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Everything You Should Know Before Using Tattoo Balm

In the tattooing world, there are plenty of products marketed toward you that aim to heal your tattoo and keep your skin healthy. It can be overwhelming when trying to pick out the perfect products for your needs, but tattoo aftercare is essential, and it can make a difference in how well your tattoo heals up. If you are familiar with tattoo aftercare products, you may have come across tattoo balm. 

Every tattoo artist has their own specific recommendations on what works best to help heal a new tattoo, but general tattoo aftercare looks pretty much the same in terms of what you should and shouldn’t do. One of those tried and true best practices is keeping your fresh ink moisturized and protected – two things that the right tattoo balm can help with. 

If you’ve been teetering on which tattoo balm to stock up on for your next appointment, you’ve come to the right place. We break down what tattoo balm is, how it works, and why we’re pretty damn proud of our very own tattoo balm right here at Mad Rabbit. 

What Is Tattoo Balm?

So, let’s get into it. What is tattoo balm, anyway? It sounds like the cousin of the ever-popular lip balm, and in fact, it does have similar properties and abilities. When it comes to the healing process of a tattoo, you are going to want to keep your fresh ink moisturized, hydrated, and just overall healthy.

You’ve probably heard of balms before. These are soothing substances formulated to provide healing and refreshing properties to the skin. Lip balms protect from dryness, muscle balms relieve tension, and healing balms can help heal small cuts and burns.

If you’ve used these other balms, you can see why tattoo balms are rising in popularity with specialized ingredients and applications. Tattoo balms are all about helping to support the natural healing process of the tattoo so that you can keep the colors vibrant, the linework bold, and the skin protected. 

Think about it. When you get a tattoo, you are piercing your skin thousands of times to create an open wound and deposit some ink. Just as you would apply some balm for chapped lips or to alleviate soreness in the joints, tattoo balms enrich the skin of the tattooed area and keep them looking better than ever! 

Like any other wound, you have to make sure that it’s properly taken care of and cleaned so that you avoid infections that can end up ruining your tattoo. Using a product that was created for this purpose is going to give you the best results!

What Are Tattoo Balms Made From? 

Not all tattoo balms will be the same, but you can often find the same or similar ingredients in each product. Tattoo balms are meant to moisturize the skin, so they will often contain ingredients like shea butter to help lock in that moisture. 

Shea butter is a type of fat that comes from the nuts of the shea tree, native to various parts of Africa. This substance is rich in fatty acids, which form the foundation of any great natural balm. 

It has soothing and calming properties thanks to vitamins A and E, which your skin will love! It also nourishes the skin beneath the tattooed area, so it emerges fresh and strong long after healing.

High-quality shea butter will also contain polyphenols and triterpenes, which amplify protective and nourishing abilities. Most importantly, it feels great to use and rubs easily on the skin, anywhere on the body. This will create a smooth, buttery application process that will rejuvenate the skin and have your tattoo shining. 

With a base of shea butter to soften skin and offer deep moisturization, our balm is already a cut above. However, that’s just the start! 

This balm also contains cocoa butter, which further locks in moisture and creates a protective barrier for your skin, regardless of weather conditions. From the heat of summer to the dry freeze of winter, cocoa butter will keep your skin fresh, flexible, and chafing-free. 

Finally, the inclusion of carnauba wax will soothe the effects of itching and ensure comfort in any season. Carnauba wax also attracts water molecules to the skin, which is a secret weapon in dry environments or while traveling. 

Remember: ingredient quality matters when choosing any type of skincare product, especially tattoo balms. You’re going to want to pick a tattoo balm that is made of natural ingredients because you will be applying it to healing skin – we’ll show off in just a bit after getting you equipped with the basic info 😉. 

Many natural ingredients, like beeswax and calendula, have natural soothing properties that work to promote healthy-looking skin that keeps your tat looking fresh and crisp instead of worn out and tired. 

Mad Rabbit’s tattoo balm also comes in aromatic scents, which add to the multi-sensory experience of vibrant tattoos. Choose between the light sweetness of vanilla and coconut, or take a more herbal and earthy approach with frankincense and lavender. Better yet, keep both types of balm on hand to match your scent and vibe for any occasion!

How Does Tattoo Balm Work? 

The purpose of tattoo balm is to help support the skin around your tattoo. Your skin has just undergone trauma that it’s trying to now repair, and it doesn’t quite understand that what you’ve done to it was voluntary, so it works toward recovery. 

