Beyond The Studio: Tattoo Aftercare Becomes More Accessible With Celebrities Launching Their Own Lines


I got my first tattoo at the age of 15 and now, at 26 I’ve stopped counting how many I have. I could be standing at 34 or 35. When the tattoo needle traces across my skin, there’s an unexplainable surge of adrenaline that rushes through my body. With over 30 tattoos, it’s safe to say that I’m addicted to getting inked. It began as meaningful designs which held a close place in my heart and now if I see something I like, it becomes a permanent part of my body. Case in point—I have a traditional Thai Sak Yant and also a bunch of cherries tattooed on me.


Like me, millions of people across the world have found a safe space in getting tattooed. According to a report published by Custom Market Insights, the global tattoo industry is only set to skyrocket. This report stated that in 2023, the global tattoo industry was valued at $ 27.10 billion and predicted that by 2032 it would be valued at a whopping $ 62.12 billion. Gone are the days when tattoos weren’t socially acceptable and had to be hidden under your outfits or concealed with some makeup. Now, I walk around with my tattoo sleeve in professional settings without worrying about the consequences of it.

However, most people are a little hesitant to get tattooed because they’re worried about the pain and the healing process a tattoo entails. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about getting a tattoo and why aftercare is so crucial. We spoke to Diana Chang, the co-founder at Iron Buzz Tattoos, a premium tattoo studio located in Mumbai.

The Process

“Getting inked is an extremely meticulous process where a needle penetrates the upper layers of your skin and deposits ink between the 4th and 5th layers,” she explains.  She adds that, as the needle exits, the skin closes around the ink and effectively seals it within. Cheng elaborates that this entire process causes trauma to the skin, very similar to a scratch or scrape which prompts the body to initiate its natural healing response, leading to the formation of scabs as your skin heals,

What Happens After

Cheng explains that after getting a tattoo, your skin may release plasma and coloured fluid that resembles the tattoo’s pigment as it heals from the trauma. This discharge, termed oozing, typically lasts between one to four days, depending on the intensity of the tattooing process. Tattoos typically involve one of four techniques: outlining, shading, dotwork or colour packing. Colour packing is the most traumatising for the skin.

Understanding healing

Not everyone’s a bad-ass like me, not worrying about how a tattoo is going to heal. A lot of people are generally terrified of blood and scabs. Cheng tells us that the healing process of a tattoo is a delicate journey that typically spans about 14 to 21 days. “Initially, your skin undergoes an inside-out healing process which means healing begins deep within the layers of your skin before gradually progressing outwards,” she elaborates. In the first stages, the body works to repair any kind of microscopic damage caused by the tattooing process. According to Cheng, there will be some scabbing over the tattooed area. “It is best to let these scabs be and serve as a protective barrier and shield your new tattoo, helping prevent any infection,” she advises

Importance of aftercare

When I got my second tattoo, a beautiful Japanese symbol that translates to ‘ghost’, I made the mistake of not caring for it which resulted in part of it peeling off. Yes, my tattoo peeled off and it was painful and heartbreaking at the same time. So I learnt it the hard way that aftercare for your tattoo is extremely crucial. Cheng elaborates that one needs to take care of their tattoo during the healing period. “Keeping your tattoo clean will ward off any bacteria which will reduce the risk of infection,” she adds. She also elaborates that following a healthy lifestyle and avoiding activities that will disrupt the healing process are key for your tattoo to heal.

However, with all of these elements, incorporating specific tattoo care products into your routine is essential for nourishing the skin and protecting it against more infections. People end up using their regular moisturisers, oils and lotions to care for their new tattoos and often, these products contain chemicals that aren’t ideal for your tattooed skin. This underscores the importance of selecting products that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of tattooed skin. Cheng and her partner, Eric Jason D’souza, a sought-after tattoo artist created ‘Beespoke Tattoo Care’, to provide gentle yet effective care for tattooed skin. It promises to nourish your skin, accelerate healing and maintain moisture levels without leaving any residue behind.

While tattoo studios often create their own aftercare products which are given to clients, we’re now seeing this expand to the rest of the world as well. Travis Barker, husband of Kourtney Kardashian and of course longtime drummer of the rock band Blink 182 recently announced the launch of a special tattoo aftercare collection from his wellness brand, Barker Wellness. It only made sense for Barker, who has an extensive collection of tattoos to dabble in this. Along with him, Dwayne Johnson who’s otherwise known for beating bad guys up also launched a tattoo care line as a part of Papatui, a grooming brand. People are recognizing the need to create niche products meant for tattoo aftercare, it’s no longer limited to a certain section of the population.


- Beauty Writer


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