Summer Care Tips You Can't Afford to Ignore

I love this time of year. The sun is shining brighter, and the days are growing longer. Summer brings the perfect weather for showing off your tattoos, but extra care is needed in the warmer weather to keep them looking their best.

 

Whether your tattoos are new or old, let’s discuss how to care for them in the warmer months. 

 

1. The most important thing is- don’t skip your SPF!

 

UV radiation from the sun is one of the biggest threats to the vibrancy and longevity of tattoos. The pigments in tattoo inks sit in the dermis layer of the skin, where they are vulnerable to the effects of UV rays. Over time, sun exposure can cause tattoos to fade, blur, and lose their sharpness. 

 

For healed tattoos, we recommend you apply sunscreen regularly to prevent fading and sun damage. 

 

For new tattoos, It’s best that sunscreen is not applied directly to the tattoo. Sunscreen in an open wound can cause irritation or adverse reactions. 

 

There are many benefits to SPF, and by protecting your tattooed skin, you not only preserve the appearance of your tattoos but also maintain the overall health and youthfulness of your skin. 


 

2. Have you ever experienced your old tattoo feeling raised and swollen? If so, you're not alone. The solution to this? Hydrate. 

 

When the weather is warmer and humid, scarred areas of your skin can swell slightly, making your tattoos feel raised. It may also feel itchy. Some people experience this more in the winter when their skin is dry or on rainy days when it’s humid. The best way to combat the itchiness is by keeping your tattoo hydrated. Hydration starts from within, ya know! It’s important to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Additionally, you can apply a gentle, unscented moisturizer or cooling aloe to your (healed!!) tattoo to prevent dryness and itching. 

 

 

3. Avoid The Water

I’m sorry!  Clients hate to hear this. But, the truth is that swimming with a new tattoo is strongly discouraged. The main reason is that the risk of infection is so high. Fresh tattoos are open wounds and vulnerable to bacteria and other pathogens found in water sources like pools, hot tubs, and natural bodies of water. Exposure to chlorine and other pool chemicals can irritate the skin, which can be uncomfortable and delay healing. And who really knows what’s in the lake? Fish poop for sure. Prolonged submersion in water can soften scabs, increasing the risk of ink loss or uneven healing. To ensure the best outcome for your new tattoo- avoid swimming and submersion in water until it's fully healed, typically two to four weeks. Most importantly, make sure to follow your tattoo artist's aftercare instructions diligently.

 

 

 

 

Some of these are things we know we should be doing anyway. We know we should be wearing sunscreen every day, and we should be guzzling water like it's going out of style.  But let's be real, how many of us actually do? I encourage ya’ll to think of your tattoos like investments! You want to protect them. So this summer, show your skin and tattoos some love by slathering on that sunscreen and chugging that H2O. And I promise you can go swimming later. That’s all folks, enjoy the summer and don’t forget your sunscreen!



 

Are you guilty of neglecting to wear sunscreen? (I am) Let me know down below and let's talk about  it. 


 

 

 

 

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10 Mistakes You're Probably Making

Are you doing it all wrong? Because I am.

 

 

I was watching the newest episode of Vanderpump Rules this week when I realized what a hypocrite I am. I was sitting on the couch, fiddling with the jewelry in my new helix piercing. You know, doing the exact thing I tell people NOT to do- every day of my life. 

 

I get it. The excitement of it all can sometimes overshadow the importance of aftercare. Unfortunately, you may inadvertently be hindering the healing process of your piercing.  


Are you making one of these common mistakes? 

 

 

Are you…

 

1. Touching your piercing? This is an important one. And it’s one we are probably all guilty of doing. Unfortunately, touching introduces bacteria and can disrupt the formation of healing tissue, hindering the healing process. You only need to touch the piercing to clean it, and don’t forget to wash your hands first! Next time you’re sitting on the couch fiddling with that new earring, remind yourself that the less you mess with it, the better. 

