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Best Tattoo Aftercare Products for Healing: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Kin Liu- Last updated on June 11, 2019
Best Tattoo Aftercare Products

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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

What’s the best tattoo aftercare products to put on a new tattoo?

After all, you’d like your tattoo healing process to start as quickly as possible.

We’re often asked about the best tattoo aftercare products, and so we decided to review the best tattoo aftercare options.

As tattoo artists, we recommend four things: antibacterial soap, tattoo aftercare products like moisturizer, ointment, and later – sunscreen.

Let’s begin with keeping the tattoo clean.

Quick Comparison

If you don’t want to read the full article then check out our favorite products in the table below.

Prevent Infection and Speed up Healing with Aftercare Soap

Tattoo aftercare products are essential to prevent infection.

Wash your new tattoo morning and night. Use antibacterial soap and cool or lukewarm water.

Since the skin will be sensitive, don’t put it under a direct stream of water. Instead, splash water onto it. Then pat it dry with a clean towel.

Keep your tattoo clean and moisturized, but not damp. Don’t soak it in the bath or a pool.

After you wash, always apply a tattoo balm or lotion.

If you have a large tattoo with colored ink, you may find that wrapping it with plastic protects the tattoo from chafing from your clothing.

Hustle Helper

Hustle Helper is an antimicrobial soap with lidocaine. Lidocaine is a painkiller that will take the sting and itching away.

You can wash before and after you get a tattoo with this product. Some people keep it on hand to care for scrapes and burns.

It calms the skin and gets rid of germs that could cause infection. Moreover, it’s 100% vegan and free of parabens.

The mild fragrance comes from natural extracts like rosemary, arnica, and chamomile.

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

This H2Ocean’s tattoo aftercare products is a soap foam that you can use up to four times a day. It contains benzalkonium chloride to kill bacteria and aloe to soothe the skin.

This is another product that’s vegan and free of parabens.

Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap for Tattoos & Piercings

Tattoo Goo deep cleansing is perfect for new tattoo aftercare products and skin piercings. It clears away dirt and dead skin cells without fading the ink.

Users say it doesn’t lather up much, but it seems to help them heal quickly.

Billy Jealousy Make Your Mark Tattoo Wash

Inside this tattoo wash, there are mild exfoliants like papaya extract and glycolic acid. They will make the ink in old tattoos look vibrant again.

We wouldn’t be surprised if you decided to use this as a body wash for aftercare just because it smells so good.

Although the company says it’s gentle enough to cleanse new tattoos, we recommend saving this one for aftercare later on when your skin has healed.

Cosco Green Soap

Yes, this is the classic medical green soap that smells like hospitals. It has a proprietary formula that includes potassium salt fatty acid, ethyl alcohol, glycerol, and lavender essential oil.

Before you use it, you’ll have to dilute it. One pint makes 1 gallon of soap that you can add to a spray or pump bottle.

Dove Body Wash Pump, Sensitive Skin

You don’t have to buy a special tattoo aftercare soap. This mild body wash from Dove is free of drying ingredients like sulfates, and it’s hypoallergenic.

On the downside, it has an artificial fragrance and is not fragrance free.

On the upside, it’s moisturizing and made for sensitive skin.

Seventh Generation Hand Wash Soap, Free & Clean Unscented

While a few may recommend Dial antibacterial soap, this product from Seventh Generation is much more gentle. Furthermore, it’s almost 100% plant-based.

It doesn’t have artificial fragrances or dyes, triclosan (an antibacterial agent), or phthalates.

Why would we prefer this as one of our top aftercare products?

For one, it leaves the skin clean and soft without causing irritation or dryness.

Second, it’s kind to the environment and your body and won’t harm the ink.

And third, it’s less expensive than some of the tattoo-specific options.

Reduce Swelling and Irritation and Prevent Aging with Tattoo Aftercare Balm

What’s the difference between tattoo balm and lotion?

Generally, when it comes to aftercare products, tattoo balm is like ointment. It’s thicker to create a protective coating.

Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter

Hustle Butter deluxe tattoo butter is one of the best tattoo aftercare products.

