- 1 Why Should I Use a Tattoo Lotion?
- 2 The 5 Best Lotions for Tattoos
- 3 Choosing The Best Tattoo Lotion, Ointment or Cream
- 4 How Do I Use Tattoo Lotion?
- 5 Guidelines for Picking a Non-Tattoo Lotion for Tattoo Care
- 6 More Info on Lotion, Ointment and Tattoo Healing Cream Ingredients
- 7 Tattoo Lotion, Ointment & Cream F.A.Q.
- 8 Aftercare is Important—For Every Tattoo
- 9 Final Word on Tattoo Lotions
Don’t have time for the whole article? We got you covered; here is our best tattoo lotion product pick!
Why Should I Use a Tattoo Lotion?
First of all, tattoo lotion is not optional. During your healing process, millions of germs come in contact with your wound. Without some sort of protective lotion, they can ruin your tattoo, infect your body, and lead to even more disastrous effects. So, clearly, you need some sort of lotion. But why tattoo lotion over lotion you buy at the store?
Simply put, your every-day-lotion contains dozens of compounds that affect your tattoo ink and the speed of your healing. The large size of tattoo ink particles makes them difficult for your immune system to deal with. Typical cleaning lotions—especially those containing alcohol—break them down into parts that your body absorbs. In other words, non-tattoo lotions erase your tattoo! You need to wait to use them until after your tattoo completely heals—and even then, I prefer tattoo-specific lotions thanks to their ‘softer’ ingredients. They work great for sensitive skin!
The 5 Best Lotions for Tattoos
Without further ado, here are the 5 best tattoo aftercare lotions. In the past years we reviewed and tested docent of product and we followed the market closely. Below are the once which sustained the test of time for years and have proven to be effective and good products.
Hustle Butter Deluxe
With no petroleum or parabens and a unique moisturizing formula, Hustle Butter Deluxe takes the top spot. Hustle Butter forms a tattoo glide layer for tattoo artists, and many recommend it for tattoo aftercare. The formula not only contains Shea, mango, and Aloe butter, it leaves stencils untouched, prevents clogged tubes, and keeps skin workable. On top of results that last a lifetime, Hustle Butter creation involves no animal cruelty, and the components are certified vegan! A luxury among tattoo lotions, plus among the best natural lotions, I recommend splurging a little and trying Hustle Butter Deluxe. Compared to the cost of other products, it fits right in, so treat yourself! Read also the full review here. You can get it from Hustle Butter or on Amazon.
Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve
This rather green bottle of paste uses no artificial coloring, skips paraben preservatives, leaves out lanolin, drops the aloe, ignores gluten products, and finally ditches petroleum and its alternative, mineral water. It focuses on providing a natural herbal salve in such a way that avoids allergic reactions or rashes on sensitive skin. A small family business produces the stuff, making it the best tattoo lotion if you want something environmentally and ethically responsible. As usual, use just a thin layer to cover your tattoo whenever it feels dry or itchy.
Viking Revolution Tattoo Balm
Viking Revolution is a relatively new brand in the tattoo aftercare market. They started in 2016 to make Beard Care products. Within a year they were among the top selling brands in that niche. They released a tattoo care balm and we had a closer look at it. Although they are the “new” when it comes to tattoo aftercare, they did a very decent job with this balm. It’s a completly vegan product free of any chemical. It is completely petroleum free and non-greasy. Viking claims the smell of the balm is awesome. It’s not exactly way better than other products, but I did like it.
But let’s talk about the three main factors; healing support, price, and usability. As any of the previously mentioned lotions (balm…) the Viking Balm does a good job in healing support. I didn’t notice faster or slower healing when compared to Hustle or Ora. The main striking points for Viking’s Balm are price and usability. It is a bit cheaper than the other products I tested, so if you are on a budget this is the one to go for! What I really liked is the consistency of the Lotion. It is really non-greasy. The balm turns into an “oily substance” the second you start to apply it. A lot of people loved the consistency and – contrary to myself – are really into the smell. They might be the new kid in town when it comes to Tattoo Lotions, but it’s an overall really good product!
H2Ocean Ultimate Tattoo Care Kit
Finally, an unscented lotion for tattoo lovers! H2Ocean, alongside Tattoo Goo, is one of the greatest tattoo care brands out there. These products contain no alcohol or petroleum, so you can safely use them on your tattooed skin. And another thing, this set uses only three products to get the job done, and it comes with instructions on how to use each of them to get the most out of their use. It treats your tattoo in every healing stage and ensures that your tattoo will stay bright for ages. It is also antibacterial and prevents infection during the crucial healing stage of your tattoo. The moisturizer included with the set is used to keep those itchy scabs in check without harming your skin. This kit contains the best unscented lotions for tattoos.
