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Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

Best lotions to heal your tattoo and keep it fresh

Ensure your new tattoo heals properly with the right lotion


Tattoos are a great way to memorialize a loved one who has died, show love to your favorite artist or a motivating quote, or just display beautiful art you want permanently placed on your body. Getting a tattoo can be painful during and after the tattoo session, so good aftercare helps tend to your new tattoo by limiting infections and speeding up healing.

Once you've finished your tattooing session, your tattoo artist will give you some advice and instructions on taking care of your fresh tattoo. They may also recommend some aftercare products you can use at home. There are several kinds, but tattoo lotions seem to be the most popular.

Tattoo scabbing

A tattoo is like an open wound. As you would tend to a cut, you'll need to take similar measures to care for your tattoo. As your tattoo heals, it'll begin to scab, requiring delicate daily care for at least two weeks or more until the scabbing is done. During this healing process, it's important to have the right products to keep your tattoo clean and moisturized.

Why you should moisturize your tattoo

Because your tattoo will scab during the healing process, you'll need to keep it moisturized. Moisturized tattoo lotions keep the tattoo from drying out,  which can prevent skin irritation. Depending on how often you clean your tattoo, you may need to moisturize it two to three times daily.

How tattoo lotions brighten new and old tattoos

Over time, healed tattoos can fade, losing their initial brightness. To keep your new and old tattoos looking bright and fresh, add tattoo lotions to your daily skin moisturizing routine.

Other tattoo lotion features to look for

  • Lightweight formulas: Some tattoo lotions use ingredients that moisturize your tattoo without your skin feeling greasy.
  • Free of harmful ingredients: Many lotions are free of fragrances, parabens, dyes, and phthalates, which can harm your skin.
  • Long-lasting moisture: Tattoo lotions can moisturize your tattoo and body for up to 24 to 48 hours.
  • Cruelty-free: Some tattoo lotions are created by companies that don't test products on animals.
  • Created by dermatologists: To ensure your tattoo and entire skin are moisturized, some tattoo lotions have formulas created by dermatologists.

When to start using tattoo lotions

Tattoo artists recommend not cleaning and moisturizing your tattoo until 24 to 48 hours after your tattoo session. Be careful not to overclean or overmoisture during the healing process, as this may affect the quality of your new tattoo. If you have questions about tattoo aftercare, contact your tattoo artist for instructions.

Best lotions for tattoos

Mad Rabbit Replenish Tattoo Body Lotion

This body lotion soothes the itchiness and irritation from a new tattoo. The lotion includes clean ingredients such as glycerin, shea butter and vitamin A, giving it a lightweight, non-greasy feel. If you have sensitive skin, this lotion is fragrance-free, nonallergenic and paraben-free, preventing breakouts.

Sold by Amazon

Malibu Tan Hemp Enhancing Body Moisturizer

This full-body moisturizer helps keep new and old tattoos looking fresh and bright. It comes with a mild, pleasant fragrance that isn't overbearing, and there's a hand pump, making dispensing easier. This product contains shea butter, aloe, hemp seed oil and silicones to alleviate dry skin.

Sold by Walmart and Amazon

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Full Body Lotion

This fragrance-free lotion keeps your tattoo moisturized. It can be used as a tattoo lotion or daily moisturizer for your entire body. Its formula contains Pro-Vitamin B5 and other moisturizers to enhance your skin's moisture barrier for up to 24 hours.

Sold by Walmart and Amazon

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion for Very Dry Skin

This lotion is fast-absorbing, relieving your tattoo's dry, itchy skin and providing 48-hour moisture. It's free of fragrances, parabens and dyes that can irritate sensitive skin. The lotion has a triple oat and natural shea butter formula, including ingredients such as oat flour, oat extract and oat oil.

Sold by Walmart and Amazon

Hustle Butter Deluxe Luxury Tattoo Care and Maintenance Cream

This all-natural cream can be used while your tattoo is healing and afterward, moisturizing your skin while keeping your tattoo fresh and bright. It contains natural ingredients such as shea butter, mango butter, aloe butter, green tea, and coconut oil.

Sold by Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Dermatologists created this moisturizing lotion, which moistens your tattoo and creates a protective skin barrier. It contains hyaluronic acid to retain your skin's moisture and is non-comedogenic so it won't clog your pores. If you have sensitive skin, this lotion is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic to prevent skin irritation.

Sold by Walmart, Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Curel Daily Healing Hand and Body Lotion for Dry Skin

This lotion relieves and helps prevent and relieve dry skin for 24 hours. You'll get instant relief for your dry tattoo and the rest of your body. Its formula leaves your tattoo feeling moisturized and non-greasy. The lotion is paraben-free, dye-free, phthalate-free, non-comedogenic, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

Sold by Walmart, Amazon and iHerb

Worth checking out

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Taneia Surles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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