Discover why moisturiser is the key to healthier, happier-looking ink. Plus, how to choose to right tattoo moisturiser for you.
If you’re tattooed or getting a tattoo, moisturiser will quickly become your best mate. Alongside proper aftercare, moisturising lotions are the secret to fresh-looking ink.
But when it comes to choosing a tattoo moisturiser it can be hard to know what to use and how much to use. But don’t worry we’ve got you covered, not only with products designed for tattooed skin, but with advice from tattoo artists too.
Why you should moisturise your tattoos
A new tattoo is an open wound that needs looking after to make sure it heals as it should. Resident tattoo artist at Stories & Ink Falmouth, Megan Stacey (@meganstaceyartist) explains more:
"It's very important to keep your fresh tattoo moisturised to prevent the skin from any flaking or itching which may cause the tattoo to heal improperly."
If you don’t follow the aftercare advice of your artist or use a product that reacts badly with your tattoo you could end up with a patchy piece of ink.
The Stories & Ink Daily Moisturiser contains Liftonin-Xpert™, which firms and smooths skin while intensifying your ink.
Is it better to keep a tattoo moist or dry?
During tattoo healing there’s a fine line between a tattoo that’s too dry and one that’s overly moisturised. It’s all about finding that tattoo healing sweet spot, as resident Stories & Ink tattooist Frances Barton (@franceslbarton) shares:
"It's about finding the right balance: too much moisture can cause bubbling and moisture spotting, while too dry will result in itchy and irritable scabbing."
Tattoos are meant to scab, but if these are removed prematurely they can also remove ink from the skin. A tattoo that bubbles and blisters, can also result in ink removal. If you think your tattoo is too wet, speak to your tattooer for more advice and read our guide to fix your over-moisturised tattoo fast.
Can I put normal moisturiser on my new tattoo?
So-called ‘normal’ moisturisers haven’t been made with new tattoos in mind which, in our opinion, makes them less effective for tattooed skin. As we’ve mentioned, a tattoo is an open wound that needs moisturisers with unique tattoo-safe ingredients and the right texture to heal properly.
Regular moisturisers usually have a thicker consistency than tattoo-specific products, and so can clog pores and stop your tattoo breathing. A moisturiser or aftercare cream that’s fragrance free, paraben free and hypoallergenic is ideally what you should be using.
Top tip! If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you’ll want to do a patch test first when using a new tattoo moisturiser.
Stories & Ink Daily Moisturiser: Actives Inca Inchi Oil, Vitamin E Acetate and Coconut Oil hydrate your skin and improve its elasticity.
What moisturiser should I not put on my tattoo?
You shouldn’t use any moisturiser that’s out of date or has been opened a long time. Mainly because the active ingredients become less effective, which isn’t ideal for tattoo healing. Check the expiration date before you slap it on, especially if you’re about to use it on fresh ink.
We also don’t recommend that you use petroleum-based products like vaseline. This is because the heavy jelly can clog pores. If your tattoo can’t breathe, it can’t heal.
What moisturiser should I use for tattoos?
To help your tattoos last, you’ll want a few different products in your aftercare armourey. What you use for your tattoo skincare routine will change mainly depending on how long you've had your tattoo.
Fresh tattoos need a completely different type of moisturiser. Usually called aftercare cream, it’s made for tattooed skin that needs to recover. Choose a cream that’s fragrance free, made with natural ingredients and designed for new ink.
Stories & Ink tattoo Aftercare Cream reduces inflammation while soothing and hydrating damaged skin.
For newly healed or older tattoos, you can use any moisturiser you like that hydrates and nourishes skin. For us, it’s gotta be Stories & Ink’s Daily Moisturiser, packed with skin loving ingredients like coconut oil, this vegan lotion is an essential part of our everyday skincare routine.
Alongside your daily moisturiser, exfoliation is also a good way to care for your tattoos. Removing dead skin cells, which can make tattoos look dull, an exfoliating body wash makes tattoos shine.
What ingredients to look out for
When it comes to tattoo moisturisers, the ones you want to use should’ve been tried and tested on tattooed skin. Natural ingredients are a bonus as are vegan-friendly ones, look for hydrating oils like sunflower seed or coconut.
Katie Shales, senior development chemist at Orean Personal Care (a cosmetic manufacturing company), who works on Stories & Ink products explains why the ingredient Bisabolol is perfect for the aftercare cream:
"Bisabolol is a natural and safe anti-inflammatory ingredient suitable for sensitive, dry and irritated skin."
Just what you want for a tattoo!
When should I moisturise my tattoo?
For new tattoos, Frances advises that you should "keep your tattoo moisturised during the really itchy and scabby stage of healing." This will help soothe your tattoo, allowing scabs to heal properly and minimising any itchiness.
For healed tattoos you’ll want to moisturise them at least once a day, twice is even better. If you’re short on time a quick spray of body oil will make them pop.
How often to moisturise your tattoo
New tattoos should be moisturised often but only using a small amount of cream each time. Tattooist Frances recommends to "keep your tattoo topped up with an aftercare cream around four times a day in the initial stage of healing."
You need to make sure you’re not adding too much moisture. The right amount depends on your skin type and how dry your skin is anyway. If you’re not sure ask your tattoo artist during your appointment.
Discover more top tattoo care products by shopping our full range now.