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Best Tattoo Ointments: Reviews & Buyers Guide

by  Kin Liu -  Last updated on December 1, 2022
Best Tattoo Ointments

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What is the best thing to put on a new tattoo?

Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear a different recommendation regarding the best ointment for tattoos.

Each time you wash your skin, you’ll need to moisturize it gently for fast tattoo healing.

But what you should know is that one thing which helps one person heal faster possibly may not work for the next.

That’s why we selected the best tattoo ointments with rich natural properties to help you find what you need.

Quick Comparison

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

24 Best Tattoo Ointments (2021 Updated)

1. Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter

Hustle Butter Tattoo Aftercare 5oz Tattoo Balm, Heals + Protects New Tattoos and Rejuvenates Older Tattoos - 100% Vegan Cream No-Petroleum
  • TATTOO AFTERCARE ESSENTIAL: Hustle Butter is the original luxury tattoo aftercare product for new and older tattoos. Safe to use right after getting a tattoo to help heal and reduce irritation unlike others. Makes tattoos older tattoos pop and rejuvenates them.
  • HELPS HEAL, PREVENTS FADING: Hustle Butter is not only safe for new tattoos, but encouraged to help the healing process. It also prevents fading and revives color in older tattoos
  • NATURAL VEGAN INGREDIENTS: Certified cruelty-free, absolutely vegan, our all-natural butter is also petroleum, paraben free. It is made from only the finest ingredients, including Shea, Mango, Aloe butter, Coconut, Sunflower, Rice Bran oils, Rosemary Oleoresin, Green Tea, Vitamin E Complex, Mint Arvenis Essential Oil, as well as the essence of Papaya, Coconut.

Hustle Butter Deluxe is all-around useful.

Artists use it as a lubricant because it doesn’t interfere with stencils or clog tubes.

Collectors use it as a great tattoo ointment during the tattoo healing process and afterward to keep the tattoo’s color bright and is anti-inflammatory

Its formula contains natural healing ingredients like shea, aloe, and mango butter, coconut and sunflower oils, Vitamin E, and rosemary. As a result, it calms redness and irritation and prevents itching and infection in the long term.

Make sure you apply nicely on the tattooed area and also it works on all skin types. Every tattoo would say that this is the best tattoo aftercare moisturizing ointment.

Also, it is paraben-free and petroleum-free

2. Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve

Tattoo Salve, Tattoo Aftercare, Tattoo Balm, Tattoo Healing Ointment, Tattoo Cream, Tattoo Moisturizer, Made in The USA with Organic Ingredients, Plastic Free Tattoo Care, Ora's Amazing Herbal
  • Ora’s trusted tattoo aftercare and itch relief is made with our base oil which is slow infused with 6 organic herbs and love. Helps tattoos heal faster, and itch less. Deeply moisturizes and nourishes old tattoos for a brighter more enhanced tattoo. Made in the USA in our FDA registered facility. Yes, we admit we are in New Jersey. We actually really like New Jersey.
  • A salve is a natural ointment that is infused with herbs and blended with botanicals to deliver healing, moisture and protection to the skin. Our Tattoo Salve helps new tattoos heal and older tattoos look brighter while avoiding the ingredients that we do not want on our skin and in our bodies.
  • Herbal Infused, Synthetic Free, Small batch. Ora's Amazing Herbal is a small family business that is environmentally, socially, and ethically responsible. Made in the USA. Family owned business.

Ora’s Tattoo Salve is based on grape seed and coconut oils plus beeswax, calendula, and comfrey. It’s free of petroleum, artificial fragrances, mineral oil, gluten, and lanolin.

Each batch is slow-infused with herbs, hand-crafted by an environmentally responsible family business, and is anti-inflammatory.

Dab it on and get the delicious scent while it sinks into the skin. It has an all-natural ingredient you need to speed up the healing process and avoid scabs.

3. Tattoo Goo – The Original Aftercare Salve

Tattoo Goo Tattoo Balm - The Original Aftercare Salve - 3/4 Ounce Tin (Packaging May Vary)
  • HEALING BALM - Made with the finest blend of humectants, essential oils and premium natural ingredients for moisturization, antimicrobial activity, anti-oxidation and stimulation of circulation. Designed to help the skin heal itself for vibrant new tats.
  • ANTIOXIDANT SUPPORT - No preparation has more antioxidant activity than Tattoo Goo. We use quality pumice grade olive oil to help manage the skin healing process along with wheat germ oil, loaded with the antioxidant vitamin E, and rosemary extract.
  • MOISTURIZER & BRIGHTENER - With 98% natural healing ingredients including triglycerides, olive oil, lavender, cocoa butter, and wax ester beeswax to help soothe inflammation, lubricate and moisturize. Petroleum and lanolin-free, never tested on animals.