Not only can you use it to protect your new tattoo, but some tattoo artists apply it to the skin beforehand.

Tattoo artists do it as it promotes tattoo healing and soothes irritated skin. Plus, it won’t clog tubes or interfere with stencils.

Finally, it doesn’t have petroleum or parabens. Instead, it’s a blend of natural ingredients like shea and mango butter plus coconut oil and Vitamin E.

Tattoo Goo – The Original Aftercare Salve

Tattoo Goo’s salve protects new tattoos and helps sunburn, and chapped lips heal.

It doesn’t have petroleum, lanolin, or mineral oil to avoid suffocating your skin and clogging pores. It won’t stain clothing, either.

Some of the ingredients include olive oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, Vitamin E, lavender, and rosemary. You only need to apply a thin layer each time after you’ve washed your tattoo.

Melao Tattoo Aftercare Butter Cream

Melao bases their Tattoo Balm on shea butter and coconut oils. It conditions the skin and keeps the ink bright and clear.

Some have said that this vitamin-rich salve helped their latest tattoo heal faster than previous ones using other aftercare products.

What about straight coconut oil for new tattoos? After all, islanders have used it for generations on their tattoos. And many balms are based on coconut oil. But we recommend a product made with other healing ingredients to keep your new ink in top condition.

–The Team’s Take

Skinfix Inked Tattoo Balm

Skinfix has the support of both tattoo artist and dermatologists. It won’t pull ink from the skin or alter the color.

It doesn’t have gluten, soy, perfume, petrolatum, lanolin, parabens, or phthalates.

One benefit is that it melts into the skin, unlike Vaseline or Aquaphor.

Additionally, you can continue to use aftercare products to keep your fresh ink vibrant long after your skin has healed.

Viking Revolution Tattoo Care Balm

Viking Revolution tattoo balm comes with a money-back guarantee. This tattoo balm reduces redness and itching to help you heal faster. Some customers have commented that it helped them heal without forming problematic scabs.

A glance at the label shows that it’s rich in natural ingredients. It has grape seed oil, shea butter, amino acid, beeswax, Vitamin E, and chamomile.

Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve

Apply a thin layer of Ora’s Tattoo Salve to new tattoos, scrapes, and bruises to speed up healing. It prevents itching, won’t clog pores, and won’t make the fresh ink fade.

It has no dyes, is fragrance free, parabens, lanolin, is gluten free , or mineral oil in it. The mild scent comes from essential oils of tea tree, rosemary, and cedar.

It features grape seed oil, calendula, comfrey, coconut oil, and other organic ingredients.

Barker’s Organic Tattoo Aftercare Balm

Barker’s Balm is certified USDA organic. Even the Vitamin E is from non-GMO sources.

It’s backed by a thirty-day satisfaction guarantee. Feel free to use it on ink tats, cosmetic tattoos, and even as lip balm. It heals chapped, irritated, and extra-dry skin.

The label also lists extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, carnauba wax, jojoba wax.

Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm

Fisticuffs makes their Tattoo Balm with holistic remedies like peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and frankincense plus coconut oil and Vitamin E.

It prevents infection and shrinks swelling to diminish itching and pain. But don’t use it if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients.

If you have sensitive skin, don’t put it directly on your new tattoo. Test it ahead of time in the crook of your elbow and wait twenty-four hours to see if your skin reacts.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor is often recommended by tattoo studios for new tattoos. It forms a protective barrier that keeps out germs and seals in moisture.

Critics of Aquaphor complain that it’s greasy and based on artificial components like petrolatum and mineral oil.

If you prefer natural aftercare products, there are many to choose from. But if you’d like to give Aquaphor a try, you’ll find that this ointment does help with healing.

Keep tattoos moisturized and vibrant with a tattoo aftercare cream

To aid in healing and lessen itching, you need to apply a moisturizer to your new tattoo. Whether you choose a cream or a balm is up to you.

We recommend applying a balm for at least the first few days until the irritation has subsided. Then switch to cream each time after you wash your skin.

