Best Lotion For Tattoos: The Complete Reviews Guide

best lotion for tattoos

Tattoos are nothing new, even though your grandma might be a bit shocked at the 'new' tattoo craze currently sweeping the world.

Did you know that the word itself comes from the Tahitian word 'tatu', which literally means 'to mark something'?

Some claim that tattoos have existed since 12000 BC! 

If you've decided to get a tattoo, you're probably already aware that you're going to need to look after it carefully. 

While you may be excited and anxious to show off your new artwork, it needs time to heal. To do this, your tattooist will recommend using a lotion.

Top 10 Best Lotions For Tattoo







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After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer and Aftercare Lotion

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer and Aftercare Lotion

3 Oz



Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve

Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve

8 oz



Tattoo Goo Renew Lotion

Tattoo Goo Renew Lotion

3.5 oz

Squeezy bottle


H2Ocean Tattoo Aftercare

H2Ocean Tattoo Aftercare

2.5 oz



Naked Bee Tattoo Care

Naked Bee Tattoo Care

2 oz



Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Lotion

Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Lotion

2 oz



Kiss My Face Tattoo Shade Sunscreen

Kiss My Face Tattoo Shade Sunscreen

3 oz



Inked Well Tattoo Care

Inked Well Tattoo Care

2 oz

Spray Bottle


Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm

Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm

1 oz



Hustle Butter Deluxe

Hustle Butter Deluxe

5 oz



Why Use Tattoo Lotions & Creams?

So, you’ve spent ages finding the perfect design, handed over your hard-earned cash in exchange for a few hours of pain and now you can finally relax.

Or can you?

Following the correct aftercare procedure is also a really important part of getting a tattoo, so follow our handy tips to make sure you stay safe, and looking good, with your new tattoo.

As you could probably tell, the skin undergoes a fair amount of trauma when you get a tattoo.

Shortly after you getting inked, your skin will begin the ‘healing’ process and start to peel.

Don’t panic, this is just your body’s response to the pain it went through.

The color of the skin that sheds may be the same color as your tattoo – this is perfectly normal and doesn’t mean your tattoo is fading already!

Applying a lotion will keep your skin hydrated and healthy throughout this process, and will also help your tattoo stay looking fresh and high-quality for a long time to come.

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, but it matters even more with newly-tattooed skin.

As your skin sheds old layers to make way for new, trauma-free skin, it needs to stay supple in order to avoid any tearing or cracking.

This may affect the quality and appearance of your tattoo, so it’s important to stick to an after-care routine, however boring it may feel.

Most studios will run through the after-care procedure with you and recommend various lotions to help keep your skin safe.

This will also help to preserve the condition of your tattoo long-term.

Please pay attention as they really know what they’re talking about!

Most tattooist will have no problem with you popping back to the studio after a week or so to check how the healing process is going, so don’t be shy.

Tattoo Lotion: How frequently should you apply?

Now that we’ve established how important it is to apply lotion, let’s talk about how often you should be using it.

Experts recommend applying lotion around three times a day to keep your skin as hydrated and supple as possible.

First thing in the morning, after giving your tattoo a nice clean, is a great time to add lotion in order to keep your skin happy for the day.

I know how thirsty I feel when I first wake up from a night of sleeping (and definitely not snoring!), so imagine how dry your skin is going to feel.

Apply more lotion around lunchtime, making sure you thoroughly clean your hands and skin before, especially if you’re at work.

If you’re anything like me, your body will be covered with dust, pen ink and coffee stains after about an hour in the office, so clean the tattoo first to ensure you’re not just trapping dirt under the lotion!

Again, by the end of the day, I’m normally pretty messy, sweaty and exhausted but it’s really important to clean your tattoo again to get rid of all the day’s dirt.

Give your skin a nice layer of clean lotion to soak up overnight, as you often lose a lot of moisture while you sleep.

If your skin is especially dry naturally, or if you work somewhere with lots of dust (building sites, etc) or really strong aircon, feel free to apply more lotion throughout the day.

Make sure you keep the tattoo really nice and clean, and wash your hands before touching it.

Your tattoo should feel supple and soft – if it’s getting itchy or feels like it’s cracking, whack some more lotion on there!

What Ingredients to Avoid

Knowing what to look for is great when it comes to buying a tattoo lotion, but it’s also important to know what to avoid!

Alcohol-based lotions are a big no-no, as they will simply encourage the ink to bleed out and damage the tattoo from the get-go.

Don’t buy something anti-bacterial because you think it’s going to kill any germs and keep your ink safe!

It’ll do more damage than good and will leave your tattoo looking way older than it is.

Equally, avoid petroleum- or lanolin-based lotions for similar reasons.

Your tattoo and skin will naturally take some time to recover, which is why there might be some pus, excess ink etc coming out of your skin.

This is normal, and is one of the reasons you need to keep it clean before applying lotion.

These types of lotion will only clog up your pores and leave no place for the excess fluids to drain – not good!  

Avoid a lotion with added fragrance. You can chuck some aftershave or perfume on the rest of your body if you want to smell good, but added fragrances often contain chemicals that will irritate the skin.