Tattoo Goo Aftercare Kit
If you want a big package that shows you all kinds of tattoo aftercare lotions and products—rather than just a moisturizer to treat a healing tattoo—then this is the kit to go for. It contains the salve we listed above, along with deep cleansing soap, color guard fade protection, and fast acting lotion. The Tattoo Goo Color Guard functions as a sunscreen, ensuring the sun can’t damage the ink of your tattoo.
After harsh soaps, the sun is the leading cause of faded tattoo colors. The soaps and salves in this kit use natural oils instead of alcohol-based chemicals or disinfectants, making them safe to use on healing tattoo skin. This set contains the best ointment for tattoos, so give it a careful look.
Choosing The Best Tattoo Lotion, Ointment or Cream
To really drive home the point of how excellent these lotions are to your skin, I want to go over every benefit they provide. Even if only one of them matches what you need, the improvement and relief is dramatic in every regard!
Improves Tattoo Appearance
The vitamins that your skin absorbs helps seal your tattoo. Because vitamins also affect your immune system, which in turn helps your tattoo set in the first place, it goes a long way towards keeping the tattoo healthy. The less scar tissue that forms above your tattoo, the faster your tattoo looks bright and colorful!
Moisturizes, Hydrates, and Nourishes Skin
You want to keep the area right between moist and dry. This decreases the chance of peeling skin and wards off the discomfort and pain of fresh tattoos. Moisturization prevents all sorts of skin problems–including oily skin, dry skin, and acne. It keeps your skin young so that your tattoo looks great for years!
Prevents Disease or Infections
Obviously a big bonus, lotions fend off any would-be infectious germs by forming a barrier and–in some cases–destroying these hazardous organisms. In ancient times, the risk of infection meant only the bravest would undergo the art of tattooing. Going under the needle could mean life or death, so many cultures used tattoos as a rite of passage. Those days are behind us, and now we can relish the safety that modern technology and tattoo lotion provide for us!
Soothes Skin Irritation and Tattoo Peeling
Arguably the worst part of tattoo healing, the peeling and itching stage takes over your life. Peeling the skin off poses the risk of flaking off ink with it. While peeling skin that looks dyed is quite normal, it’s difficult to tell which part is still healing because of this. By applying lotion, you both assuage the itch and prevent the dry skin from happening in the first place!
Speeds Healing Process
Most lotion for tattoos (and certainly all the ones on this page) provides nutrients that help with your healing process. As your body absorbs these vitamins, your skin grows stronger and your immune system speeds up. Washing away dead skin at regular intervals lets your body take a break and focus on patching up your tattoo.
Which Type of Tattoo Lotion Do I Choose?
When shopping for a tattoo lotion on this list, pay close attention to what you want and need out of lotion. For example, someone with sensitive skin wants hypoallergenic lotion or baby lotion. Baby lotions tend to use softer ingredients—in an example, they replace petroleum with mineral oil or a similar compound. On the other hand, a vegan definitely needs ingredients with no animal products. On top of that, the lotion needs to be cruelty-free, with zero animal testing. Hustle Butter Deluxe fits that description perfectly.
Other than that, just go with what sticks out to you. Each lotion smells differently, so avoid lotions with scents unless you want to smell like flowers. Along with that, pay close attention to the ingredients of each lotion. In an example, if you have an allergy to aloe, then skip any products containing it.
How Do I Use Tattoo Lotion?
So, how do you apply this stuff and use it to its full potential? Your artist always gives you pointers and recommendations, but these general directions will help you if you forget them. First of all, your artist sends you home with plastic wrap or a sealed bandage around your new tattoo. They prefer plastic wrap because you can easily see what your new tattoo looks like–which is pretty cool! A few hours after you receive your tattoo or a few hours before you go to bed, whichever falls later, remove this bandage. Expect to see a bunch of puss, blood, and excess ink spill out. Wet a clean towel and carefully dab at the new tattoo to remove it all. Tattoo soap helps with this process. Once you clear up the gunk, use a dry towel to dab the moisture away. Never rub it dry, since this may pull up your sensitive skin.
Lotion After Cleaning Your Tattoo
After your tattoo feels squeaky clean and only slightly moist to the touch, apply a thin layer of tattoo lotion to the top. Depending on the brand, you only need a few drops for it to take effect! Slowly swirl the lotion into your skin until it becomes transparent, signaling that your skin absorbed part of it. Leave the lotioned tattoo uncovered and never apply new bandages to it. The bandages helped contain the blood, plasma, and gunk from the initial tattoo session, but it otherwise performs no necessary function. Keeping your tattoo exposed to the dry air helps your body expel dead cells more quickly, even though it risks staining your clothes or sheets with some very strange colors.
