The Best Tattoo Ointments, Lotions & Creams

Tattoo Aftercare products are designed to help your tattoo heal as best and as quickly as possible. In this article we will review the best tattoo ointments, lotions and creams on the market so that you can choose one that you can be confident in to ensure that your new tattoo heals perfectly.

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In a rush and haven't got time to read our in-depth product reviews further down the page? Well just for you, we've created a very quick summary about each of our favorite tattoo lotions below:

  • Our #1 tattoo healing lotion
  • 100% natural ingredients
Hustle Butter

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  • Helps to boost healing times
  • High in natural ingedients
Tattoo Goo Salve

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  • ​Created specifically for tattoos
  • Completely organic ingedients
  • Vegan-friendly
Ora's tattoo salve

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In a rush and haven't got time to read our in-depth product reviews further down the page? Well just for you, we've created a very quick summary about each of our favorite tattoo lotions below:

The Best Lotions & Creams For Tattoos

We've worked extremely hard to research and put together what we believe to be a list of the best tattoo aftercare lotions currently on the market.

If you'd like to know more information about any of the products, click one of the accompanying links and you'll be taken through to a more comprehensive Amazon product page containing more details as well as many more customer reviews.​


1.

Hustle Butter Deluxe

Hustle Butter

Hustle Butter is probably the best aftercare lotion for tattoos that I’ve ever tried, personally. This stuff works superbly during the initially stages of healing, keeping your tattoo well hydrated as well as keeping the area feeling cool and soothed, which helps greatly if you suffer a lot from tattoo itching.

Many other reviews also note that when used from the very start of the aftercare period, it appears to help decrease the amount of heavy scabbing that sometimes occurs on the tattoo.

This tattoo cream is completely vegan-friendly, with only the most natural and organic ingredients included, and of course it is totally petroleum-free.

Hustle Butter Tattoo Cream

Ingredients include: Mango, Aloe Butters, Organic Shea, Green Tea, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Coconut, Rosemary Oleoresin, Sunflower and Rice Bran Oils, Mint Arvenus Essential Oil with Essence of Papaya, and Coconut.

Hustle Butter Review Summary

To summarise - This has to be one of the best tattoo creams currently available.

The fact that this product is 100% natural means that it should work wonderfully on all skin types, reducing the likelihood of adverse reactions to any of the ingredients (which is a common occurrence with many products containing artificial/chemical ingredients).

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2.

Tattoo Goo Aftercare Salve

Tattoo Goo Salve

When it comes to tattoo aftercare products, Tattoo Goo is probably the one that you've already most likely heard of. This tattoo cream is an extremely popular choice for tattoo customers, and also artists themselves.

The beauty of this product is that the list of ingredients is very ‘bare’, and only the best, most natural choices have been used. This will be very important to the users who prefer to keep away from artificial chemical-filled products as much as possible - you won’t find any of that here.

To show how natural and organic these ingredients are, here are a few that are included within the product: Olive oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, wheat germ, sunflower oil and lavender.

TattooGoo Lotion

When used often and correctly, Tattoo Goo aftercare lotion is capable of healing your tattoo at an accelerated rate while ensuring the tattooed area of skin retains moisture and nourishment.

Although the texture may feel slightly slimey, this tattoo cream is completely petroleum free, so it won’t smother your tattoo too easily as long as you don’t overdo it with the application.

In terms of scent, it has a slight herbal, natural smell to it, but it is definitely not overpowering.

Tattoo Goo Review Summary

Overall, this is one of the best lotions for tattoos on the market, and if used consistently during the initial aftercare period of 2-3 weeks, your tattoo should heal up very nicely - and quickly too.

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3.

Herbal Tattoo Salve

Ora's tattoo salve

An extremely natural and reliable tattoo lotion. Herbal Tattoo Salve contains 100% organic, artificial-free ingredients.

Of course, it is also totally free of petroleum, as well as being free from: Lanolin, parabens, aloe, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, wheat, gluten, grain and food coloring.

