Best Moisturizers for Tattoos That’ll Help Your New Ink Heal

When it comes to moisturizing your new tattoo, the lotion is critical! The myth of letting your skin wound breathe and dry after leaving the tattoo shop has been completely disproven by science.

For ages, people have been recommending to let wounds “dry out”. In a sense, that’s saying don’t apply lotion or ointment. There’s a good reason why you must apply both in order to properly heal your tattoo, reduce skin irritation, and create the best environment for your tattooed skin.

If you want your new ink to heal nicely, you have to be diligent and take good care of it. A beloved lotion is Aquaphor Healing Ointment or good old-fashioned Vaseline.

The moisturizer to put on a new tattoo is a thick and creamy lotion that’s fragrance-free. Don’t use sunblock when it’s healing, and try and stay out of the sun so it heals faster.

Best Moisturizers for Tattoos in 2021

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1. H2Ocean Ocean
2. Gold Bond Lotion For Tattoos
3. Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream
4. Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream

1. H2Ocean Ocean – Best Tattoo Moisturizing Cream

H2Ocean OCEAN CARE Skin Moisturizing Cream Best Moisturizers for Tattoos

Specifically designed for new and/or healing tattoos, H2Ocean Ocean Care Skin Moisturizing Cream is “designed to nourish, revitalize and hydrate your skin by providing 82 essential trace elements and minerals that keep your tattoo healthy and moisturized with each application.” Bonus: this will not smudge or stick to your clothes.

2. Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Skin Therapy Lotion For Tattoos

Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Skin Therapy Lotion For Tattoos

Gold Bond’s Ultimate Healing Skin Therapy Lotion comes packed with Vitamin A, C, and E to help heal dry skin without the grease. Just twist the top, give it a pump and apply once for 24 hours of clinically tested moisturization.

One of the pluses about this lotion is the fact that it has aloe inside for a cool, soothing relief and comfort that comes naturally. When it comes to vitamins, A helps to improve the elasticity of your skin, while vitamin C promotes healthy development and collagen formation. Finally, vitamin E lends a helping hand by protecting the function of your skin and reducing lipid loss.

All said and done, the trio of vitamins and the addition of aloe work wonders for any new tattoo. Even though it’s a bit thicker, it still doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue which is great for keeping your skin off your clothes.

3. Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream

Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream

Dr. Mudgil takes a look at the ingredients and he likes this cream by First Aid Beauty, First Aid Beauty’s mix has everything you need to repair a broken barrier to rebuild the skin barrier after it’s compromised by the tattoo process.  Yet, as hardworking as First Aid Beauty’s ingredient list is, it’s not actually what makes this product stand out. That honor goes to the unexpectedly foamy texture. The texture is key to the actual formulation, which features an innovative oxygen technology that helps actives penetrate more deeply into the skin.

4. Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream

Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream

Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream is designed to help wounded, compromised skin. What Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream does, then, is build back up your skin barrier thanks to a unique water-in-oil texture. The thermal spring water and glycerin, a humectant that attracts water, in the formula work to instantly flood your skin with hydration, while the oil creates an impermeable barrier to lock it in.

5. Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion

Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion

Most tend to think about that old jar of petroleum jelly when Vaseline is mentioned, but they also make lotion too! Don’t make the mistake of applying the pure jelly when you really should be applying lotion, or you’ll be disappointed with the end result.

However, here’s the real deal you need when it comes to lotion. This is Vaseline’s Intensive Care, Advanced Repair Lotion. It’s the richest formula they make with clinical trials that show it can help heal dry skin in five days. Now, it won’t heal your tattoo in five days but you get the point, it works.

The formula itself is non-greasy and features a States-3-multi-layered moisturizer, or in other words, it deeply penetrates the top, core, and bottom layers of your skin. All of this happens fast! Though, the real prize of this lotion is the fact that it is both hypo-allergenic and fragrance-free. It also lasts for a full 24-hours with continuous hydration for your skin by boosting moisturize 300 percent.

6. Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Aftercare Tattoo Balm

Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Aftercare Tattoo Balm

Made from shea, mango, and aloe butter, Hustle Butter is the perfect petroleum replacement for tattoos, all throughout the healing process. It’s free of phthalate, is non-comedogenic, vegan, and won’t fade your ink.

7. Stories & Ink Tattoo Care – Aftercare & Repair Lotion

Stories & Ink Tattoo Care - Aftercare & Repair Lotion

The last thing you want to apply to a fresh tat is something harsh, and this aftercare cream from Stories & Ink is extra gentle. Not only is it fragrance-free, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic, but it contains a soothing, fatty acid-rich blend of panthenol, bisabolol, and vitamin E that helps to calm inflammation and deeply moisturize the skin. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

8. Neutrogena Moisturiser Tattoo Lotion for Dry Skin

Neutrogena Moisturiser Tattoo Lotion for Dry Skin

Another unscented option that Nomy has recommended to his clients for tattoo aftercare is Neutrogena’s deep moisture lotion. Reviewers online note there’s no greasiness with this option either.

When to Apply Lotion to a New Tattoo

One more quick thing before I jump into the best recommendations for tattoo aftercare product lotions. Below is a photo of the pre-lotion and after the lotion has been applied. You can tell there is a massive difference! Imagine how much better that feels on your body too.

Remember, you’ll want to apply lotion 3 days after getting your new tattoo. You can read all about it in this definitive new tattoo aftercare guide. You’ll learn a lot, trust me. Continue applying lotion for at least 25 days; use tiny dabs at a time. Apply as needed; listen to your body, don’t overdo it to an extreme.

Can you put lotion on a tattoo right away?

It’s recommended by professional tattoo artists that you should leave your tattoo alone for a day before washing and applying lotion. If you don’t want to wait as long, you should still wait at least five hours before washing your tattoo for the first time, after which you can apply lotion.

It’s recommended that you use a non-fragrance soap and lotion so you don’t risk irritating your skin.

What lotions should you avoid with tattoos?

​It does matter what lotion you use on a tattoo! Always avoid lotions that have fragrances, as this means the lotion could irritate your skin. And if it’s applied too thick, it could promote bacteria growth.

As stated above, always use a fragrance-free lotion that’s thick and heavy, and moisturizing; your skin will need to heal as a tattoo is a form of a scar.

We’ve scoured the internet and found some of the best tattoo lotions, ointments, and salves to keep your skin smooth and your tattoo bright. Just remember: no matter what tattoo lotion you chose, the best way to heal your new tattoo is to keep it clean and cared for.

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