Tattoo Goo’s aftercare salve isn’t just great for healing tattoos. It’s also useful for chapped lips and sunburn.

This product doesn’t have lanolin, mineral oil, or petroleum that can clog pores and suffocate your skin. It won’t stain your clothes.

Instead, it’s based on natural ingredients like beeswax, olive oil, cocoa butter, wheat germ oil, Vitamin E, rosemary, and lavender. Just a little goes a long way.

5. Melao Tattoo Butter

Tattoo Salve, Tattoo Cream, Tattoo Aftercare Tattoo Butter for Before, During, After The Tattoo Process – Lubricates & Moisturizes – 100% Vegan Replacement - Based Products(Original, 5.0 oz)
  • 🍀[ENHANCE AND MAINTAIN YOUR TATTOOS] - Protect your skin while maintaining the fresh color of your tattoo. Enhance the clarity and contrast of the body art. Keep the tattoo healthy and prevent the ink from discoloring.
  • 🍀[VEGAN INGREDIENTS] - Iootmoy tattoo balm made from shea butter, mango, aloe oil, coconut, green tea, vitamin E complex, and the essence of papaya and coconut, etc. Even our all natural butter is petroleum and contains no preservatives. Certified cruelty-free and absolutely vegan.
  • 🍀[EVERY STAGE OF THE TATTOO PROCESS] - It can care for your skin before, during or after. It helps the skin to be softer before tattoo; and provide excellent sliding effect during tattoos; also can help moisturize and heal the skin in aftercare time.

Melao Tattoo Butter relies on the finest vegan ingredients and coconut oils to condition sensitive skin. These exotic components are certified Fair Trade ingredients and are anti-inflammatory.

It also contains antioxidants and Vitamin E to promote faster healing.

6. Viking Revolution Tattoo Care Balm

Viking Revolution Tattoo Care Balm for Before, During & Post Tattoo Safe, Natural Tattoo Aftercare Cream Moisturizing Lotion to Promote Skin Healing, Skin Moisturizer, (2oz,1 Pack)
  • FASTER HEALING: Is your skin sore or red from your new tattoo? Our soothing, moisturizing lotion can help speed up the skin’s recovery process post treatment. Heal with ease with our tattoo balm.
  • BRIGHTEN OLD TATTOOS: Our cream works on any area that you’ve had a tattoo. It not only moisturizes to make the skin there happy and calm, it also brightens up older tattooed areas.
  • NATURAL, BALM: The whole process of getting a tattoo can be hard on the skin. Our aftercare balm is chemical free, and sure to soothe your healing skin. It also smells awesome!

Viking Revolution doesn’t just make beard growth products. They’ve branched out into tattoo aftercare. Like everything they sell, this ointment comes with a money-back guarantee.

Their goal is two-fold. First, they help your new tattoo to heal fast with minimal scabbing and itching. And second, they want you to continue to use the balm to make your ink tattoo beautiful and have a soothing effect.

This tattoo balm is made of natural ingredients like grape seed oil, shea butter, beeswax, Vitamin E, and chamomile. The texture is lightweight and melts into the skin. Just a little goes a long way.

7. Skinfix Inked Tattoo Balm

Skinfix Inked Tattoo Balm 2 oz
  • Water Resistant: The tattoo balm provides water resistance for up to 8 hours.
  • Adult Use: The balm is formulated for adult use and provides tattoo aftercare.
  • Color Pigments: The balm contains color pigments to help prevent fading and discoloration.

Skinfix tattoo balm has recommendations from dermatologists and tattoo artists because it doesn’t leach ink or change its color. It’s also free of irritants like perfumes, petrolatum, lanolin, parabens, phthalates, gluten, and soy.

Unlike Vaseline or Aquaphor, Skinfix absorbs well. That’s because it uses a vegetable-based occlusive to stop the ink from lifting and help with scabbing.

This tattoo balm has many rich ingredients such as coconut oil, allantoin, and orange peel extract to prevent infection and help in the skin healing process as fast as possible. This is one of the best tattoo balms out there.

This ointment isn’t just for the healing process. You can use it as a moisturizer long-term.