Tattoo Goo”The tattoo Lotion” with Healix Gold Formula Special

Tattoo Goo’s tattoo lotion is approved by dermatologists for use on sensitive areas like your face. It has healing ingredients like panthenol and olive oil but no petrolatum or lanolin.

It sinks in quickly and makes the ink look crisp and bright.

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating

Mainstream skincare company Lubriderm now makes this aftercare cream. But how is it different from their regular body moisturizer?

Perhaps we should start by explaining why it’s a good choice regardless.

First, it provides moisture for twenty-four hours after you apply it. That doesn’t mean you should only use it once a day – there’s no problem if you put it on more often.

Second, it’s free of artificial fragrances and not greasy.

Third, with Vitamin B5 and soybean extract, it helps the skin to heal.

But take note that even though it’s “water-based,” it contains mineral oil and petrolatum.

H2Ocean Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare

H2Ocean makes a truly water-based cream that doesn’t have petroleum or perfume in it. Unfortunately, it has parabens, though.

The fragrance-free formula features ingredients like Vitamin E, aloe, and jojoba oil to soothe and moisturize.

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer.

After Inked tattoo moisturizer is vegan and tested by dermatologists to be nonallergenic. Although the tattoo moisturizr has ingredients from around the world, it’s blended and packaged in the USA.

It features grape seed oil that’s proven to boost healing. Plus, it’s mild enough to use on new tattoos, piercings, and permanent makeup in very sensitive places like lips, eyes, and areolas.

Urban ReLeaf TATTOO SKIN SILK

Skin Silk is a holistic moisturizer that contains raw shea butter and essential oils. Rosemary, lavender, and tea tree oil are naturally antimicrobial. They alleviate pain and itching, too.

The hypoallergenic cream doesn’t have lanolin or petroleum in it.

Stop Tattoo Ink from Fading with Sunscreens

Cover up your new tattoo before you go out in the sun. Use a bandage if needed while your skin is still healing. This may take two weeks after your appointment.

Wait until your scabs are gone before you apply sunscreen on the tattoo to go outdoors. Then please remember to protect the ink from fading by wearing sunscreen or ink-protector tanning lotion.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water-Resistant Sunscreen

Neutrogena’s SPF 100+ sunscreen filters out nearly 100% of the sun’s rays. That’s good news when you’re protecting a new tattoo.

Tattoos, especially colored ones, will fade if exposed to a lot of UV radiation. Make sure to take care of the tattoo and use a high SPF with broad-spectrum protection on recent ink.

Too much sunshine may slow down the healing process. It could take up to three months for the lowest layer of inked skin to finally heal.

Avoid the problem by using a high-quality tattoo aftercare sunscreen. This one is mild enough to use on your face, plus it stands up to eighty minutes in the water.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

The Anthelios sunscreen reflects UV radiation with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It’s not a chemical sunscreen that absorbs UV rays.

This product has won awards for its water-resistant formula that doesn’t leave a white residue on the skin. It also has antioxidants to prevent premature aging.

Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50

Baby sunscreen is perfect when you have sensitive skin. The Baby Bum is mild and effective. It’s based on zinc oxide, shea butter, and coconut oil. It’s also water-resistant for eighty minutes.

CannaSmack Ink Guard SPF 30 Tattoo Sunscreen

CannaSmack Ink Guard is easy to use. It dries without leaving a residue and has no artificial fragrance. You’re likely to forget that you put it on already.

It uses chemical filters to prevent sunburn and fading.

Tattoo Goo Renew Enhancing SPF 30

Tattoo Goo’s sunscreen is potent enough for day-to-day use outdoors, but perhaps not ideal for long hours in intense sunlight.

It’s pleasant to use, and it promotes the healing process with vitamins and olive oil. In fact, it makes older tattoos look more colorful.

Conclusion

We’re happy and that you came to us to see the best tattoo aftercare products. We hope we helped you find what you need.

A couple of minutes of careful attention each day will keep your new ink in beautiful condition.

Best of luck with your aftercare products!

Resources:

1. https://www.healthline.com/health/tattoo-aftercare by Stephanie Watson, \

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