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
-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 


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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Tattoo Aftercare: Tips for Keeping Your Ink Vibrant and Healthy

Female tattoo artist tattooing client.



Congratulations on your new ink! You've done the hard part, selecting your design and sitting through the session. But the work’s not over: now, it’s up to you to keep your tattoo looking vibrant and healthy. 


It’s totally normal to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness about tattoo aftercare, especially if it’s your first. We know there's a lot of aftercare advice out there, and it can all be a bit overwhelming. 


In this blog post, we'll guide you through tattoo aftercare step-by-step to make sure your ink heals as bright and beautiful as the day you got it.  


Think about it: in just a few weeks, you'll look at your healed tattoo and be glad that you made the effort.  








Here’s what you need to know right after getting a tattoo.


Remember: this is the time when your skin is most sensitive. You can’t cut corners in tattoo aftercare. But if you do it by the book, everything should go smoothly. 



Woman looking in mirror at new tattoo





Right after your session, your artist will cover your fresh ink with a bandage. This isn't just a regular bandage — it's your tattoo's first line of defense against everything that could hinder healing.


Here's why that bandage matters: 


  • Protection from Bacteria. The world's full of germs, and a fresh tattoo is like an open invitation for them. The bandage keeps those unwanted guests out, reducing the risk of infection. 

  • Reducing Friction. You don’t want your tattoo to rub up against your clothes or bed sheets just yet. Friction can irritate your skin and mess with the ink settling in. The bandage helps to act as a buffer zone. 

  • Keeping Things Clean. Fresh tattoos can ooze a bit — ink and a little blood. It's normal, but you don't want that on your clothes. The bandage absorbs these fluids, saving you from extra laundry and stains. 


How long should this bandage stay on? That depends on what your tattoo artist recommends. It could be a few hours or a few days.  


But there’s an important catch: if the bandage leaks or starts peeling off, it's time to remove it. Even if it’s just a tiny gap. Bacteria can get in, and at that point, the bandage can do more harm than good. 





So, you've just removed your bandage – it's time for the first wash. This is important, and you'll be doing it daily, depending on how much dirt and grime your tattoo gets exposed to. 


Here’s how to clean your tattoo properly: 


  1. Wash Your Hands First. And we mean really wash them, with soap and warm water. Even if your hands look clean, they could be carrying bacteria, and you don't want that anywhere near your new ink.  

  2. Dry Your Hands Carefully. You can either air-dry your hands, use disposable paper towels, or a towel you know for sure is completely clean. Never wipe your hands on a used towel or your clothes, because that just picks up new bacteria. 

  3. Gently Apply a Mild, Unscented Cleanser. Be gentle – treat your tattoo like a newborn baby. We recommend using a mild, unscented soap like Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser. With clean hands, dispense a small dab of Cetaphil® and gently rub it over your tattoo for about 30 seconds. 

  4. Rinse with Lukewarm Water. Be like Goldilocks – not too cold, not too hot. You want the water to be warm enough to help clean your tattoo without causing any discomfort. Hot water can increase the risk of irritation, and it can also cause the pores to open too much and leak ink. While cold water won't necessarily hurt your tattoo, it's less effective for cleaning as it doesn't open the pores. 

  5. Let Your Tattoo Dry. Air-drying is the gold standard here to avoid any bacteria transfer, but if you’re in a hurry, you can gently dab your tattoo dry using a clean, disposable paper towel. 


When you get a tattoo with us, we send you home with a bottle of Cetaphil® as part of our tattoo aftercare package. We want to make sure you're all set for a great start to healing your new tattoo





After a couple of days, once your tattoo is nice and clean, apply moisturizer. Skin that is healing can become dry and itchy, so a good moisturizer can make the healing process smoother and more comfortable.  


The key is to not overdo it. Just a little goes a long way. Too much lotion can clog pores and create a breeding ground for bacteria. 


Gently apply a thin layer over your tattoo, rub it in, and then dab off any excess with a clean, disposable paper towel. Do this as needed. And just as with washing your tattoo, you’ll want to do it with clean hands. 


We swear by After Inked™ for the healing journey. It's made just right for tattoo care – no parabens or fragrances. Plus, it's not petroleum-based, so it's friendly for all skin types. And we love that it's cruelty-free. 


If you’re with us, you don't have to worry about finding this product. Every Perfect Image location sends you home with a bottle of After Inked™ along with Cetaphil® in our aftercare package. Because we want your new tattoo to stay as bright and beautiful as the day you got it! 






Now that you're past the first crucial steps of tattoo care, it's time to focus on the healing journey.  


This is where your dedication really shines through. By continuing the great care you've already started, you're on your way to a beautifully healed tattoo.  


Here's a straightforward guide to keep you on track during this healing phase. 





Keep up with cleaning your tattoo. This is just as important now as it was on day one. A clean tattoo is a happy tattoo. 





Continue applying moisturizer as needed. It's all about keeping your tattoo from drying out while not overdoing it. Remember, a little goes a long way. 



Woman dipping finger in moisturizer



3. DO. NOT. PICK. 


We know it’s tempting. Just don’t. 


As your tattoo heals, it's going to flake and maybe even scab a little. That’s normal. You don’t want to pick because that can pull out the ink and affect how your tattoo looks when it's fully healed.  


Let nature take its course, and those flakes and scabs will fall off when they're ready. It’ll be worth it for your vibrant, healthy ink in the end. 





For now, stay away from swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, and saunas. Baths are also a no-go while your tattoo is healing. Submersion can make your tattoo fade quicker, heal poorly, and up the chances of an infection.  


