How to Choose the Best Tattoo Aftercare Products (Artist's Guide)
You’ve got an awesome fresh tattoo, the lines are perfect, the colors are popping.
What comes next? Taking good care of it.
If you’ve followed us, you ‘ve probably read this before: aftercare for tattoo is arguably the most important part of getting a tattoo.
For this article, we talked to several experienced tattoo artists, and they gave us their best advice when it comes to choose the best for your tattoo care.
We will explain why aftercare for your tattoo is so important and we will show you what to look for when buying a tattoo aftercare product, and -super important- what to avoid.
Choosing the Best Tattoo Aftercare Products Is Very Important. Why?
We can't’ stress enough the importance of this. But you are not supposed to trust us –we sell tattoo aftercare products after all-.
We’ll give you some facts, so you can make the right choice when choosing the best tattoo aftercare products for your skin:
- Your tattoos look better and healthier.
Aftercare for tattoo is essential not only for keeping your tattoo looking fabulous, but also for your overall health.
Tattoo before lotion
Tattoo after lotion
On top of that, your skin will be properly moisturized, thus helping the overall healing process.
- It’s a good investment
Investing on a good tattoo artist to ensure a vibrant tattoo for the years to come is paramount. The same goes for tattoo aftercare products.
Not following the right tattoo aftercare can potentially ruin your skin, thus your new tattoo. In the worst-case scenario, it can even get infected.
Therefore, it makes sense to count on that little extra for the best aftercare products -or at least a good quality one-.
That way, we will not only ensure a better looking and healthier tattoo, but we will reduce the chances of any hiccups –infection, excessive cracking, tattoo fading..- that will result in potential over costs – cover ups, medicines, tattoo removal...-.
- You have full control of it
In the process of getting a tattoo there are many factors that affect how fast -and well- your new tattoo will heal: good tattoo artist, age, type of skin, etc.
Unfortunately -unless you are a tattoo artist-, there’s not much you can do to ensure you get an amazing looking tattoo.
However, you do have full control of choosing the best tattoo aftercare products.
So, now that you know how important for your tattoos is to choose the best aftercare products, let’s find out what to look for before buying anything:
7 Things to Look for When Buying Tattoo Aftercare Products
1. Natural ingredients
Typically, a good indicator that a product is good for your tattoo care is the use of natural ingredients. Some of the following ingredients are used for skin care and are potentially associated with the mentioned benefits:
- Coconut oil: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, moisturizing.
- Shea butter: antioxidant properties
- Rice bran oil: thickness, roughness, elasticity and antiaging properties.
- Almond oil: reduces scarring, eliminate stretch marks, reduces UV damage
- Buckthorn oil: promotes skin elasticity and skin dryness
- Aloe vera: anti-inflammatory properties, speeds up wound healing, slows down aging process, highly moisturizing, cooling effect.
2. Look for refined petrolatum
If the product contains petrolatum, make sure it’s refined or “white petrolatum”.
3. Aftercare for tattoo only
When moisturizing your face, you don’t use hands cream, right? The concept applies also for tattoo aftercare.
Some cosmetics might be good moisturizers for your new tattoo, but they lack of other properties that can make the difference when healing a tattoo. Therefore, it’s good practice to find products that have been developed for tattoo care only.
4. Say no to “at home remedies”
This is common sense, but we have to point it out.
Stick to certified products recommended by your artist, and avoid “secret” solutions for your tattoo healing.
5. Make sure it’s dermatologically tested
More common sense. Check for the “dermatologically tested” label to make sure you are using a trusted product.
6. One-for-all solutions are not a good idea
The aftercare process has different stages. For that reason, we can’t expect a product to work perfectly for all of them.
Use aftercare for tattoo recommended for every stage of the healing –more on that later.
7. Ingredients should be visible
If you can’t see the ingredients on a product, be concerned.
Reputable brands always label the ingredients used, especially when it comes to skin care products.
BONUS: sustainable/eco products
This won’t affect the tattoo itself. However, it’s always good to choose products that are sustainable (recycled materials, for example) to contribute to a better world.
List of Aftercare for Tattoo You’ll Need
- Butter or cream
Moisturizes your skin before, during and after getting the tattoo.
- Tattoo protective film
Protects your tattoo the first 3-4 days.
Cleans the tattoo safely.
Speeds up healing process & keeps your tattoo moisturized.
Ensures long lasting vibrant tattoos.
Protects your tattoos (and skin) from the sun.
Tattoo Aftercare Process Explained
- Before getting the tattoo
We need to ensure the that our skin is properly hydrated for the session. To do that we can:
- Stay hydrated (water, soda, juice, etc)
- Moisturize your skin with butter/cream 2-3 times a day, 3-4 days before the session. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the components.
- During the tattoo
There’s nothing we can do at this point, as this is the artists’ turf. However, if your artist is using the following products, it means you are in a professional shop:
- Butter/ cream: keeps the tattooed area moisturized.
- Cleanser: while doing the tattoo, the artist will eventually wipe off excess of blood, ink. Make sure the product used is antibacterial to avoid infections.
- After the tattoo
Protective tattoo film: keeps your tattoo away from bacteria and allows you to have an active lifestyle.
Soap: allows you to clean your tattoo safely and calms the eventual itchiness.
Balm/butter: keeps your tattoo moisturized and speeds up the healing process.
- Long term aftercare
Lotion: keeps your skin hydrated and flexible, and gives your tattoos a vibrant look.
Sunscreen: protects your tattoos against UVA rays.
What is the Best Thing to Put on a Tattoo?Understanding the Tattoo Aftercare Process
In our many years of experience, we get the same question year after year: what is the best thing to put on a tattoo? The answer is not that simple.
Long story short, the best thing to put on a tattoo should always combine both the protection of your skin and the preservation of an amazing looking tattoo.
As we’ve explained before, there’s no all-in-one magic product.
The tattoo aftercare process has different stages, and depending on which stage you are, you should be using one or another tattoo aftercare product.
Tattoo aftercare is really important, not only for aesthetics, but also –and most importantly- for your skin's health sake.
Choosing the best tattoo aftercare products will thus increase the chances of having an amazing-looking and healthy tattoo.
If you want to make the most out of the healing process, remember to make sure that the products you use are from trustworthy brands, and follow the recommendations mentioned in this article.
We hope with this information you can choose the best for your skin, and show your tattoos the love they deserve.