You just got inked and you want to show it off to everyone. But first, it needs to heal. It’s time to use one of the best moisturizers, creams, and lotions for new tattoos.
To avoid infection and be able to enjoy your ink as soon as possible, it’s essential to do tattoo aftercare the right way. In the beginning, stick to specialized products that don’t have artificial perfumes or dyes. Once it scabs over, you can switch to moisturizers like natural oils if you don’t like petroleum products.
The important thing is to keep your skin clean and healthy. It won’t be as itchy if you take care of it. And if you have a tattoo aftercare cream on hand ahead of time, you’re all set.
Top Tattoo Aftercare Products
Check out our top picks for new tattoos below. We hope you find exactly what you need today.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
Aquaphor is frequently suggested by dermatologists, tattoo artists, and people who have previously gotten tattoos. It’s a thick ointment based on petrolatum, glycerin, and panthenol. It creates a barrier to prevent infection and prevent moisture loss. Moreover, it’s free of artificial fragrances and preservatives.
After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer and Aftercare Lotion
The After Inked lotion makes an appearance in an episode of Ink Masters. Unlike Aquaphor, it has no petrolatum. Instead, it relies on grape seed oil, glycerin, and shea butter to protect your new tattoo. The vegan moisturizer is free of synthetic fragrances and parabens and tested to be non-allergenic, too.
After Inked NPJ Non-Petroleum Jelly
For a thicker solution, try the Non-Petroleum Jelly from After Inked. You can use it before the tattoo to soften your skin. Then, while you’re getting inked, it makes a nice glide without messing with the stencil or clogging tubes. After that, the vegan jelly keeps your skin in top condition as it heals.
Ora’s Amazing Herbal Salve
Ora’s Herbal Salve works so well you only need a thin layer of it. Besides helping tattoos heal, it’s also good for treating regular cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
This balm is free of petroleum, lanolin, mineral oil, artificial fragrances, gluten, dyes, parabens, and even aloe. The pleasant scent comes from essential oils of cedar, tea tree, and rosemary. Those help prevent infection along with calendula, comfrey, burdock, and other botanicals. Plus, it’s the grape seed and coconut oils that seal in moisture.
Redemption Tattoo Care Aftercare
Redemption Tattoo created this aftercare ointment as a replacement for petroleum-based products. It reduces swelling and redness and prevents fading. Best of all, it’s 100% certified organic. Don’t be surprised if your tattoo artist uses it as a lubricant or barrier.
Viking Revolution Vegan Tattoo Care Balm for Before, During & Post Tattoo
Viking Revolution uses natural ingredients and no chemicals in their Tattoo Care Balm. It speeds up the skin’s recovery. But it’s also useful for prepping your skin beforehand and brightening up older tattoos that have faded.
Hustle Butter Deluxe
The Hustle Butter Deluxe is a popular tattoo care cream that pampers your skin before and after you’re inked. It’s safe for any part of your body including your face even if you wear contact lenses.
Although it’s advertised as fragrance-free, it has a natural aroma from the plant-based ingredients. For example, it has shea butter, mango, coconut, and papaya. Together, they relieve inflammation and itching and nourish your skin to help it heal quickly.
Tattoo Goo – The Original Aftercare Salve
Tattoo Goo cures chapped, sunburned, and scraped-up body parts just as well as it does new tattoos. It’s free of petroleum, lanolin, and mineral oil. It lets cells breathe so they regenerate faster. Additionally, it enhances healing with natural herbs and plant oils. Some of the primary ingredients include olive oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, lavender, and Vitamin E.
Tattoo Goo “The Lotion” with Healix Gold Formula Special
Tattoo Goo also makes this aftercare lotion rich in panthenol and other vitamins that speed up healing and prevent scabbing. In addition, it makes old tattoos more vivid.
XL Tattoo Goo Aftercare Kit
Go with the Tattoo Goo Aftercare Kit if you want to get everything you need in one box. It includes soap, salve, lotion, and sunscreen.
H2Ocean Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare
H2Ocean’s tube of aftercare cream is small but effective. Users say it feels cool on the skin and relieves itching. It’s water-based and free of artificial fragrances.
H2Ocean OCEAN FOAM Skin Moisturizing Foam
After you wash your brand new tattoo, this foam doubles as a moisturizer and invisible bandage. You can apply it up to five times a day to calm the skin and keep it hydrated. It’s hypoallergenic, water-based, and free of synthetic fragrances.
Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm
The Fisticuffs balm prevents swelling, itching, infections, and pain. Put a thin layer on after you wash. It has a soothing minty scent and it’s rich in natural ingredients that promote healing. To illustrate, it has tea tree oil, frankincense, lavender, and peppermint to kill bacteria. Plus, it has jojoba oil, Vitamin E, and shea butter to keep you moisturized.
Tattoo Soothing Balm, Original TAT WAX
TAT WAX comes in a compact 1-ounce tin that slips into a pocket. It was invented by artists to shorten healing time. It’s free of dyes and fragrances but rich in minerals and vitamins.
Sanibalm Tattoo Aftercare Cream
Here’s a product that you can begin using anywhere from 24 hours to five days after you get your tattoo. It’s for after you take off the Saniderm bandage.
Sanibalm’s Aftercare Cream features sea buckthorn. This single ingredient has multiple benefits for your health. Not only does it moisturize, but it also regenerates the skin. It’s a natural source of Omega-7 fatty acids and rich in antioxidants. Furthermore, this balm is kosher, vegan, free of GMO ingredients and without parabens or petroleum derivatives.
Tattoo Skin Silk
The Tattoo Silk is a holistic cream that prepares your skin and maintains your tats in top shape. It decreases recovery time and prevents infection with lavender, tea tree, and rosemary oils. Moreover, raw shea butter a refreshes the skin without clogging pores or harming the ink.
Molivera Organics Raw African Organic Grade a Ivory Shea Butter
Speaking of shea butter, keep it simple with this raw organic product. It’s one of Nature’s best moisturizers and it keeps the skin young.
Cetaphil Daily Advance Ultra Hydrating Lotion
Once you’ve healed, it’s smart to keep your body art hydrated. Moisturizers like Cetaphil’s lotion are gentle enough for very sensitive skin but powerful enough to protect your tattoos. This one continues to work for 24 hours after you apply it. Also, it’s free of irritants like fragrances and parabens.
Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Fragrance-Free Body Lotion
The eco-friendly company Kiss My Face bases this lotion on shea butter, grape seed oil, glycerin, and ginger. Apply it as often as you like.
BeeFriendly Organic Body Cream
If you’re all about organic solutions, you’ll love the BeeFriendly Body Cream. It’s made by beekeepers in Hawaii who use raw honey, organic olive oil, and other natural ingredients. It’s potent enough to mend cracked heels and gentle enough for tattooed skin.
Vanicream Skin Cream with Pump Dispenser
Vanicream’s Skin Cream is free of more chemicals than it contains. It’s so mild you can use it on your face without causing a breakout. Try this one if you hate fragrances.
Barker’s Organic Tattoo Aftercare Balm
Barker’s balm melts into your skin. You only need a little bit each time. The certified organic ingredients include extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil, and Vitamin E. Try it for 30 days and get a full refund if you don’t love it.
Lubriderm Daily Moisture Unscented Lotion
This is another classic recommendation made by tattoo artists and dermatologists alike. Lubriderm’s basic body lotion continues to keep skin soft for up to 24 hours after you put it on. It’s clinically proven to work. Plus, it sinks in fast and doesn’t leave the skin greasy.
How to Heal a Tattoo in Record Time
We checked with a tattoo artist to see what they recommend for aftercare. This is what they said about healing a tattoo as fast as possible.
Point number one, leave the bandage alone for at least two hours. Don’t lift it to show anyone because it’s not worth getting an infection.
Number two, when you remove the bandage, wash your hands first. Then wash your inked skin with warm water and soap. Don’t scrub, but do rinse away all blood. Never use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. Plan on washing twice a day during the first week. Don’t panic if you see a little ink leaching out of your tat. It will stop after a couple of days.
Point three, for the first few days each time after you wash, put a small amount of Aquaphor or Neosporin on the tattoo. Don’t use diaper cream and don’t put thick layers of moisturizer. You don’t want your skin to be soggy. In fact, if you see a lot of scabbing, don’t pick, just continue with the Aquaphor for a few more days.
Once your tattoo begins to flake, you can begin applying regular moisturizer. Keeping your skin hydrated at this point helps your tattoo to pop and look awesome.
Which cream, moisturizer, or lotion will you use to care for your new tattoo? We’d love to know how it works for you. In the meantime, visit our reviews of the best sunscreens for tattoos so that you’re ready to soak up rays without fading the ink.