Summer Tattoo Care

Summer Tattoo Care

The absolute best thing you can do to take care of your healed tattoo is take care of your skin.  It’s no secret that tattoos look better on healthy skin. While the summer is a great time to get outdoors, go swimming, visit the beach, it can also be detrimental to the longevity of your favorite work of art. One bad sunburn can zap and fade, colors and grey washes out of your tattoo. At Broken Lantern we want your tattoos to last; we are just as concerned as what your piece will look like 5 years from now as they do when you walk out our studio door. Below we comprised some helpful hints (some obvious, some not as much) to help you preserve your tattoo through the summer months.

If you can, keep it covered:

We want you to show off your tattoo as much as you do, but unfortunately your best defense against the sun is to keep it covered. This typically isn’t as much of an issue for tattoos on the torso and back, but arms and legs may be more tricky. Breathable leggings and loose shirts are good options when it’s hot outside (and it will be in South Carolina)

Wear Sunscreen:

Covering your tattoo with clothing may not always be an option. The next line of defense should be sunscreen. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you go outside, and reapply frequently. The minimum protection should be at least 15spf. Sport sunscreens tend to hold up better to sweating and water activities, however if you are thinking about going in the ocean we recommend a marine friendly sunscreen that does not contain  oxybenzone and octinoxate. These products are much less toxic to reef systems and aquatic life.


Drinking lots of fluids, especially water, is important for everyone during a hot summer, regardless if you have body art or not. Along with all its general health benefits, water keeps your skin clear and moisturized from the inside out. Combined with using lotion, your tattoos will look more vibrant and more importantly, you will feel healthier.

If you must tan try a sunless option:

Obviously, since protecting your skin from the sun is key to keep your tattoos looking good, tanning by the ocean or hopping in a tanning bed won’t do your skin or tattoos any good. If you want to look tan this summer, opt for a sun-free option like tinted moisturizers or spray tanning. Keep in mind these will dull the appearance of your tattoo but only temporarily.

Eat foods that help fight UV damage:

I was surprised to find out about this but it is actually a thing. Certain foods like bell peppers, tomatoes, and carrots contain vitamins and organic compounds that help rebuild damaged skin and keep it healthier overall. Also, water-heavy foods like watermelon can help keep your skin (and your body) hydrated.

It is important to note that this blog is intended for healed tattoos only. For information of how to properly heal a tattoo please refer to our aftercare blog. Take care of those tattoos and come back to see us soon!

Best of Charleston Voting 2019

Best of Charleston Voting 2019

Y’all are amazing! We are once again nominated for best tattoo shop in Charleston through the City Paper AND our very own Glenn Collins is nominated for best tattoo artist! This is a huge deal because it is completely motivated by you, our clients! We are humbled, we are flattered, and most of all we are inspired. We need your help to take it a step further. Now it is time for you to vote! It is down to five shops and five tattoo artists, with your help we can become number 1. For your continued support we want to say thank you, so we are giving you four ways to win some free tattoos!

Up for grabs is THREE $300 tattoo gift certificates. Here is how you can win, vote for us Broken Lantern Tattoo on the Charleston City Paper website you can also vote for Glenn Collins for best tattoo artist, Click here to access the voting page. Send a screenshot of one or both of your votes to to be entered. Another way to be entered is to like, share, AND tag two friends in the post on our facebook and instagram page. Click here for quick access to the Facebook post and Click here to access the instagram post. Every way gets you entered and takes less than 5 minutes. For a small business like us this is a huge chance for exposure, help us get there!!!!

