5 Ways to Care For Your Skin When There's a Bun in Your Tattooed Oven
When you got that intricate flower tattoo across your belly as a carefree 20-something, you may not have been thinking of what would happen to it down the line once you decided to get pregnant. Or maybe you did think of it, did it anyway, and now need help figuring out how to preserve it — good for you, badass.
Either way, tattoos are meaningful, expensive, and permanent, so it's important to care for them as best as possible not only when you first get one but also when you're pregnant — and this doesn't only include belly tattoos. Even if you have just a tiny one on your hip, you might want to read through these five tips for caring for your skin while pregnant to make sure your ink stays as pristine as possible.
Drink enough water.
We know, it sounds weird and totally unrelated to tattoos, but it all ties in. Drinking a lot of water keeps your skin hydrated so it can retain its elasticity — stretchy skin means easier accommodation for the little one growing inside you and less tearing and dryness.
Use moisturizer constantly.
On the subject of dryness, using a lotion* that has cocoa butter — high in vitamin E and antioxidants — will help to moisturize not only the epidermis (top layer) but also the dermis (layer underneath where your ink sits) thoroughly.
*Avoid petroleum-based products, which can cause your tattoo to fade.
Take your prenatal vitamins.
Not only are prenatal vitamins good for you and your baby in general, but there are also nutrients in there that are great for your skin and can help to aid the moisturizing, water drinking, and healthy eating that you're engaging in during your pregnancy.
Exfoliate your tattoo.
As long as you didn't just get your tattoo, exfoliating helps to get rid of dead skin cells that can build up and allows healthy new skin cells to grow, leaving your skin glowing. A soft scrub in the shower will do the trick.
Eat foods that help your skin.
Tons of foods — dark chocolate, blueberries, carrots, tomatoes — are rich in antioxidants, which can help keep your skin smooth. Omega-3 is another vitamin to make sure you're getting enough of, as it firms the skin — try salmon, tuna, walnuts, spinach, canola oil, and soy foods.