The small family business that creates this herbal tattoo salve wanted to make sure that their product was completely natural, yet super useful when applied to a new tattoo by improving healing quality and speeding up the whole healing process.

Natural Organic Tattoo Salve

One advantage of this tattoo aftercare lotion is that it contains antimicrobial properties which help to ensure that the risk of infection is kept to a minimum while your tattoo is still healing.

The company also advises that this tattoo balm is completely safe to use even after the healing process has finished. You can carry on applying this product for as long as you like to ensure that your tattoo remains in a great condition throughout its life and continues to look great.

Herbal Tattoo Salve Review Summary

This is another great, completely natural product that can be used right at the start of your healing process, and can continue to be used for as long as you’d like. The infection/bacteria-fighting properties are also a big advantage.

This cream has satisfied an extremely large amount of customers, and has been proven time and time again to work excellently on thousands of new tattoos - therefore I have absolutely no problem in recommending it to you.

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4.

Tattoo Skin Silk

Tattoo Skin Silk

Although not as well known or as popular as some of the other products in this list, this tattoo aftercare lotion definitely has enough quality to match the bigger guys in terms of performance.

Tattoo Skin Silk is entirely natural and vegan-friendly, and contains an amazing selection of organic ingredients, such as: Organic Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Soy Wax, Rosemary, Lavender and Tea-Tree.

The ingredients in this tattoo lotion just ooze vitamins and minerals. Your skin/tattoo will really feel the hydration and healing benefits from this product, and I’m sure the whole healing process will be better off by using Skin Silk than without.

Tattoo Skin Silk Lotion

Again like all tattoo lotions in the list so far, Tattoo Skin Silk contains no petroleum, so you won’t have to worry about your ink being smothered in oily ingredients which can potentially suck ink out from your tattoo.

This product is also packed with hydrating ingredients which are perfect if you suffer from dry and itchy skin. Just simply rubbing a small amount of this cream onto the area should sooth and cool it almost immediately.

Tattoo Skin Silk Review Summary

As mentioned, not as well known as some of the other popular brands, but this up and coming company have created a brilliant tattoo lotion that is entirely natural and chemical-free. I'm sure you won’t be disappointed should you decide to give it a go.

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5.

Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm

Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm

Another relatively obscure aftercare product, but one that deserves some good exposure. Again, Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm is completely chemical/petroleum free, using only the best high quality and natural ingredients.

This tattoo lotion has great healing properties, and should help towards alleviating a number of common issues that can arise with a new tattoo. Applying this lotion to the tattooed area could help relieve swelling, pain, rashing and dry skin, as well as helping to fight against infection-causing bacteria.

Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm Review Summary

A lesser-known, but still very effective lotion for tattoos that I highly recommend looking into if you’re searching around for something that you haven’t tried before.

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The Best Ointments For Tattoos

Dynarex Vitamins A&D Ointment

Dynarex Vitamins A & D Ointment

This is the only tattoo aftercare ointment on this list because, well, it’s the only one you really need to use if you go down the ointment route.

A&D ointment is a generalized product used on many varying skin conditions and is extremely effective due to the combination of two very important vitamins used by the skin for a large variety of different tasks. If you haven’t already guessed, these two vitamins are A and D.

This tattoo ointment, unlike the other lotions on the list, is petroleum-based. As previously mentioned, this can be problematic if used too often as it smothers the tattoo and can draw ink from the area if smothered on too much - but used correctly for the right amount of time, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The main advantage of the petroleum nature of this product is that the thickness of the tattoo ointment helps to seal the area and protect the tattoo from any harmful germs and bacteria – this is why it’s normally advised to use ointments straight after getting a new tattoo for the first few days. Once these few days are up, you should then move onto using a lotion or cream so that the petroleum doesn't continue to suffocate the tattoo for the rest of the healing period.

Dynarex Vitamins A&D Ointment Review Summary

Ointments are rather hit-and-miss. On one hand, many users and artists swear by the product and advocate that healing is much better and faster when ointments are used for the first few days.

On the other hand, lots of users advise that they see no difference in healing speed or quality when compared to using standard tattoo lotions right from the beginning of the healing stage.

