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The Best Tattoo Aftercare in 2021

for healing, moisturizing and preserving the brightness of all your tattoos

Medically speaking, a tattoo is a multiple skin micro-damage that temporarily disables the protection on the tattooed area. Those who have decided to decorate their body with an artwork should:

  • First, be aware of the upcoming necessary care for the tattoo with special care products.
  • Secondly, buy the best tattoo aftercare in advance to speed up the healing of the damaged epidermis.

While the first point your tattooist will tell you more about, the second point we will be happy to help you with. After having tested most of the tattoo aftercare products available on the market today, we know exactly which ones are the best for your tattoo's safe and quality healing. Our research and reviews are also based on data from webmd.com, healthline.com, and medicalnewstoday.com, which have done relevant research.

Updated Jule 15, 2021

Best tattoo aftercare products for 2021

Hustle Butter Deluxe
Best Overall

Hustle Butter Deluxe is the first tattoo aftercare we recommend. It is a universal premium quality product for use in the tattooing and aftercare process.

User Experience

When used during tattooing, it helps to minimize bleeding and reduce skin swelling and redness. At the same time, if Hustle is used as a tattoo aftercare to heal micro-traumas, it does its job perfectly: users, including dozens of professional tattoo artists, find that tattoos heal much faster than when using other similar products.

It is 100% organic, certified by the FDA as consisting exclusively of plant-based ingredients such as shea butter, mango butter, coconut and papaya. Moreover, the butter is suitable even if you are a person who has sensitive skin. You can feel free to use it and don’t be afraid to get any kind of skin irritation. That is something you will appreciate comparing this product with analogs.

It has a really amazing natural smell of coconut and other exotic fruits. The scent is not strong, not obtrusive, but very pleasant.

The product has a very thick consistency. It does not drip. It does not clog pores. At the same time, its structure is slightly oily, so for a while, try not to touch the buttered skin with clothes.

Pros
  • The fastest possible tattoo healing
  • Minimization of bleeding and redness
  • Tight consistency
  • It doesn't flow
  • Vegan
  • Available in different jar sizes
  • Fabulous pleasant but unobtrusive scent
Cons
  • Not cheap
Verdict

Even though Hustle Butter Deluxe is not the cheapest (but it's not expensive either), every hour of discomfort during tattoo healing that this product saves you from is worth every penny you spend on it. That's why we and most people of tattoo community are 100% sure in recommendation of this product as the best.

Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy
Best Price

This product is good not only for tattoos, but generally a useful item in any cosmetic bag. It is designed not specifically for the tattoo industry, but its healing properties are perfect for our purposes. After all, Eucerin Aquaphor has skin regenerating and repairing properties (just what you need after thousands of needle punctures of skin). It can be used for cuts, wounds, any injuries, as well as applied to chapped lips, dry skin. The skin after using the ointment feels smooth, restored, healthy.

The same effect is achieved during tattoo healing: the ointment actively restores the areas of the skin damaged by the needle and tattoo ink, so that your tattoo as soon as possible ceased to give you discomfort and was bright and saturated as long as possible.

Recommended by dermatologists, has all required certificates.

User Experience

Available in tubes and jars of different volumes. The packaging is of high quality, sealed at purchase. The cap snaps well, so even if the cream falls, nothing will break.

Absolutely neutral product, translucent mass of waxy color. The consistency and texture is slightly reminiscent of petroleum jelly. The cream is odorless, thick, easy to apply, but slowly absorbs. It creates a film on the skin that protects it from infections.

Consumption is economical: it takes a "pea-sized" amount of cream to apply to most skin. Even though it has a thick consistency, when applied it melts quickly with the warmth of the body and is easy to apply evenly.

Pros
  • Excellent moisturizing and healing
  • Versatile
  • Economical use
  • Odorless
  • Removes peeling really fast
  • Protects from wind and cold
  • Price is justified
  • 100% effective
Cons
  • Some users found the cream to be too greasy

INK-EEZE Green Glide
Best for Professional Tattoo Artists

INK-EEZE is the tattoo pharma line from Bishop. This product solves an important problem that many tattoo artists have noticed using other tattoo ointments. The high viscosity of other products that tattoo artists applied during tattooing left gaps, making it difficult to make an accurate and smooth tattoo.

The solution was the INK-EEZE Green/Purple/Pink/Black Glide skin ointment for use during the tattooing and aftercare procedure. This ointment passed all the tests in the USA, and was incidentally the first vegan product on this market.

User Experience

It contains vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as many plant extracts such as lavender, licorice and pomegranate, which help create a barrier against moisture and soothe the skin. Moreover, you will notice a slight cooling effect and reduced swelling.

Compared to cheaper ointments and vaseline, it has no lanolin in its composition, which makes ointments and vaseline viscous, and which can cause irritation. Using the product in the process of tattooing, you will immediately notice how much easier it is to work with compared to the classic petroleum jelly ointments. This convenient and pleasant consistency comes from using a 100% natural ingredient - Zemea propanediol, which is extracted through the fermentation of sugar corn.

INK-EEZE is non-irritating and suitable even for sensitive skin. The product is also good for healing tattoos, so we actively recommend it for both professional tattoo artists and those preparing to get a tattoo for themselves, as an aftercare.

Pros
  • Perfect consistency
  • For use during tattooing and as aftercare
  • Heals well
  • Vegan
  • Reasonable price
  • Has a mild cooling effect which reduces the sensation of pain
  • Lanolin free
  • Available in sachets, tubes or tubs
  • Made in USA
Cons
  • Scents don't work for everyone

TattooMed After Tattoo
Best Natural Tattoo Aftercare

TattooMed is a German copmpany. They say on all their products that they are vegan and cruelty free. They claim they are dermatologically confirmed. TattooMed's specially developed formula penetrates deep into the skin and allows tattooed skin to regenerate faster.

