Ultimate Guide: Protecting Your New Tattoo while Swimming

So, you’ve just gotten a brand new tattoo and you’re itching to take a dip in the pool. But wait! It’s crucial to understand how to properly waterproof your tattoo before swimming. This not only protects the artwork but also ensures that your skin heals correctly.

Waterproofing a tattoo isn’t as complex as it sounds. With a few simple steps and the right products, you can enjoy your swim without worrying about damaging your fresh ink. Let’s dive into how you can keep your tattoo safe and vibrant, even under water.

Key Takeaways

  • Waterproofing a new tattoo before swimming protects it from damage and ensures proper healing. Key products for this include tattoo ointments, waterproof bandages, and hydrating tattoo lotions.
  • Tattoo ointments hydrate and heal the skin, and should be free from harmful chemicals, petroleum, and fragrances. Waterproof bandages keep the tattoo dry while swimming and it’s essential to find one with good adhesiveness.
  • After swimming, use a hydrating tattoo lotion, free of irritable components and full of natural ingredients. Tattoo artists, drugstores, and online retailers can provide product recommendations.
  • Preparing the tattoo involves cleaning it with a suitable tattoo cleanser to remove excess ink and prevent scabbing, a thin application of antibacterial ointment, and moisture with specially formulated lotions.
  • A reliable and high-quality waterproofing product is required to protect the tattoo from water, chlorine, salt, and other harmful substances. Apply it as per product guidelines and allow sufficient time to dry.
  • Fresh tattoos, especially those less than two weeks old, are more susceptible to damage and should be given time to heal. Pool specifics, including chlorine levels, can also impact the health and color of a tattoo.

Protecting a new tattoo while swimming is crucial to prevent infection and color fading, a concern that WebMD’s article on tattoo care post-inking emphasizes with detailed care instructions. It’s recommended to cover the tattooed area with a waterproof bandage as suggested by experts at Healthline. Moreover, understanding the chemical content of the water you’re swimming in can also be critical, as chlorine and salt can impair healing, a point covered comprehensively by Mayo Clinic’s skin care tips.

Choosing the Right Products

The first thing you’ll need in order to protect your tattoo from water is a really good tattoo ointment. Tattoo ointments are made specifically for hydrating and healing freshly inked skin. They create a barrier that helps prevent ink loss, ultimately making your tattoo more vibrant and clear. You might come across a variety of brands selling tattoo ointments, but keep an eye out for those that are free from harmful chemicals, petroleum, and fragrances. An ointment that contains natural ingredients is ideal.

Another product you’ll find beneficial is a waterproof bandage. Waterproof bandages are explicitly designed to keep your tattoo dry in the water. They’re easy to use and stay put even when you’re active. When you’re out looking for these bandages, prioritize brands with a reputation for durability and strong adhesive qualities.

Finally, after you’ve left the water, you’re going to want to use a hydrating tattoo lotion. Again, like tattoo ointments, there are umpteen brands selling tattoo lotions. But remember, select one that’s full of natural ingredients and free of irritable components.

Let’s see everything that’s been mentioned in a quick markdown table.

| Product | Purpose |

Key Points
| ————– | —————————————————– | ———————————- |
| Tattoo Ointment| Hydrate and heal the freshly inked skin. | Choose products free of harmful chemicals, petroleum, and fragrances. |
| Waterproof Bandage| Protects tattoo from water. | Look for durability and strong adhesive. |
| Tattoo Lotion | Hydrates the tattoo after swimming. | Select one with natural ingredients and without irritable components. |

You may be wondering where exactly to buy these products. For tattoo ointments and lotions, your tattoo artist will likely have some great recommendations. Likewise, drugstores and online retailers have an ample supply of waterproof bandages you’ll find more than suitable.

This is only the start of your waterproof tattoo kit. In the next sections, you’ll find some practical tips and detailed step-by-step instructions on how to use these products effectively. So, let’s get into those details.

Cleaning and Preparing Your Tattoo

Moving forward, it’s essential to adequately prepare your new tattoo before venturing under the sea or into a pool. Specifically, you must clean and hydrate your tattoo so it’s ready to resist water damage.

Would you drive your car without changing the oil or inflating the tires? Likely not, and in a similar vein, you don’t want to plunge your fresh tattoo into water without proper preparation. So, we’ll break down the cleaning process, step by step.

Begin by gently washing your tattoo with a suitable, unscented tattoo cleanser. It’s crucial to clean it thoroughly, ensuring all excess ink and plasma are removed. This careful cleaning keeps your tattoo from scabbing and subsequent discoloration. Be gentle, though – your skin is sensitive post-tattoo sessions.

Here’s a markdown table for suitable tattoo cleansers:

Tattoo CleansersFeatures
Brand 1Unscented, gentle on skin, antibacterial
Brand 2Hypoallergenic, no harmful chemicals, moisturizing
Brand 3Soothing, promotes healing, vegan

Next, apply a thin layer of antibacterial ointment to your tattoo. It’s helping protect against potential infection caused by harmful bacteria in the water. Remember, don’t apply too much – a thin layer will do.

Finally, moisturize your tattoo. Hydrating lotions specially formulated for tattoos are your best bet. These specialized products typically absorb quickly, leaving no greasy residue that could impact your swimming performance.

