What is the best lotion to put on a new tattoo?
Also, which is the best lotion for tattoos after they’re healed?
Those are the two questions we’ll answer with our article today.
Read on to find out what we recommend avoiding, too. Some products may slow down healing or damage your tattoo.
- Is Vaseline Good for Tattoo Aftercare?
- Is It Safe to Put Coconut Oil on a New Tattoo?
- Bepanthen Diaper Care Ointment
- After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion
- Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter
- H2Ocean Aquatat Moisturizer
- Skinfix Inked Tattoo Balm
- Aquaphor Healing Ointment
- Weleda Skin Food Light Nourishing Cream
- Lubriderm Tattoo Daily Care Water-Based Lotion
- Vanicream Lite Lotion Pump for Sensitive Skin
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
- H2Ocean Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare
- Tattoo Goo – The Original Aftercare Salve
- Dr. Pickles Premium Tattoo Balm
- Badger Tattoo Balm
- Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve
- Tattoo Goo “The Lotion” with Healix Gold Formula Special
- Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
- La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm
- Healing Ointment for Babies by Era Organics
- Aveeno Skin Relief 24-Hour Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin
- Gold Bond Ultimate Fragrance-Free Skin Therapy Lotion
- How to Care for a New Tattoo
- Which Tattoo Inks Fade the Most? And What Can You Do to Keep Them Vibrant?
Is Vaseline Good for Tattoo Aftercare?
Perhaps you’ve heard that Vaseline is good for new tattoos. That’s not true (1).
Vaseline forms a barrier that seals in moisture and prevents air from getting to your skin. This can cause your tattoo to heal more slowly or even become infected.
Is It Safe to Put Coconut Oil on a New Tattoo?
On the other hand, it’s probably safe to put coconut oil on a healing tattoo (2). Coconut oil is a traditional remedy that’s been studied in modern times. It has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
But the best lotion for new tattoos may be something as unexpected as diaper cream.
Bepanthen Diaper Care Ointment
The tattoo artist will apply an ointment and wrap your tattoo before you leave the studio. They should give you instructions on how to care for it.
Most likely they’ll suggest leaving the bandage on for a few hours. Once you remove it, you’ll wash with a tattoo aftercare soap and pat it dry.
Next, for the first couple of days, apply a thin layer of ointment or cream to prevent infection, and encourage healing.
Surprisingly, this diaper cream is one of the top recommendations. Bepanthen reduces irritation and redness, soothes itching, and accelerates healing.
It’s also free from artificial fragrances, dyes, and preservatives
After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion
After Inked’s moisturizer made an appearance on Inked Masters. It’s vegan and tested by dermatologists to be hypoallergenic for sensitive skin.
Although it contains ingredients from around the world, it’s blended and packaged in the USA.
It features grape seed oil that’s proven to boost healing. The humectants and emollients keep the skin soft and speed up healing.
At the same time, it has Vitamin C and amino acids to make old ink vibrant again.
Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter
Hustle Butter is one of the most popular tattoo aftercare products. Not only can you use it to protect your new tattoo, but some artists apply it to prepare the skin before inking.
It doesn’t have petroleum, so it lets the skin breathe. It also lacks parabens.
The blend of natural ingredients like shea and mango butter, coconut oil, and Vitamin E condition the skin to prevent infection and scarring.
Hustle Butter is all-around useful in the studio and at home. If you’re in doubt as to which moisturizer to get, you can’t go wrong with this one.
– The Team’s take
H2Ocean Aquatat Moisturizer
H2Ocean’s Aquatat is FDA-approved and contains pharmaceutical-grade ingredients. It’s a fragrance-free ointment rich in nutrients and antioxidants that stimulate healing.
Just a little goes a long way. Apply this cream for the first couple of days, then switch to a lightweight moisturizer to complete the healing process.
Skinfix Inked Tattoo Balm
Skinfix is used by artists and recommended by dermatologists. It won’t leach ink from tattoos or alter the color.
Once you apply a thin layer, it melts into the skin. It won’t leave the surface greasy.
