While most tattoo artists will agree that, for the first three days after getting fresh ink, you should use A&D Ointment to protect your new tattoo, there is far less agreement on what healing product to use for the three weeks after that. We know that you should gently clean the inked skin using a mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water. But what should you apply to your cleaned skin to protect your new ink and encourage the healing process? With so many tattoo lotions on the market, it may be difficult to decide or even tell them apart. However, there are ingredients contained in many common lotions that can actually damage your tattoo, while other ingredients ought to be considered necessary components of any good lotion. First we will review the ingredients that should not be in your lotion, and then the ingredients that definitely should be in your lotion.

The risk of damage to a new tattoo is great – it can get infected, or the ink can get scratched or faded. You spent time, care, and lots of money in developing your body art – don’t you want to protect it? Yet many tattoo lotions contain ingredients like petrolatum, a waxy substance that coats the skin so thickly that it prevents it from breathing at all – and it is oxygen that your skin needs to heal. Some lotions contain parabens, which are associated with skin cancer. Finally, others contain alcohol, which irritates your skin and dries it out at exactly the time that you need to keep your skin moist! These are ingredients that you should make sure are not in any lotion you apply to tattooed skin.

By contrast, there are many ingredients that are excellent for a healing tattoo and should be included in any effective tattoo lotion. One is tea tree oil, which promotes healing and will help your inked skin heal faster. Another is witch hazel, which reduces inflammation and itching. Witch hazel will provide immense relief during the itchiest periods of your tattoo’s healing process. Another essential ingredient is zinc oxide – a healthy sunscreen that protects against the sun’s harmful UV rays that can be particularly damaging to a healing tattoo. Vitamins A and E are also important in such a lotion as they moisturize and nourish skin, and vegetable glycerin helps the skin to retain moisture as well. All of these ingredients are crucial in helping a tattoo heal, and ought to be present in any lotion you buy.

The potentially negative effects on your ink of a bad tattoo lotion are too much to take the risk. The last thing you want after investing your time, heart, and wallet into a new tattoo is to have to have it redone, covered up, or removed because it healed improperly. It is well worth it to invest in a good lotion that contains healthy ingredients that promote healing and does not contain potentially dangerous ingredients. Such lotions need not be expensive – in fact, some are even less expensive than the more harmful ones! Don’t settle – make sure you and your ink get only the best.

Source by Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon, Ph.D.