Flaunting your tattoos is a well-deserved privilege, but before showcasing your new ink, it's crucial to conscientiously care for it to ensure proper healing. Moisturizing plays a vital role in tattoo aftercare, but given that a tattoo is essentially a wound susceptible to infection, not just any ordinary lotion will suffice. The choice of the best tattoo lotion depends on factors such as your skin type, the climate you're in (dry or humid), and the stage of your tattoo's healing process. Individuals should choose a formula that feels good on their skin, be it non-greasy, non-sticky, fast-absorbing, or ultra-rich, as they'll be applying it daily. In our quest, we thoroughly examined numerous lotions for tattoos, both for new and healed ink, considering factors like ingredients, potential irritants, and packaging.
Aquaphor's Healing Ointment stands out as one of the most widely endorsed tattoo aftercare treatments, favored by many artists. Its key component is petrolatum (commonly known as petroleum jelly or Vaseline), constituting over 40% of the luxurious, gel-like cream. Petroleum jelly is a preferred option for wound care, aligning with the recommended approach for treating a fresh tattoo.
The formula, empowered by petrolatum, possesses occlusive properties, forming a semi-permeable layer on the skin that retains moisture and keeps external elements at bay. This aids in preserving the tattoo's vibrancy and promotes the healing process. It's important to note that the ointment's thick consistency resembles more of a balm than a lotion, making it slightly sticky and challenging to spread. This protective ointment, enriched with healing petrolatum, serves as an excellent moisturizer for anyone with a recent tattoo, seeking effective care and maintenance.
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Aveeno is likely a familiar name, commonly found in your local drugstore, and for good reasonit delivers results. Similar to the brand's other products, this lotion incorporates colloidal oatmeal for moisturizing and inflammation relief, while dimethicone forms a protective barrier on the skin. In essence, it's an excellent choice for soothing and safeguarding healed tattoos.
The lotion is also free from parabens and fragrance, minimizing the risk of irritation. Additionally, it comes in a convenient pump bottle with an affordable price tag. This protective and calming formula is ideal for anyone seeking an all-encompassing lotion for daily moisturization and continuous care of their tattoos.
Image: Billy Jealousy
While Billy Jealousy Tattoo Lotion may come with a higher price tag (especially for the 16 oz bottle), the splurge is justified. Packed with skin-soothing and moisturizing elements such as shea butter, sunflower seed oil, jojoba, and green tea extract, it contributes to maintaining the vibrancy of your tattoos. Noteworthy is the inclusion of a lavender-rosemary fragrance, and although most artists advise against scented lotions to prevent reactions, this lotion's aroma is derived from essential oils rather than synthetic fragrancesalthough both can potentially cause irritation.
If you're willing to invest a bit more in a luxuriously moisturizing formula, this option is tailored for you. However, it's important to be cautious about the fragrance, especially if you have particularly sensitive skin, as it may trigger a reaction.
Hustle Butter earns praise as a vegan, cruelty-free alternative to traditional tattoo lotions. Described as an all-natural gem for the skin, we highlight its appeal despite being somewhat pricier than certain equally effective drugstore options. The product's delightful scent, reminiscent of a beach vacation, and its availability in various sizes cater to individuals with diverse tattoos, from small fine line art to heavy blackwork.
Similar to other lotions on this list, it not only moisturizes but also seals the ink, preserving its freshness and softness post-healing. However, it's worth noting that the screw-top container may be perceived as less hygienic compared to a pump top. This product is tailored for those seeking a vegan, cruelty-free, and plant-sourced formula for their tattoo care to get flawless skin.
When it comes to tattooed skin, harsh products are the last thing you'd want, making Stories & Ink's lotion an excellent choice for its extra-gentle formula. While not entirely fragrance-free, it is hypoallergenic and suitable for all skin types. Beyond moisturizing, the lotion contains soothing ingredients such as vitamin E, aloe vera, and algae extract, aimed at calming inflammation.
Notably, it also provides protection against UVA and UVB rays, safeguarding against discoloration from sun damage. Designed for all skin types, this hypoallergenic lotion is perfect for moisturizing healed tattoos, unless you have a heightened sensitivity to fragrances.
For those acquainted with the post-tattoo discomfort, Mad Rabbit's Repair Soothing Gel steps in to alleviate the aftermath of a tattoo session. Specifically designed to gently calm and heal freshly inked (or rather, punctured) skin, this cooling gel incorporates aloe vera. Renowned for its skin-soothing properties and rich in antioxidants, aloe vera aids in stimulating cell regeneration. Additionally, the formula includes reparative vitamin C and argan oil, the latter serving as a hydrator that contributes to soothing irritated skin.
However, it's important to note that if you have a skin condition like dermatitis, argan oil may exacerbate it. This gel-like lotion is ideal for individuals with freshly tattooed skin, providing relief from irritation while supporting the healing process. However, it is not recommended for those with inflammatory skin conditions.
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In the realm of top-notch products for healing tattoos, Aquaphor Healing Ointment takes the lead, earning high recommendations from numerous tattoo artists. This tried-and-true formula not only replenishes the skin's natural moisture but also forms a protective, breathable barrier over newly inked areas. Sometimes, they also help to get rid of stretch marks. On the other hand, if your tattoos are fully healed and you seek a gentle daily moisturizer, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion is a reliable choice.