Caring for a tattoo is just another required step that you must not skip. Tattoos are permanent. They are skin-deep, and when fresh, they’re almost like having an open wound. What does this mean? Well, it means that you need to take care of it (or them if you had a bunch of tattoo work done all at once) and protect your tattoo against infection as well as irritation.
What happens if you don’t care for your tattoos? They’re going to look like crap, fade, and possibly get infected.
By using a lotion or cream that is specially made for tattoo aftercare or one that nurtures the skin, helping it heal faster, will help more than you can imagine. There are three main types of tattoo aftercare products that you can use. Here an explanation of each and the difference between them.
Types Of Aftercare Products (Lotions) For Tattoos
Here’s a short list of the various types of products that you should consider using if you’ve recently acquired some ink.
These are used in the first few days after the tattoo has been completed. These are typically made with vitamins and other ingredients that disinfect the skin, help with regeneration and allow the area to properly heal. These are usually petroleum or oil-based, as they protect the skin in the first two to three days. They usually contain Vitamin A and Vitamin D which are both essential for the healing your skin.
Creams and Lotions
After the first three days when a fresh tattoo has been covered by an ointment of choice, you should continue with a proper tattoo care by applying a cream, lotion or tattoo moisturizer. These should be used until the tattooed skin has healed completely. The creams/lotions contain a smaller dose of vitamins. The main purpose of using these is to keep the skin clean, hydrated, and healing properly.
Selecting A Tattoo Cream
The tattoo artist will most likely recommend a specific healing treatment. However, there are a few things you need to know when caring for a fresh tattoo.
Use the ointment for the first couple of days. Keep your diet vitamin-rich, and keep your tattoo out of the sun.
As far as lotions and creams go, apply them regularly to keep the moisture levels up. This will prevent it from drying out and cracking. It’s very important that you follow the directions provided by the artist or you may find yourself the owner of a messed up tattoo.
More Tips For Tattoo Care
While every tattoo artist tells you how to take care of your tattoo, I’ve tried to share some knowledge to help you come out on the other end with a decent looking piece of body art.
Clean Your Hands – Before touching a fresh tattoo, or a wound of any kind for that matter, you should thoroughly wash your hands to avoid irritating or infecting the skin. Your hands should be washed with an antibacterial soap and warm water. Be sure to dry them good and refrain from touching your tattoo if possible.
Clean The Tattoo – The tattoo needs to be washed. The skin needs to be wet with warm water, and you must apply mild soap over the skin to clean away the dried blood/plasma/ink. Gently rub the soap and then rinse with warm water. Do not be too forceful or it’ll be an expensive permanent mistake.
Dry The Tattoo – The moisture from washing the tattoo can cause problems if left on too long. Your tattoo should be dried with a paper towel and done so by gently dabbing the area
Apply Cream / Lotion / Ointment – This should be done using a gentle circular motion with freshly cleansed fingers. A fresh tattoo will hurt a little, and as it heals, it will hurt less and less. Eventually, it will not hurt at all once completely healed. Be sure to apply creams etc. evenly and not too thick.
Repeat A Few Times Daily – Your tattoo should heal within a few weeks. After the artwork has healed completely, you should stick to using your preferred body moisturizer on the tattooed area. You want to take care of your skin as that’s a super expensive section of skin.
Products To Buy
Looking for products? Look no further, as I’ve found a few best products for you to consider. These products were all specifically created to serve as tattoo aftercare products.
- Tattoo Goo Aftercare Salve
One of the most famous tattoo aftercare products, the Tattoo Goo is made from natural ingredients. Containing olive oil, beeswax, sunflower oil and lavender oil, this lotion helps the skin heal while soothing any irritation.
The amazing ingredients in the Goo promote fast skin regeneration. Based on reviews, the lotion is a bit slimy, but it does not hurt the tattoo. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin either. The product has an herbal fragrance that supposedly helps soothe the skin. I’m not a big fan on fragrance and I don’t necessarily buy that but I’ll leave that alone. This product only costs $5 on Amazon, so why not buy it.
- Hustle Butter Deluxe
Arguably the best tattoo care product on the market (if you ask the right people). This is a tattoo aftercare cream that’s vegan-friendly, made from natural, organic ingredients and is petroleum-free. It’s supposedly a great cream that helps the skin heal, soothing any irritations and reduce the appearance of scabbing. For $17 you can have this.
The organic ingredients help the skin heal. The essential oils do the soothing and reduce the urge to itch the tattooed skin. FYI, itching is a common occurrence while your skin is healing.
- Herbal Tattoo Salve
This tattoo lotion is free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils and other allergy-causing ingredients. If you do your research, you’ll find that it’s made with natural ingredients that are all helpful if you’re looking to care for your new ink.
The Herbal Tattoo Salve has antimicrobial properties, nearly completely diminishing the risk of infection (if properly used). The product is made by a small family business. The lotion is safe to use and it helps the skin heal pretty quickly. Once the area is healed, the product can be used as a skin lotion.
- Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm
The Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm is made from natural ingredients. The blend contains oils from coconut, apricot, jojoba, peppermint, lavender and more. It helps the skin heal fast, soothing it, relieving pain, swelling, rashes, and dryness. It also has antibacterial properties, lowering the risk of infections. The balm has a peppermint scent which I’m not crazy about but you might think otherwise. For $12, it’s a no-brainer.
- Tattoo Skin Silk
Another great tattoo aftercare product and an “Amazon’s Choice,” the Tattoo Skin Silk is a good quality product. Made from natural botanicals, organic ingredients, and even shea butter, this is for sure a winner.
The Tattoo Skin Silk doesn’t contain any petroleum oil or artificial fragrances. Instead, you’ll find olive oil, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, soy wax, and coconut oil.
Well, there you have it. You’ve got plenty of options for tattoo aftercare creams, so if you cannot find anything on the list that you fancy, then do some more research. When in doubt, just buy something from the tattoo artist. These products, if applied correctly are going to work.
If you follow the rules about and apply ointment/cream/lotion to your tattoo, then you should have no issues and great looking artwork in due time.
Now, if you get a tattoo and you’re not happy with it and want to remove it, read this on removal creams.
Feel free to send in pics of your tattoos, we’ll post them and credit you as well! We want proof if you’ve used these aftercare products so please share!