Can You Put Aloe Vera on Tattoos?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on July 5, 2021
    Last Updated: July 17, 2021

To avoid long-term skin damage and possible tattoo scarring, the healing process is a crucial aspect of the overall tattooing experience. One way that you can avoid a prolonged healing time is by keeping your new tattoo clean and using the proper aftercare. 

If you like to use natural remedies, you’re probably wondering if you can use aloe vera on tattoos. We’re going to delve into the benefits of aloe, alternatives, and how to make the healing phase of the tattooing process as painless as possible.

Aloe & Ink: Is Aloe Vera Good for Your New Tattoo?

An aloe vera plant is a small shrub that can be found worldwide. Aloe vera gel, which is commonly used in topical treatments, is located within the aloe leaf and has been used for centuries due to its apparent therapeutic properties. 

Aloe has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties, making it an ideal natural skincare product for freshly tattooed skin. 

Natural aloe can cut down the likelihood of infection and even reduce healing time. Studies have shown that aloe gel encourages wounds to heal significantly quicker than alternatives such as sulfadiazine.

How to Use Aloe Vera As Part Of Your Tattoo Aftercare

Firstly, it is just as important to consider the process of tattooing as much as the aftercare. It is crucial to consider the credentials of the tattoo artist you choose, just as you would any healthcare professional. 

A professional tattoo shop will use new, sterile equipment as well as masks and gloves for the procedure itself. Something as simple as dirty hands can be bad news later on. 

Any experienced tattoo artist will give you general care instructions, regardless of whether they are legally obliged to do so. These should be followed for a couple of weeks to encourage proper healing.

They will also tell you that a clean tattoo has a significantly lower chance of developing infections. That’s why washing your tattoo with antibacterial soap 2-3 times per day is the minimum you should be doing. 

Usually, your aftercare should look something like this:

  • Once the artist has finished, they will cover the area with petroleum jelly and an initial bandage.
  • After the first 24 hours, remove the bandage and gently clean the tattoo and surrounding area with warm water and antibacterial soap. Be sure to pat dry with a clean paper towel.
  • You can then apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel to encourage healing and avoid tattoo infections.
  • General tattoo etiquette would suggest not to rebandage your tattoo at this point in order to give your tattoo access to air and keep the tattoo dry. However, always take the advice of an experienced artist, who may advise covering your tattoo for longer under certain circumstances, such as to avoid rubbing on things like bra straps.
  • Repeat this process at least twice daily for the first week—washing your tattoo with a clean washcloth and using a dry towel before reapplying the aloe. Its healing properties will keep skin hydrated and avoid issues like tattoo peeling and flakey skin.
  • Continue to regularly moisturize with aloe vera products or tattoo ointment for another 2-3 weeks.

Why Taking Care of Your Tattoo Is So Important

High-quality, professional tattoo artists can use your body as a canvas to create an incredible masterpiece that you will proudly show off whenever possible. However, not following the correct aftercare instructions can stop your tattoo from looking as good as possible and cause serious complications because your tattoo is not healing properly.

You should never forget that a tattoo is essentially a medical procedure. By inserting tattoo ink underneath a layer of skin, you have an open wound that can be exposed to bacteria.

Although anyone can unexpectedly suffer from allergic reactions, poor tattoo aftercare and improper tattooing techniques can lead to issues such as bacterial infections and permanent tattoo scars.

Plus, some things generally don’t mix with a healing tattoo. Although tanning beds and everyday sun exposure may not cause serious complications such as a skin infection, they can cause irritated skin and even tattoo fading, which should be taken into account when considering aftercare.

Related Tattoo Aftercare Articles