 

 

 

2. Sleeping on your piercing? This is the most common reason for complications such as piercing bumps. Pressure and friction from sleeping on your piercing will cause swelling and disrupt healing. It’s almost impossible to ask that you sleep strictly on your back to avoid this, but finding a comfortable sleeping position that avoids direct contact with the piercing is SO necessary. We often recommend airplane pillows.  The hole in the middle will allow you to sleep on your side without putting any pressure on your ear. 

 

 

 

3. Cleaning your bedsheets? It's a good idea to change your bedding after getting a piercing, especially if it's in an area that will come into contact with your bedding while you sleep. Fresh piercings are susceptible to infection, so keeping your bedding clean can help reduce the risk of introducing bacteria to the piercing. Change your pillowcases if you have a new ear or face piercing and your sheets if you have a new body piercing. 

 

 

 

4. Going to Sleep with wet hair? Another mistake related to sleeping. Bacteria love moisture.  The moisture from your hair creates an environment for bacteria to thrive, which is not ideal for a healing piercing. Additionally, any product in your hair will likely leave residue, potentially leading to irritation and disrupting the healing process. It's best to ensure your hair is dry before going to bed to minimize risks.

 

 

 

5. Excessively Cleaning? But how could cleaning be bad? Over-cleaning your piercing can be harmful because it can disrupt healing, strip away healthy bacteria, and dry out the skin, leading to more irritation and potential complications. Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer and clean your piercing gently and only as directed. 

 

 

 

6. Using the wrong products? Products like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide are too harsh for healing piercings, causing more harm than good. Instead, stick to a saline solution and a gentle cleanser. We have a whole other blog post HERE about what you should avoid. 

 

 

 

7. Changing the jewelry too soon? I know it’s tempting to swap out the initial jewelry for something more aesthetically pleasing, but doing this too soon can cause trauma to the piercing and set back healing progress. Not sure how soon is too soon? Ask your piercer! They’re here to help. 

 

 

 

8. Exposing the piercing to harmful environments?


Ready for a list? 
Essentially, every body of water is a no-go. That includes 
-swimming pools
-hot tubs
-oceans
-rivers
-lakes 
-the bath (showers only!)

 

We talked about how bacteria love moisture. Well, bodies of water are crawling with unknown bacteria, and you don't want your new piercing soaking in dirty water. Swimming pools may be “clean.” but they’re full of chlorine, which can be irritating. There’s salt water, but it’s still unsafe and NOT the same as saline. Any submersion in water, even bath water, can harm your piercing.

 

It’s also important to limit sun exposure. A sunburn on a new piercing can result in inflammation and/or permanent scarring, and sunscreen will irritate an open wound. So, if you’re out and about, it’s best to cover up or stay in the shade! 


 

 

 

 

9. Wearing the wrong clothing? Wearing too tight or restrictive clothing will rub against the piercing, leading to irritation. We suggest wearing loose-fitting clothing or clothing that won’t come into contact with the piercing to avoid this issue. Sadly,  if you have a new navel piercing, put those high-waisted pants away for a little bit. It’s also important to consider fabrics. Knitted and lace fabrics especially are not your friends. 


 

 

 

10. Keeping the same routines? Mostly, I'm talking about your skincare and makeup routines, but this does apply to your shower routine too! Changing up your routines is crucial, especially concerning skincare, makeup, and showering habits when you have a new piercing. Avoiding products with fragrances and those tailored for skin issues like acne is essential for preventing irritation and infection. This encompasses all skincare products—face wash, body wash, toner, creams etc... Additionally, you`ll need to avoid applying makeup near the piercing site, as makeup tools and products can harbour bacteria transferred from your skin. Should any product come into contact with your piercing, ensure thorough cleansing with a gentle saline solution, and finish your showers with an unscented cleanser to minimize the risk of irritation or infection. 

 


 

There it is, the top ten reasons your piercing isn’t healing. While these things may not seem like a big deal, I promise your piercings will be happier avoiding them. How many of these things are you guilty of doing? Let’s talk about it!  