This is an entirely personal decision that you must make as nobody else can guess how effective an ointment will be for you and your healing when compared to a lotion.

Just know that whatever option you choose, your tattoo will come to no harm as long as you follow the application instructions that have been written towards the bottom of this article.

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Why Use Ointments, Lotions & Creams on your New Tattoo?

Tattoo Jeans

When your tattoo is brand new, it is essentially a large open wound. This wound needs to be cared for extremely well for the first 2-3 weeks​ following on from your tattoo session, otherwise it will be prone to infection, irritation and poor healing. This is where tattoo aftercare products are extremely helpful.

These products help to ensure that your skin is being nurtured with the most useful ingredients available for you tattoo and skin at the time of healing.

These ingredients when applied to your tattoo can help to keep it in a supple and well-moisturized condition, which in-turn should help the tattoo heal at the quickest rate possible.

There are many different tattoo aftercare products on the market - many serving the same purpose, although there are a few specialty products for various stages and situations throughout the initial healing stages. The main types of products are tattoo ointments, and tattoo lotions & creams - sometimes also known as tattoo moisturizers, balms and salves.

A peeling tattoo

This tattoo could definitely do with some added moisturizer

Tattoo Ointments - These products are generally only used for the first few days of healing. Ointments usually contain a more concentrated dosage of vitamins used to help the skin heal and to help close the wound up as quickly as possible during the initial healing stages.

While very helpful in the earlier stages of healing, it's not advisable to use ointments on your tattoo for any longer than the first 2-3 days of healing as they are generally quite thick and oily (and most are petroleum-based).

Even on lighter applications, the thick oily texture can smother a tattoo and prevent it from 'breathing' optimally. Tattoos need to extract elements (like oxygen) from the air in order for healing to continue naturally.

The main components of most tattoo ointments are vitamins A and D. These specific vitamins are used by the skin/body for a large number of different biological reasons - the most important reason in this case being the efficient healing of traumatized skin (which of course happens when getting a new tattoo).

Tattoo Lotions, Creams and Moisturizers - These products can either be used after you've finished using ointments, or can be used instead of ointments as soon as you've gotten your new tattoo.

Unlike ointments, tattoo lotions and tattoo creams can be used throughout the whole aftercare process, until the tattoo has healed completely.

While they do still contain helpful vitamins and minerals, lotions and creams are more aimed towards keeping the skin well-moisturized and hydrated. The combination of vitamins, minerals and moisturizing elements can definitely help to improve the quality and speed of your tattoo's healing when compared to using nothing at all (known as dry healing). ​

Rose Tattoos

A perfectly healed and well-moisturized tattoo.

Which Should I Choose? Tattoo Ointments or Lotions?

This is a completely personal choice. Your own artist will most-likely have no problem in advising which specific aftercare product they would recommend for their own personal tattoo aftercare routine.

Here are a couple of things to take into consideration when trying to decide which product to use:

Ointments -​ It may be better to start off with an ointment if your diet is low in vitamin/mineral-dense foods (namely fruits and vegetables), or if you don't get much sun where you live or because of your lifestyle.

This is because ointments will likely deliver a better dosage of required vitamins and minerals, which you may currently be lacking with your current lifestyle/diet, when compared to other tattoo-specific lotions and creams. 

Remember, once the first few days of healing are over, you'll want to move onto a good moisturizing tattoo lotion to ensure that the heavy, dense ointment doesn't continue to smother the tattoo and potentially draw ink out from the area if smothered on too thick.

Lotions and Creams - It may be more beneficial to use these products from the very start of your tattoo healing process if your skin is naturally very prone to drying out and getting irritated. These tattoo lotions should hopefully lightly soak into the outer layers of your skin, helping it to retain water and heal more optimally. 

Color dog tattoo

How to Apply Tattoo Ointments, Lotions & Creams

It's very important to ensure that you apply any tattoo aftercare product correctly and carefully - failure to do this can result in poorer healing or even loss of ink from your tattoo.

