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If you have a tattoo appointment coming up, this is a friendly reminder to get a tattoo aftercare lotion right away. Your skin is very vulnerable after a tattoo, and it is up to you to choose the best lotion for tattoos to help keep it moisturized and speed up the healing process. Of course, the market is flooded with tattoo aftercare lotions and it’s not easy to know which is considered the best lotion for tattoo healing.
That’s where we come in. You’re looking for the best lotion for tattoos and in this article, we share with you our top choices in 2023.
But before we reveal the best of the best, we want to answer a question many people new to tattoos ask: why apply lotion?
Moisturizing Versus Drying Out Your Tattoo
A lot of people will tell you how you should let your tattoo breathe and dry out after getting it. Scientists have, however, proven this to be a myth—one that can result in a lacklustre tattoo.
The best thing you can do for your skin to help it heal after a tattoo is to keep it moisturized.
There are various reasons why applying a good quality tattoo lotion as aftercare is good for your new ink.
Firstly, you don’t want your tattoo to dry out. When it’s dry, cellular activity slows down and this means your tattoo will take much longer to heal than necessary. The scabs that form over your fresh tattoo is an indication that the cells aren’t working as they should and the skin is dying off. Unfortunately, as the scabs fall off, so too does some of the ink, which means it won’t look as vibrant as it could have with the right aftercare.
But that’s not the main thing you should worry about. A lot happens on a microscopic level—bacteria feasting on your drying skin for one. In other words, you’re more prone to getting an infection if you don’t apply lotion to your tattoo.
When you treat your skin as recommended by your artist during the tattoo healing process, you’ll feel better—no annoying itching—and your tattoo will heal brighter.
It’s actually incredibly easy to do right by your tattoo. The hardest thing you’ll have to do is decide which is the best aftercare tattoo lotion. No, wait! Even that will be easy since we put together a collection of the top choices of the best lotion for new tattoos in 2023.
5 Best Tattoo Aftercare Lotion Overview
5 Best Tattoo Aftercare Lotion Reviews
1. Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Best Overall Pick
- One Essential Solution: Aquaphor is one essential solution for many skin care needs; use on dry, cracked skin, as a lip moisturizer, facial moisturizer, hydrating mask, minor wound care and much more
- For Dry, Compromised Skin: This Aquaphor Healing Ointment is designed specifically for dry, compromised skin and clinically proven to restore smooth, healthy skin
- Convenient Replacement: Use Aquaphor Healing Ointment as a replacement for a foot cream or hand cream to help heal dry cracked hands, cuticles and feet
- Ideal for Healing: Different from a body lotion or cream, this ointment is water-free, and soothes skin while creating a protective barrier that allows for the flow of oxygen to create an ideal healing environment
- Includes one (1) 14 ounce jar of Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant
This healing ointment isn’t specifically labelled as a tattoo aftercare lotion but many tattoo artists recommend it. It is petrolatum based which means it creates a layer on top of the tattoo that locks in your skin’s own moisture while blocking out any nasties in the air that could cause infection.
By locking in moisture, your tattoo will heal faster and with less itching. What’s more, it will heal looking as fresh as the day you first got it.
Why choose Aquaphor?
- It is easy to find.
- It won’t break the bank.
- It helps tattoos heal faster.
2. Hustle Butter Tattoo Care & Maintenance Cream: Best High-End Product
- TATTOO AFTERCARE ESSENTIAL: Hustle Butter is the original luxury tattoo aftercare product for new and older tattoos. Safe to use right after getting a tattoo to help heal and reduce irritation unlike others. Makes tattoos older tattoos pop and rejuvenates them.
- HELPS HEAL, PREVENTS FADING: Hustle Butter is not only safe for new tattoos, but encouraged to help the healing process. It also prevents fading and revives color in older tattoos
- NATURAL VEGAN INGREDIENTS: Certified cruelty-free, absolutely vegan, our all-natural butter is also petroleum, paraben free. It is made from only the finest ingredients, including Shea, Mango, Aloe butter, Coconut, Sunflower, Rice Bran oils, Rosemary Oleoresin, Green Tea, Vitamin E Complex, Mint Arvenis Essential Oil, as well as the essence of Papaya, Coconut.
- USED & RECOMENDED BY ARTISTS WORLDWIDE: Hustle Butter makes the tattoo experience better for the artist and the client. Unlike others, Hustle Butter does not remove stencils or clog tubes allowing for colors to go in easier. Artists then often sell or give Hustle Butter to their clients so they can heal better and protect their new art.
- THE ORIGINAL: Back in 2011 Richie Bulldog, a staple in the tattoo community, knew tattoos needed more care than the mass market lotions and creams. It has to be all natural and use top quality ingredients to penetrate the skin deep enough to reach the ink. Hustle Butter was born and now is sold all over the world but still made here in the U.S.
Choosing vegan products aren’t necessarily reserved for vegans. The fact is that products made from all-natural ingredients tend to be gentler on the skin. A lot of the chemicals used in other products can trigger allergic reactions or aggravate just-tattooed skin.
Hustle Butter is a high-end product, but it’s moisturizing effect and healing properties make it worth the splurge. You can use it on anything from small tattoos to big patches of heavy blackwork.
What makes it one of the best lotions for tattoo healing is how easily it is absorbed—your skin will feel soft and supple long after it has healed.
Why pick Hustle Butter as the best lotion for tattoos?
- It’s vegan.
- It’s gentle on the skin.
- It’s easily absorbed.
