Tattoo Care by Inked Ritual
As some of you know, I have been whining about getting a tattoo for oh so many years. In the fall of last year, all the planets aligned for this to happen. I finally committed to a design that unknowingly had been dangling in front of my eyes for some time. It was a rather simple composition, but it spoke to my inner sole – isn’t that what a tattoo is all about? There was also the “forever” aspect. In my younger days, forever was too long of a proposition. Now that I am at a different stage in life, forever and those defining elements such as a tattoo don’t seem so abstract. We are also at a different point culturally and tattoos as a hole have come out of the shadows and into the lime light. The same can be said of great tattoo Artists who are reaching levels of Rock Stardom and you will have to book an appointment months away for your project. Bottom line, if this image is going to be on you forever, it ought to be done right.
My story is no different than anyone else. I decided on my concept. I connected with a great Artist. We worked out the kinks and moved the concept further. And finally came ink day! I will admit that I was expecting things to be more intense as I had heard rough stories from my friends about some of their ink. Like everybody, I had seen the ink to pain body maps, but it hadn’t quite sunk in and I was more concerned about where this FIRST tattoo would live from a practicality point of view… The left shoulder was just a natural placement. That also turned out to be a very smooth area to work with. The whole inking process turned out to be a lot of fun.
Then came the healing process. Now, I will consider myself extremely lucky since my Artist and her shop work with something called “Saniderm”. This solution is both efficient and simple. It’s basically a plastic breathable band aid adhesive that you keep on for the following 7 days after being inked. You can shower and go about your life with this bandage. Gone are the days or cloth bandage which would bond with your skin while healing. On the 7th day, you peel this bandage off and start caring for your ink.
This is the part I was most interested in and concerned about. There are many tats out there that look grey, dull, dry and just blaaaa! I didn’t want to be that guy. I love the crisp contract of skin and black ink and I wanted my tat to look like that all the time and “forever”. My own tat experience was going to be different that everyone else! 🙂 The shop sold a coconut based butter called “Hustle Butter” for the aftercare phase and to keep the tattoo looking good. Everything I found on the web suggested that this was a worthy solution and that it was well regarded in the industry. So I bought me the big jar so that I would have plenty of that butter to keep my tat nice and moist at all times.
As part of the Style4men business, I am always looking at what’s hot and new in the grooming world. And yes, that also includes the tattoo world. There is a bit of natural segue to be made between: Barbershops, Pomade, Rock’n Roll and Tattoos. As mentioned earlier, tattoos are also a thing of our time. I don’t know what the statistics are, but I will venture that we live in a time with the most tattooed mofos out there.
Often spending time on Instagram, I came across the Inked ritual page and was first impressed by the overall presentation, but as I started reading I also got more curious. Brighten your ink! Protect your tattoos! Potent serum! Residue free! – Were some of the headlines! All of which spoke to me and I was willing to learn more about Inked Ritual! With that in mind, I am thrilled to partner with Inked Ritual for this review.
Up to know my go to product has been “Hustle Butter” which has been great but it is a bit of a thick paste that is mostly absorbed on the spot but that does leave a bit of a residue. It also has a clear coconut scent. I love coconut so there is no real issue there, but you may not always want to smell like that. And bottom line, I am a Tester at heart who likes to try new products out!
Truth be said, I also tried using some beard oil as a tattoo aftercare solution. Many of the oils used in beard oil composition are fantastic natural skin healers and rejuvenators.
But let’s get to it! What is Inked ritual? It is not a cream, paste or butter. Rather it is a serum. You might say that it looks like a light gel.
If you have been using the pastes and butters, you are probably used to applying a good amount. With Inked Ritual an incredibly small portion is needed. It is absorbed quickly, leaving no greasy or sticky residue. In fact, for this aspect alone it is a very interesting product. But this isn’t its main quality! It’s impressive skin penetration and moisturizing skills is what makes this product such a find.
Think of your skin as layered glass where all of the layers have some element of dirt on them and where the bottom sheet of glass has an image (your tattoo). So even if you are washing the outer top layer of glass (epidermis), the one underneath (dermis) remains dirty thus clouding the art. You would have to separate each layer in order to clean them in order to properly see the art. Obviously, with skin this is not possible. We are essentially just cleaning or moisturizing that top layer (epidermis) and never getting much lower (dermis).
But what if there was a way to transport those moisturizing agents to the lower layers of skin? With the recent breakthroughs in skin care, there is.