Stick to short showers to keep your tattoo as dry as possible. 





The sun is not your healing tattoo’s friend. UV rays can cause fading and damage. For the first 3-4 weeks, keep your tattoo out of the sun to avoid blistering and scarring.  


And remember, even after your tattoo has healed, protect it with a high SPF sunblock. Sun protection is a lifelong commitment for your tattoo.  






Knowing what to expect and what to watch out for is important when it comes to taking care of your new tattoo.  


Most of the time, what you're experiencing is just part of the healing process. But if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it's important to act quickly. 





  • Redness and Swelling. Right after getting tattooed, it's normal for the area to be red and a bit swollen. It’s a natural reaction to getting inked. 

  • Tenderness and Mild Pain. The area might feel tender, similar to a sunburn. This discomfort should decrease over a few days. 

  • Scabbing and Flaking. Your tattoo will likely scab and flake. It's a good sign; it means your skin is healing. Remember, don't pick at the scabs! 

  • Itchiness. Feeling itchy? That's common too. It usually means the skin is repairing itself. Resist the urge to scratch and keep up with moisturizing. 

  • Oozing. A bit of oozing is normal in the first few days. This could be plasma, blood, or ink. It's just your body doing its thing. 

  • Duller colours. Noticed the colours aren’t as vibrant? Don't worry. A layer of healing skin can make the tattoo look duller, but the colours should pop again once healed. 

  • New Skin. Within one to two weeks, you should see a fresh layer of skin, depending on the tattoo's location. 





  • Major Swelling or Redness. If the swelling or redness increases or spreads, it could be a sign of infection. 

  • Ongoing or Worsening Pain. Pain that gets worse or doesn't go away, especially with redness and swelling, can be a red flag. 

  • Prolonged Oozing or Bleeding. If your tattoo keeps oozing or bleeding after a couple of days, it might indicate an infection. 

  • Bad Smell or Discolouration. Any bad smell or strange discolouration around the tattoo should be checked out. 

  • Extreme Itching or Rash. Mild itching is normal, but extreme itching or a rash could be an allergic reaction to the ink or aftercare products. 


If something feels off and it’s not too serious, don’t hesitate to reach out to your tattooist for advice. But if you're in pain, worried, or the symptoms are severe, go straight to a doctor. Quick action can prevent serious issues.  


Remember, it's better to be safe and get it checked than to wait and risk your health! 






By keeping your body healthy and following our tattoo aftercare instructions, you're giving your tattoo the best chance to heal perfectly. And once it's fully healed, it becomes a testament to your ability to bounce back. 



Male tattoo artist drawing on tablet.



You’ve got this. And we’re here to help. If you ever have questions about your tattoo, don't hesitate to give your artist a call.  




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Nurturing Your New Piercing: Aftercare with NeilMed & Cetaphil


Piercings are a striking form of self-expression, allowing individuals to adorn their bodies with jewelry that reflects their style and personality. However, with the beauty of piercings comes the responsibility of proper aftercare to ensure a smooth healing process. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of using NeilMed and Cetaphil for piercing aftercare, offering insights into their effectiveness, application methods, and tips for maintaining a healthy healing journey.


Understanding the Importance of Aftercare: After getting a new piercing, your body goes through a healing process that involves minimizing the risk of infection, irritation, and ensuring optimal tissue recovery. Adequate aftercare not only accelerates healing but also enhances the longevity of your piercing's beauty.

NeilMed: A Saline Solution Savior: Saline solutions are a staple in piercing aftercare due to their gentle yet effective cleansing properties. NeilMed's piercing aftercare products are renowned for their quality and safety. Here's how to use them effectively:

  • Cleanse Gently: Spray the NeilMed directly on the piercing area. Use a sterile cotton pad or cotton swab to remove any debris or crusted matter.
  • Frequency: NeilMed's saline solution is typically used 1-2 times a day during the initial healing period.

Cetaphil: The Gentle Cleansing Touch: Cetaphil is renowned for its mild, non-irritating formula, making it an excellent option for cleansing your new piercing without causing unnecessary agitation. Here's how to incorporate Cetaphil into your piercing aftercare routine:

  • Dilute the Cleanser: Mix a small amount of Cetaphil cleanser with warm water to create a gentle solution.
  • Apply with Care: Using your freshly cleaned fingertips, apply the diluted Cetaphil solution to the piercing area. Gently cleanse the area, being cautious not to move or rotate the jewelry excessively.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: After cleansing, make sure to rinse the area thoroughly with warm water to remove any residue.
  • Frequency: Cetaphil cleansing should be done once a day, complementing the use of saline solution.

Tips for Effective Piercing Aftercare:

  • Clean Hands: Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your piercing or applying aftercare products.
  • Avoid Over-Cleaning: Cleaning too frequently or aggressively can hinder the healing process. Follow the recommended frequencies for NeilMed and Cetaphil applications.
  • Pat Dry: After cleansing, gently pat the piercing area dry with a clean, disposable paper towel. Avoid using cloth towels that may harbor bacteria.
  • Avoid Harsh Products: Steer clear of harsh chemicals, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and other aggressive cleaning agents as they can disrupt the healing process.

In Conclusion: Caring for your new piercing is a blend of patience, diligence, and choosing the right aftercare products. NeilMed's saline solution and Cetaphil's gentle cleansing formula offer a harmonious combination that nurtures your piercing while promoting a safe, hygienic, and successful healing journey. By following these aftercare guidelines, you're not only ensuring the longevity of your piercing but also embracing the art of self-care and personal expression.



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