Is Cocoa Butter Good for Using on New and Old Tattoos?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 1, 2019
    Last Updated: January 10, 2021

While many people who get tattoos tend to stick with more popular moisturizing and healing products in order to keep their ink in good condition, more and more people are opting to try alternative choices – with one of these popular alternatives turning out to be natural cocoa butter.

What Is Cocoa Butter?

Whether you’ve realized it or not, it’s very likely that you’ve actually come into contact with cocoa butter in some capacity – and in fact, you’ve probably even eaten it.

Cocoa butter is a completely natural melt-able oil extract of the cocoa bean, and just like many other natural butters and essential oils (such as coconut oil), cocoa butter is great for your skin when rubbed into an area that needs some love and attention.

For example, the healing properties of cocoa butter make it perfect for helping to hydrate very dry skin, while also being tolerable for sensitive skin.

Most cocoa butter used for skincare is sold raw, meaning it hasn’t been heated and therefore still retains most of its healthy fats and other compounds that are naturally found within the cocoa bean.

Can I Put Cocoa Butter On My New Tattoo?

Although cocoa butter is fine to use on a new tattoo while it is healing, it’s best to stay away from it at least until your tattoo has finished scabbing over and has started to peel.

This is because the first few days of a new tattoo is when your skin is at its most sensitive, and as cocoa is quite a strong butter, it may cause a slight rash and irritation to the area.

A perfect product to use at the very beginning of your aftercare journey is something like Hustle Butter, which is specially formulated to ensure that your tattoo healing process gets off to a great start, and also contains another very naturally occurring ingredient – shea butter.

However, once your tattoo has begun peeling, your skin should be sufficiently healed enough to reap all of the benefits of using cocoa butter on your new ink.

Cocoa Butter On Tattoos

Some of the benefits of using cocoa butter on a healing tattoo include:

Treats/Prevents Skin Dryness

Cocoa butter has excellent hydration and moisturizing properties.

When your tattoo begins to heal, it can become very dry, and this drying can lead to tattoo scabs cracking amongst other issues, such as extreme itchiness.

Applying a very thin layer of cocoa butter to the area allows the skin to absorb the oils and begin to re-hydrate, making the skin more supple; meaning it will be a lot less likely to crack and itch.

Assists Healing

The vitamins contained within the cocoa butter are very helpful to your skin as it begins to heal from the trauma caused by the tattooing process, and as it attempts to regenerate.

The more nutrition that is absorbed by the surrounding skin, the more efficient the area will be at healing itself.

Easy To Apply

Cocoa butter is a very smooth extract that glides over your skin extremely easily and often feels like it is simply melting into your skin thanks to the great absorption properties of the butter.

This is in stark contrast to some creams and lotions, which can sometimes seem like they take an eternity to rub and work into the skin.

It’s also worth knowing that most natural cocoa butter isn’t at all sticky, meaning less mess.

Not Much Is Required

You only need to apply a very small amount of cocoa butter in order for it to be effective.

The amazing absorption qualities of the butter means that none is wasting on top of the skin, and all of the product is completely soaked into the area so it can get to work and begin to hydrate and revitalize as quickly as possible.

Reduces Itchiness

As already mentioned, cocoa butter is great at soothing irritated and inflamed skin, meaning that rubbing a small amount over a troublesome area usually stops/reduces any itching and irritation extremely quickly.

Many users support this and some claim that once they began using cocoa butter on their new tattoos, the itching stopped permanently.

Smells Great

Although this doesn’t help the healing process of your tattoo at all, it’s definitely a bonus. The smell is usually very rich and sweet – and most people cannot get enough of it.

Popular cocoa products like Palmer’s cocoa butter generally always smell amazing when applied to skin and tattoos.

While most tattoos are very sensitive to fragranced products, this is mainly due to the scents being artificially added. Because the smell of cocoa butter is completely natural, it shouldn’t cause any adverse effects to your tattoo. Obviously, you’ll want to check the label and avoid chemicals and fragrances.

Cocoa Butter On New Tattoos

Is Cocoa Butter Good To Use On Older Tattoos?

Definitely! Cocoa butter is loaded with vitamin E, which is integral for slowing down the skin’s aging process, and therefore it’s a great idea to use a natural butter on your tattoo as often as possible.

You must remember that a tattoo will only ever look as good as the skin it was created on, meaning that the better you look after the area by ensuring it’s always well moisturized and well-nourished, the longer it will continue to look bright and vibrant.

If one of your older tattoos has begun to look a little dull and lifeless, then this is the perfect time to begin adding a little bit of cocoa butter to the area once or twice a day.

As the oils begin to soak into the skin, they will begin to visually boost the contrast and depth levels within the tattoo, making the ink look fresher and visibly newer-looking almost instantly. If you tend to have acne breakouts in the area of your tattoo, you may want to avoid cocoa butter.

What’s The Best Cocoa Butter For Tattoos?

While all-natural cocoa butters should be equally as good for your tattoos as each other, this Unrefined Cocoa Butter by Sky Organics has been my favorite for a while and has been getting some brilliant reviews from others.

Not only is it great for your skin and tattoos, but it also has many more uses, as shown in the product description and within the many highly-rated customer reviews that have been written about it recently.


Cocoa butter is a great natural alternative to use on a tattoo – either by applying it to new ink to help aid the healing process, or by rubbing it into older, slightly less well-conditioned tattoos in order bring out the colors and give it some added depth and vibrancy in order to restore it to its former glory.

While it’s best to stick with a skin-sensitive, fragrance free lotion or specialized tattoo healing balm such as Hustle Butter at the very beginning of the aftercare process to ensure your new tattoo doesn’t react adversely to the cocoa butter, once the area begins to go scab over and begin to peel (after a few days), cocoa butter is the perfect product to begin using in order to start soothing and revitalizing the area.

So if you fancy experimenting with something a bit different and completely natural, give cocoa butter a try on your new or old tattoo – I’m sure you’ll love it.