On top of supporting the natural healing process, tattoo balm is also created to nourish your skin for the long haul so your tattoo not only gets the support it needs while it’s healing, but also so it gets the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and more than can help it stay looking vibrant and bold years after you’ve removed the wrap from it for the first time. 

As the body's largest organ, we can’t neglect the skin as a crucial part of our health, well-being, and appearance! Give your skin the spa treatment daily by using a balm built for longevity and nourishment.

The last thing we want as tattoo collectors or tattoo newbies alike is for our tattoos to begin to fade way before their time. Tattoos are going to fade no matter what — it’s a matter of skin cells replacing themselves over time to maintain strength and softness. 

Fading might seem inevitable, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Still, you can slow the fading process by using a specially-formulated balm, so fight back against the clock and keep your tattoos looking great for many years to come!

Proper care is essential to maintain your tattoo for as long as possible, and a high-quality tattoo balm can help with that. If you follow other best practices like sun protection, exfoliation, and an overall healthy lifestyle, your tattoos will look fantastic long after they’ve healed. 

Are Tattoo Balms Safe?

Tattoo balm is going to end up being safer than a lot of ointments and creams that are mistakenly but commonly used for fresh tattoos. Many products that are used to help with the healing process of a tattoo are petroleum-based, which can actually trap bacteria underneath the skin and cause infection. 

In other words, you may be doing more harm than good to your tattooed skin by using petroleum jelly and similar products. While you might feel tempted to use these products out of convenience, remember that a non-petroleum balm is always the better, safer choice. 

Tattoo balm, on the other hand, is lightweight and made of breathable, natural ingredients that aim to hydrate and nourish without suffocating your skin. Plus, the best tattoo balms are loaded with natural, supportive ingredients that your skin loves. 

Do your skin a favor and use products with all-natural materials so that you never compromise your health or looks. Antioxidants and nutrients go a long way for your skin, whether it’s tattooed or not. 

Is Tattoo Balm Essential?

Yes and no. Will your tattoo just be absolute shit without a tattoo balm? Probably not.

Will your tattoo be waaaaay better off with a tattoo balm? Specifically, our tattoo balm we’ve meticulously formulated to be everything a tattoo balm should be? Abso-lutely.

People with tattoos that haven’t used tattoo balm might notice that, even after just a few years, their tattoos will begin to fade ever-so-lightly. 

Over time, tattoo ink does begin to fade no matter what you do, and you might notice this on much older tatted-up people where some of their earliest tattoos have lost their vibrance. It’s not their fault, as ink does fade with sunlight exposure and aging, which is why veterans and bikers have some of the most faded tattoos (and why they might benefit the most from picking up some tattoo balm ASAP). 

Keeping your new tattoo healthy and moisturized will ensure that you are able to admire your art for years to come, and that’s best done with a tattoo balm in the picture. Even if you alternate a hydrating daily tattoo lotion with your balm, or even if you choose a soothing gel for the fresh ink and balm for the older ink, as long as you have a quality tattoo balm somewhere in your routine, you are helping to preserve and rejuvenate your art.

So, though it’s not “essential” to use, it can really make a huge difference in the healing process and the look of the tattoo. The tattoo process often leaves your skin feeling dry and itchy, and your tattoos can lose their immediate vibrance after the healing process is over. Tattoo balm works to combat all of this by nourishing your skin, which can help brighten your tattoos and enhance their quality.

When Should You Apply Tattoo Balm?

Different tattoo balms will have different rules when using them. Often, you should wait until your tattoo is healed (usually about three to four weeks) to begin applying tattoo balm. 

For the first few weeks after getting a fresh tattoo, our soothing gel is a good option to keep it moisturized, then pair that with unscented antibacterial soap to keep the wounds clean (wash about twice a day). Don’t forget fresh air to help with the healing process – your tattoo needs to breathe. 

It never hurts to refresh yourself on the basics of tattoo aftercare, even if you’ve been tattooed many times before. Remember that a well-healed tattoo will always look better than one that wasn’t properly cared for.

Some people might tell you to use a tattoo balm immediately after you unwrap your tattoo, but if you are using Mad Rabbit’s Tattoo Balm, give it a few weeks for your tattoo to heal first before using it. Afterward, you can apply it as often as you want! It will continue to moisturize your skin and keep your tattoo looking brand new.