Below are the main steps you should take to make sure that the product you are applying ends up being as effective as possible.

1. Wash your hands

how to wash your hands

This is an extremely important step, and one you should always do before touching your tattoo. Make sure you wash your hands with warm water and a good antibacterial soap.

Make sure that you wash all of the soap from your hands before touching your tattoo so the soap doesn't cause any irritation.

You can use any kind of antibacterial soap on your hands before touching your tattoo as long as you wash it all off beforehand. This is because you should only use natural, sensitive-skin friendly soaps directly on your tattoo (as mentioned in more detail below).

2. Wash your tattoo

Whenever you apply any ointments or lotions, you will want to ensure that your tattoo is completely clean beforehand. Below are the main steps of cleaning a tattoo correctly:

  • Wet the tattooed area with lukewarm water using your clean hands

  • Gently rub a generous amount of soap over the tattooed area, focusing on areas that may have build-ups of excess dried-up ink/blood/plasma

  • Ensure that the soap is fragrance/alcohol free and is friendly on sensitive skin. Artificial fragrances and added chemicals can have nasty side-effects on your tattoo such as causing rashes, dry skin, itching and excess scabbing. We review our favourite tattoo soaps here

  • After cleaning the area, wash off any excess soap with more lukewarm water

If you would like a more detailed explanation, we have a great article on tattoo cleaning here.

3. Dry the area

You must ensure that the area is completely dry of any excess moisture before adding tattoo lotion or ointments. Any moisture trapped beneath a layer of lotion can get drawn into any scabbed areas and cause the scabs to swell and turn soft and sticky, increasing the risk of the scabs sticking to various object and getting pulled off.

To dry the tattoo after washing, you can either use a paper towel gently pressed onto the area, or just let the tattoo naturally air-dry.

If you choose to use a paper towel, remember that you should just gently dab/blot the area, and never rub or scrub as this can pull off scabs and cause loss of ink. Also, be careful when pulling the paper away from the tattoo as it may stick slightly, potentially loosening any scabs.

4. Apply lotion/ointment of choice

Once the area is completely clean and dry, add a very small amount of lotion to your hands and begin to gently rub onto your tattoo using the tips of your fingers. If your tattoo is brand new (a day or two old) it is likely to be quite sore when going over the area with your fingertips - this is normal.

Ensure that you cover the whole tattooed area, but make sure you don't apply the lotion or ointment on too thick. As already mentioned a few times in this article, a thick covering of product can smother your tattoo and delay healing, as well as potentially drawing ink out from the area.

Lotion on tattoo

This is FAR too much lotion and some should be blotted off with a paper towell

You will only want to add a very thin layer so your tattoo is slightly shiny once the product has been applied. If you end up adding too much, gently blot off excess lotion using a paper towel.

5. Repeat

Continue with this procedure 2-3 times a day until your tattoo is completely healed, which will normally take between 2-3 weeks.

Once your tattooed has fully healed, continue to add a good moisturizer to the area daily to ensure that your skin remains in a good hydrated and healthy state. Remember - healthy and hydrated skin means a healthy looking tattoo.

Also remember to only apply ointment for the first few days of healing (usually until your tattoo starts to peel. After these first few days, move onto using a lotion to avoid any unwanted issues with your tattoo.

A tattoo artist explaining how to properly apply ointment/lotion

Summary

If you're looking for a good quality aftercare product then you shouldn't have to look much further than the ones listed within this article. These are all extremely popular, proven-to-work tattoo creams, lotions and ointments that you should have no second-thoughts about using as long as you follow our application guide above.

Thoroughly researched and reviewed, these products have served many thousands of customers, with the vast majority of whom are extremely happy with the outcome of their tattoo's healing process with the help from their chosen product.

These are some of the very best lotions for tattoos, along with a very highly regarded tattoo ointment - and combined with a careful aftercare routine, I'm sure your tattoos will heal perfectly and continue to look beautiful for many years to come.​

If you have any further questions, queries, suggestions or issues regarding the article above, please leave a comment below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Please share our article!

 

 

 

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