Our Best Tips For Surviving The Tattoo Peeling Stage (It's A Doozy)

Over 200 million of us have tattoos (via Gitnux), and they appear to be particularly popular among young generations. For many individuals, they serve as a way to create memories, while others use them as a form of artistic expression. When many of us think of tattoos, our minds may immediately shift toward the painful aspect of the process. This usually leaves tattoo aftercare as an afterthought. However, what comes after is equally important, and requires as much care as your initial first session.


Tattoos can take months to heal depending on how big and packed with ink they are. One part of this healing journey may involve your skin peeling. While this is enough to strike panic in many people, it's all part of the process. Below, we'll take a look at some of the best tips for surviving the tattoo peeling stage so that you can keep your skin in check and ensure your tattoos remain in optimal condition.

Be mindful of products you use

So, how can you survive the peeling stage? Thankfully, it's not too complicated. The first step is ensuring that you use the correct products to help minimize any potential complications. For example, Dr. Neil Tanna, M.D. recommends avoiding any products with "irritants, such as benzophenone, cinnamates, and fragrances," (via Inside Out). Instead, you should opt for antibacterial products that will help to soothe your skin. You can apply these products when you see fit, and you should also always ensure that the tattooed area remains clean during the peeling process. But that's not all.


By keeping the area as clean as possible, you will help reduce the risk of infection. This naturally involves using the correct products on your skin (as mentioned earlier) and avoiding the sun. Sunscreen is important for several reasons, so this part is equally as important if you're venturing outdoors. Taking all the correct precautions will help you to survive the skin-peeling stage and hopefully end up with a picture-perfect tattoo. Of course, if something seems unusual, it's always best to check with either your tattoo artist or a medical professional.  

Don't pick at your peeling tattoo

While it may be incredibly tempting to pick at your skin when it's peeling, it's important that you avoid doing so. Speaking to Glamour, tattoo artist Hayley Hayes explains that "picking will pull the ink out and probably scar, making it difficult to touch up. Keep your hands to yourself and let any flaking come away naturally." While it may seem harmless, you should try to push your peeling pulsions to the side, as it's an essential step in the recovery process. You should let the tattoo flakes peel off by themselves, which may take up to fourteen days, so make sure that you take extra care during this time period. Patience is key and will help you to reach your end goal of a beautifully healed piece of ink.   


When it comes to peeling, you shouldn't worry too much. It's a normal part of the process and is usually nothing to worry about. If you're a seasoned tattoo lover, then you may be used to the process by now. But if you're a newbie, it can be a bit intimidating.