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Is Body Lotion Good Enough for Tattoo Aftercare?

There comes a time when you look in the mirror to check out your tattoo and it doesn’t look as fresh as it once did. Just like flossing for the first time in 6 months right before going to the dentist, you might slap on the first lotion you can find and hope for the best. 


Well the ink might look okay for the first 20 minutes after you apply it, but that luster will most likely fade again within the hour. If you want to start a new goal of staying on top of your tattoo aftercare, the first step is to moisturize and keep moisturizing regularly. 


When you hear the word moisturizer, the first thing we think of is lotion. But before you reach for your peppermint scented body cream from the bathroom drawer, consider what regular body lotion could be doing to your tattoo.

Regular Lotion Could be Ruining Your Tattoo

Lotion seems like it would always be a good thing to use because all lotion moisturizes right? This is not true, especially when dealing with tattoos. The biggest things that cause damage to the skin when it comes to lotions are the added ingredients that you may not be aware of. 

Added ingredients can lead to skin rashes and irritation as well as allergic reactions. 

Alcohols in Lotion 

When alcohol is listed on the ingredients list of your lotion, you are at risk for experiencing dry or irritated skin. Alcohol strips the naturally occurring oils from the surface of your skin. Your skin produces oils that coat the skin and keep it hydrated and healthy. When that is removed, your skin can be irritated and hinder its natural regeneration process. Tattoo lotions with isopropyl alcohol or any time of alcohol should be avoided. Benzyl alcohol is the exception to the rule as it has solvent properties. 

Added Petroleum in Lotion 

Petroleum jelly is more commonly added to everyday lotions than you might think. While some people think that petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is great for moisturizing and healing, it can actually be really harmful to the skin. This is especially true if your skin is tattooed. Petroleum jelly can trap bacteria and germs to the surface of your skin and cause infections and irritations. It can also pull ink out of your tattooed skin. These ingredients block your skin from “breathing” and leave it “raisin-like” and block moisture. 

Mineral Oils 

Mineral oils such as Vitamins D and A, are marketed as really beneficial additives for lotions. Actually these oils can also be harmful when it comes to putting lotion on tattoos and regular skin. It can block pores and cause major clogging. Clogged pores can develop acne and other bacterial infections. 

Parabens in Lotion

Parabens listed in your lotion (and other cosmetic products) can be especially harmful when it comes to both tatted and regular skin. Parabens can cause your skin to get brittle and crack. They can also cause rashes and swollen looking skin. In severe cases, you can develop a condition called contact dermatitis which could leave you with blisters and burning skin. 

Added Fragrance in Lotion 

A huge contributing factor to developing contact dermatitis is added fragrance to lotions and other products. It can cause hives, swelling, burning, and other symptoms related to allergic reactions. Fragrances are irritating to the skin and cause damage to your ink.

What Ingredients Make the Best Tattoo Lotions

Regular lotions can have a ton of additives that do the opposite of what you want them to do. When it comes to using lotions on your tattoos, it is crucial that you read the ingredients and find one that will moisturize rather than damage. 

Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil is safe for sensitive skin and all skin types are able to use it for moisturizing. The benefit is that there is little to no risk of any adverse reactions to coconut oil. Some studies suggest that coconut oil is also ani-bacterial, making it a great lotion to put on tattoos. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that are great for healing and caring for inked skin.

Jojoba Oil 

Jojoba oil is an all natural substance that attracts water to the top layer of your skin and helps with hydration. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties to help fight off any harmful foreign bodies from the surface of your skin. Jojoba oil also contains naturally occurring Vitamin E that works as an antioxidant for your skin. It also helps control sweat and oil production as well as being hypoallergenic. 

Shea Butter

Shea butter is useful for all skin types and is hypoallergenic. It moisturizes by absorbing fatty acids into the surface of your skin. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory, making it ideal for tattooed skin. Shea butter can also help prevent acne and boost natural collagen production. 

Lotion vs Tattoo Aftercare

It is safe to say that not all lotions are created equal. The best tattoo moisturizers are those that are free from harsh added ingredients that can be found in a lot of daily lotions. When it comes to taking care of your skin, tattooed skin especially, knowing what your products contain is crucial to keeping your skin healthy and ink looking fresh. 


Using tattoo lotion as aftercare is beneficial to your skin because it is tailored to provide moisture without damaging the ink within. That is why we made our tattoo lotion with the best natural ingredients and moisturizing agents possible. Ingredients should moisturize your skin and also care for your tattoo. We don’t add any harsh chemicals or fragrances that could cause damage to your skin. 


You should always choose the best tattoo aftercare products from the day of your appointment, until the end of time. For the sake of your tattoo, check the ingredients. You can use a tattoo lotion or balm but be sure that you are caring for your tattoo properly!

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