Why Is My New Tattoo Shiny? Don’t Worry It is Normal & We Explain Why!

by Tori Jones
My New Tattoo Is Shiny

In today’s post, we’ll dive headfirst into a common query why does your new tattoo look as shiny as a freshly waxed vintage ride? By the end of this post, you’ll have a solid understanding of the various stages of tattoo healing, the possible reasons behind that glossy appearance, and how to differentiate between a normal healing process and a potentially troublesome situation. I’ll be your guide through this often misunderstood facet of aftercare, ensuring your fresh ink’s journey from raw to rockin’ is as smooth as a needle on skin.

My New Tattoo Is Shiny
@skybodypiercing Via Instagram – Want your tattoo to look brighter? Try tattoo balm 

Embrace the Shine: Your New Tattoo’s Healing Journey

That glossy look on your new tattoo is perfectly normal, an integral part of the healing process. You’ll notice the colors of your tattoo popping out more during this time, but don’t mistake it for your skin’s newfound love for bling. It’s just your body doing its recovery thing, building up that shiny new layer known as ‘onion skin.’ This phase can last anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks, filled with itchy, dry, and cracked skin situations. But don’t sweat it, with the right care, you’ll sail through this like a seasoned sailor braving the inked seas.

My New Tattoo Is Shiny
@Via Instagram – Want your tattoo to look brighter? Try tattoo balm elentattooart

What Happens To Your Skin

Now, think of tattoos as a grand adventure your skin embarks on, where a needle’s dance transforms it into a canvas of art. Sounds poetic, right? But the truth is, it’s kind of a battlefield. Your skin, valiant as it is, is dealing with the aftermath of this ‘beautiful injury.’

Your immune system, if it’s in top form, will start repairing this damaged territory. The initial phase may feel like a journey through a dry, cracked desert, but soon enough, you’ll see the oasis—a shiny layer of new skin growing beneath the scabbing. When you spot this glossy newcomer, remember, it’s still work in progress. It’ll be a few weeks before your skin gains its original matte finish and starts its natural exfoliation process.

My New Tattoo Is Shiny
@pitinktattoo Via Instagram – Want your tattoo to look brighter? Try tattoo balm 

What To Do When Your Tattoo Becomes Shiny

Now that we’ve embraced the shine let’s talk about keeping it safe. After all, no one wants a Picasso turning into a distorted doodle due to improper care.

When your tattoo takes a shiny turn:

  • Gently cleanse your skin with warm water, using a neutral-pH soap.
  • Say no to scrubbers or fabric—your hand is your best tool here.
  • Avoid direct water pressure on your tattoo, and wash off any ointment used by your artist.
  • Pat off the moisture with tender care.

Next up is exfoliation, but don’t get carried away. Overdoing it can clog your pores and bring the scabs back for an encore. Keep your tattoo as moisturized as the rest of your skin—a lesson learned from years of inking and healing. And here’s a pro tip: eating healthier while healing can do wonders for your skin! Bet you didn’t see that coming, right? Indulging in healthy fats like avocados and natural oils can boost your skin’s recovery process.

My New Tattoo Is Shiny
@emilianoubedatattoo Via Instagram – Want your tattoo to look brighter? Try tattoo balm 

Once your shiny skin retreats, your tattoo might look a tad cloudy and faded, but don’t panic—it’s all part of the healing act.

How Long Does The “onion skin” Phase Last During The Tattoo Healing Process?

The “onion skin” phase of a tattoo healing process, which is characterized by the appearance of a shiny new layer of skin over the tattoo, typically lasts between 2 to 8 weeks. This phase varies for everyone as it depends on factors like your body’s healing ability, the size and complexity of the tattoo, and how well you care for your new ink during the healing process.

5 Products That Can Help

I recommend you to check for the latest products and reviews.

  1. After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion: This lotion is often recommended for tattoo aftercare. It’s fragrance-free and contains grapeseed oil, which is known to promote skin health and healing.
  2. Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Aquaphor is a multi-purpose ointment that can be used to protect and soothe a new tattoo. Link to Amazon
  3. H2Ocean Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare: This water-based cream is designed specifically for tattoo aftercare, helping to speed up healing time and prevent scabbing.
  4. Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Salve: Tattoo Goo is an all-natural aftercare salve that helps the skin heal while preserving the colors of your tattoo. Link to Amazon
  5. Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Care: Hustle Butter Deluxe is a 100% natural, vegan replacement for petroleum-based products that can be used before, during, and after the tattoo process.

Always consult with your tattoo artist before using any new products during your tattoo healing process.

After The Healing

Once your tattoo gets cozy under a new skin layer, it should retain its vivid charm. Any additional pain or discomfort should be discussed with your artist. I know, you’re eager to step back into your routine, pun absolutely intended, but recognizing when you’re fully healed can be a bit tricky.

Your tattoo is probably healed when:

  • It’s a scab-free zone.
  • The skin texture is consistent, no shiny patches.
  • The tattoo colors aren’t faded.

If you’re unsure whether your tattoo has healed, consult your artist. It’s also the time to give your tattoo a thorough look-over. Are you happy with it? If any complications cropped up during healing, you might need to revisit your artist for a touch-up.

Remember, this healing journey is as unique as the art etched on your skin. Treat it with care, patience, and a dash of humor, and you’re set for a fantastic tattoo experience.

My New Tattoo Is Shiny
@tatuador.rodrigomarques Via Instagram – Want your tattoo to look brighter? Try tattoo balm 


And there we have it, ink enthusiasts—your guide to understanding and caring for that glossy new look your tattoo sports in its early days. It’s crucial to remember that this shine is a normal part of the healing process, a testament to your body’s remarkable resilience. While the road to complete healing can be a bit of a trek—with itchy, dry, and sometimes uncomfortable pit stops—the journey is just as unique and meaningful as your new piece of body art. Nourish your body with healthy foods, practice gentle tattoo care, and show some patience while your skin does its healing magic.

Sure, there are risks if proper care isn’t taken—you don’t want your beautiful piece of art turning into a distorted memory. But equipped with this knowledge and the right aftercare habits, you’re more than ready to keep your tattoo—and your skin—in peak condition.

So here’s to embracing the shine, enjoying the healing journey, and cherishing the vibrant result that awaits at the end. Remember, every tattoo tells a tale, and this, my friends, is your chapter on healing. Now, you’re not just wearing art; you’re living it!

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