Waterproofing a Fresh Tattoo? Read This Before Taking a Swim

Last update: October 6, 2022

Summertime is the perfect time to get a new tattoo! What's not so perfect? The fact is that tattoos can start to fade when they get wet. If you're planning on hitting the pool or beach this summer, make sure your new ink stays looking fresh by waterproofing it beforehand. This blog post will teach you how to do just that!

Why Should You Not Swim With A Fresh Tattoo?

If you just got a tattoo, it's important to wait for at least two-four weeks before swimming. This gives your skin time to heal and the ink time to set. If you jump in the pool too soon, you risk infection and fading.

Risk of infection:

A fresh tattoo is an open wound. Swimming in dirty water (like a pool) can introduce bacteria to the wound and cause an infection.

infected tattoo example

Risk of skin irritation:

The chlorine in pools can irritate the skin around a fresh tattoo, causing redness, swelling, and pain.

irritated tattoo example

Risk of color fading and discoloration:

Getting in the water while the tattoo is fresh can cause the ink to fade and the colors to become dull.

Why should you avoid your tattoo getting wet?

Any contact with water, like a swim, a shower, or even a sauna, can moisten your skin and mix up the colors in your tattoo or wash it out and fade it. Our advice is to avoid these kinds of situations at any cost until your tattoo gets healed.

How to shower with a new tattoo:

How much time does it take for a tattoo to heal?

A tattoo generally takes about two to four weeks to heal. It is important to keep the tattoo clean and dry during this time. Waterproofing your tattoo before you swim will help to protect it from infection and color fading.

How to tell if your tattoo has fully healed

It's difficult to tell if your tattoo is fully healed. Within a few days, at least on the surface, your tattoo may appear and feel healed. Most tattoo artists think a tattoo is completely healed in 2–4 weeks. However, this can vary depending on where and how big the piece is. A tattoo can take as long as six months to heal completely.

Your healing time will also be influenced by factors like your lifestyle and how seriously you take care of your tattoo.

Once a tattoo has stopped being red, itchy, scabbing, or flaking, it's considered healed. If you're unsure whether something is okay for your tattoo, go to the studio where it was done and ask a professional.

Ways to protect your fresh tattoo from water

Waterproofing your tattoo before you hit the pool this summer is a great way to keep it looking fresh and vibrant.

There are a few different ways that you can waterproof your tattoo. One way is to use a product called Tattoo Goo. This is a clear gel you apply to your tattoo before getting in the water. It forms a barrier between your skin and the water, which helps to protect your tattoo from fading.

Another way to waterproof your tattoo is to use a liquid bandage. This is applied similarly to Tattoo Goo, but it dries to form a more durable barrier. It's important to note that you should not apply a liquid bandage over an open wound, so make sure your tattoo has healed completely before using this method.

A cheaper DIY way is to apply waterproof lipstick on the tattoo. This won't last as long as the other methods, but it's a good option if you're in a pinch. Apply a layer of lipstick over your tattoo and allow it to dry. Once you've chosen your method, test it on a small skin area before applying it to your tattoo. This will help to ensure that you're not allergic to the product.

The last way to waterproof your tattoo is to cover it with a waterproof adhesive bandage. This is applied the same way as a regular adhesive bandage, but it's important to choose one specifically designed for tattoos. Otherwise, you risk the bandage being too tight and causing your tattoo to fade.

How to waterproof your tattoo step by step

Now that you know why it's important to waterproof your tattoo and some of the different ways you can do it let's take a look at how to do it step by step.

Step 1: Choose your waterproofing method. We recommend using Tattoo Goo, but you can also use a liquid or waterproof adhesive bandage.

Step 2: is to clean your tattoo thoroughly. This step is important because you need to ensure that there is no dirt or bacteria on your skin before applying the waterproofing product.

Step 3: dry your tattoo completely. Once again, this step is important because you don't want to trap any moisture underneath the waterproofing product.

Step 4: Apply the Tattoo Goo according to the instructions on the packaging. Make sure you cover the entire tattoo, as this will help to protect it from fading.

Step 5: let the Tattoo Goo dry completely before getting in the water. This usually takes between 10-15 minutes.

People Also Ask:


Can I shower with a fresh tattoo?

You should wait 24 hours before showering or bathing with a new tattoo. This gives your skin time to start healing and helps to prevent infection. After 24 hours, you can gently clean your tattoo with soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or scrubbing the area too vigorously, as this could damage the skin. Provided you take heed of your tattoo artist's aftercare tips and are mindful not to touch or soak your tattoo, showering shouldn't negatively impact the healing process.

Can I go into the ocean with a new tattoo?

You should wait at least two weeks before swimming in the ocean with a new tattoo. This gives your skin time to heal and helps to prevent infection. Saltwater can be extremely drying, so it's important to ensure your tattoo is completely healed before exposing it to the ocean.

Can I go to the sauna with a fresh tattoo?

You should wait at least two weeks before going to the sauna with a new tattoo. This gives your skin time to heal and helps to prevent infection. The heat and steam from the sauna can cause your tattoo to fade, so it's important to ensure it is completely healed before exposing it to this environment.

How do I know if my tattoo is healed?

If your tattoo is healing properly, you should see the following signs:

-The tattooed area will be red and slightly raised for the first few days.

-You may experience some itching as the skin starts to heal.

-The tattoo will flake and peel after a few days, similar to a sunburn.

-Once the flaking stops, the tattoo will start to look shiny and new.

You should contact your doctor immediately if you see any signs of infection, such as pus or redness.

How often should I put lotion on my tattoo?

You should apply lotion to your tattoo several times daily for the first week or two. After that, you can reduce the frequency to once or twice a day. It's important to choose a lotion specifically designed for tattoos, as regular body lotions can contain ingredients that will damage the ink. Apply a small amount of lotion to the tattooed area and rub it in gently. Avoid scrubbing the area, as this could cause the tattoo to fade.

Will soaking a new tattoo fade it?

When your new tattoo is healing, it's important to avoid chlorine or salt water to minimize the ink's fading and discoloration. Swimming can dry your skin and prevent healing, leading to more itching, flaking, and scabbing.

If you must go in the water, apply a waterproof tattoo barrier. You should also avoid soaking your tattoo in a hot tub or bathtub, as this can cause the ink to bleed.

How can I make my new tattoo fade faster?

Lemons are widely recognized as a skin lightener. Apply fresh-squeezed or pure lemon juice to your tattoo three times a day, and within several weeks, the ink of your tattoo, particularly the darker hues, should be considerably faded.

Is Vaseline a good tattoo waterproofer?

Yes, Vaseline can be used as a tattoo waterproofing agent. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to the tattooed area before getting in the water. This will help to create a barrier between your skin and the water, preventing the ink from washing away.

Can I take a bath with a new tattoo?

You should wait at least two weeks before taking a bath with a new tattoo. This gives your skin time to heal and helps to prevent infection. Soaking your tattoo in water can cause the ink to fade, so it's important to ensure it is completely healed before exposing it to this environment. Apply a small amount of lotion to the tattooed area before getting in the tub to help create a barrier between your skin and the water.


Water-damaged tattoo examples

Below you'll find tons of water-damaged tattoos that were not waterproofed properly which got infected and eventually discolored.

These people made the mistake so you don't have to!


Final thoughts

Getting a new tattoo is an exciting experience, but taking care of your tattoo properly is important to prevent infection and fading. If you have questions or concerns about caring for your tattoo, speak with your artist or doctor.

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