You’ll know it’s time to start using tattoo balm when a new layer of skin has emerged and you’ve moved past the flaky or “milky” stage of the healing process. The tattoo should no longer feel sensitive to the touch, and you should be comfortable easing back into your exercise and activity routines. There should be no scabbing, and you should conclude using your aftercare balm at this point. 

This typically takes a few weeks after your most recent tattoo session, so remember to keep track of your tattoo schedule if you’re getting multiple tattoos in a short timeframe!

How Long Should You Use Tattoo Balm?

If you ask us? Forever. Our tattoo balm was specifically made to both support fresh tattoos and revitalize tried and true tattoos. Hell, we even created a subscription service to make sure you never run out of product since you’ll probably end up using it every single day! 

This is a great way to ensure you always have the right tools for your tattoo routine, whether you’re healing up from a session, nourishing older ink, or gearing up for the summer sun. 

If we’re talking short-term, though: After applying tattoo balm, it will likely put in work for up to 8 hours. You can then reapply, but you honestly might not feel the need to. Your skin should end up smooth and hydrated – that’s the main goal. 

It’s important that while you are using tattoo balm, you are staying hydrated liquids-wise, too, so that your skin can generate some moisture on its own from the inside out. This tattoo balm is perfect for when you just hop out of the shower or bath, allowing you to lock in the moisture from that water while reducing the likelihood of post-bathing dryness. 

Many ointments and jelly that are marketed towards tattoo aftercare work more like a sealant than anything. This means that they are trapping in bacteria or dirt as you apply the jelly, which is not what you want. Your tattoo should be able to breathe, which is what tattoo balm allows for. 

When your tattoo can breathe easily and stay moisturized while combating dryness and discomfort, everyone wins. Plus, this tattoo balm travels easily in your carry-on bag or daily pack, making it an easy addition to your daily routine wherever you go. 

Using Mad Rabbit’s Tattoo Balm

Our main goal at Mad Rabbit is to create tattoo aftercare products that are superior and all-natural. We want your skin to heal up nicely so that you are already conjuring up your next tattoo idea. 

When you get a tattoo, you shouldn’t walk away feeling uncomfortable or disappointed. If you’re anything like us, you are already thinking about the next several tattoos that you want to get, and the best way to do that is to first be loaded with cash and make sure your brand-new tattoo heals properly and your skin gets all the nourishing it needs to support even more ink.

But experienced tattoo collectors think a few steps ahead when getting a new tattoo, ensuring they have all the tools for healing, nourishing, and long-term preservation of their ink. Tattoo balm is a crucial part of your big-picture approach to tattoo maintenance, so never go without a canister! It only takes a thin layer of this tattoo goo to make a noticeable difference in how your ink looks!

Before we wrap up, let’s revisit the main benefits of a tattoo balm and see how Mad Rabbit does things differently.

Mad Rabbit’s Tattoo Balm contains: 

  • Shea Butter, which softens and moisturizes with fatty acids and vitamin E
  • Cocoa Butter, which creates a protective barrier to lock in moisture
  • Beeswax, which attracts water molecules to keep skin hydrated
  • Calendula, which helps soothe and promote healthy-looking skin
  • Sweet Almond Oil, which helps improve skin texture and tone thanks to being vitamin-rich

Of course, you can grab any tattoo balm from Amazon and hope for the best, but with Mad Rabbit Tattoo Balm, you can feel confident knowing we only use sustainably-sourced, all-natural ingredients to provide the best outcomes. We literally founded the company because other products just weren’t good enough, or they were decent but made of crap ingredients. 

Our product can be used on gray-scale tattoos, color tattoos, big ones, and small ones, and it won’t poison you with toxic ingredients, so that’s a plus, too. Combined with SPF sunscreen and other dermatologist-approved products, you’ve got everything you need for sensitive skin and body art from head to toe.

If you have just gotten a new tattoo or are planning on adding a few more to your collection, consider picking up Mad Rabbit’s Tattoo Balm so that you can see the results of a quality tattoo balm for yourself!


Wound Healing And Anti-Inflammatory Effect In Animal Models Of Calendula Officinalis L. Growing In Brazil | NCBI

Tattoo Aftercare: Tips And Instructions | Medical News Today

Petroleum Jelly: Uses, Benefits, Dangers, And More | Healthline

6 Incredible Benefits of Shea Butter | Cleveland Clinic

Four Nutrients for Hair, Nails and Skin Health | Food Insight

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