The 6 Undoubtedly Best Tattoo Aftercare Products
Choosing which tattoo aftercare products to use can get hectic, especially since there are so many different treatments for healing tattoos. Along with the many different treatments, you can expect to find many different brands of the item you need—and choosing the wrong one can be disastrous! Thankfully, you have the internet to help. Here are all the tattoo aftercare products you can expect to use (The links are Amazon product links on which we get a commission if you purchase one of them. We only recommend products we tested and we use ourselves!), the best way to shop for them, and the best way to use them.
Related Article: Tattoo Healing Process
After you get your tattoo, your tattoo artist will recommend a certain amount of time to you. Don’t take off your bandages before then! Once you do, you should have a clean towel at your disposal. Clean means freshly washed, warmed, and carefully isolated before using it. It doesn’t have to be stainless, but make sure that it’s not something you pulled from the hamper. After your initial washing is done, you can pat the tattoo clean very carefully with this towel. I emphasize carefully—your tattoo will be an open wound, and that’s not something you want to make worse from overzealous drying!
Tattoo Aftercare Moisturizing Lotion
Next, you’ll probably want some lotion. Different lotions have different purposes, so be careful which type you end up using. Lotions with a large amount of petroleum and alcohol will actually damage your tattoo and hinder your progress. Avoid them like the plague! Aquaphor is generally considered the best brand for moisturizing lotion, but Tattoo Goo and Ink Fixx also have an excellent formula that is made specifically for tattoos. With any lotion that you put on your skin, be sure that you don’t use too much. You can waterlog your skin and prevent it from drying out. Scabs should not be flaked off, and you should avoid moisturizing them. They have to flake off naturally, if you want them to absorb as much color as possible. If your product starts to irritate your skin or you feel a burning sensation, stop application and seek medical advice. While it is normal for your skin to become puffy and red after a tattoo, an unusual amount of swelling and redness are a sign of an infection. If you do not see improvement or change two days after getting your tattoo, then it’s definitely something a doctor should look at. Check out our article comparing the best tattoo lotions.
|Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment||Tattoo Goo - The Original Aftercare Salve||Ink Fixx Moisturizing Tattoo Lotion|
|1,533 Reviews (Feb-16)||188 Reviews (Feb-16)||15 Reviews (Feb-16)|
Tattoo Aftercare Antibacterial Lotion
There are some people who go without using antibacterial lotion, and that might be for the best. If you just grab an antibacterial lotion off the shelf, it would more than likely harm your skin rather than help it. This is because most antibiotics contain alcohol. Alcohol is a simple antibacterial substance on its own, so it’s only natural that it would be in most antibacterial lotions—but that same alcohol will also clean off all those colors you just had tattooed on! Look for lotions with minimal—and preferably no—alcohol content in them. Satin and Provon seem to have the best products, but if your general store doesn’t have those and you don’t feel like ordering the lotions online, you know how to shop and avoid the alcohol-based lotions now! As with moisturizing lotions, you’ll want to limit the amount you use. A small bit of lotion on the tip of your finger will cover a good 3 x 3 inch circle of skin. Instead of pouring a glob onto your skin and smothering your tattoo, as if you were putting on sunscreen at the beach, be conservative and put on a little at a time. Your lotion should be spread thin enough that it is not noticeable.
Must Read: What’s the Best Tattoo Lotion for You?
Believe it or not, sunscreen is essential addition to your tattoo aftercare products. During your first few weeks of having a tattoo, the colors of your ink are incredibly prone to fading. If your ink fades now, it will appear faded forever. There is no way for your skin to regenerate the original colors of the ink, since the compounds that cause the colors are essentially recycled by the cells of your skin. The sun is your number one enemy during this time, so avoid it like the plague. When you do have to brave it outside, use sunscreen. Of course, not every sunscreen is appropriate for putting on a tattoo.
Tattoo Goo makes a specially formulated lotion that has SPF50. While that might be a little below average for sunscreen (the lowest SPF I’ve seen on shelves is SPF25, while the maximum is easily SPF150), it is still the best stuff you can get. It avoids chemicals that most sunscreens have which would damage your skin, and it helps speed up the healing process. Be sure to spread a very thin amount, especially if you are doubling up with other lotions. Reapply as often as you feel is needed. Most of Tattoo Goo’s products are amazing, so purchasing an entire aftercare kit from them isn’t a bad idea. Which brings us to our next topic…
Must read: The Best Tattoo Sunscreen You can Get!
Tattoo Aftercare Products Kit
Having a specific kit is optional, but it helps a bunch. There are name brand kits out there that give you everything you need to take care of your tattoo, without shopping around for different products at a million different stores. The best brand seems to be H2Ocean Ultimate Tattoo Kit. It uses water-based foams that also have several nutrients your skin requires to heal. The products don’t contain alcohol, and they’re made specifically for tattoos. Another tattoo aftercare products kit is the Aftershock Tattoo Aftercare Kit—which focuses on natural ingredients, rather than chemicals, to get the job done. Both of them work exceptionally well, so if you want to go with an all-in-one kit, either of these products will work for you.
|H2Ocean Ultimate Tattoo Care Kit||Tattoo Goo Tattoo Aftercare Kit||After Shock - Tattoo Aftercare Box Set|
|171 Reviews (Feb-16)||21 Reviews (Feb-16)||No Reviews (Feb-16)|
H2Ocean praises themselves being the “#1 Complete Tattoo Aftercare Kit”. We can’t really tell if this is just a marketing claim or if that’s true. What we can tell about H2Oceans products, is that they work, well known in the tattoo community and popular. H2Ocean’s products are water based and support your skins self healing capabilities. The kit includes a cleaning foam, a moisturizing cream and a “ink lock” cream. We are not aware of any allergic reactions, but as with any aftercare product, please check the ingredients for any substance you are allergic to! Given our own experience with H2Ocean and the positive reviews on amazon we believe it’s safe to recommend this aftercare kit. You can buy it on amazon.
Another really popular aftercare products brand is Tattoo Goo. Founded in 1998 they are in the business for a while and they did gather decent amount of experience. That’s the second Aftercare Kit we can recommend. Besides a salve, a lotion and soap Tattoo Goo also comes with a sunscreen. That little detail makes the Tattoo Goo a really complete set (under the assumption you need a sunscreen at all). Please read the instructions carefully and check the ingredients for any allergy you have before you buy it. You can get it on amazon.
We never used the Aftershock products ourself, so we can’t explicitly recommend it. Researching a bit online shows that the products seem to work fine and are made out all natural ingredients.
Of course, there is a lot more that goes into tattoo aftercare than just the products, so be sure to check out our Tattoo Aftercare article. Listen carefully to what brands and procedures your artist recommends—write them down, if you are able—and always be sure to seek out a doctor for any medical advice if you think you are having allergic reactions, complications with your tattoo, or any strange feeling you would want medical attention for. As always, thanks for reading!