Tattoos, Skincare and a Man on a Mission

Although I have never had a tattoo, a couple of years ago I developed a special-order product for after-tat skin care. During the process of creating Tattoo Soothe Skin Mist, I got acquainted with the world of ‘getting inked’.

One thing that struck me at that time (and doesn’t seem to have changed much since) was the general lack of information about pre and after-tat skincare – everywhere!

But that is starting to change, thanks to the gentleman you see above.

Meet Dan Hunter – he's all about skincare – particularly in relation to tattoos.

Earlier this year, Dan launched Authority Tattoo which is quickly gaining recognition and attention from folks all over the tattoo industry.

I asked Dan if he would share his story with me, and he kindly agreed to let me share it with you.

Could you give us a bit of background about yourself? 

I'm 39 years old and grew up in California, where there was a big tattoo scene during the 70's and 80's, and being from a relatively heavily tattooed family (Father, Uncles, Cousins), I was naturally hooked at an early age – especially as tattoos were popping up everywhere you looked around town.

Although I personally never tattooed anybody, studying fine arts at university along with constantly being around experienced tattoo artists (who happened to be close family friends and acquaintances etc.), I grew up to be rather experienced in the art form. This led me to actually judging at several large tattooing conventions around a few states during the 90's.

Some tattoo inks have been preserved with thimerosal (also known as Merthiolate) which is mercury based. What are your thoughts on this?  Do you think there is enough awareness as to the ingredients in the ink being used for tattoos? 

It's true that certain inks do contain heavy metals (most commonly red inks), but you must remember that extreme side-effects along the lines of heavy metal poisoning and the like, are very rare where tattooing is concerned.

But I definitely agree that much more can and should be done to raise awareness to unknowing customers that many inks do in-fact contain trace amounts of various heavy metals (depending on color and supplier).

Although a few leading ink brands have now been ordered to disclose the fact that their products do contain traces of heavy metals to their buyers (namely tattoo artists), this warning rarely makes it down to the final customer in the artists chair - so yes, more can be done to ensure that ink components are disclosed to the people that are actually having them injected into their bodies.

However, like I mentioned, I believe the risk of harm is still small with all inks as long as work is performed by professional and experienced tattoo artists – not to mention that most good artists will be more than willing to look into using organic inks containing no heavy metals should you raise your concerns with them and should they be able to source the requested ink from a supplier (although you must be aware that tattoo quality/longevity may be compromised by using more healthy but less-effective ink components).

What made you turn your interest to the care of skin in regards to tattoos? 

Simple really, most free information out there on the internet about tattoos and aftercare is rubbish. The information is inconstant and patchy. With tattoos growing extremely popular over the last decade, I felt there should be a quality, in-depth resource where all information about pre/post-tattoo care is displayed to the reader concisely and in a well-structured, orderly manner.

For example, our definitive guide to tattoo aftercare is by-far the most comprehensive article about the subject on the internet, and I made it so because it’s extremely important for the health of not only your tattoo, but the health of you and your skin.

Poor tattoo aftercare can really cause some nasty side-effects (including infections such as staph, among many others). This is why it’s so vital for people to know what they should and shouldn’t do in the important 2-3 week healing window post-tattoo.

Many people fail to realise that a tattoo is only going to look as healthy as the skin that it is drawn on, and the longer you keep your skin well-moisturized and well-nourished throughout the LIFE of the tattoo (not just the first two weeks of healing), the better the tattoo is going to look throughout its whole lifespan – and that is why I’m trying to promote the importance of good skincare in relation to good tattoo aftercare.

Find AuthorityTattoo here.

Do Tell

Do you have a tattoo? Did you have trouble finding info on after-tat skincare?

More About Thiomersal and Tattoos

A review of Thimerosal and its ethylmercury breakdown
Thiomersal Allergy 
Mertholiate Poisoning, Medline Plus
Focus on T.R.U.E. Test allergens #23 Thimerosal
Do all tattoo pigments use mercury and other toxic heavy metals, Scientific American


Signe said…
I have only one tattoo (yet), I took it 16 years ago. In Finland most tattoo artists guide their customers to shower their new pictures several times a day and use cream called Helosan (it is actually supposed to use for cow tits). I did that, and I'm pretty happy that my tattoo still looks fine and never needed extra colour afterwards.

When I was taking my tattoo,I saw one guy to get allergic reaction from red ink - and they needed to burn whole tattoo off immediately. That was quite awful to see.
LisaLise said…
Oh wow Signe! That must have made a huge impression seeing an immediate adverse reaction to a tattoo ink!
We have the same cow teat salve here in Denmark - still widely available too.