So, you’ve just gotten a brand new tattoo and now you’re wondering what are the best ointments to keep it looking fresh and vibrant? Taking care of a new tattoo is crucial to ensure proper healing and long-lasting results. In this article, we’ll explore the top ointments that are specifically designed to soothe and protect your new ink. From natural ingredients to hypoallergenic formulas, we’ve got you covered. Say goodbye to dryness, itching, and irritation, and say hello to a beautifully healed tattoo that you can proudly show off! So, let’s dive into the world of tattoo ointments and find the perfect one for you.

Importance of Aftercare for New Tattoos

Getting a new tattoo is exciting, but it’s important to remember that the care doesn’t stop after leaving the tattoo parlor. Proper aftercare is essential for the long-term health and appearance of your new ink. Taking the necessary steps to care for your tattoo can prevent infections, promote optimal healing, and ensure your tattoo looks vibrant for years to come.

Why Proper Aftercare is Essential

Proper aftercare plays a crucial role in the healing process of a new tattoo. When you receive a tattoo, the process causes trauma to your skin, and the body responds by sending white blood cells to the area to repair the damage. Following proper aftercare practices ensures that your body can heal the tattoo effectively and minimize the risk of complications.

Potential Risks of Neglecting Aftercare

Neglecting aftercare can lead to a variety of risks and complications. One of the most common complications is infection. Without proper care, bacteria can enter the tattooed area, leading to redness, swelling, and pus. In severe cases, untreated infections can even lead to blood poisoning.

Scarring is another potential risk of neglecting aftercare. If your tattoo doesn’t heal properly, you may be left with raised scars or areas of the tattoo where the color doesn’t fully set. Additionally, neglecting aftercare can cause your tattoo to fade prematurely, losing its vibrancy and becoming less defined over time.

Optimal Healing Process for a New Tattoo

To promote the optimal healing process for your new tattoo, it’s important to follow a few key steps. Firstly, you should keep your tattoo clean by gently washing it with mild, fragrance-free soap and water. Avoid scrubbing or using harsh cleansers that can irritate the skin.

Once clean, pat your tattoo dry with a clean towel or let it air dry. Apply a thin layer of tattoo ointment to keep the skin moisturized and protected. Avoid exposing your tattoo to direct sunlight, swimming pools, or hot tubs during the healing process, as these can increase the risk of infection or color fading.

Types of Ointments for New Tattoos

When it comes to choosing the right ointment for your new tattoo, there are a few options to consider. Each type of ointment has its own benefits and considerations, so it’s important to find the one that works best for you and your tattoo.

Petroleum-Based Ointments

Petroleum-based ointments, such as Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly, have been widely used for tattoo aftercare. These ointments create a protective barrier over the tattoo, helping to prevent bacteria from entering while keeping the skin moisturized. However, some people find that petroleum-based ointments can feel heavy or greasy on the skin.

Natural Tattoo Ointments

Natural tattoo ointments, like Tattoo Goo and After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer, are made with plant-based ingredients and are often free from artificial fragrances and colors. These ointments can provide hydration and nourishment to the skin without potentially harmful chemicals. However, natural ointments may have a shorter shelf life compared to petroleum-based ointments.

Medicated Ointments

Medicated ointments, such as ADIAPHORINE Ointment or Bacitracin Plus, contain active ingredients that can help fight infections and reduce inflammation. These ointments are often recommended for individuals who are more prone to infections or have certain medical conditions. However, it’s important to follow the instructions and consult with a healthcare professional before using medicated ointments.

How to Use Tattoo Ointments

Using tattoo ointments correctly can make a significant difference in the healing process and overall outcome of your tattoo. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

When and How Often to Apply

In the initial days following the tattoo, it’s recommended to apply ointment at least two to three times a day. As the tattoo starts to heal, you can gradually reduce the frequency of applications. Follow the instructions provided with the specific ointment you choose, as different products may have different recommendations.

Correct Way to Apply Ointment

Before applying the ointment, make sure your hands are clean. Take a small amount of ointment and gently rub it into your tattoo using clean fingers. Be careful not to put too much pressure or pull on any scabs that may have formed. Remember that less is more when it comes to the amount of ointment you apply.

Knowing when to Stop Using Ointment

As your tattoo progresses through the healing stages, there will come a point when using ointment is no longer necessary. Typically, once the tattoo has fully peeled and there are no scabs or open wounds, you can stop using ointment altogether. However, always trust your instincts and consult with your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Recommendations for Petroleum-Based Ointments

If you decide to go with a petroleum-based ointment for your tattoo aftercare, here are a few popular recommendations:

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a widely trusted product for tattoo aftercare. It’s fragrance-free, gentle on the skin, and can help protect and hydrate your new tattoo.

Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly

Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly is another well-known option that can create a barrier to lock in moisture and protect your tattoo during the healing process. It’s affordable and widely available.

Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment is often recommended by dermatologists for various skin conditions, including tattoo aftercare. It’s formulated to soothe and protect damaged skin, promoting a healthy healing process for your tattoo.

Recommendations for Natural Tattoo Ointments

If you prefer natural ingredients for your tattoo aftercare, consider the following recommendations:

Tattoo Goo

Tattoo Goo is a popular choice among those looking for natural tattoo ointments. It’s made with a blend of healing herbs and oils that can nourish and soothe your tattooed skin.

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer is a vegan-friendly and fragrance-free option. It contains natural ingredients like grape seed oil and shea butter to keep your tattoo moisturized and looking its best.

Buckler’s Skin Rescue Essentials

Buckler’s Skin Rescue Essentials is a plant-based ointment that can help promote the healing process of tattoos. It’s specifically formulated to provide moisture and protection to newly inked skin.

Recommendations for Medicated Ointments

If you have specific health concerns or are more prone to infections, these medicated ointments may be worth considering:


ADIAPHORINE Ointment contains an active ingredient called silver sulfadiazine, which has antimicrobial properties and can help prevent infections in your tattooed skin. It’s commonly used in medical settings for wound care.

Bacitracin Plus

Bacitracin Plus is an over-the-counter ointment that combines the antibiotic bacitracin with other soothing ingredients. It can help prevent infection and relieve any discomfort during the healing process.

Balneol ointment

Balneol ointment is designed to soothe and cleanse the skin. While it is not specifically marketed for tattoos, its gentle formula may be suitable for individuals with sensitive or easily irritated skin.

Potential Side Effects of Tattoo Ointments

While tattoo ointments are generally safe to use, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects. Some common side effects include mild itching, redness, or irritation, which usually subside on their own. However, if you experience severe symptoms such as excessive swelling, pus, or intense pain, it’s important to stop using the ointment and seek medical attention.

When to Stop Using a Product

Knowing when to stop using a tattoo ointment can be just as important as knowing when to start. As previously mentioned, once your tattoo has fully peeled and there are no scabs or open wounds, you can typically discontinue the use of ointments. However, pay attention to your tattoo’s healing progress and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any doubts or concerns.

Contacting a Healthcare Professional

If you experience any unusual or severe symptoms during the healing process, such as signs of infection or an allergic reaction, don’t hesitate to contact a healthcare professional. They can provide you with the appropriate guidance and ensure your tattoo heals properly.

Alternatives to Tattoo Ointments

While tattoo ointments are widely recommended for aftercare, there are alternatives you can consider. Some popular alternatives include:

Tattoo Lotions

Tattoo lotions, such as Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion or Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, can also provide hydration to your tattooed skin. These lotions are often fragrance-free and gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Tattoo Balms

Tattoo balms, like Hustle Butter Deluxe or H2Ocean Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare, are specifically formulated to nourish and protect your tattoo. They often contain ingredients like shea butter and essential oils to promote healthy healing.

Natural Remedies

Some individuals prefer to use natural remedies for tattoo aftercare. These can include products like coconut oil, aloe vera gel, or witch hazel. While natural remedies may not have the same level of scientific evidence as other options, they can still provide hydration and soothing properties.

Cost and Availability of Tattoo Ointments

The cost of tattoo ointments can vary depending on the brand, size, and formulation. Generally, petroleum-based ointments tend to be more affordable, while natural or medicated ointments may have a higher price tag. It’s important to consider your budget and choose a product that fits your needs.

Tattoo ointments are widely available both online and in stores. You can purchase them from reputable tattoo supply websites, tattoo studios, pharmacies, or beauty supply stores. When purchasing from online sources, be sure to choose trusted retailers to ensure the authenticity and quality of the product.

Considerations When Buying Tattoo Ointments

Before purchasing a tattoo ointment, it’s important to consider a few key factors:

  • Ingredients: Look for ointments that are free from potential irritants or allergens, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Brand Reputation: Research brands and read reviews to ensure you’re purchasing from a reputable company known for producing high-quality tattoo care products.
  • Tattoo Artist Recommendations: Your tattoo artist may have specific suggestions based on their experience and knowledge. It’s always a good idea to consult with them before selecting an ointment.
  • Personal Preferences: Consider your personal preferences, such as fragrance, texture, and the overall feel of the product on your skin. Choosing an ointment that you enjoy using can make the aftercare process more enjoyable.

Final Thoughts on Tattoo Aftercare

Taking care of your new tattoo doesn’t just end with the artwork itself. It’s essential to prioritize proper aftercare to ensure the best possible outcome for your tattoo. Remember the importance of consistency and patience throughout the healing process. Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist, and if you have any concerns, reach out to them or a healthcare professional for guidance. By following these guidelines and using the appropriate tattoo ointments, you can help preserve the beauty of your tattoo for years to come.


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