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Ink, Salt, and SPF: Taking Care of Summertime Body Mods

tattoo aftercare, piercing aftercare, summer tattoos

Summertime is the perfect season for beach trips and spontaneous body mod decisions. You may find yourself shedding excess layers at the beach to show hidden body art, or making spontaneous trips for a new tattoo. Whether you’re exposing older body art to the sun’s rays or you want the thrilling experience of summertime spontaneity, it’s important to take into consideration how the season can impact your tattoo’s longevity.

anchor tattoos, nautical tattoos, linework tattoos, Alesio tattooStroll along the boardwalk at the nearest beach town and you’ll find restaurants, bars, gift shops, and even some tattoo and piercing shops displaying photos of past clients and plenty of potential tattoos. If you happen upon a shop that calls out to you, there are a few important things to know about caring for tattoos and piercings in the summer heat. 

Although piercing aftercare typically demands a bottle of saline water like Recovery Purified Saline Wash, a body piercer would advise you to steer clear of the ocean. Whether you opt for a new piercing, new tattoo, or even both while on your beach vacation, you will want to avoid swimming with any new body modifications. Swimming pools, hot tubs, and even natural bodies of water play host to bacteria that can potentially breed infections or otherwise prolong the healing process. Tattoo artists and body piercers alike will agree that mindful aftercare is vital to maintaining the beauty of your body’s newest addition.

It’s incredibly important to remember that a new tattoo or piercing should be treated the same way as a healing wound, which means it must be kept clean and out of harm’s way. Wearing loose, breathable clothing can help protect the fresh body mod from harsh sunlight and potential irritants. It’s also important to stay hydrated, which is particularly beneficial for skin health and healing wounds. Simply drinking enough water and eating healthy foods during the recovery process will ensure your body has the necessary nutrients to promote fast and optimal healing. 

If you’re planning to hit the beach this summer for an extended trip, try to hold off on any new tattoo appointments until after your vacation. However, if you find that you cannot pass up a new piece (or you’ve booked an appointment with an artist you admire well in advance), it’s best to get that new tattoo on the latter half of your trip, so you can enjoy the beach for a few days. After your appointment, you’ll have to plan on keeping the fresh piece away from the sun, which is a healing tattoo’s worst enemy. This means confining yourself to a beach chair under the umbrella for the remainder of the trip, or steering clear of the beach altogether. Protecting your fresh tattoo from any irritants that could disrupt the healing process, like sweat or sand, will help ensure the final product still looks as crisp as it did when it was fresh. Providing a barrier between the elements and your fresh tattoo, Recovery Derm Shield is an excellent, breathable bandage that makes the often painful first few days after a new tattoo much more comfortable.  You won’t have to worry about clothes sticking to freshly inked skin or other possible irritants.

derm shield, recovery derm shield, tattoo bandage

Even after the bandage is removed, the peeling process is over, and all the skin around your new tattoo is healed, sunlight remains a tattoo’s biggest possible enemy. Sunscreen is always important, but it is particularly important for modified skin, whether you’re covered in tattoos or you only have a few. Be sure to apply sunscreen even to your oldest tattoos. We recommend products like Recovery Tattoo Lotion and Smelly Gelly for moisturizing older pieces and promoting vibrancy. We also highly recommend Renew by Tattoo Goo, which is enhanced with SPF 30+ and enriched with olive oil, making it the perfect moisturizing and protective product for summer rays. This product is known for bringing out the color in any tattoo, old or new.

Most body mod lovers have made split-second decisions about a new tattoo. Even most people who wouldn’t consider themselves full-blown tattoo enthusiasts boast at least one spontaneous flash piece. Summer is a common season for these types of exciting decisions. Whether your summertime ink is done on a whim at the beach or a carefully planned appointment after your vacation, how you treat your tattoo following the session will greatly influence its vibrancy and longevity.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PainfulPleasures.