Once you’ve gotten a tattoo, it’s essential to know what to put on to ensure proper healing and minimize any discomfort. After all, you want your new ink to look its best! In this article, we’ll explore the various options for tattoo aftercare products, from creams to ointments, and discuss their benefits and drawbacks. Whether you’re a tattoo enthusiast or a first-timer, this guide will help you make informed decisions about what to put on your freshly inked skin for optimal healing and vibrant colors.

Understanding The Healing Process

Getting a tattoo is an exciting and meaningful experience. It’s important to take proper care of your new tattoo to ensure it heals properly and looks its best. Understanding the healing process is essential for this purpose. The healing process can vary from person to person and depends on various factors such as the size and location of the tattoo, the individual’s immune system, and their aftercare routine.

Importance of Aftercare

Aftercare plays a crucial role in the healing process of a tattoo. It not only promotes proper healing but also helps in maintaining the vibrancy and longevity of the tattoo. Taking care of your tattoo after getting inked is just as important as selecting the design itself. Neglecting proper aftercare procedures can lead to various complications, including infection, fading colors, and distorted lines. So, make sure you carefully follow the instructions provided by your tattoo artist and use the recommended products.

Phases of Healing

The healing process of a tattoo can be divided into several phases. The first phase is the initial healing stage, which typically lasts for the first two weeks. During this time, your tattoo may appear red, swollen, and sensitive. It is important to keep the tattoo clean and moisturized during this phase. The next phase is the peeling stage, where the top layer of the tattooed skin begins to slough off. It is crucial to resist the urge to pick or scratch the tattoo during this phase to avoid scarring. Finally, there is the fully healed stage, which can take several months. In this stage, your tattoo will have settled into the skin and should look vibrant and healed.

Timeframe for Recovery

The timeframe for tattoo recovery can vary from person to person and depends on various factors. Generally, the initial healing stage lasts for around two weeks, during which you should follow a strict aftercare routine. The peeling stage typically occurs between the second and fourth weeks after getting a tattoo. It is important to let the peeling process happen naturally and avoid forcefully removing any flakes of skin. The fully healed stage can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Remember, patience is key during this process, and proper aftercare can help speed up the recovery time.

Types of Recommended Products

Using the right products for tattoo aftercare is crucial for ensuring proper healing and maintaining the longevity of your tattoo. Here are some types of recommended products:

Antimicrobial Soaps

Antimicrobial soaps are specifically designed to cleanse the skin while killing harmful bacteria. These soaps can be beneficial for tattoo aftercare, as they help prevent infection and promote a clean healing environment. When choosing an antimicrobial soap, look for one that is fragrance-free, mild, and gentle on the skin. It is essential to avoid harsh soaps that can strip the tattoo of its natural oils.

Aftercare Lotions

Aftercare lotions are specially formulated to nourish and moisturize the healing tattooed skin. These lotions help prevent dryness, itching, and cracking, which can lead to scarring. Look for aftercare lotions that contain ingredients such as vitamin E, aloe vera, and other natural moisturizers. It is important to avoid lotions that contain fragrances, as they can irritate the tattooed skin.

Non-Petroleum Jelly Products

Non-petroleum jelly products, also known as tattoo ointments or balms, create a protective barrier over the tattoo, sealing in moisture and preventing infections. They can soothe the skin, reduce redness, and promote proper healing. These products are a great alternative to petroleum-based products, as petroleum can clog pores and hinder the healing process. Look for non-petroleum jelly products that are specifically formulated for tattoo aftercare.


Ointments are another type of product commonly used for tattoo aftercare. They are thicker than lotions and provide a protective layer over the tattoo. Ointments help to keep the tattoo hydrated and prevent it from drying out. When choosing an ointment, opt for one that is fragrance-free, gentle, and non-comedogenic. It is important not to over-apply ointments, as excessive moisture can lead to the formation of scabs.

Use of Antibacterial Soap

Antibacterial soap can be a valuable addition to your tattoo aftercare routine. Using antibacterial soap helps in preventing infection and promotes a healthy healing process. Here are some benefits of using antibacterial soap for tattoo aftercare:

Benefits of Antibacterial Soap

Antibacterial soap kills harmful bacteria that can enter the skin through the tattooed area. This reduces the risk of infection, which is one of the most common complications during the healing process. Using antibacterial soap also helps in keeping the tattoo clean, removing any dirt or debris that can hinder the healing process. Additionally, it helps to soothe any itching or discomfort that may occur during the healing process.

How to use Antibacterial Soap

Using antibacterial soap is straightforward. Begin by thoroughly washing your hands to ensure they are clean before touching the tattooed area. Wet the tattooed area with lukewarm water, then apply a small amount of antibacterial soap onto your fingertips. Gently cleanse the tattoo by lightly massaging the soap onto the skin in a circular motion. Rinse the tattooed area with clean water, making sure to remove all traces of the soap. Pat the area dry with a clean, soft towel. Repeat this process twice a day or as instructed by your tattoo artist.

Recommended Brands

When choosing an antibacterial soap for tattoo aftercare, it is essential to select a mild and gentle formula. Some recommended brands include Dial Gold Antibacterial Soap, Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar, and Hibiclens Antiseptic Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser. These brands are known for their effectiveness in killing bacteria while being gentle on the skin.

Use of Tattoo Aftercare Lotion

After getting a tattoo, using a tattoo aftercare lotion is highly recommended. Aftercare lotion helps in moisturizing and nourishing the tattooed skin, promoting proper healing and preventing complications. Here is a closer look at the function of tattoo aftercare lotion and how to apply it:

Function of Aftercare Lotion


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