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Piercing Aftercare You Should Avoid At All Costs

There are soo many piercing aftercare products out there.  And a lot of bad advice on the internet. That’s why it's crucial to be informed before shopping. If a product promises quick healing or miraculous results, it's too good to be true. Healing a piercing takes time. No magical product can heal your piercing in three weeks or remove complications like keloids or piercing bumps. Patience, proper care, and dedication are all that’s needed. Rather than falling for misleading claims, stick to tried-and-true aftercare practices recommended by professional piercers. 

 

With that, we are here to say- if it involves any of these, skip it!

 

Ingredients: Hydrogen Peroxide and Alcohol

 

Why should it be avoided? Yes, they used to say these things were ok to clean your piercings with, and you will probably find many "piercing aftercare" products with them in it. While they may be effective for cleaning cuts and scrapes they are too harsh for piercings. Both products can damage new healthy skin cells that are helping your piercing heal! Using these products actually delays healing and increases the risk of irritation and infection. 

 

Product: Bactine® 

 

Why should it be avoided?  This one is popular. Clients ask all the time if this is a product they can use. Unfortunately, similar to peroxide and alcohol, Bactine’s harshness and potential to disrupt the healing process make it a no-go product. Bactine contains the ingredients lidocaine and benzalkonium chloride, which can cause irritation, burning, and allergic reactions. The product and the website both state it is not for use on puncture wounds (Which is what a piercing is). See the Bactine FAQ here  https://bactine.com/faqs/ 

 

 
Ingredient: Tea Tree Oil

 

Why should it be avoided? Another popular choice, courtesy of the internet, is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is used as a natural antiseptic and in skin care to help fight acne and reduce inflammation. Despite its popularity, there's little proof that it helps piercings heal better, treat piercing bumps, or prevent infections. Applying undiluted tea tree oil directly to the skin can lead to adverse effects such as irritation, dryness, and even burning. I know your friend swears by it, but I assure you, it's not worth the risk!  



Product: Polysporin®

 

Why should it be avoided? Ointments like Polysporin and other petroleum-based products create a barrier over the piercing site. This barrier traps bacteria and prevents airflow, slowing down the healing process. 

 

 

Ingredients: Jojoba, Grapeseed and Other Oils 

 

Why should it be avoided? Similar to Polysporin, oils like these are thick and create a barrier over the piercing. The moist environment created by these oils can promote bacterial growth, increasing the risk of infection.


 

Ingredient: Herbs! Clove, Rosemary, and Tumeric

 

Why should it be avoided? While these are all beneficial in specific contexts, they can also irritate or cause infection in a new piercing. The most popular is turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties and is often an ingredient in skincare products. So we get WHY people think it might work, but applying any of these products can cause irritation, and the turmeric will stain your skin yellow. 


 

What You Should Use Instead:

 

When it comes to piercing aftercare, less is more. Avoid harsh or unnecessary products and ingredients that can do more harm than good. For body piercings, stick to sterile saline solution- which should just be TWO ingredients-sterile water and sodium chloride.  Along with saline, we suggest a gentle cleanser for in the shower. For oral piercings, a saline solution or a plain alcohol-free mouthwash will do the trick.

 

 

Ingredients: Sodium Chloride and Sterile Water

 

Why We Like It: Sodium chloride, commonly known as salt, is a natural compound with mild antiseptic properties, which makes it effective in preventing bacterial growth. When used in saline, the sterile water dissolves the salt to create a solution with the appropriate concentration of salt to water. The final product provides gentle cleansing without causing irritation or damage to the healing tissue. 



To Conclude...

 

By using aftercare products formulated with ingredients known for their wound-healing properties, you can optimize the healing process and reduce the risk of complications. Remember, there are no shortcuts! Especially when it comes to caring for your piercing, being patient and consistent will help you achieve the best results.


 

What’s the strangest aftercare product you’ve seen or tried? Comment below. 

