Why does my tattoo look shiny? You Should Know Reason

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So, you’ve finally got that long-awaited tattoo, and it looks amazing on your skin. But wait, what’s this? You’ve noticed that your tattoo suddenly looks shiny? Don’t panic; this phenomenon is not as unusual as you might think. In this article, we’ll dive into why does my tattoo look shiny, explore the reasons behind their shimmer, address common concerns, and provide you with expert tips on how to care for your shiny ink. By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to understand and manage the sheen of your tattoo, ensuring it continues to be a work of art.

Reasons for Shiny Tattoo

Fresh Ink

One of the most common reasons for a shiny tattoo is that it’s still fresh. When a tattoo is freshly inked, the skin around it often appears shiny due to the ointment or moisturizer applied by the tattoo artist to aid in the healing process. This sheen is temporary and typically fades as the tattoo heals.

Healing Process

Tattoos go through various stages of healing, and during these stages, they may appear shiny for different reasons. As your body repairs the damaged skin and ink settles into place, you might notice a subtle shine. This is a natural part of the healing process and should not be a cause for concern.


While it’s essential to keep your tattoo moisturized during the initial healing phase, excessive use of ointments or lotions can make it look excessively shiny. Over-moisturizing can trap excess moisture under the skin, giving your tattoo an unwanted gleam. It’s crucial to follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions carefully to avoid this issue.

Concerns About Shiny Tattoos

Now that we’ve explored why your tattoo might look shiny, it’s time to address some common concerns associated with this phenomenon.


One of the first worries that may cross your mind when you notice your tattoo looking shiny is infection. While infections can cause redness, swelling, and discharge, a simple shine on your tattoo is unlikely to be a sign of infection. However, if you notice other concerning symptoms, such as excessive pain, heat, or an unpleasant odour, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Allergic Reactions

Some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink or aftercare products, which can manifest as redness, itching, or a shiny appearance. If you suspect an allergy, consult your tattoo artist or a dermatologist for guidance.

Overuse of Products

As mentioned earlier, over-moisturizing your tattoo can lead to excessive shininess. If you’ve been applying ointments or lotions more frequently than recommended, it’s essential to dial back and follow the prescribed aftercare routine to restore the tattoo’s natural look.

Taking Care of a Shiny Tattoo

Now that you have a better understanding of why your tattoo might be shiny and have addressed some common concerns let’s move on to how you can take care of your shiny ink and ensure it looks its best.

Taking Care of a Shiny Tattoo

1. Follow Aftercare Instructions

The golden rule for tattoo care is to follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions diligently. This typically involves washing your tattoo gently with mild soap, applying a thin layer of recommended ointment or lotion, avoiding direct sunlight, swimming, or submerging the tattoo in water until it’s fully healed.

2. Keep it Clean

Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial during the healing process. Clean your tattoo gently with lukewarm water and mild soap, pat it dry with a clean paper towel, and avoid rubbing or scrubbing the area.

3. Avoid Over-Moisturizing

While moisturizing is essential for tattoo healing, it’s equally important not to overdo it. Apply a thin layer of the recommended product as instructed, usually two to three times a day. Excess moisture can trap bacteria and make your tattoo look excessively shiny.

4. Protect from the Sun

Direct sunlight can fade and damage your tattoo, so it’s essential to shield it from UV rays. If you need to be outdoors, use sunscreen with a high SPF, or cover your tattoo with clothing.

5. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well

Your skin’s overall health affects how your tattoo looks. Staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet can promote optimal healing and keep your tattoo looking its best.

Signs of the Tattoo Healed

As you diligently care for your shiny tattoo, you’ll notice changes in its appearance as it progresses through the healing stages. Here are some signs that your tattoo has fully healed:

Signs of the Tattoo Healed

1. Matte Finish

The most apparent change is that the shiny appearance will diminish, leaving your tattoo with a matte finish. This indicates that the healing process is complete, and your tattoo has settled into your skin.

2. No More Flaking

During the healing process, it’s normal for your tattoo to peel and flake. When this stops, it’s a good sign that the outer layers of skin have healed, revealing the vibrant colours and intricate details of your tattoo.

3. Normal Sensation

As your tattoo heals, any itching or discomfort you may have experienced will subside. Your tattooed area should feel like the rest of your skin, indicating that it has fully integrated into your body.

4. Vibrant Colors

As the skin heals and any scabs or dead skin cells fall away, the true colours of your tattoo will become more vibrant. This is a sign that your tattoo is settling in beautifully.

Read More: How to Care for a New Tattoo in the Summer


In the journey of tattoo ownership, it’s normal for your ink to go through various phases, including a temporary shiny appearance. Understanding the reasons behind a shiny tattoo and addressing common concerns can help you navigate this process with confidence. By following proper aftercare instructions, maintaining good hygiene, and being patient, you can ensure that your tattoo heals beautifully, leaving you with a stunning and lasting piece of body art.

Why does my tattoo look shiny about FAQs

The duration varies from person to person, but typically, a tattoo starts to lose its shine within the first week. It may take several weeks to a few months for the tattoo to fully settle and lose all shine.

Yes, it’s entirely normal for a tattoo to peel and flake as the top layers of skin heal and shed. This is a natural part of the healing process and should not be a cause for concern.

It’s best to use the specific ointment or lotion recommended by your tattoo artist or provided in their aftercare instructions. These products are formulated to promote proper healing and minimize the risk of infection or excessive shine.

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