If you wouldn’t put it on a baby, don’t put it on your tattoo!

On that note, be careful about any other chemicals coming into contact with your tattoo. Make sure you’re using a safe, natural soap or body wash and avoid skin-irritating parabens.

Don’t worry, this routine isn’t forever but it’s a crucial step in looking after your tattoo and making sure it stays looking beautiful for years to come.

Top 10 Best Tattoo Lotion & Cream Reviews

This can help keep the tattoo pristine and help it heal quickly. Or perhaps you already have a tattoo but want something to keep it looking fresh.

You need to be aware that all tattoo lotions are not created equal.

You should go for the lotion that works best with the colors used on your tattoo and one that will help the healing process. Our guide will help you find the best lotion for tattoos.

best lotion for tattoos

1. After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer and Aftercare Lotion

After Inked are a brand that many world-renowned tattoo artists recommend. 

Their non-petroleum based formula includes grape seed oil, and you can use it on new and existing tattoos as a moisturizer.

It can be used daily and won’t stick to clothes.

This lotion is tested by dermatologists to be safe on all skin types.

It’s so safe that you can even use on the sensitive skin of the face on any lip or brow permanent makeup tattoo.

It’s also good for use after a laser-removal treatment. 

Some solutions can leave an oil residue on clothes but After Inked doesn't.

People say that it works better than Aquaphor or Vaseline.

This does not have an SPF in it, but you shouldn't expose your new tattoo to the sun if you can help it.

Users love this product due to its non-greasy formula and to help stop and prevent that dreadful itching that occurs during the healing process.

It can keep your tattoo moisturized for hours without the need to reapply constantly.

This is definitely a top choice for the best tattoo lotion amongst those that really know their onions.

2. Ora's Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve

Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve

Said to be infused with “herbs and love,” this jar resembles something you would pick up at a roadside stand, but by golly, it works!

Ora’s Amazing Herbal is a family-owned company that only produces small batches.

They've taken the herbs that have worked for healing for centuries and put them in an amazing salve for tattoos.

This tattoo lotion is made with 100% natural, organic ingredients with the first one being grapeseed oil.

It also has ingredients like St. John’s Wort, licorice, beeswax, and coconut oil.

The other herbs used are said to help with the healing process by getting into the tissue without clogging pores, reducing inflammation, and reducing the risk of infection.

It can even be applied to older tattoos to moisturize and help restore the colors.

You only need a thin layer on the skin and the subtle scent is of rosemary, cedar leaf, and tea tree. It comes highly recommended, even above other leading brands.

Many reviews have even said that as a tattoo aftercare lotion the quality is unsurpassed and that it’s the only thing you need to purchase after a tattoo.

This hands-down makes the list as one of the best lotions for tattoo aftercare, especially if you’re wanting something completely natural.

3. Tattoo Goo Renew Lotion

Tattoo Goo Renew Lotion

Tattoo Goo is a popular brand when it comes to tattoo aftercare.

Although the “renew” lotion may seem like it's only for older tattoos, it’s actually a good choice for new color tattoos to keep them looking vibrant.

This Goo has been clinically tested and proven to be safe for those with sensitive skin.

It has a water-based formula that's non-greasy and won’t stain clothes.

It will penetrate deep into the tissues, moisturizing the skin and keeping colors looking bright.

Tattoo professionals have recommended this product, but not within the first few weeks after the tattoo.

Instead, a healing salve should be used first. This is best for color tattoos and has been said to not be too effective with darker, black/grey tattoos.

Another downside is that although it’s a great, light moisturizer, you will need to use it frequently to see results in the color vibrancy, and this may be due to it being water-based.

Also, remember that this doesn't restore colors, but makes them appear brighter.

4. H2Ocean Tattoo Aftercare

H2Ocean Tattoo Aftercare

Here’s a simple formula for tattoo aftercare by H2Ocean. 

It’s water-based with no petroleum at all, suitable for vegans, and fragrance-free, making it great for sensitive skin.

Their formula has USP grade ingredients, meaning it meets or exceeds the standards set by U.S. Pharmacopeia.

It will help prevent scabbing while it heals and preserve the look of the tattoo.

It has ingredients like beeswax, olive oil, and cocoa butter, all excellent natural ingredients for moisturizing.

Reviewers have said they love how the healing process seemed to speed up while using this lotion, without the added scabbing that usually occurs.

What people didn’t like was that it seemed to need to be reapplied frequently. Like Tattoo Goo, this is probably down to its water-based formula.

5. Naked Bee Tattoo Care

Naked Bee Tattoo Care

Here’s another completely natural tattoo lotion, this time made with organic ingredients from Jennings Apiaries.

This salve is made with beeswax from their own bee hives in Louisiana.

What makes them different is that they don't use chemicals of any kind around their bees, so you can be sure what you’re receiving is a pure product.

There's added grapeseed oil, shea butter, and coconut oil which are all organic and known for their amazing skin moisturizing qualities.

This is a very unique tattoo lotion in the sense that it can be used even during the tattooing process without taking off the stencil or affecting the work at all.

