It’s hard to ignore that age-old question this time of year. Fad diets, “new and improved” work out regiments, and the latest beach-wear styles are practically force fed to us while we’re waiting at grocery store check-out lanes, buying late night munchies at our local convenience store after the bar, or riding the train home from work. Taking care of yourself and looking great is supposedly the underlying message, but it tends to get skewed with how companies market their products to us.
Are we beach-body ready? I think it’s safe to say that when my friends, coworkers, and I were asking ourselves and each other this question, we weren’t thinking about our weight or the state of our health. We were thinking about our skin. We were thinking about art. We were thinking about how soon we could squeeze in a consultation before shedding our long-sleeved layers.
We were thinking about tattoos.
No Shame in This Game
Tattoos are accessible to everyone and anyone, regardless of body type, race, style… you name it. It used to be that people could assume whether you’re the “type” to have tattoos, but they are becoming more commonplace with each passing day. It’s not as uncommon now to find out that your kid’s teacher or your doctor or your college professor has just as many tattoos as someone with a more “blue collar” profession. Tattoos are becoming less stigmatized. People can no longer make assumptions about an inked person because their tattoos aren’t reflective of their intellect or their ability to work. It’s self-expression at its best.
What makes them so accessible? We don’t have to try it on for size or be afraid that our bodies aren’t “right” for it. Our entire body is a potential canvas for tattoo artists to do what they do best in a style we appreciate and admire. Having a tattoo is something we are proud of, whether we want to show it off or not.
Don’t get me wrong – bad tattoos do exist and we recommend you go through with it only after using your discretion. That’s why there are shows like Tattoo Nightmares and Bad Ink. That’s why people get cover-ups. My point is that there’s absolutely no discrimination against you from getting a tattoo or adding to what you’ve already got, and as long as you say go, nothing can hold you back – it's purely your decision.
‘Tis the Season
While tattoo studios are open year-round, there actually is a recommended season to get tattooed and a season to show off those tattoos. The general consensus is that fall and winter are the best seasons to get a tattoo for a number of reasons. Let’s think about it. Colder temperatures mean layering and staying covered. This is important for your tattoo to heal properly because it’ll be less exposed to things like direct sunlight or sweat, which can make the healing process a pain in the ass. Can you just imagine going to the beach with a fresh tattoo? Sand gets everywhere, you’re exposed to the sun most of the time, and let’s say you want to dip into the water to cool off… not an option. One of the first things an artist tells you after getting a tattoo is that you should never soak it. Also, those of us with tattoos know that we have to grow through that awkward phase of gross scabs and peeling. At least with having it covered during the colder months, no one else will be subjected to looking at a scabby, peeling tattoo.
General Care & Beach Care Tips
Generally, it’s recommended to use an ointment like Aquaphor or Vitamin A & D to protect your tattoo for the first two days. From there, you want to switch over to an unscented moisturizing lotion. I don’t know about you all, but I am the absolute worst when it comes to having to refrain from scratching healing tattoos. It certainly is easier to withstand when it’s covered, but sometimes merely patting it hard or slapping it just isn’t enough relief. That’s when lotions like Tattoo Goo and Ink Fixx come in handy. These types of lotions are created specifically with tattoos in mind to promote healing, and with all natural ingredients, you can rest easy knowing that you’re nourishing your skin with only the good stuff.
If you find that your tattoo healing time is going to coincide with any planned summer vacations, there are measures you can take so it can heal properly. Tattoo Goo has both a lotion and a guard stick with SPF. The Tattoo Goo Renew is a color enhancing lotion with SPF 50+. This provides ultimate sun protection while moisturizing your skin and revitalizing color for both old and new tattoos. If you’re not a lotion person, something like Tattoo Goo’s Color Guard Stick would be a better option. It has SPF 30 and works as both a moisturizer and protectant.
Try to keep your tattoo from being exposed to the sun as much as you can and never soak your tattoo while it is healing because it will put you at risk for bacterial infection. As always, remember to handle your healing tattoo with clean hands. It’s probably not a good idea to moisturize your healing tattoo after eating funnel cake or playing beach volleyball.
Hopefully all of you are well on your way to having a healed tattoo because at least over here at Painful Pleasures, we’re feeling the full force of spring and we couldn’t be happier about it. Summer is only a few short weeks away. Painful Pleasures is abuzz with vacation and beach time talk. Many of us got new tattoos between the fall and winter months, and we’re absolutely ready to show them off. Remember these tips if you do end up with a new tattoo over the summer or if you simply want to protect your tattoo. Ink will inevitably fade over time, and only you can make sure to take the necessary steps to prevent that from happening soon. Check out our other Tattoo Aftercare products to find something that will work best for you and if you have any questions at all, we’re always around to help out. Happy tattooing!