8. INK-EEZE Tattoo Products Pink Glide Tattoo Ointment

INK-EEZE Pink Tattoo Ointment for Artists and Aftercare, Essential Oils, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Made in USA, Bubble Gum, 6oz
  • TATTOO OINTMENT- INK-EEZE Pink Tattoo Ointment is a NON-Petroleum based ointment infused with essential oils. The formula was specifically developed by tattooers and skin care specialists for use as a lubricant during the tattoo process and collectors to use as an aftercare. A little goes a long way
  • INGREDIENTS - Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Beeswax, Synthetic Beeswax, Fragrance, Calophyllum Inophllum Seed Oil, Tamanu, Royal Jelly Extract, Propandiol, Propolis Wax, Red 7
  • NUMEROUS BENEFITS- Non-petroleum based, Cruelty free, Safe ingredients, Made in the USA

Why spend extra money when one product does it all? INK-EEZE’s Glide Ointment is a lubricant and an aftercare ointment that smells best like bubblegum. (You can also buy it in a Green version with a different scent.)

Two other benefits are that it comes in a six-ounce container and it’s made in the USA.

But we probably recommend Hustle Butter over this one. That’s because it has an artificial fragrance. It also claims to be a vegan product but contains Royal Jelly Extract from honey bees.

9. After Inked NPJ Non-Petroleum Jelly

After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Non-Petroleum Jelly - With Grape Seed Oil, Essential for Tattoo Kit & Piercing Aftercare - Multipurpose Ointment for Tattoo, Piercing & PMU - 13 Oz. (1-Pack)
  • RADIANT TATTOO AFTERCARE: After Inked Non-Petroleum Jelly improves your tattoo's brilliance. Enriched with grape seed oil and antioxidants, our tattoo aftercare jelly provides the essential hydration that your skin needs. Reveal the true vibrancy of your tattoo's colors and cherish its artistic beauty.
  • VERSATILE SKINCARE: After Inked NPJ serves several functions and can be used in various ways. a) Before, during and after tattoos and PMU for a better glide and optimal grip. b) Great for piercings and also a lubricant when inserting larger gauge jewelry. c) Provides essential hydration to hands, feet, elbows, heels and cuticles. d) After-laser ointment to nurture the skin. e) Baby bottom ointment for diaper use. f) Protects and restores moisture to dogs and cats elbows and paw pads.
  • GENTLE & NOURISHING FOR ALL SKIN TYPES: After Inked Multipurpose Non-Petroleum Jelly is gentle on your skin, making it suitable for all skin types. It helps maintain the skin's moisture balance, preventing dryness and flakiness.

After Inked’s Non-Petroleum Jelly helps you prepare for your tattoo by keeping your skin optimally moisturized.

Then, it lubricates your skin while the artist works and keeps your skin healthy while it heals.

Instead of petrolatum, it has shea butter, grape seed oil, castor, jojoba, and coconut oils to prevent dryness and itching. At the same time, rosemary, thyme, and goldenseal ward off infection.

It is paraben-free and fragrance-free. All ingredients are vegan.

10. Barker’s Organic Tattoo Aftercare Balm

Barker’s tattoo Balm is certified USDA organic, right down to the Vitamin E that’s from non-GMO sources.

It comes with a feature of a thirty-day satisfaction guarantee which gives you plenty of time to try it while your tattoo is in the healing process. We consider this to be one of the best tattoo balms out there.

Besides taking care of your new ink, it can serve as a lip balm, heal chapped skin, and protect new cosmetic tattoos.

Some of the main ingredients are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, carnauba wax, and jojoba wax.

11. Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm

Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm (1 OUNCE TIN)
  • 1 oz. tin of Tattoo healing balm
  • Only the finest oils and butters that are used in all Fisticuffs products.
  • designed to help aid in the recovery during the healing process of your tattoo

Fisticuffs Balm includes holistic remedies like frankincense, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, and coconut oils. It’s good at stopping the itch and it helps reduce the swelling of a new tattoo in the healing process.

12. Recovery Aftercare Tattoo Salve

Recovery Aftercare Tattoo Salve – Natural Dye-Free Formula, Vegan Tattoo Care - .75 Ounces
  • TATTOO SALVE AFTERCARE – The Recovery Aftercare Tattoo Salve will soothe, moisturize and protect your tattoo and skin. This ointment comes in a convenient .75 ounce tin that easy to take with you on the go.
  • PROTECT AND HEAL SKIN – Applying this healing salve will not only protect your tattoo and keep it vibrant, but also help nourish your skin. Rub a small amount thoroughly on your tattoo. This salve will not cause color leaching.
  • NATURAL AND VEGAN-FRIENDLY – This tattoo ointment has a special formulation of synthetic beeswax making it completely vegan-friendly. Other ingredients include: Olive Fruit Oil, Cocoa Butter, Wheat Germ Oil, Lavender Oil, Vitamin E and Rosemary Extract.