It has received nothing but high praise for how well it works, being deemed an “incredible product” in tattoo aftercare, making it the best lotion for tattoos on our list.

People are even buying it for their tattoo loving friends as gifts!

Not only is purchasing this product great for your tattoo, but you’re also supporting a smaller family business where 5% of all profits will go to the Louisiana Bee Sanctuary.

6. Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Lotion

Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Lotion

Tattoo Goo make our list again with their lotion specific for aftercare, although this lotion is also good for older tattoos to enhance the colors.

This formula was created specifically for those with sensitive skin, meaning it can be used on pretty much any skin type.

It has added vitamins A and D and is gentle enough to be used on the face.

The formula is non-greasy and is water-based. It absorbs quickly into the skin and won’t clog pores, which can hinder the healing process.

It has no alcohol in it, which can lead to dryness. Instead, this lotion keeps your skin moisturized for hours. It can be used by itself or with other Tattoo Goo products.

You only need a thin layer, meaning a big tube can go a long way. A dime sized amount is said to help small to medium sized tattoos.

Users rave about the way it brings out the colors, even making older tattoos look newer.

7. Kiss My Face Tattoo Shade Sun Screen

Kiss My Face Tattoo Shade Sunscreen

Depending on where your tattoo is located, of course, it can sometimes get exposed to sunlight.

Over time, this can lead to fading.

If you like the outdoors, consider Kiss My Face Tattoo Shade Sunscreen, a sun block lotion designed specifically for tattooed skin.

The lotion is SPF 30 and is waterproof for up to 40 minutes before needing to reapply for full protection.

It’s a cruelty-free product that is free of parabens, gluten, and phthalate, but instead full of vitamin E, and carrot and green tea extracts.

Unlike regular sun lotions, this one won’t leave a white, greasy residue.

Users recommend it because it does the job, making sure your tattoo is safe while the sun tries to do its worse. One reviewer even said, “My tattoos ask for it.”

Some people prefer not having to reapply after every 40 minutes, but for a product that has a lot of good natural ingredients, this is common.

Kiss My Face Tattoo Shade Sunscreen is the best lotion for tattoos out in the sun.

8. Inked Well Tattoo Care

Inked Well Tattoo Care

Inked Well have taken the time to do research into the tattoo world with their all-natural lotion.

They looked into the plant extracts and natural oils used in cultures in which tattoos are common to put into a bottle with the highest quality of ingredients for anyone to use.

Inked Well’s formula was made in a certified organic lab.

The lotion will moisturize and heal new tattoos as well as rejuvenate the look and feel of older ones.

It’ll help with annoying dry, peeling skin. It’ll also soothe the itchiness and soreness that comes with a new tattoo.

This product comes in a glass bottle with a pump so you can control how much lotion comes out. Users also loved the fresh scent that it has.

9. Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm

Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm

The Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm is one that will speed up the healing process of your tattoo. 

The aim of this solution is to help you heal quickly.

The formula is designed to tackle swelling, pain, and damaged or cracked skin while protecting against bacteria and therefore aiding against infection.

The ingredients are a whole load of natural extracts including oils like jojoba, coconut, and tea tree.

It also has added vitamin E which is fabulous for the skin and helping heal the tattoo.

This balm has a wonderful peppermint scent to it thanks to the peppermint oil, which will also soothe any irritation. It’s incredibly light on the skin and won’t clog pores.

The biggest thing people like about this product is how it helps with the inevitable itching that comes with a new tattoo.

Fisticuffs Tattoo Balm comes in a 1-ounce tin, perfect for on-the-go, just in case your tattoo starts to feel sore or itchy while out and about.

10. Hustle Butter Deluxe

Hustle Butter Deluxe

Here’s another lotion that’s great for before, during, and after the tattooing process.

The 100 % vegan formula is full of natural, rich moisturizers, keeping your new tattoo from becoming dry and keeping the colors bright long after.

It has shea (the first ingredient), mango, and aloe butters, as well as coconut, sunflower and rice bran oils.

It also has an added vitamin E complex and green tea.

When used during the tattoo process, it won’t remove the stencil. Instead, it’ll help lubricate the skin making the process glide easier for a better-looking tattoo.

It’s said to drastically help in the healing process as well as prevent bleeding, swelling, and redness on the site.

Reviewers have mentioned the dramatic difference they have found when using Hustle Butter, even saying it has come to the rescue with itchy and sore tattoos.

The formula may seem a bit thick at first, but a little does go a long way as it “melts” onto the skin.

It’s said to have a nice light scent which some described as smelling like coconut. This is a highly-recommended product by both tattoo artists and the tattooed!


Whether you’re looking for tattoo aftercare lotion or just an overall good lotion for tattoos that you’ve had for a while, then our guide has something for you.

From dark, black tattoos to those full of color, tattoo lotions are good idea to help speed up the healing process or to ensure the colors look sharp or to protect it from harsh outdoor elements like the sun.

Before you get a new tattoo, be sure to pick out an excellent lotion that's ideal for your needs first so you’re prepared to start taking care of your new artwork.