Sincerely,Broken Lantern Tattoo Team

Tattoo Aftercare instructions for Charleston

Tattoo Aftercare instructions for Charleston

It is always important to remember that before your new tattoo begins peeling and scabbing it is essentially an open wound and needs to be treated as such. Make sure to give your tattoo the time and attention it requires to heal properly. Charleston is a uniquely humid climate, leading to slightly different aftercare recommendations. What we suggest is a follows:

Day of Tattoo
After the tattooing process your fresh piece will be bandaged, remove the bandage after 1-3 hours or whenever you get home. Do not remove the bandage until you can properly clean the tattoo with mild antibacterial soap and warm water. Rinse it well with water, massage off the slimy coating that may have formed underneath the bandage. Gently pat dry with a clean towel. The tattoo should not be re-bandaged unless you are instructed to do otherwise by your artist. Fragrance free antibacterial soap is recommended for washing the tattooed area.

Day One and Two
For the first day or two, your tattoo may require more cleaning as the traumatized skin will still be seeping a small amount of fluid (plasma, blood, ink). Your skin needs to breathe and preventing it from doing so can result in a longer healing period and/or excess scabbing. To ensure that excess moisture is not trapped under the surface, blot and air-dry after each washing. We recommend washing the tattoo 3-5 times a day during this stage. There is no need to put lotion or aftercare cream to it at this point as it is still an open wound.

During the first two nights it is best to keep the tattoo uncovered, not under any clothing or sheets. We recommend changing your sheets to ones that you do not care about as some ink/plasma may get on them, no need to mess up the egyptian cotton or silk sheets. Pigment loss can happen if the tattooed skin becomes stuck to fabric in this early stage. If it does happen remove very gently. Do not freak out too much if this happens we do offer free touch ups within three months of getting the tattoo.

During the healing period your new tattoo should never stay submerged in water. Limit yourself to taking short showers until the tattoo has finished peeling and do not take any baths. It is also important to keep your tattoo protected from the sun and dirty environments, as it is still an open wound at this time. Do not go swimming as it will negatively affect the healing of your tattoo and potentially lead to an infection. All activities involving water submersion or sun exposure can usually be resumed in three to four weeks. The longer you protect the tattoo from sun exposure the better. If you must expose your tattoo to sunlight, be sure to use sun block of at least 30 SPF.

Following Days
The tattoo will begin to flake and scab only apply ointment/product for as long as it takes for your tattoo to peel, which is usually 3-10 days. When the peeling begins, the tattooed skin will flake like a sunburn. When the tattoo has fully entered the heavy peeling phase the area will become dry and itchy, but it is very important NOT TO PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. A high quality, fragrance-free lotion or tattoo aftercare cream can be used during this stage until the skin returns to its normal texture. Non scented lotion works fine but you can also get tattoo specific aftercare cream here. Only apply these products in very light layers, do not cake it on as it can lead to trapping bacteria and ingrown hairs. You do not have to apply anything to your tattoo at this point, these products just usually help with the itchiness.  Everyone’s skin is different and heals at different rates. Proper nutrition (fresh fruits, vegetables, etc.) and plenty of sleep each night will aid in your body’s ability to heal itself. Staying hydrated during and after a tattoo session is also important. It is normal for the line work in your new tattoo to be raised for the first month following your tattoo session. In most cases the skin will go back down to its normal smoothness 1 – 2 months after.

Artist Travel Dates 2019

Artist Travel Dates 2019

Broken Lantern Tattoo fosters an environment for creativity and growth. We encourage our artist to travel to tattoo expos and conventions to interact with industry heavy hitters, see the latest in tattoo technology, and keep our fingers on the pulse of tattooing. This is where we will continually update our artist travel dates and schedules so that if you are in the area you can stop by and get a piece done or say hey. If you would like to book a time slot with one of our artists at the convention just give us a call here at the shop 843-637-4999

******************************** Glenn Collins *DC Tattoo Expo January 11th-13 *Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention February 15–17 *Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival March 22-24 *The All American Tattoo Convention (Fayetteville, NC) April 12-14 *Savannah Tattoo Festival May 17-19 *Virginia Beach Tattoo Expo August 9-11 Chris Jones *DC Tattoo Expo January 11th-13 *The All American Tattoo Convention (Fayetteville, NC) April 12-14

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