- Katie Baker is a TikToker who makes videos about her experiences as a tattoo artist.
- Baker shared the biggest aftercare mistakes she sees people make after getting inked.
- Baker said people often spend too much money on aftercare products, and communication is key.
Katie Baker is a TikToker and tattoo artist at Golden Skull Tattoo in Kennewick, Washington.
Baker creates educational videos about her experience in the tattoo industry for her 250,000 followers on TikTok, including a video about tattoos she would refuse (which has over a million views), as well as stories about her various clients.
She previously spoke to Insider about the advice she would give to people getting inked for the first time. Her tips included having mutual trust through communication with your tattoo artist, as well as researching both the tattoo parlor and the tattoo artist.
But making sure the tattoo of your dreams doesn’t stop when you leave the tattoo parlor, says Baker. Aftercare is extremely important to ensure that your new ink cures properly.
Baker shared some of the most common aftercare mistakes she sees people make.
There is no hard and fast rule for aftercare, according to Baker
Baker told Insider she wanted to issue a disclaimer that these observations come from her own experience and that each tattoo artist will offer different advice.
She said the most common mistake she’s seen is when people mistakenly believe the “one size fits all” approach. In reality, Baker said, everyone has a different skin type, so it will depend on what works best for that person.
“Aftercare is both a science and an art, to understand that people have different skin textures and different skin types. Certain things that work for one person won’t work for another,” Baker said, adding that while one person might maybe has. to constantly clean their tattoo, another person’s skin doesn’t need to be cleaned as much.
“There is no hard and fast rule for aftercare,” she said.
That said, there are a number of dermatologist-approved aftercare methods that are likely to help prevent infection. Joshua Zeichner, MD, and Elliot Love, DO, previously told Insider that you should leave your tattoo covered for 24 hours before cleaning it with antibacterial soap and water. They said that for the first week after applying the ink, you should keep cleaning it and use an oil-based moisturizer.
Avoid large bodies of water and sunlight
Baker said she would advise clients to stay away from water that isn’t their shower during the healing process. She also recommended having a suitable area in your home that is only for cleaning your tattoo, such as your bathroom, to prevent infection.
She added that if you want your tattoo to look fresh, you should stay away from sun exposure and tanning beds, which she described as “tattoo killers” because they make tattoos fade.
But if you must spend time in the sun, dermatologists recommend
oxide sunscreen, as it is less likely to cause irritation than other sunscreens.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on aftercare products
Baker said some customers are spending money on expensive aftercare products after seeing advertisements online. According to her, this is not necessary to get good aftercare.
“Tattoo healing is basic wound care,” Baker said. “You don’t have to spend an insane amount of money… as long as you have a basic first aid kit and you listen to what your artist recommends, you’ll be fine.”
Communicate with your tattoo artist if your tattoo isn’t healing properly
Baker said that for some clients who follow aftercare instructions correctly, their skin may still have a bad reaction to the tattoo or not heal as they expected.
In this case, according to Baker, it’s more important than ever to communicate well with your tattoo artist about how to fix the problem. She said some people will avoid going back to their tattooist for fear of being blamed for their skin’s reaction.
“If you don’t talk to someone because you’re afraid they’ll yell at you, you’ll be walking around with a bad tattoo for the rest of your life,” Baker said.
“And if someone treats you like garbage because your skin reacts in a certain way, that’s not someone you should get tattooed by,” she added.