 

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Re-Opening VS Re-Piercing

Let’s talk about…

Re-opening piercings! 

 

It happens all the time- a client comes into the studio, they haven’t had jewelry in their piercing for a while, and they’ve tried, but can’t get any jewelry back in. The struggle is real.

 

While this could suggest that the piercing has fully closed, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, the piercing remains open, but has simply reduced in size and shrunk.

 

Let's discuss!

 

First things first, 

 

How do piercings stay open?  

Piercings stay open due to the presence of a “fistula” more commonly referred to as a “piercing channel.” The fistula is essentially a tunnel of healed scar tissue that forms around the jewelry. This fistula keeps the hole open by maintaining a pathway through the skin.

 

How do piercings shrink or close? 

During the healing process, the body treats the piercing as a wound and attempts to heal and close it. This is why jewelry is crucial- it acts as structural support. When the jewelry is removed the fistula naturally contracts and shrinks. The lack of jewelry could lead the piercing channel to close, as the body responds to the absence of that support. 

 

At the studio, we're often asked: “How long before my piercing closes up?”

This question, unfortunately, has no solid answer. The fate of whether a piercing stays open, shrinks, or closes depends on how the body heals. Which, of course, will vary from person to person. If a piercing is fresh or healing when the jewelry is removed, it has the potential to close up quite quickly. And it will close much faster than an older piercing with a well-established fistula. 

 

Is the piercing closed or shrunken?

A fully closed piercing will have no visible hole, while a shrunken piercing might still have a small indentation or dimple, or sometimes even a visible hole. A shrunken piercing channel may allow for re-opening and jewelry insertion, while a fully closed channel will require re-piercing. To determine whether a piercing is closed or partially open, a piercer will step in to assess the situation.


How do we reopen a shrunken piercing? 

For this service, we use a taper. But these are not at all like the ones you used to buy at Hot Topic. Professional tapers, among other things, are longer and designed with a gradually increasing diameter along its length. The gradual increase in width will help to ensure a gentle stretching process and minimize trauma. Tapering is usually preferable for the client, as it allows them to skip the healing process associated with a new piercing. 


 

Re-Piercing 

First, the piercer will check to see if the original piercing site is suitable for re-piercing.

Re-piercing will involve the use of a hollow needle to make a new piercing channel. There are some situations where your piercer may recommend against re-piercing or waiting before doing so. For example, if too much scar tissue is present a re-pierce may be advised against, or if a piercing is partially closed, you may have to wait until it heals completely. Your piercer will offer guidance based on your individual situation. Whether it involves waiting or exploring alternative solutions, seeking professional advice is essential.



Here's a quick recap...

 

Piercing Needles VS Tapers

Piercing Needle:

  • A piercing needle is a sharp, hollow needle specifically designed for creating the initial hole during piercing 

 

  • Piercing needles come in various sizes, with each size suitable for different types of piercings and body parts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insertion Taper:

  • A taper is a blunt-ended tool used to guide jewelry through a healed piercing or stretch a piercing.
  • Tapers come in various sizes, matching the gauge of the jewelry being inserted or stretched.
  • A taper gradually widens, making it easier to insert larger jewelry into the piercing without causing excessive trauma or discomfort.
  • Insertion tapers are often used with jewelry, whereas piercing needles are used independently.


 

 

 

 

It's important to note that stretching/tapering must be done gradually, and the use of tapers should be performed by a professional piercer to ensure proper technique and minimize the risk of complications. Additionally, not all piercings are suitable for stretching, and it's essential to follow appropriate aftercare instructions provided by your piercer. 

 

 

Know someone who thinks their piercings are closed for good? Share this with them!

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Ready To Roll?

Ever wanted a tattoo, but couldn't decide on the design? We have a solution for that.

 

Introducing , our Get-What-You-Get gumball machine.
It's time to say goodbye to overthinking and hello to unexpected surprises.

 

Here's how it works- Insert a coin, spin the machine, and whatever design it lands on is yours to keep. 