Tattoo Lotion Reapplication Directions
Reapply this lotion whenever the area feels dry. After two or three reapplications, you know exactly when to plan for another one. Over time, your tattoo grows dry, and improper care leads to scabbing. Frequent and correct use of tattoo lotion and tattoo soap helps the skin flake off naturally with minimal side effects. In fact, most of the dead cells that would form a scab actually wash off with the application of your soap and lotion!
When To Stop Using Tattoo Lotion
After your tattoo stops itching, you no longer need to use tattoo soap. However, I still recommend using lotion in order to reduce scarring. Since tattoos technically count as minor surgery, scar tissue forms over the area. This creates a dull look, and many people believe that their tattoo even fades! In all honesty, this layer is just the body’s natural response to a wound of that magnitude. With enough moisturizing lotion, the scar tissue will slowly subside into a regular layer of skin–leaving everyone to see your beautiful new tattoo in its full glory!
Guidelines for Picking a Non-Tattoo Lotion for Tattoo Care
Of course, I only listed the best lotions out there. Many more exist that you may want to look into. When shopping for a tattoo-safe lotion, soap, or ointment for tattoos, then you need to closely check the ingredients. During tattoo healing, some ingredients damage the ink or promote bacterial infection, despite conventional wisdom saying otherwise. If you want to explore the other lotion options out there, then pay special attention to these guidelines.
In example, an anti-bacterial lotion sounds great for tattoo healing, right? Wrong. Alcohol makes up the main active ingredient of most anti-bacterial soaps on the market. It breaks down the chemical composition of organic molecules, making it easy for your body to clear them away. Unfortunately, inks use organic sources for many of their colors. Ink soaks into your skin permanently because of the size of their particles. Alcohol targets your ink and breaks down the particles into bite-sized chunks, rather than their normal huge size, that your body absorbs. In other words, anti-bacterial soaps literally erase your tattoo during the healing stage!
More Info on Lotion, Ointment and Tattoo Healing Cream Ingredients
In a similar vein, petroleum usually works as a good medium to deliver other compounds, but its consistency covers your tattoo wound and seals it up. Especially during the first few days of your healing, you need to allow the tattoo to drain naturally. Excess ink, blood, pus, plasma, and all manner of things ooze out of your tattoo. If you cover it up with a petroleum product, then that stuff can only go into your body, instead of out. As a result, your tattoo looks watery, as if someone left the design out in the rain. Mineral oil is the same ingredient, but at a consistency that does not harm your tattoo. Stick to mineral oil, if you find no alternatives to petroleum products.
Lastly, some ingredients cause irritations in a huge number of people. Paraben preservatives top the list, but things like artificial fragrances also trigger allergies. When tattoo artists tell you to avoid scented soaps, this is what they mean—but don’t forget the rest of the requirements! Test any products on a separate area of your skin beforehand. Happy hunting! If you have trouble finding one, just check out this page again.
Aftercare is Important—For Every Tattoo
Most people who want a tattoo already have one! Once you ink your first tattoo, the liberating experience opens your eyes to the world of body art. Unfortunately, each time you receive a new tattoo, you open yourself up to all the same risks. Every time you receive a new tattoo, you need to provide it with the utmost care. Maybe you used some random lotion and your tattoo healed fine. Maybe your first tattoo healed brilliantly with no aftercare whatsoever. Despite this, never underestimate the risk of infection.
The risk of each tattoo location varies, with your hands and your mouth making up the areas most prone to infection. On top of that, large tattoos expose themselves to far more pathogens than smaller designs. Lastly, the time of year and your physical activities may open up the path to illness. In order to deal with these outside elements, you need to prepare for the worst while all of your tattoos heal.
Final Word on Tattoo Lotions
There is a small stigma around tattoo ointment and tattoo lotion. Accordingly, the pain and healing process is seen as a rite of passage to some circles, and your friends may pressure you into not using them. If you have friends that say lotion is not needed and you shouldn’t use it, and you feel your opinion start to sway, go ahead and Google ‘tattoo infections’ and look at what poor tattoo aftercare causes.
In addition, if you use the proper tattoo lotions, they go a long way towards preventing bad infections. Big warning, though—your stomach hates those types of images (see also the FDA’s Consumer Health Info regarding tattoos here). On top of that, they also make the healing process swifter and more comfortable. So, what lotion is good for tattoos? Did you decide on the best lotion for tattoo aftercare? Then go for it!
Let us know what you experienced, which products did you like and why below in the comments!
Lastly, if you want to know more tattoo aftercare tips, I suggest checking out our tattoo aftercare article for more info! It tells you all about how to care for a new tattoo. If you liked the article, be sure to check out the rest of InkDoneRight. You can subscribe to our email list for weekly updates or our Twitter for updates as they happen. As always, thanks for reading!