1. What are some negatives about not healing your tattoo properly? I’ve talked to many artists about the healing process of tattoos, and the dangers of poorly healed tattoos.  While infections aren’t a huge concern, “hard healing” is – this is when the tattoo heals slowly and/or scabs a lot, which can lead to a good amount of ink falling out with the scab.  In addition, most artists can schedule follow-up appointments for large pieces within a 2-week timeframe…unless your tattoo isn’t healed enough.  This delays your piece, and the availability of the artist to reschedule your next sitting.  Poorly healed tattoos also require more touch-ups—this is time the artist is working for free, and time you’re wasting in a chair, going over ink you already have.  This wears out your skin, further delaying the healing process.  “Hard healing” can also lead to scarring, which makes the artists hard work not look as good as it should, and causes you to worry unnecessarily about what’s going to be left on you permanently.  Poor healing is a GREAT DEAL of wasted time for everyone involved!  Some additional signs of hard healing are: discharge (weeping tattoo), scabbing, rashes, pimples or itchy white bumps, puss in the tattoo, flaking skin/peeling, dull tattoo, and abnormal swelling.

2. What harmful chemicals are in other healing products?  Lanolin- Extracted from sheep's wool, some people have reactions to it, due to an allergy to wool.  Sheep, as a process to keep their coats free of insects, are sprayed biannually with pesticides. These can additionally cause adverse reactions in people, including rashes and oozing. Lanolin products may also make you more sensitive to the sun. If taken internally, lanolin can cause diarrhea, intestinal problems and vomiting.  Petroleum / mineral oil: or any derivative thereof: Mineral oil is a known carcinogen found in baby products, known as “petroleum jelly” – it’s also in lotions, makeup, and is used as a laxative. It is a leftover byproduct from the distillation of gasoline that was developed for use because it is CHEAP.  It is associated with an increased risk of scrotal, skin, gastrointestinal, rectal, bladder and respiratory-tract cancers. Food grade colouring- D&C green6 may be derived from animals (per sources). Pigments from animal, plant, INSECTS and synthetic sources used to color foods, cosmetics, and other products. Widely used FD&C and D&C colors are coal-tar (bituminous coal) derivatives that are continuously tested on animals due to their carcinogenic properties. Alcohol – while cleansing, it will dry tattoos and therefore damage them. Sea salt- again, while cleansing, it will dry tattoos and thereby risk damaging them.  Ever heard the phrase “pouring salt into an open wound?”  A tattoo is an open wound!

3. What happens if you use inferior products? Simply put, you risk having an inferior tattoo, and you’re risking your health!  If a product causes vomiting or diarrhea (or cancer!) if ingested, why would you put it on your body?  Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it absorbs everything you put on it!  

4. Why do they use harmful products?  TO MAKE MORE MONEY.  

5. What should I look for in an aftercare product? The same qualities as you look for in a tattoo artist: someone who believes in their art, and considers what they do AS an art form.  An aftercare product should be made by someone who has tattoos. It should be made by someone who knows about the actual healing properties of the ingredients in their product!  It should be created by someone who has an understanding of the human anatomy/biology, especially skin conditions and healing, as well as the human immune system.  It should contain very few ingredients that are organic and easy to pronounce, to reduce reactions/allergies.  It should promote healing—it should not cause diseases down the road. Finally, your aftercare product should be multi-purpose and useful for all phases of healing, to avoid confusion with aftercare instructions.   Your aftercare should be GUARANTEED to heal you.