How to Take Care of a Tattoo, According to a Rapper and Tattoo Artist

The world of tattooing is an intricate realm. What most people don’t realize is that it’s a space where art, health, body strength, technique, etching, shading, and beauty are all on a level playing field. Tattoos can be a daily reminder for something meaningful you hold dear, commemorate a life-changing event, or simply serve as a form of self-expression. In any sense, if you want your tattoo to last, before-after care is crucial—and not just in terms of treating the tattoo itself. “Internal preparation is just as important as external aftercare,” says Anka Lavriv, tattoo artist and co-owner of Black Iris Tattoo. “Keep in mind that a tattoo is an invasive cosmetic procedure and it does take a strain on your immune system. Your immune and lymphatic system will be working hard on healing a fresh tattoo, so partying and anything excessive is definitely not recommended.” In other words: take it easy. But just about how lightly should you tread? And since this is all information you should consider before even walking into a tattoo parlor, what should you do after your appointment? Below, we spoke to two of our favorite tattoo experts to get their take on how to properly take care of a tattoo.