Do you have a new tattoo that you want to make sure heals properly? A tattoo that is not taken care of will fade and look lackluster after a while. But with the help of the correct tattoo aftercare products, you can maintain the quality of the artwork on your body!
However, it can be tricky to find the best product that heals your skin without causing irritation or flaking. So, we've picked out some of the best tattoo aftercare lotions, such as After Inked's Tattoo Moisturizer and Aftercare Lotion. It moisturizes new and old tattoos, making them pop. On top of the nine other great options, you can read through the buying guide to help you pick the right product for your tattoo aftercare needs.
Tattoos are works of art! The right aftercare regimen can ensure that your skin's healing process won't be compromised and help the ink retains its vibrancy. Here are a few considerations to look through when choosing a tattoo aftercare lotion.
Your aftercare lotion must focus on hydration and proper application. Hydration is key to preventing skin from drying out after the open wounds created by a tattoo. It also helps your skin heal properly and avoid cracking.
Ingredients like grape seed oil, almond oil, shea butter, and aloe vera are great for their gentle hydrating properties. Other ingredients in tattoo aftercare lotions that boost hydration and healing are glycerin and vitamins E, C, and D.
On top of their moisturizing capabilities, these ingredients have added benefits. Grape seed oil and shea butter have antioxidants that aid skin healing. Meanwhile, almond oil can reduce scarring, and aloe vera can relieve intense itching.
Tattoo lotions are often gentle on skin and can be used in any weather. There are a few considerations that will be discussed in the extra tips sections to help you with the adjustment period.
Regarding the amount of lotion to be placed, there is also such a thing as over-moisturizing your skin, which compromises the healing process. So if you've chosen balm-like products with a thick consistency, only apply a thin layer until you see the ink glisten. If your tattoo looks dull or hidden by the lotion, you've applied too much.
You should also not see patches of leftover product on your skin. Reapplication is usually two to three times a day or every eight hours on new tattoos, although if your skin dries out quickly, you can reapply more often.
One of the reasons tattoo lotions are advised for aftercare is because they both help skin heal and tend to the tattoo itself. They’re made to address fading, which can result from poor aftercare habits.
Tattoo lotions are like car wax that brings out the shine and vibrancy of a paint job. This is especially true for colored tattoos, which can fade quickly if not cared for properly. These lotions can even bring out the color of old tattoos, making lines more crisp and clean and the colors more vibrant.
A couple of ingredients with color-popping properties include sesame oil, Kukui nut oil, and lavender oil; some of these block UV rays that lead to dull and faded tattoos.
The larger the tattoo, the more chances for an infection to occur. Therefore, only choose skin-safe products that are dermatologically tested and approved. If you have sensitive skin, a hypoallergenic lotion reduces possible irritation.
Meanwhile, a non-comedogenic formula means the lotion won't clog pores. Professional tattoo artists often recommend these products because they've seen their work heal beautifully on their clients.
Expert-approved labels mean the ingredients work in minimizing itching to prevent you from picking or scratching the tattoo, which can remove the ink. This results in patchy areas on your tattoo, altering the overall design.
Furthermore, these products help your skin heal quicker with less risk of skin irritation. Keep in mind that the tattoo aftercare process is a balance of keeping the open wound clean and allowing it to heal naturally, and eliminating chances of damaging the design.
If you have extra sensitive skin, check the tattoo lotion formula for possible irritants. For example, fragrances, phthalates, alcohol, and lanolins are a few ingredients that may trigger an adverse skin reaction on a new tattoo. Not to mention alcohol can cause it to sting!
If your skin responded negatively to any of these in the past, we recommend reading the product reviews to confirm if the lotion’s formula didn’t cause any irritation on others.
Coconut oil is another common ingredient in tattoo lotions that's known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. However, if you have acne-prone skin, this comedogenic substance can clog pores, so we recommend conducting a patch test first to ensure that your skin doesn’t react to a particular formula.
Petroleum is often added to skincare products like creams and lotions because of its ability to trap and retain moisture. However, for tattoos, this means that the skin can’t breathe, and there’s the risk of bacteria being trapped in the process.
Petroleum can be labeled as petrolatum petroleum jelly, paraffin oil, and mineral oil. If a particular lotion has petroleum, go for refined or white petroleum since they are safe for use with no proven health concerns.
While tattoo aftercare lotions are recommended early in the healing process for their tattoo-specific formulas, you can eventually move on to other products such as skin moisturizers and baby lotions.
There’s a reason why baby lotions are safe for young users; the ingredients are tested and confirmed to be gentle on the skin. This is why baby lotion is often used as an aftercare lotion for tattoos.
If you have extra-dry skin, your tattoo healing process can be uncomfortable, with flaky and itchy skin requiring topical products that heal and moisturize the skin. You can consider dermatologist-approved moisturizers that offer skin therapy to address cracked, irritated, or extra dry skin.