3. Stories & Ink Tattoo Care Aftercare Cream: Best for Sensitive Skin
- PROBLEM: Tattoos (like skin) need nourishing for. SOLUTION: Stories & Ink is a range of tattoo care products to help improve the quality, look and aesthetic of your tattoo(s), prevent fading and promote healthier looking skin. This is a dedicated skincare for you and your ink.
- WHAT IT IS: A aftercare moisturizer & repair lotion to soothe & calm damaged skin immediately after tattooing - can also be used to prepare the skin prior or during tattoo process.
- WHY IT’S SPECIAL: Contains PANTHENOL and other specialist ingredients to reduce inflammation and redness whilst soothing and hydrating damaged skin. Non-greasy texture allows your skin to breathe during recovery.
- VEGAN INGREDIENTS: Fragrance free, hypoallergenic, cruelty free, gluten free, 100% vegan and petroleum, paraben free. Made from carefully selected ingredients: BOTANICAL BLEND is a soothing agent rich in essential fatty acids that protect the skin’s barrier. VITAMIN E is a skin conditioning agent and super antioxidant. BISABOLOL is a natural extract of Chamomile and known to remedy dry, chapped skin. PANTHENOL is a provitamin able to deeply moisturise the skin from within.
- GOOD TO KNOW: Your skin will go through various phases of healing, from red and swollen to dry and flaky. Our specially formulated aftercare lotion looks after your skin every step for a fast, well-healed tattoo. Developed by leading pharmacists, loved by tattoo artists and their clients worldwide. PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Package includes (1) tube of Stories & Ink Aftercare Cream 60ml (2 FL OZ) approx. 30-45 uses.
If you have sensitive skin, to begin with, you will have to apply the best lotion for tattoos geared toward sensitive skin. Stories & Ink is perfect since its formula is extra gentle. It’s paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free.
But what makes this one of the best after tattoo lotions is the soothing ingredients. You’ll be spoiling your tatted skin with a fatty acid-rich blend of bisabolol, panthenol, and vitamin E to help reduce inflammation. These super ingredients will also deeply moisturize your skin.
As if that isn’t enough, it is vegan and cruelty-free too.
Why buy Stories & Ink?
- It’s made for sensitive skin.
- It contains ingredients that reduce inflammation.
- It’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.
4. Tattoo Goo Balm: Best Color-Enhancer
- Natural Choice for healing your tattoo fast
- Dermatologist Approved
- Based with herbs, oils, and vitamins known for their natural healing properties
- Allows the skin to breath and helps to soothe the tattoo as it heals
- Petroleum free, lanolin free and mineral oil free
Tattoo Goo has been on the market for years and is a much-loved aftercare product that many professional tattoo artists recommend to their clients. It contains Vitamin B5, also known as Panthenol, which prevents scabbing and speeds up the healing process. It will do all this without clogging your pores. And it’s been dermatologically tested to give you the assurance that you’re putting only the best lotion for tattoos on your skin.
There’s however one benefit that makes this lotion stand out from the rest: it makes the colors of your tattoo heal more vividly.
What makes Tattoo Goo so great?
- It has a brilliant reputation.
- It prevents scabbing.
- It’s been dermatologically tested.
5. After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer and Aftercare Lotion: Best Natural Formula
- EXCLUSIVE TATTOO AFTERCARE PRODUCT FOR INK MASTER: After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion is the exclusive tattoo aftercare of the TV Show Ink Master. It's been used and recommended by world-renowned artists for over 15 years, a testament to the quality of our ink aftercare treatment.
- TATTOO KIT ESSENTIAL: The power of our tattoo moisturizer and aftercare lotion is made to help your skin maintain its moisture and keep your tattoos looking vibrant for longer. One tube contains 3 ounces of specialized hydrating lotion that soothes and moisturizes.
- NO ANIMAL-DERIVED INGREDIENTS: Our tattoo care lotion uses a patented formula enriched with grape seed oil, an ingredient known to help reduce skin dryness and improve softness and elasticity. Our lotion for tattoos is formulated to preserve your ink's colors while keeping your skin moisturized. It is paraben-free, fragrance-free, and made to fit every lifestyle and skin type.
- SAFE TO USE: Our After Inked tattoo cream is clinically and dermatologist tested, non-allergenic, and non-irritant. It helps soothe itching due to dry skin, and it will not stick to your clothes. A thin layer of our After Inked tattoo moisturizer goes a long way.
- MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS: The use of our aftercare lotion is not limited to tattoos. This moisturizer is also used on permanent makeup, after laser tattoo removal, and as an everyday skin moisturizer. For maximum freshness and an extra cooling effect, it is best kept refrigerated.
This tattoo aftercare lotion contains grape seed oil which is extremely moisturizing without clogging your pores. Even though it contains oil, it doesn’t feel oily at all and won’t stick to your clothes. It is a non-petroleum based, fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly tattoo lotion that you can continue using long after your tattoo has healed.
This is one of the best lotions for tattoos because apart from its super natural formula, it will help your tattoos—new and old—look healthy and vibrant.
What makes After Inked stand apart?
- It isn’t petroleum based.
- It’s gluten-free.
- It doesn’t have an oily consistency.
There is a massive difference between tattoos that were treated with the best tattoo aftercare lotions and those that weren’t. Applying a lotion will keep your tattoo’s colors bright and vivid and your skin looking young and healthy.
For optimum results, you want to start applying tattoo aftercare three days after getting your tattoo and continue to do so for at least a month. If you choose the best lotion for tattoos from this list you can be sure that you’ll be applying something that has been tried and tested by tattoo professionals the world over.