresher!
Please keep in mind that this is my suggested aftercare - Every tattooer or shop may have their standard instructions, but this does not mean one is wrong over the other. old school tattooers may suggest something a little different from newer tattooers.
I have included some suggestions, and explanations for why I do not personally recommend certain products over others, but I highly recommend doing your own research.
The hard part ( getting the tattoo) is done! You made it! Now, after you've sat for any amount of time getting inked, you want to make sure you keep your tattoo looking fresh and ensure that it heals as best it can.
Taking care of your new skin-baby is up to you! only you can prevent fallout.
for the first 3 weeks:
Bandage: Care + Removal
1. most often, I use Recovery Derm Shield**, a flexible, breathable stick-on bandage that takes out the guesswork for the first few days.
2. For most smaller tattoos, I will recommend keeping the bandage on for 3-5 days ( but no more than 5). If you get a larger tattoo, I will provide a second bandage to replace the first after 24 hours.
3. please remove the bandage if any of the following occurs:
- Redness persisting beyond the first 48 hours
- pocket of fluid (blood + plasma) forms underneath the bandage
- Edges start peeling more than 1/4 inch
4. When removing your bandage, make sure you have clean hands, and remove the bandage by peeling it back in a *Downwards* direction ( or in the direction your hair normally grows).
**click here for more information on the bandage I use!
Once the bandage comes off
1. Wash your hands! Never ever touch your healing tattoo without washing your hands first. A healing tattoo is an open wound and needs to be treated with care.
3. After washing your tattoo, immediately apply a small amount of either a light lotion or a healing ointment. The amount you apply should be a very very thin layer. Too thick of a layer of ointment can "suffocate" the tattoo and prevent it from healing correctly.
2. Wash your tattoo with lukewarm water + antibacterial soap. Use your hands to lather the soap before application ( this will help to avoid having to use any friction on the actual tattoo - use gentle circular motions and then rinse with lukewarm water. Wash 1-2 times daily until scab forms.
4. Keep it hydrated! Apply the ointment after cleansing each time and as needed when the tattoo looks or feels dry! Once the scab falls off, I recommend switching to an unscented lotion to help ease the rest of the healing process.
If you have acne-prone skin, you can just use a lightweight lotion throughout the whole process, or see below for further recommendations.
My recommendations for ointments/lotions for your new tattoo:
I've organized these by skin type, but if you don't know yours, just go with the recommendation under "normal"! **
oily / combination
oily / combination
** to provide some context for this information, before becoming a tattooer, I worked in the beauty and skincare industry for about 5 years. I do not claim to be an expert, but I do know skincare! If you have any questions about the above, let me know!
Community care can take many forms - the way I have found to best help my community is to provide free or discounted services, education for my clients, and donate a percentage of my profits each month.
as with all things, i ask for patience as i roll out these new programs for 2021 - I am constantly learning and am always open to feedback.
Right now, I ask everyone to consider your privilege, both racially and economically, when applying for any of my discounted or free services. These services are meant for disenfranchised communities and those who have experienced trauma and cannot afford the usual cost of a coverup or rework.
as someone who has experienced trauma, I will never ask you to divulge the origins of the scar/tattoo or reasons behind why you are asking for the service.
I am always open to talking if you want to, but please also know that I reserve the right to protect my energy and may not always be able to handle certain conversations.
Discounted or free services
as a white business owner, I view it as my responsibility to pay reparations in both financial and service form. This comes in the following forms from me:
in 2021, I aim to contribute 10% of my monthly profit to mutual aid for bipoc..
paying real rent to the duwamish tribe
venmo/cashapp/paypal reparations to the black and indigenous folks in my life and community
donations to black organizations and community programs
in 2021, I aim to offer one free tattoo (up to 3 hours) to bipoc clients in my community per month.
i will be rolling this out in mid january - I am trying to figure out the best way to structure this!
((More info coming soon!))
IF you are a bipoc member of the community, and would like to help me with ways I can structure the service reparations,
coverups for self harm
or trauma-related scars/ tattoos
These can be delicate conversations. As Mentioned above, I will never ever ask you to explain yourself. This is why it is so important that everyone considering this service takes into account their economic priveledge. IF you can afford to pay full price for a coverup for your scar, please consider submitting a regular jotform to book a consultation.
That being said, this is open to anyone who has scars as a result from self harm or traumatic events, or for those who have tattoos created by known abusers.
I want you to feel at home in your body again.
Please note that a scar "coverup" does not always make the scar invisible. As scars oftentimes alter the texture of the skin, a tattoo cannot alter the texture of the scar. You will still know it is there, but we can make it less noticeable, and help you feel more at home in your skin!
I will only be taking on one of these projects every two months. this may change depending on each project.
Please see below for information on how this works:
Limit to up to 3 hours of tattooing work per coverup. This means no full back pieces, no sleeves. Please be mindful of this.
Not all scars and tattoos can be covered. This is an unfortunate reality. The deeper the scar or darker the tattoo, the more difficult the coverup.
I will require you to come into the studio for a consultation to talk about your ideas and for me to determine whether your scar or tattoo can be covered.
how this works:
((More info coming soon!))
Since this program is new, I am still planning on its structure! IF you would like to help me do this -
I will be taking on only one of these projects every few months, with priority to Black, indigenous, poc, Trans, and queer, and disabled folkx.
More Information Coming soon on the Following:
Client Rights (work by Tamara SantiBanez)
Trauma-Informed Tattooing ( work by Tamara Santibanez)
Tattoo Etiquette (Tipping and more)
since my community care efforts are new, I would love to hear your feedback!