As part of my trying out Inked Ritual I was also fortunate enough to have a direct line of contact with Mike, the Founder of Inked Ritual Tattoo Care who broke down a few of the key points about the product. Here are some of the highlights of our exchange:
- Purpose & Function
- Serum technology
- Active ingredients
Inked Ritual’s purpose and function is to nourish, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin on a cellular level. This protects and stops tattoo fading by keeping skin healthy youthful.
To be effective, it must be able to deeply penetrate past the outer skin layer (epidermis) and into the second skin layer (dermis) where it goes to work. This is the reason why Inked Ritual was developed as a serum and not a cream or lotion. Inked Ritual uses trans-dermal technology assists the penetration and absorption into the skin.
Once the Inked Ritual serum has penetrated and absorbed into the skin, this is where the active ingredients go to work on a cellular level. The effectiveness and function of these active ingredients is only made possible due to the serum’s ability to transport them deep into the skin. Inked Ritual’s active ingredients use encapsulation technology. The actives in the formula are encapsulated to be transported in the serum.
This same advanced skincare technology found in the most advanced and premium anti-aging skincare products. Products that range between $80 – $400 for 1-2oz depending on the brand.When talking about other tattoo skincare products… There are some good ones and not so good ones. The good ones are free of any toxic parabens, petrolatum, mineral oils, fragrances and a host of other ingredients not deemed safe for the skin.
But all tattoo care products share the same purpose and function — skin moisturizers. Moisturizers are designed to keep the skin moisturized. This can also provide a smooth feel and glow to the skin, and temporarily make the tattoos look better.
Having a heavier molecular structure, moisturizers cannot deeply penetrate the skin’s epidermis like a serum. On a positive note, moisturizers are great to keep the skin moisturized, especially if you have dry skin. But Inked Ritual is not a moisturizer in that sense. Inked Ritual hydrates by pulling moisture into the skin, and is not a moisturizer replacement.
Inked Ritual is not a moisturizer and it leaves out all the sealing ingredients. Inked Ritual actually “hydrates” by pulling water deep into the skin, as opposed to sealing and locking in the skin’s natural moisture. Also, a very big point of differentiation is Inked Rituals active ingredients. Inked Ritual is formulated with a complex of seven critical anti-aging actives including a bio-engineered pseudoform of placenta which contains peptides, amino acids and vitamins.
Inked Ritual also contains time released Hyaluronic Acid and Liftonin-Xpert. This patented ingredient maintains tattoo ink pigmentation and intensity.
More Inked Ritual benefits
- Improves tattooed skin texture and clarity
- Strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and defenses
- Algae extract repairs the skin
- Protects skin against free radicals
Renews skin elasticity and natural radiance
- Helps tighten and reduce fine lines (anti-wrinkle)
- Provides long lasting deep hydration (different than surface moisturizing) Inked Ritual is not a replacement for skin moisturizers – different products with a different purpose and function.
- Increases softness and protects the skin from sun damage and signs of inflammation that dull ink overtime
- Stimulates collagen production to restore and skin elasticity and firmness
- Penetrates the skin and supplies necessary moisture (hydration) and vitamins that keep the skin looking full and healthy
Inked Ritual is a brand new skincare technology that has never been introduced in the tattoo industry. To help understand what the product does, we created Inked Ritual 101 page to clarify this even further.
Thank you Mike for these clarifications.
OK so what about the performance? As mentioned above my ink is fairly recent and I have taken care of it so it’s looking pretty decent. Nevertheless, applying a drop of this stuff on my tat impressed me to the point of making me think why would I bother with the other stuff?! The first application gave promising results right away and by the 2nd and 3rd application I was clearly seeing a difference. My ink was darker, crisper and clearer.
In the above picture you see a before and after side by side. In the bottom portion, the ink appears more grey’ish, while the top is clearly blank. I am not using any filters to accentuate or diminish any contrasts. Since my ink is still less than 8 months old the contrast is not dramatic, but still present enough to see a difference.
TO SUM THINGS UP
Inked Ritual brings something that was missing in the tattoo after-care space. This innovative solution capitalizes on skin care research to keep your tattoo looking fresh and crisp. When you consider the amount of time invested in planning your tattoo project, the cost (and pain) of bringing it to life, taking care of it should be a no brainer and taking care of it with Inked Ritual will keep that piece looking like new ink.