It's the ultimate game of chance !

 

Gumball Machine Tattoos available at the following locations: 

 

Waterloo

  • Spin for $100 and re-spin for $20
  • Tattoos done in black and grey 
  • Add colour for $20
  • Rotating themes to keep things exciting 
  • Artist Sean Martin has his own Pokemon themed gumball machine 

 

London, Masonville Mall

  • Spin for $160 and re-spin for $20
  • Tattoos done in black and grey 
  • Add colour for $30
  • Traditional style tattoos 
  • Artist Taylor Armstrong has his own gumball machine 

 

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$60.00 Flash Day

 

 

After the success of our flash day back in December, we decided to do it again! 

 

Join us on Thursday, February 15th, 2024 for $60.00 Tattoos. 

 

Here's how it'll go down...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 1. Walk In 

 We will not be taking appointments, but will operate on a first come, first served basis.

 

 2. Pick Your Tattoo

 We will have a range of pre-drawn designs to choose from, all designs are priced at   $60+Tax

  • To make sure we have time to tattoo everybody, these designs cannot be modified, and will be tattooed on arms and legs only
  • Designs will be tattooed only in black and grey 

 3. Paperwork 

 Come up to the counter, fill out your paperwork and wait to get paid up. Don't forget to bring your government issued ID!

 

 4. Get tattooed

 Once your turn is up, you will be paired with an artist and they will discuss placement     with you before getting started on your tattoo.

 Once the tattoo is completed, the artist will provide aftercare instructions and voila!   You're all set. 

 

FAQ 

 

Q: What counts as a modification? 

A:  A modification is any change or alteration to the original design. This includes changing the size, and adding or removing details. While any other day we are happy to make these changes for you, to keep it fair- there will be no modifications to the flash. 

 

Q: Can I choose my artist? 

A:  We will do our best to accommodate requests, but we cannot guarantee who you will be paired with.

 

Q: Can I book an appointment? 

A:  We will not be taking appointments on this day. 

 

Q: Can I bring my own design? 

A: This day will be reserved for tattooing our pre-draw designs only. If you would like something custom, we would be happy to book you an appointment for a different date. 

 

Q: Can I get multiple flash tattoos?

A: Yes! However, we don't suggest doing more than three at once for healing purposes.

 

Q: Is there a discount if I get multiple tattoos? 

A:  Yes! Tattoos will be $60 each, or 2 for $100 and 3 for $160. These deals apply to individuals only, the tattoos cannot be divided amongst friends. 
 

Q: Can I get tattooed somewhere other than my arms or legs?

A: In order to meet demand, we will be tattooing arms and legs ONLY. 

  •  Arms and legs provide relatively flat and smooth surfaces. This flatness reduces the challenges associated with tattooing  curved or uneven areas, which can be more time-consuming. 
  • Arms and legs are easily accessible for both the artist and client. This accessibility allows for better maneuverability and control during the tattooing process, making tattooing quicker and more efficient. 

 

Have other questions? Leave them in the comments!

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FAQ: When is the Best Time To Get Pierced?

 

 

We see it every year: summer rolls in, crop tops make a comeback, and clients are eager to flaunt a new navel piercing. The decision to get a new piercing is exciting,  but have you ever thought about when might be the best time to do it? While the impulse for spontaneous piercings during summer is tempting, there's a couple reasons why winter could be the perfect season to get that new piercing.  

 


1. Reduced Sweat and Activity

Winter brings cooler temperatures, which often means reduced sweating compared to the hotter months. Less sweat can potentially contribute to a cleaner healing process for your new piercing. Sweat can introduce bacteria and moisture, which might increase the risk of infection. With lower activity levels in colder weather, the chances of accidentally bumping or irritating your new piercing are also minimized. 