Recovery Aftercare Butter was developed in the United Kingdom and fully tested by dermatologists. It’s designed to reduce redness while the artist is working on your body.

Next, the smooth texture is easy to apply to sore skin, and it won’t stain your clothes because it sinks in quickly.

Once it’s absorbed, the butter brightens up old ink, too.

Although the primary ingredients are coconut oil and shea butter. It is completely vegan-friendly product.


Urban ReLeaf TATTOO SKIN SILK! Heal new ink fast! Brighten old tats! 100% Natural Shea Butter Salve Ointment, Cream Lotion Protect! Vegan. Healing Botanicals!
  • Heals New Tattoos fast! Rich Natural Moisture! Makes old tattoos look rich and dark! Gentle, Effective, Holistic, Healing, Vegan.
  • New tattoos need protection. Tattoo Skin Silk will NOT clog pores or pull out your great new ink like lanolin or petroleum. Made from Earth's Finest Ingredients: Raw Shea Butter, Essential Oils of Rosemary, Lavender and Tea Tree.
  • Heal quickly with our balm that protects while allowing your skin to breathe. Tattoos heal fast, without damage to the design. Essential oils of: Rosemary, Lavender, Tea-Tree.

Urban ReLeaf creates Skin Silk from raw shea butter and essential oils. The oils are naturally antiseptic, and they relieve pain and itching.

The vegan formula features tea tree, lavender, and rosemary to soothe irritation and avoid infection while lipids and amino acids in the shea butter encourage healing. Of course, there are no petrochemicals or parabens in the bottle.

14. VIVID Tattoo Aftercare Oil Sleek Ink

Sleek Ink Vivid Tattoo Oil: Natural tattoo aftercare, tattoo brightener & color enhancer. Rejuvenate older tattoos, keep new tattoos vibrant. Promote healthy skin without harmful chemicals.
  • [TATTOO AFTERCARE = SKINCARE] So what is Tattoo Aftercare? Think about this: If your SKIN IS HEALTHY, Your tattoos are going to look more vibrant, sharp, & detailed. The look of your tattoos DEPENDS ON the ultimate health of your skin, especially over time. HEALTHY SKIN = BRIGHTER, SHARPER TATTOOS.
  • [TATTOO BRIGHTENER & COLOR ENHANCER] The Premium Quality & ALL-NATURAL Sleek Ink Vivid Tattoo Oil Formula contains only the highest-quality NATURAL OILS and VITAL HEALING BOTANICALS. It’s deeply nourishing for your skin, helps your skin repair & regenerate, & keeps your skin HEALTHY AND VIBRANT. Great for BOTH NEWER & OLDER TATTOOS.
  • [WE CARE: NO HARMFUL COSMETIC CHEMICALS. NONE!] FREE OF: Parabens, Phthalates, Petroleum, Silicones, Toxic Fragrance Chemicals, Mineral Oil, Lanolin, Gluten, Synthetic Dyes, Toxic Preservatives, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, BHT, BHA, SLS, SLES, BSE/TSE, & GMO. ALSO… Never Animal Tested, Cruelty Free, Sustainable Ingredients, Reef Friendly, 100% Vegan.

You might decide that the tattoo ink oil is easier for you to use than a balm. It’s oily instead of waxy, so it’s less painful to apply to irritated skin. You don’t have to melt it in your hands before you use it.

The gentle formula includes grape seed, shea, red raspberry seed oil and coconut oils. It’s 100% vegan and free of parabens.

15. Redemption Tattoo Care Aftercare

Redemption Tattoo’s ointment sure looks like petroleum jelly, but it’s not. It’s a lubricant for use during tattooing as well as an aftercare moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated.

Nearly all the ingredients are certified organic, and the product is made in the USA.

16. Ziggy’s World Famous Vegan Tattoo Salve

Ziggy’s tattoo salve is “handmade with love in a climber’s kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee.” It’s a plant-based formula that includes virgin sunflower oil, mango butter, argan oil, calendula, comfrey, and more natural body healing process ingredients.