Plus, it doesn’t have gluten, soy, perfume, petrolatum, lanolin, parabens, or phthalates.
This may be the best lotion to keep your tattoos bright in the future, too.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
Aquaphor is sometimes applied by tattoo artists on new tattoos. It forms a protective barrier that keeps out germs and seals in moisture.
Although it’s fine for the first couple of days, it’s not the best choice for long-term moisturization.
Part of the problem is that it’s somewhat greasy and based on artificial components like petrolatum and mineral oil. It may end up trapping germs and too much moisture, causing an infection.
Weleda Skin Food Light Nourishing Cream
Weleda may not have made their Light Nourishing Cream for healing tattoos, but it’s actually ideal. When you’re ready to switch to a lightweight moisturizer (after the first three days or so), try this one.
The formula is based on plant extracts like chamomile, calendula, and pansy. These help the skin to recover and stop itching.
Moreover, there are no synthetic fragrances, preservatives, parabens, or phthalates in it. It’s certified natural.
Lubriderm Tattoo Daily Care Water-Based Lotion
Yes, Lubriderm makes a lotion for tattoo aftercare. It moisturizes for up to twenty-four hours after you put it on. It’s also free of synthetic perfumes, and it doesn’t feel greasy.
But if you check the label, you’ll see that it has petrolatum and mineral oil. If you’re trying to avoid these ingredients, look elsewhere.
Vanicream Lite Lotion Pump for Sensitive Skin
Vanicream also includes petrolatum in their fragrance-free lotion. But on the upside, this is a product that has the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. It’s especially made for sensitive skin.
In fact, it avoids almost as many irritants as it contains ingredients. If you need to skip dyes, fragrances, masking fragrances, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde releasers, this one’s for you.
On the downside, you can probably find other products that do more than simply moisturize.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe has an advantage over Vanicream as it moisturizes plus provides ceramides to support healthy skin. Ceramides aid the skin in maintaining a protective barrier.
Also, this cream is fragrance-free.
H2Ocean Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare
H2Ocean makes a water-based lotion that doesn’t have petroleum or fragrances in it. It features ingredients like Vitamin E, aloe, and jojoba oil to soothe and moisturize your healing tattoo.
Additionally, this is a good choice for reviving the color of old tattoos.
Tattoo Goo – The Original Aftercare Salve
Tattoo Goo’s salve is useful even after your tattoo has healed. It’s also good for chapped lips, scrapes, and mild sunburn. Just a little spreads nicely over a large area.
There is no petroleum, lanolin, or mineral oil suffocate your skin or clog pores. It won’t stain clothing, either.
A glance at the label shows that it has natural healing ingredients like olive oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, Vitamin E, lavender, and rosemary.
Dr. Pickles Premium Tattoo Balm
Dr. Pickles comes from Down Under. It’s made in Australia from natural ingredients like beeswax, coconut oil, and vitamins instead of petroleum. As a result, it doesn’t feel greasy, but it moisturizes well.
This balm not only takes care of new tattoos, but it’s also safe to use after piercings and tattoo removal.
One other benefit is that the company offers a money-back guarantee.
Badger Tattoo Balm
Badger created their balm from organic coconut and tamanu oils. It’s a vitamin-rich salve that conditions the skin and keeps the ink crisp and clear. Use it on new ink or old.
Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve
Ora’s Tattoo Salve only requires a thin layer to protect and nourish new tattoos and other wounds. It stops itching and won’t make the ink bleed.
It contains no dyes, perfumes, parabens, lanolin, gluten, or mineral oil. Instead, the mild fragrance comes from essential oils of tea tree, rosemary, and cedar.
With grape seed oil, calendula, comfrey, coconut oil, and other organic ingredients, it encourages quick healing and keeps the skin soft.
Tattoo Goo “The Lotion” with Healix Gold Formula Special
Tattoo Goo’s lotion is approved by dermatologists for use on your face and other sensitive areas. It features panthenol and olive oil but no petrolatum or lanolin. Therefore, it absorbs fast and doesn’t leave a residue on the surface.
