Your skin works hard to keep you healthy and you can return the favour by taking care of it. The healthier skin, the more beautiful person. And better looking tattoo, too! Before getting a tattoo, make sure your skin is in good healthy condition, so your new piece of art looks beautiful, too. Before you can look after your skin properly, you need to understand it. Skin is made up of three layers:
- The epidermis (contains pigment cells)
- The dermis (contains blood vessels, nerves, oil glands, collagen fibres, elastin)
- The subcutaneous (contains blood vessels, hair follicles, fat cells)
The skin acts as a barrier to protect our body from the environment. It also regulates temperature and detects and fights off infections. You can look after your skin from the inside by eating well.
Here are some diet tips for healthy skin:
- Avocado – contains vitamin E that boosts skin vitality; and vitamin C that reduces skin inflammation. It stimulates production of collagen in the skin and keeps skin moisturized
- Beetroot – is high in vitamin A, sodium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E which is essential for epidermal health and healing. It helps eliminate toxins from the body and lower cholesterol, too.
- Broccoli – great antioxidant, high in vitamin A, E, C, K and B-complex, which adds luminosity to the skin and help to revive damaged tissue.
- Eggs – especially yolks are full of skin clearing selenium, zinc, protein and other vitamins.
- Garlic – is full of allicin that reacts with blood to create product capable of killing off many harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause skin infection. It’s best raw!
- Nettles – high level of antioxidants; help to calm the skin and improve eczema, acne..
- Nuts – contain minerals, zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin E. They are all essential for skin health and function.
- Red grapes – great antioxidants, treat eczema and psoriasis, and control side effects of allergic reactions.
- Tomatoes – very rich in vitamin C that helps to keep the skin firm by aiding collagen production. They also contain “lycopene” – red pigment that helps and stimulates skin circulation.
- Other food like dark berries, peppermint, fennel, watercress, tofu, legumes (peas, beans, lentils), cottage cheese, sweet potato, green tea, pumpkin seeds, salmon and oily fish… All very important for our general health and skin health.
Other ways of keeping your skin healthy and pretty:
- Decreasing sugar intake
- Getting plenty of vitamin D from the sun and food
- Drinking plenty of water
- Exercising (sweating helps the skin)
- No smoking or drinking alcohol, as these cause ageing and dryness of skin
- Not overwashing the skin
- when bathing or showering, try to avoid too long or too hot baths, as it takes oil away from the skin.
- keeping skin clean by using lotions containing sunflower seed oil, facial creams with vitamin B3 (helps skin to stay moist and safe from irritation)
- Lots of sleep!
Natural Skin Care
Natural skin care is the care of the skin using naturally derived ingredients, such as herbs, roots, essential oils and flowers, for example jojoba, shea butter, aloe vera, rose hip seed oil.
- Ayurvedic skin care – skin care products contain aloe vera, almond, avocado, carrot, cocoa, coconut oil, cucumber, grape seed oil, honey, ground almond..
- Egg oil skin care – Eggs act as an moisturiser, antioxidant, skin conditioner and antibacterial agent. It protects against dehydration without disturbing the pores.
Eczema – inflammation of skin.
- In case of eczema you should avoid fragranced soaps and lotions and use only non-bio washing powders. Do not scratch the skin and avoid getting too hot or too cold, as it irritates the skin.
Psoriasis – chronic skin disease (red patches on the skin).
- In case of psoriasis, red patches can be itchy, sore and skin may crack or bleed. Moisturise the skin to help lessen dryness, itching, redness and soreness. It also helps the skin heal. Daily warm bath with mild soap (Epsom salt, Dead sea salt) is recommended, and also a little UV light helps soothe, improve or even heal it.
Getting a first or a new tattoo is very exciting, but it also involves some risks you shouldn’t ignore and should definitely be aware of. Tattoos breach the skin, which means that skin infections and other complications are possible. Specific risks include:
- Skin infections – redness, swelling, pain and pus
- Other skin problems. Sometimes bumps called “granulomas”form around tattoo ink. Tattooing can also lead to “keloids”- raised areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.
- Bloodborne diseases – tetanus, hepatits B and C can occur if the tattoo equipment is contaminated with infected blood.
- MRI complications. Rarely, tattoos might cause swelling or burning in the affected areas during MRI scans.
Tattoo after care
Remember, tattooing causes trauma to the skin (needles poking). You are healing an injury, you should treat it such as well.
- Fresh tattoo needs to be bandaged
- Remove bandage after 1-4 hours
- Gently clean a new tattoo with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. Do not use hot water, as it opens the skin pores and can cause greater loss of pigment during the healing process. Tip: in the shower turn the temperature to ice cold and let the water run over new tattoo for 30-45 seconds. It closes the skin pores and prevents further drainage and results in better healing!
- Do not have bandage on for too long, as it causes skin rashes
- After cleaning your tattoo, apply a small amount of antibacterial ointments. Oily petroleum based creams don’t help the healing process. Too much ointment is no good. Pores will suffocate and may cause skin to breakout. Too much grease attract and trap bacteria which may cause a skin infection.
- Keep moisturising your tattoo with a lotion 2-3 times daily, but do not over moisturise! Oily and petroleum based creams don’t let the skin breathe. It also can cause retard healing and leads to heavier scabbing and potential loss of colour. Always clean your hands before applying creams.
- During healing avoid bathing, swimming, saunas and sun exposure at least for 2 weeks
- Choose clothing carefully
- Make sure your diet is healthy. Your tattoo is now part of your skin and a part of you. Health starts from within.
Skin care tips:
- Apply sunscreen every day before going out (best 20 minutes before). UV light from the sun fades some tattoo inks. Apply the sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection, SPF 30 or higher and water resistance.
- Pay attention to rashes and sunburn-like reactions in tattooed skin (especially red and yellow ink can cause them). Protect skin with clothing before going out.
- Stay out of tanning beds and away from sunlamps, as they increase risk of skin cancer. UV light also can cause tattoo to fade.
- If the skin feels dry, apply water-based lotion or cream. Petroleum-based products like petroleum jelly can cause inks to fade.
Researched and compiled by Iva Cizmarova.