17. Tattoo Soothing Balm, Original TAT WAX

Tattoo Soothing Balm~ Original TAT WAX~ 1 oz~ Made In The USA!!
  • Best aftercare for tattoo
  • Reduces irritation
  • Brings out vibrant color and keeps tattoo healthy

Tat Wax is something you’re likely to see in a tattoo studio. It was designed by artists to heal new work by letting the skin breathe and providing it with necessary vitamins and minerals.

It is fragrance-free and it does not contain any artificial dyes, no alcohols, no petroleum, and no lanolin. Instead, the label lists moisturized like glycerin and canola oil plus natural extracts like aloe, rosemary, and shea butter.

18. Susie Q Skin Tattoo Aftercare Ink Salve

No products found.

Susie Q’s Ink Salve contains essential oils like rose geranium, lemongrass, helichrysum, turmeric, and blue tansy. Each of these has a purpose, like decreasing inflammation or preventing scars.

There is no petroleum, preservatives, or GMO ingredients here.

19. Susie Q Skin Tattoo Aftercare Balm

No products found.

Susie Q Skin Tattoo balm product has been around for more than a decade. It comes with a satisfaction guarantee. Try it and see if you’re one of the lucky few that experience peeling and the healing tattoo process within only four days.

Each batch is infused with traditional remedies like organic coconut, castor oil, hemp seed oil, organic arnica, and turmeric essential oil. While the base is organic galbanum essential oil, the formula also has unrefined propolis beeswax that’s scientifically proven to boost body healing.

20. Piper Cove NEW INK

No products found.

This tattoo care ointment uses hemp seed, cocoa butter, and other ingredients from Fair Trade sources. It’s vegan-friendly and made in the USA.

Use it before you visit the studio to prepare your skin for new ink. Then enjoy it as often as you need while your body heals. It won’t pull out ink, but it will diminish itching and scabbing.

21. Better Beauty Products Tattoo Butter

Tattoo Butter, 5 oz, by Better Beauty Products, Before, During and After Tattoo Care, Moisturizes, Protects, and Heals Skin, 5 oz./142g
  • PROTECTIVE & RESTORATIVE - Provides a protective layer of lubrication and moisture before, during, and after tattoo application. Does not contain parabens or lanolin.
  • GOES ON LIKE A DREAM - Contains Shea Butter and sunflower oil to keep your skin moist and your ink vibrant. Not a salve, and not a balm, not greasy or clumpy. It's a thick, heavy butter with a weight and consistency that goes on smoothly and evenly.
  • HEALING - Contains Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to heal inked skin and improve its appearance.

Better Beauty Products Tattoo Butter is made in the USA from beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and Vitamin E. It comes in a convenient case to prevent contamination. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

22. Sanibalm Tattoo Aftercare Ointment

Saniderm Original Tattoo Aftercare Balm - Large (2.0 oz) – Petroleum Free, Organic Tattoo Moisturizer Infused with Sea Buckthorn Oil and Other Natural Ingredients
  • NATURAL AND ORGANIC: THE ORIGINAL FORMULA – Sanibalm Original Tattoo Aftercare Balm is made from natural and organic ingredients. Moisturize and heal your tattoos with a product sourced from nature. Unlike other ointments and tattoo balms, Saniderm’s Tattoo Aftercare Balms are petroleum-free, supplying tattooed skin with the oxygen it needs to heal quickly.
  • MAINTAIN AND CARE FOR YOUR TATTOO LIKE A PRO – Saniderm’s Tattoo Aftercare Balms are tattoo artist-preferred, tested, and approved. When you use them to heal and maintain your tattoos, you’re using the same products that professional tattooers use on themselves and their clients.
  • MAINTAIN DAY 1 VIBRANCY – When you use Saniderm Tattoo Aftercare Balms to heal and maintain your tattoos, they hydrate and repair your skin, resulting in a tattoo that looks as vibrant as the day you left the shop. When your tattoos look good, they feel good.

Sanibalm’s Aftercare ointment is ideal as the first tattoo ointment use on your skin after you remove the bandage. Keep using it three to five times a day for up to five days.

The primary active ingredient is sea buckthorn. It regenerates the skin with antioxidants and fatty acids.

The formula is vegan and is labeled cruelty-free, kosher, and free of petroleum-based products and parabens.

23. Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant, Body Moisturizer for Dry Skin, Minor Cuts and Burns, Dry Cuticles, Cracked Heels, Hands and Lips, 7 Oz Tube
  • One Essential Solution: Aquaphor is one essential solution for many skin care needs—use on dry, cracked skin, as a lip moisturizer, face moisturizer, body moisturizer, hydrating mask, minor wound care and much more
  • Dry, Compromised Skin Repair: This Aquaphor Healing Ointment is designed specifically for dry, compromised skin, and is clinically proven to restore smooth, healthy skin
  • Protect and Soothe: Effective as a cracked hands, cracked feet and cracked heel moisturizer to help protect and soothe extremely dry areas that need a little extra care

Aquaphor healing ointment works great for curing cracked heels. But is it the one good for new ink of tattoos?

After all, Aquaphor healing ointment is often recommended by artists and collectors alike and it’s super effective at soothing and moisturizing fresh ink.

The main ingredients of this healing ointment are around 41% petrolatum, glycerin, and panthenol. Glycerin attracts moisture, panthenol stimulates healing, and petrolatum forms a protective barrier.

Furthermore, this healing ointment has been clinically tested by dermatologists. Not every tattoo salve has been examined like this one.

But detractors say that Aquaphor is greasy and may cause problems with the ink.

24. Dynarex Vitamins A & D Ointment Without Lanolin

Dynarex Vitamins A&D Ointment Without Lanolin - Vitamin A and D Ointment Protectant for Minor Cuts, Burns, Diaper Rash & Dry Skin - 1 Box - 144 Packets/Box - 5g Packets
  • Protect Your Skin - Shield minor cuts, burns, and scrapes from further damage, chafing, and irritation with a skin salve ointment that will help keep wetness and impurities away from your injury.
  • Relief From Dry Itching - The barrier may also help reduce moisture loss to soothe or prevent rough, scaly, flaky, dry skin. A lanolin-free formula helps minimize the risk of allergic reactions.
  • Gentle Tattoo Aftercare - Applying this skin ointment may help keep post-tattooed skin hydrated and in optimal condition to rebuild itself after the procedure. It's smooth and spreads evenly over skin.

A&D ointment products consist of around 93% USP-grade white petrolatum, liquid paraffin, lavender oil, and vitamins A and D. Dynarex makes it especially for treating tattoos.

It’s also a good one for curing chapped and dry skin and minor cuts.

What to Consider When Selecting a Tattoo Aftercare Ointment?

In general, search for the right ointment that’s safe for sensitive skin. After all, you’re using it to heal a wound and it should be super effective at soothing and moisturizing fresh ink.

Your goal is to keep your tattoo infection-free, prevent scarring, and helps reduce itchiness.

Therefore, Avoid buy anything with artificial fragrances or ingredients that can clog your pores or cause an allergic reaction.

Think about how greasy the ointment is. Will it up stain your clothing?

At first, you only need the right amount of thin layer, but if it doesn’t absorb into your skin, it may cause problems.

For example, we usually don’t recommend petroleum jelly as it keeps the skin moisturizing and doesn’t help in healing. It causes a barrier on top instead.

Finally, remember to buy plenty of ointment as you’ll need to use it at least twice a day for at least five days or longer. Then you might switch to an aftercare tattoo lotion if you wish.

The Typical Tattoo Healing Process

A few hours after you leave the studio, remove the bandage, and clean your skin with antibacterial soaps and lukewarm water.

Let it dry and gently apply a thin layer of tattoo ointment.

Your tattoo is probably going to ooze ink for the first couple of days. It still may be a little swollen and red.

Keep washing it morning and night, and throughout the day if you get sweaty or dirty. Each time, put on a little ointment.

Within three to five days, your tattoo will have formed a scab and may start to peel. Avoid picking it. Just keep the washing and moisturizing it. As long as you use moisturizer, you’ll keep the skin from bleeding and cracking.

Now, hang in there as the scabs fall off on their own. It may take a couple of weeks for the surface to heal.

Underneath, the lower layers of your skin are still sensitive and recovering for up to five weeks.

Even after your skin looks like it’s fresh and back to normal, it needs to be well moist. Why moisturizer?

If your skin is dry and ashy, your tattoo will look dull.

Most of the top tattoo ointments we review below are perfect for keeping the ink vibrant throughout the years to come.


If you’re still not sure which tattoo ointment to purchase, ask the tattoo artist what they would recommend.

Also, It is important to take into account any allergies and sensitivities you have.

Keep in mind that most of these balms and salves aren’t a short-term solution. You can continue to use them as a moisturizer in the future, so you’re not wasting your money.

Let us know if you find a perfect tattoo ointment. Leave us a comment below.


1. https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/injured-skin/wound-care

2. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/taking-care-of-your-tattoo#1

Last update on 2024-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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