If you apply this to old tattoos, it revives the color.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
Cetaphil’s lotion is often recommended by dermatologists, and it’s a top choice of users with sensitive skin. It’s mild enough to use anywhere on your body, including your face.
Not only is it fragrance-free, but it contains Vitamin E and B5 to promote healing.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm
The Cicaplast Repairing Balm is based on glycerin and shea butter, not petroleum or lanolin. It’s free of artificial fragrances and parabens.
The formula is expressly for healing irritation and dryness. It’s gentle enough for faces, and it won’t clog pores.
Healing Ointment for Babies by Era Organics
Era Organics’ baby balm is ideal for delicate skin. It soothes itchiness and helps the skin to recover as soon as possible.
Besides that, it reduces inflammation, it’s naturally antimicrobial, and it improves circulation. Some of the highlights include chamomile, calendula, and avocado oil.
Parents use this for cradle cap and diaper rash on their children. Adults use it for chapped lips. And some folks with new tattoos use it to help heal their skin faster. If that third category applies to you, just remember you only need a thin layer of the cream.
Aveeno Skin Relief 24-Hour Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin
We’ve been asked if you can use Aveeno for tattoos. Yes, you can – just choose the version for sensitive skin. It doesn’t have a fragrance. Although it has petrolatum, it’s fourth on the list of ingredients.
Gold Bond Ultimate Fragrance-Free Skin Therapy Lotion
Gold Bond’s lotion is thick like a cream, so just a dab will do. It’s water-based with glycerin, aloe, and dimethicone plus petrolatum. But it also has skin conditioners like panthenol, chamomile, and Vitamin E.
A word about petrolatum in lotions for tattoo aftercare
Some artists will tell you that lotions with petrolatum may leach the ink from your new tattoo. Greasy, heavy lotions may also cause problems by not allowing air to reach your skin.
When in doubt, choose a lotion specifically made for tattoo aftercare.
How to Care for a New Tattoo
Once the tattoo artist has finished, they’ll wrap your skin in a sterile bandage. Leave that alone for at least two or three hours so that the bleeding stops.
Next, when you remove the bandage, let the skin air out a bit. Don’t get it wet.
The swelling may take up to two days to go down. If you notice that your tattoo continues to ooze or produce pus, contact your doctor about treating the infection.
Now that you’ve allowed it to settle down and dry a bit, it’s time to wash it with mild antibacterial soap. Splash water on it and carefully smooth the soap over the skin. Never scrub or rub so that you don’t wash out the ink.
Once you’ve gently pat it dry with a towel, you can apply tattoo moisturizer.
Stay patient and repeat the washing and moisturizing twice a day until the scabs are gone and the skin is healed.
Which Tattoo Inks Fade the Most? And What Can You Do to Keep Them Vibrant?
A black ink tattoo stays crisp and clear for longer than any other color. Blue and purple also fade slowly.
Meanwhile, red and pink are more prone to fading. But yellow, green, and orange are harder to care for yet.
Finally, white is the most likely to fade in a short amount of time.
But applying the best lotion for old tattoos helps revive the colors. Rich moisturizers that boost the skin’s softness will help. Try Hustle Butter, After Inked, or Skinfix products.
Most importantly, remember to apply sunscreen, too. This prevents UV rays from dimming the pigment.
As you shop for tattoo aftercare lotions, stick to ones without artificial fragrances because you’re putting them on an open wound.
Pick one with plenty of nourishing ingredients and moisturizers. Then remember to faithfully apply it each time you wash your skin.
If you found a lotion that you enjoyed using to care for a new tattoo, please let us know in the comments below.
We wish you all the best – enjoy your new ink!
1. https://www.healthline.com/health/vaseline-for-tattoo Written by Kristeen Cherney, published February 12, 2019, accessed June 11, 2019
2. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/coconut-oil-on-tattoo Written by Kristeen Cherney, published June 24, 2019, accessed June 11, 2019