You can always ask your tattoo artist for specific soap and moisturizer recommendations during your appointment (they should be running you through the aftercare process regardless) but if you simply forget, just keep it simple when shopping for aftercare supplies. Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara MD recommends sticking to fragrance-free products to avoid further irritation to a healing tattoo, as do Palm and Mor. Recently, more skin-care brands that specifically focus on tattoo care have started launching, helping to take the guesswork out of which products to buy. One Allure editor favorite is Mad Rabbit, which sells a fragrance-free body lotion that can help keep the area hydrated.

Courtesy of brands; Illustration by Clara Hendler

Unscented soap and moisturizer is a standard aftercare combo that basically all tattoo artists share — but Gohara recommends adding one more product to the mix for added healing power. “Lube up with barrier repair creams,” she says. “I love Avène Ciclafate+ Restorative Protective Cream.”

How do you preserve a finger tattoo or hand tattoo?

This is tattoo aftercare 101, folks, and the process for hand tattoos is essentially the same as it is for body art on other locations. “As with most tattoos, it is best to keep the area clean and prevent it from drying too much,” Mor advises. “This is usually difficult with hands because we use them for so much. A gentle approach is best.” 

Whatever you do, don’t pick or scratch

Tattoos can get super itchy during the healing process, so this one’s easier said than done — but it’s a good rule of thumb for all tattoos. Picking and scratching a tattoo that’s still healing can compromise the integrity of the colors or the crispness of the lines (take it from this writer, who’s mucked up several tattoos just by picking them). 

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