;3Remove bandage in 1-2 hours and wash gently with warm soapy water. Fragrance and dye-free soaps are best, as they contain little or no alcohol to dry out your tattoo. Leave tattoo uncovered for the rest of the healing process. Your new tattoo should be kept clean by washing it 2 times a day for the first week. As the tattoo heals it will begin to get dry and the surface skin will flake or peel, much like a scratch or scrape. A mild moisturizing ointment or lotion can be applied sparingly during this time. Its best to avoid any product that is anti-bacterial/biotic or one that is in a petroleum jelly base. Petroleum with deprive the skin of oxygen, the most important element in the healing process. Anti-bacterial/biotic ointments DO NOT promote healing. They fight infection. So if you keep your tattoo clean, you will also be fighting infection. Beeswax based products, such as Burt’s Bees Hand Salve, have proven very effective for proper healing, providing nourishment and moisture to the skin while it regenerates. There are many tattoo aftercare products on the market and many of them are very similar in composition. Check with your artist and see what they’ve had luck with. ABSOLUTELY NO SWIMMING or SOAKING for the first 2 weeks after getting a tattoo. NO DIRECT EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT OR TANNING for 2 weeks after getting a tattoo. Never pick or scratch at a new tattoo, this can cause scarring and can ruin even a perfectly executed piece. Listen to your artist, not your friends, about the right way to care for your new artwork. Remember, it’s there for life, you want it to look great, right?