Listening to your artists Aftercare Treatment is very important. I personally recommend Saniderm. This is a thin breathable plastic you leave on for 5 days. No messy ointment, no special cleaning instructions, no worries. Nothing else I have used has better healing results than Saniderm. If you can't use it for whatever reason or we need to do a two or three day session and need to Aquaphor heal in between sessions, those instructions are below.
The only thing the tattoo needs from you is a little moisture. You will feel it tighten up when it gets dry. A tattoo is a controlled abrasion. While an uncontrolled abrasion would require you to slather on antibiotic ointment to head off infection, a tattoo does not. Less is more! This is because an uncontrolled abrasion is usually caused by a non-sterile object. The entire tattoo process is sterile from beginning to end. This is not to say it cannot get infected. There are plenty of opportunities for it to come in contact with bacteria if you do not take care of it. Learn to avoid them.
○ Clean with anti bacterial soap unscented at least 3 times a day let tattoo dry for 10-15 minutes before applying any ointment.
○ Sleep on clean sheets.
○ Try not to wear clothes that rub across the tattoo squeeze the tattoo it'll become iritated.
○ No hot tubs or swimming pools for 2 weeks.
○ Avoid direct sunlight for 3 weeks, your skin that grows back over your tattoo to replace the skin that falls off during the healing process is very sensitive to sunlight. even if you don't usually get sunburned this new skin will especially on lighter pigments.
○ Do not scratch or pick at it.
I recommend Aquaphor above all other ointments!
After washing your hands then washing and drying your tattoo you want to rub in Aquaphor over the entire tattoo. Aquaphor doesn't only sit on top of the skin it does get into your pores. Often people make the mistake of thinking by gooping on a thick coat of ointment and leaving it is taking extra good care of their tattoo. They have good intentions but less is more and absolutely no visible ointment on the skin is even better.
I always tell people the trick with Aquaphor is to rub it in then immediately rinse it all off with cool water and then dabbing it all the way dry. You may feel like you are washing it off right after you put it on but to get it all the way out of your skin you really need to use warm water and soap so whatever stays under your skin is more then enough to heal your tattoo. In fact it is good to keep checking on it after you rinse and dry it as the Aquaphor may start to sweat out your pores a bit. Anytime you look at your tattoo and you see a wet spot, rinse and dry it off immediately. This will heal your tattoo very well and very quickly which is always the goal.