The Best Essential Oils For Tattoos To Keep Them Looking Fresh

  • Written By Dan Hunter on May 26, 2019
    Last Updated: October 13, 2021

After getting the perfect tattoo that you’ve been wanting for so long, it’s only natural for you to want to ensure that it looks amazing for the rest of its life.

While there are several things you can do to ensure your tattoos remain looking fresh, clear and vibrant, many people are now beginning to turn to essential oils in order to maintain the long-term appearance of their ink.

What Are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is the final result that is left over after a plant, flower or herb has been extracted of all its goodness.

These oil extracts are usually packed with vitamins and contain great healing properties. A common trend amongst nearly all essential oils is that they usually smell very strongly of the plant in which they come from.

For centuries, many different civilizations all around the world have been using essential oils in order to maintain good health and to treat various medical conditions and ailments.

Amongst the dozens of unique ways in which essential oils can be used, one way is by applying them to a new or old tattoo in order to promote healing and to improve the visual appearance of your highly-prized ink.​

Why Are Essential Oils Good For Your Tattoos?

Several properties found within many essential oils are extremely desirable in both the aftercare process and the long-term conditioning of your tattooed skin. One of them being the ever-popular tea tree oil.

A tattoo will only ever look as healthy as the skin that it’s drawn on, and therefore the better you treat your skin, the better your tattoo will continue to look in the long-term.

Essential oils help to combat a range of issues that can leave your skin (and therefore your tattoo) looking aged and dull. Below is a selection of the most valuable benefits of using essential oils on a tattoo.

Fighting Dryness and Irritation

Oil infusions that include extracts of plants such as Argan, Almonds and Sunflower help to combat dryness and re-hydrate/soothe your skin.

This is especially useful during the healing phase of your new tattoo, and also for older tattoos if you generally suffer from very dry and/or sensitive skin.


Natural antimicrobial properties contained within extracts of fruits such as Bergamot Oranges and Lemons help to disinfect and sanitize new tattoos, helping to keep the area clean from harmful germs and bacteria that can cause nasty infections if you’re not careful.


Essential oils remain soaking within the skin for a long time, meaning that you don’t need to keep continuously reapplying the oils in order to reap the benefits. A simple morning and night routine will be more than fine.

Easy Application

Most essential oils have brilliant absorption properties meaning that a quick rub over your tattoo should ensure that the oils sink nicely into the area so that they can begin to work their magic.

Brings Out the Color

As the oils soak into the tattoo, they will settle within the colors and make them look much deeper and more vibrant. Many people have had success making their 10-year-old tattoos look like they did the day they were made after applying essential oils to their ink.

While the oils will help to improve the condition of your skin (and therefore tattoo) over the course of several weeks of continuous application, the way that the oils react with the colors of the ink will help to ensure that you see a noticeable improvement in the vibrancy of your tattoos almost immediately.

Smells Nice (Bonus)

While this won’t help with the appearance of your tattoo, it’s an added bonus that most essential oil mixtures generally smell beautiful.

Artificial scents added to many over-the-counter products can cause irritation to a new tattoo, but natural scents contained within most essential oils shouldn’t cause any noticeable side-effects.

What Are The Best Essential Oils For Tattoos?

While there’s a large selection of essential oils that can be very beneficial if applied to your skin/tattoo over a period of time, a mixture of these oils would be the optimum way of achieving a much better outcome.

My Favorite Tattoo Essential Oil Mix

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Greatfull Skin Vitamin E Oil is one of my favorite essential oil products currently on the market.

This product contains a mixture of oils that have been specifically grouped together to ensure the best combination is created for great skin health and fast healing.

This careful mixture also ensures the product has the best chance of not only helping to heal your ink more effectively during the aftercare process, but also in helping to keep the colors looking deeper and more vibrant throughout the lifetime of the tattoo.

How & When To Apply Essential Oil To Tattoos?

Although these plant extracts can be used in a variety of ways, rubbing them into your tattoo would be the most optimal way to allow your skin to absorb the vitamins and goodness.

While many products require constant reapplication in order to keep an area well moisturized and hydrated, most high-quality essential oils should only need to be applied every morning and night as they are great at being absorbed deep within the skin and don’t get washed away very easily.

Although many products are not suitable to be used on new tattoos before they finish healing due to containing artificial additives such as colors and scents, essential oils are generally fine to use throughout the healing process thanks to them being made up of completely natural ingredients.

This means that whether you’re wanting to help improve the healing times of a new tattoo, or wanting to spruce up the appearance of some older ink, essential oils are versatile enough to cover all situations.

Remember though – there are also many other ways to keep your tattoo looking healthy. For example, keeping your ink out of direct sunlight as much as possible, and applying a strong sun tanning lotion when you do expose your tattoo to the sun will help massively in preventing your tattoo from prematurely fading.

Using a good tattooing lotion such as After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion throughout the healing stages (and in fact throughout the whole life) of your tattoo can also help to keep your ink looking bright and fresh for much longer.

Even other completely natural products such as coconut oil and cocoa butter can be great at providing added moisture and nutrition to your ink.​

So – while it is definitely not a necessity to apply mixtures of essential oils to your tattoos, they can definitely help to keep them looking bright and vibrant.


Rubbing essential oils into your tattoos can work wonders towards keeping the ink in as best condition as possible – and they may even be able to bring back to life an older, less well-aged tattoo so that it can carry on looking fresher and more vibrant for a few extra years… or decades.

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