The following lineup contains 10 products made with different ingredients but with the same goal: to help your skin heal properly and quickly after getting a tattoo. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.
Ora's Amazing Herbal
Tattoo Moisturizer and Aftercare Lotion
Deluxe Tattoo Aftercare Tattoo Balm
Tattoo Aftercare Lotion
Aquatat Tattoo Ointment
Daily Moisture Lotion
Hemp Tattoo Enhancing Body Moisturizer
Marked IV Life Tattoo Care Kit
Moisturizing Lotion Enriched With Grape Seed Oil
All-Natural Balm for All Stages of Tattooing
Sensitive Skin-Friendly Healing Lotion
Herb-Infused Salve for Soothing Tattoo Aftercare
Bring Out the Color of Your Tattoo
Immediate Tattoo Aftercare Moisturizer
Quick-Absorbing Moisturizer for Every Day Use
Hydrate and Brighten Tattoos
Antibacterial Aftercare Product for Quick Healing
A Complete Tattoo Aftercare Kit
|Amount||3 oz.||5 oz.||14 oz.||1 oz.||2 oz.||1.75 oz.||24 oz.||18 oz. each||2 oz.||3 oz. lotion and wash, 2 oz. salve|
|Hydrating ingredients||Grape seed oil||Shea, mango, aloe butter||Mineral oil, petrolatum (41%)||Grape seed oil, beeswax, variety of herbs||Olive oil, panthenol||Palm seed oil, petrolatum||Glycerin, vitamin B5||Hemp, aloe, shea butter||Grape seed oil, shea butter||Shea butter, green tea, grape seed oil|
|Highlights||Non-allergenic, paraben-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan||Petroleum-free, paraben-free, vegan||Paraben-free, sulfate-free, fragrance-free, preservative-free||Paraben-free, petroleum-free, lanolin-free||Petroleum-free, lanolin-free, vegan||Mineral oil-free, fragrance-free||Fragrance-free||Paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free||Vegan||Paraben-free, cruelty-free|
|Scent||Mild orange||Mild coconut||Unscented||Mild herbal||Mild scent||Not provided||Unscented||Not specified||Mild coconut, shea butter||Rosemary|
|Hydrating ingredients||Grape seed oil|
|Highlights||Non-allergenic, paraben-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan|
|Hydrating ingredients||Shea, mango, aloe butter|
|Highlights||Petroleum-free, paraben-free, vegan|
|Hydrating ingredients||Mineral oil, petrolatum (41%)|
|Highlights||Paraben-free, sulfate-free, fragrance-free, preservative-free|
|Hydrating ingredients||Grape seed oil, beeswax, variety of herbs|
|Highlights||Paraben-free, petroleum-free, lanolin-free|
|Hydrating ingredients||Olive oil, panthenol|
|Highlights||Petroleum-free, lanolin-free, vegan|
|Hydrating ingredients||Palm seed oil, petrolatum|
|Highlights||Mineral oil-free, fragrance-free|
|Hydrating ingredients||Glycerin, vitamin B5|
|Amount||18 oz. each|
|Hydrating ingredients||Hemp, aloe, shea butter|
|Highlights||Paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free|
|Hydrating ingredients||Grape seed oil, shea butter|
|Scent||Mild coconut, shea butter|
|Amount||3 oz. lotion and wash, 2 oz. salve|
|Hydrating ingredients||Shea butter, green tea, grape seed oil|
A tattoo normally takes two to four weeks to heal completely. However, the skin underneath may take up to six months to heal. Imagine having an open wound that requires attentive care; otherwise, there's a risk of infection. Your tattoo should immediately be cleaned and covered after the procedure.
Periodically gently wash the tattoo and wrap it with a new bandage or plastic wrap. This technique also keeps your bedsheets and surroundings clean because the tattoo will continue to bleed ink overnight. However, your artist may apply a covering meant to be kept on for days, like Saniderm. In this case, don't touch it until instructed to take it off by your artist.
Avoid using lotion during the first two days after the procedure. Ointments should be used first, as lotions will cause a stinging sensation on the fresh tattoo. Resist the urge to scratch or pick no matter how itchy or uncomfortable it becomes. Don't remove the scabs either! This prevents bacteria from coming into contact with open skin and helps it heal faster.
Don't swim, soak in a bath, or wear tight clothing over the tattoo during the healing process. Regardless of the season, a new tattoo requires all the hydration and moisture to heal properly, so certain compromises should be made.
Tattoos that are larger, with complex colors, or located on a body part with more skin movement will take longer to heal. With that said, don't skimp on the aftercare process because this directly affects healing and how clean and pristine your tattoo will look.
And, of course, always listen to your tattoo artist! They will have the best idea of what kind of aftercare your particular tattoo needs.
Since we're on the topic of skincare products, you might be interested in other options that are gentle and nourishing!
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