A breakdown of suggested tattoo lotions:

Tattoo LotionsFeatures
Brand ANon-greasy, quick-absorbing, promotes healing
Brand BHypoallergenic, moisturizing, good for sensitive skin
Brand CVegan, includes tattoo brightening agents, provides UV protection

Applying the Waterproofing Product

Now that you’re familiar with the importance of preparing your tattoo before exposing it to water, let’s dive into applying the waterproofing product. This step is crucial when thinking about going for a swim, taking a bath, or even braving the rain that beats against the glass windows with the persistence of a determined spirit.

Not all products are created equal. Just as you carefully selected the tattoo aftercare products, perhaps with the same attention to detail as choosing a carpet that perfectly matches the aesthetic of your living space, it’s of equal importance to choose your waterproofing product wisely. Some products can potentially cause skin irritation, adverse allergic reactions, or worse—compromise the vibrancy and longevity of your tattoo.

It’s critical to invest in a reliable, high-quality product. Tattoo-specific waterproofing products are the ideal choice. They are designed to form a protective barrier that prevents water, chlorine, salt, and other harmful substances from damaging your freshly inked skin, much like the way doors guard our homes against unwelcome elements.

Applying the product is a straightforward process and largely depends on the form of the product—cream, spray, or film dressing. If it’s a cream or spray, apply a thin, even layer (avoiding any thick globs) over the entire surface of the tattoo, ensuring not to miss any edges, as meticulously as setting the tables and chairs for a grand event, where every detail counts. Wait for it to dry before dressing or getting into the water.

On the contrary, if it’s a film dressing, you need to cut a piece that’s slightly larger than your tattoo. This ensures a secure seal around the edges, carefully apply it over the tattoo, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles. Just remember to double-check the edges are sealed properly, with precision and care akin to a painter ensuring every stroke contributes to the masterpiece’s whole.

Remember, patience is key. Allow sufficient time for the product to dry or get properly adhered. It’s all about giving your tattoo the best defense against water, chlorine, and the elements, ensuring its beauty and integrity remain as intact as the cherished memories held within the walls of a well-loved home. So, take your time. Your tattoo will thank you for it, thriving under your careful stewardship.

Additional Tips for Swimming with a Tattoo

While swimming with a tattoo may be unavoidable, there are additional measures you can take before jumping into the water. These precautionary measures ensure that your bright, stunning tattoo doesn’t succumb to the damages of chlorinated water or irritating substances. Let’s dive in to further prepare you for your next swimming adventure with your new ink.

Time is of The Essence
One important factor to remember is the age of your tattoo. Fresh tattoos (usually in the first two weeks after getting the tattoo) are more susceptible to the damaging effects of water and/or chemicals. If your tattoo is less than two weeks old, it’s best to avoid swimming altogether and allow it plenty of opportunities to heal.

Look at the Specifics of the Pool
Pool specifics also play a major role in determining how safe it is to swim with a tattoo. Chlorine levels, for instance, can significantly affect your tattoo. A markdown table comparing different types of pools and their chlorine levels is advisable. Be sure to inquire about this at your local pool or carry out online research.

Types of PoolsAverage Chlorine Levels
Public Pools1-3 ppm
Private Pools1-2 ppm
Hot Tubs2-4 ppm

Waterproof Patching
In some cases, such as when you have a fresh tattoo, you will need to waterproof your tattoo by patching it before getting into the pool. This can be done using a tattoo patch with waterproof features. It’s a step up from the waterproofing product and used as a physical barrier to keep water out. Ensure the patch is large enough to cover the entire tattoo and secure the edges firmly to prevent water seepage.

In the end, your tattoo is an investment, a piece of art inked forever on your skin. It’s worth giving it the needed protection while swimming. The quality of the waterproofing product, the specifics of the pool, and additional tips like these can all make a difference in maintaining the vibrancy and longevity of your tattoo.


Protecting your new tattoo when swimming isn’t just advisable, it’s essential. The first two weeks are crucial for your tattoo’s healing process, so it’s best to steer clear of swimming during this time. Keep in mind, chlorine levels can affect your tattoo’s condition, so be mindful of the type of pool you’re diving into. For added security, consider using waterproof patches as a physical barrier. Remember, the right waterproofing products can make a world of difference in preserving your tattoo’s vibrancy and longevity. Adhering to specific pool guidelines also plays a key role in maintaining your tattoo’s health. So, take these steps to heart and you’ll be able to enjoy swimming without compromising your tattoo’s integrity.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I avoid swimming after getting a new tattoo?

Yes, it is highly advised to avoid swimming within the first two weeks after receiving a tattoo. This period is crucial for your tattoo to heal properly.

2. How do chlorine levels in swimming pools impact my new tattoo?

Chlorine levels in swimming pools can potentially cause damage to your new tattoo, impacting its vibrancy and longevity. It’s important to understand the type of pool and its chlorine levels before entering.

3. Can I use waterproof patches to protect my new tattoo while swimming?

Yes, for added protection, waterproof patches can be applied on your new tattoo while swimming. Ensure to invest in quality waterproofing products.

4. Are there specific pool guidelines to follow when having a new tattoo?

Yes, the article highlights specific guidelines around pool types, chlorine levels, and effective use of waterproof products, which can help in protecting and maintaining your new tattoo’s quality.