 

 

2. Lower Risk of Outdoor Elements

During winter, most of us tend to lay off the beach days and pool hangs, right? That's a blessing for your healing piercing! The outdoor activities we love during warmer seasons can expose piercings to various elements like dirt, sand, chlorine in pools, and sunlight. These factors are not ideal for a fresh piercing, as they can prolong the healing process or lead to complications. 

Now, don't get me wrong, any season is a good time to express yourself with a new piercing. But if you're looking for a chill period (literally) to start this journey, consider embracing the winter for your next piercing adventure. And by the time it's healed, it'll be time to hit the beach, and you can show off your new bling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New From NeoMetal

Get ready to elevate your style with a touch of elegance and a dash of brilliance. NeoMetal has just released some stunning new additions that you're sure to love.

 

Introducing: Two fresh gemstone cutss. The pear and the trillion.

 

 

 

 

Why we love it...

 

Unmatched Elegance with Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski crystals are renowned for their exceptional quality and  brilliance, and NeoMetal has masterfully incorporated them into their latest pieces.

 

Versatile and Easy to Wear

One of the standout features of all NeoMetal jewelry is its ease of use. The threadless design ensures that you can effortlessly change your jewelry whenever you please, without the need for special tools or visits to a professional piercer. These tops and others are compatible with NeoMetal threadless posts and can be securely interchanged to suit your style and mood.

 

Quality You Can Trust

NeoMetal is well-known for their dedication to precision and excellence, ensuring that you not only receive visually stunning products- but ones that are designed to withstand the test of time. NeoMetal jewelry is crafted using the highest quality materials available. The vast majority of their jewelry is crafted from ASTM F-136 certified implant-grade titanium, a hypoallergenic and biocompatible material. Every gem is crimp-set into the jewelry setting; no glues are used, ensuring the most stunning sparkle.

 

Wrap-Up

NeoMetal's latest Trillion and Pear Cut Prongs are gorgeous. Ideal for both fresh and healed piercings, they are a perfect addition to your curated ear, offering a simple yet dazzling touch.

 

These pieces and more are coming soon to your local Pi. 

 

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Traditional & Floating Navel Piercings

Hey Pi Fam. Today, we're diving into the world of navel anatomy and exploring two popular navel piercing styles: traditional navel piercings and floating navel piercings.

 

It's important to note that individual anatomy can vary greatly, and the suitability of a specific piercing style will differ from person to person. Our piercers will assess your navel anatomy during a consultation and guide you on the most suitable piercing style based on their expertise and knowledge.


 

 Let’s get into it...


 

Traditional Navel Piercings

 

Traditional navel piercings are the most common and classic style. They involve a single puncture through the skin above the navel and below the upper rim, resulting in a vertical hole. This style typically uses a curved barbell as the jewelry. The barbell rests inside the hole, while the decorative ends sit on the top and bottom of the navel. Traditional navel piercings are well-suited for a variety of navel anatomies. However, the ideal anatomy for this style includes a distinct fold or crease above the navel, known as the upper rim. This fold allows for a secure placement of the jewelry and prevents migration or rejection. Additionally, the depth of your navel is an essential factor to consider. A moderately deep navel provides enough tissue for the piercing to be comfortably placed without risking excessive pressure on the jewelry. 

 

Floating Navel Piercings

 

Floating navel piercings, also known as inverse navel piercings or top-down navel piercings, are a more contemporary twist on the traditional style. In this style, the piercing is placed at the top of the navel and passes through the upper rim, creating the illusion of a floating piece of jewelry on the top of the navel ridge. The jewelry typically consists of a curved barbell with a small disk for a base, instead of a large gem like a traditional navel, and a larger top. Eliminating the large bottom piece of the jewelry ensures that pressure won’t be applied to the piercing channel, making healing easier and more comfortable.  This piercing style is typically suitable for those with a shallow or flat navel, where the upper rim is not as pronounced.

 

Conclusion 

 

Remember, the ultimate goal is to achieve a safe and well-placed piercing that will heal successfully, and complements your body. Prioritize consultation and communication with your piercer to ensure the best possible outcome. 

 

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