Protective Tattoo Film vs Cling Film: Which is the Best Option?

Last update:
* This post contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.

Getting a tattoo can be an exciting experience, but keeping it in perfect condition during the healing process can be challenging. Fortunately, with advances in tattoo aftercare products, you can now protect your tattoo and ensure proper healing.

Protective tattoo film is a new and innovative way to cover and protect your tattoo after the session. In contrast, cling film was traditionally used, but with the new protective tattoo film, you can get better results.

In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth review of protective tattoo film and compare it to cling film. This way, you can make an informed decision about which tattoo bandage is right for you.

Read 👉🏼 Top 3 Essential Tattoo Films for Ultimate Protection

What is Actually Protective Tattoo Film?

Protective tattoo film, also known as second skin, is a special type of thin and self-adhesive film that is applied to freshly-tattooed skin. It protects the area from infection and damage during the healing process. This film is flexible, breathable, and waterproof. Plus, it can be worn for several days before needing to be changed, making it super convenient.

In the early 2000s, a company called Tegaderm created a specific type of medical-grade film to protect surgical incisions and wounds. However, tattoo artists soon realized that this film could also be used to protect fresh tattoos. Tegaderm’s film quickly became a popular choice in the tattoo industry.

Nowadays, other brands have developed their versions of protective tattoo film, including Sorry Mom or Saniderm. These brands’ films are widely used by tattoo artists and enthusiasts worldwide as an alternative to traditional cling film or bandages.

The Fall of Cling Film

Cling film, also known as plastic wrap, has been a popular option for protecting fresh tattoos for many years. It is inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use. However, it has some downsides that have led to its decreasing popularity in recent years.

One major issue with cling film is that it is not breathable, which can lead to moisture buildup and create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. This can increase the risk of infection and interfere with the healing process. Additionally, cling film can be uncomfortable and difficult to work with, as it tends to stick to itself and can be awkward to apply.

While cling film is still used by some tattoo artists and individuals, its popularity has decreased significantly in recent years as more people have discovered the benefits of protective tattoo film.

Comparing Protective Tattoo Film vs Cling Film: Which One Is Right for You?

When it comes to protecting your new tattoo, there are a few options to choose from, including protective tattoo film and cling film. In this section, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both options so you can decide which one is best for your needs.

Pros of Protective Film

Protective tattoo film has many benefits, including breathability, flexibility and convenience. It allows your tattoo to breathe and heal faster, and it conforms to your body for comfortable wear. You can even shower with it on. The only potential downside is a rare allergic reaction.

Cons of Protective Film

There are very few downsides to using protective tattoo film, as it’s a highly effective and convenient option. The only thing to watch out for is to change it regularly to ensure proper healing and avoid any leaks.

Pros of Cling Film

Cling film is a cheap and easy option to keep bacteria out of your tattoo. It can act as a barrier against germs and other organisms and is easy to apply.

Cons of Cling Film

Cling film is not breathable as protective tattoo film and can be uncomfortable to wear. It also needs to be changed regularly to prevent infection.

In conclusion, while cling film can be a good budget option, protective tattoo film has more benefits in terms of comfort, flexibility, and healing effectiveness. Choose the option that fits your needs and budget.

Protective Tattoo Film: How to Use It

If you’ve decided to use protective tattoo film to take care of your new tattoo, congratulations on making a wise choice. Now, it’s important to use it correctly for the best results:

  • Ensure the area is completely dry before applying the film.
  • Cut the film to fit the tattoo with a 1-2 inch margin and avoid air bubbles.
  • Apply the film gently to the skin, working from the center outwards and replace it every 24 hours for 4-5 days.Patch any leaks and peel the film gently after 4-5 days.
  • Moisturize your tattoo with ointment after removing the film to prevent dryness and peeling.

For more details about how to take care of your new tattoos, check out our tattoo aftercare instructions.

Final Thoughts

Protective tattoo film is a game-changer in the tattoo industry. This innovative product can transform the healing process of tattoos, making it faster, safer and more efficient. It’s a great choice for tattoo artists, shop owners and enthusiasts who want to keep their tattoos in pristine condition.

Of course, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of protective tattoo film before making a decision. However, we believe that the benefits far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

We hope this post has helped you understand the benefits of this innovative product and make an informed decision about your tattoo aftercare.


What does protective tattoo film do?

Protective tattoo film is a thin layer of material that can be applied over a fresh tattoo to protect it during the healing process. It helps to prevent bacteria and dirt from entering the tattooed area, reducing the risk of infection. Additionally, it can also provide a barrier against friction and rubbing, which can be particularly important if the tattoo is in an area of the body that experiences a lot of movement or contact with clothing.

How long should a tattoo bandage stay on?

A tattoo bandage should stay on for at least a few hours to protect the tattoo and prevent bacteria from entering. If it’s waterproof and breathable (Saniderm, Tattoo Film or Tegaderm), you can leave it on for up to 5 days. During this time, you may see ink seepage and plasma building up, which is normal. Just follow your artist’s aftercare instructions and keep the tattoo clean and moisturized. Find more about the topic on “How Long should you keep your tattoo wrapped?”.

What is the best bandage for a new tattoo?

While there are many great options for tattoo aftercare, Saniderm and Tattoo Film from Sorry Mom are among the most popular choices. These specialized bandages are lightweight, breathable, and flexible, which allows for proper oxygenation of the tattooed area, resulting in better healed tattoos.

What happens if you remove a tattoo bandage/protective tattoo film too soon?

It’s important to keep the first layer of your tattoo bandage or protective film on for at least 24 hours. After that, you can rebandage with a fresh one and keep it on for an additional 3-4 days. However, in very rare cases, some people may have an allergic reaction to the adhesive in the bandage, and if that happens, it’s okay to remove the bandage early. If you do need to remove it early, you should be completely fine.

Related articles:

top 3 best tattoo bandages

Best Tattoo Bandages for 2024

We’ve carefully tested the 3 best tattoo bandages in the market to save you the guesswork. See which ones made the cut and why they’re the top choices for your tattoo aftercare.

Tattoo Blowout: What Is It and What You Can Do About It

Discover the causes of tattoo blowout, learn how to identify it, and explore the available solutions to address this issue.

Itchy Tattoos: What to Do (and What Not to Do)

Learn why itchy tattoos happen, how to manage the discomfort, and how to make the tattoo healing process more comfortable.

Coconut Oil: The Natural Solution for Tattoo Aftercare

Learn about the benefits of using coconut oil on tattoos and how it can keep your tattooed skin looking vibrant and healthy.

Can You Prevent Tattoo Scarring? What You Need to Know

Learn about tattoo scarring, how to prevent it, and how to deal with it if it happens.

How Often Should You Wash Your Tattoo? Everything You Need to Know

How often should you wash your tattoo? Discover our expert tips and advice on how to clean and care for your new tattoo for optimal healing.

Leave a Comment