User Experience

The product is odorless, so it is ideal for those who are sensitive to all kinds of smells.

When applying it feels enjoyable, it dries pretty quickly. Product creates a kind of a really thin film so it feels protected kind of way. There is no greasy and unpleasant feeling after application, the product dries very quickly and feels very nice and soft on the skin.

In short, it is good for use on the first day after tattooing, will help the inked skin heal faster and will not irritate you with its greasy or oily texture.

Pros
  • Highly effective skin care and fast healing
  • Reduces itching
  • Good moisturizing
  • Non greasy and odorless
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Protects colors and soothes the skin
  • Doesn't mark your clothes
Cons
  • The jar is quite small

H2Ocean Aquatat
Best Moisturizer for Tattoo Aftercare

If you are looking for a specialized product to help with tattoo hydration and you have dry to very dry skin, H2Ocean Aquatat is your perfect solution.

This is a 100% pure, alcohol-free cleansing lotion to moisturize your tattoos and keep them looking good for years to come.

In short, it is good for use on the first day after tattooing, will help the pierced skin heal faster and will not irritate you with its greasy or oily texture.

User Experience

The product is slightly sticky, quickly absorbs into the skin without leaving traces, while not clogging pores, does not dry the skin, penetrates deeply into the skin structure, does not stain clothes, does not have specific scents. It nourishes and protects our skin from negative external effects. It cleanses, moisturizes and eliminates skin grease. H2Ocean's main feature is that it lets your skin breathe, because the mineral oil in this composition is replaced by palm oil and it does not clog pores.

As you probably already realized the quality of this product is at the highest level, and it is designed to care for the healed tattoo, which takes from 2 weeks to a month.

Pros
  • Absorbs quickly into the skin
  • Leaves no residue on clothing
  • Does not clog pores
  • Permeates deeply into the skin structure
  • Does not dry the skin
  • Easy to apply
  • Odourless
Cons
  • Does not make the colors of the tattoo brighter
  • Small package
  • Contains lanolin

Tattoo Goo
Best for Both New and Old Tattoos

Tattoo Goo is a unique healing balm, which also rejuvenates and revitalizes the skin after tattooing. It is one of the not many products on the market that combines healing ingredients with supplements that protect tattoo fading and gives customers exactly what they need to maintain their tattoo for a long time. This product is guaranteed to return your skin to its original smooth texture, and speed up the healing process.

The ointment includes Vitamin E, which serves as a powerful antioxidant; and Shea Butter, which is an effective emollient and moisturizer. These ingredients work together to heal, restore, and nourish the skin. It contains no alcohol, which means it will not dry out the area and make it more irritated.

User Experience

The ointment is a soft green color with a pleasant smell. Dense consistency, much denser than the same petroleum jelly. It melts in the hands at human body temperature. It is easy to apply and very economical in use. One jar is enough for a large number of tattoos, especially if they are not particularly large, and for a long time.

Also this amount of product is ideal if you plan to do one small tattoo.

Pros
  • Nourishes, softens and moisturizes the skin
  • Promotes active skin healing and regeneration
  • Does not clog pores
  • Contains no lanolin or other synthetic additives
  • Causes no allergic reactions
  • Made in USA
  • Cheap
Cons
  • Not very comfortable for long nail wearers
  • Small package

Mad Rabbit Tattoo Balm & Aftercare Cream
Best Color-Enhancing

This product isn't really for healing a tattoo, it's more for your pre-existing tattoos and bringing new life into them. It's only supposed to be used on healed tattoos. Over time you will start to use it more and more you'll notice a difference. Tattoos become brighter, more colorful and deeper when using Mad Rabbit regular.

It's all organic and it also has no parabens. The product contains aloe vera, which soothes the skin, as well as vitamin C and argan oil to moisturize and nourish the skin.

User Experience

It comes in small conveniently carried tin that you could pretty much take everywhere and always make sure your tattoos are popping. If you do not have a lot of tattoos, the small 1.7 oz. container will last you a long time. In case you have big and many tattoos, it would be nice to have a bigger package.

It's pretty easy to apply. The skin feels a little greasy after application. But the tattoos do get brighter and more saturated after application. Another good thing about this product is that it also protects your body art from UV rays, which can prolong it's good and bright condition. Although for 100% protection, we would recommend buying a special high spf cream.

So it does its job making your tattoos more vibrant, nourishing the skin but it doesn't have anything wow. For the price it is decently priced. You can find products both more expensive and cheaper.

Pros
  • Makes existing tattoos brighter
  • Can choose a scent
  • Nice kind of container
  • Inexpensive
  • Good skin moisturizing
  • Protects from sunlight
  • Convenient to carry
Cons
  • Feels a little greasy
  • Small container
  • Not suitable for healing

What do tattoo artists put on fresh tattoos?

Many tattooed people and novice tattooers in the community claim that using a drugstore panthenol-based ointment and plastic wrap is sufficient for successful healing. Sometimes they are right. If the artist did the session with observance of sterility conditions, and the client is a young absolutely healthy person, these means may suffice.

However, experience has shown that these simple ways of caring for a freshly inked tattoo won't often work. Panthenol is a provitamin B5. It nourishes cells, but does not provide bacterial protection or remove contaminants. The food film is out of this area. It's not sterile, it cuts off air supply, and it retains excess moisture. Overall, it creates conditions for inflammation.

So, there is still the special cosmetics. The company has invested in it the knowledge and experience of previous generations of tattoo artists, medics and cosmetologists. It costs more than the drugstore ointment. But it guarantees fast healing, minimizes discomfort, excludes risks of infection and inflammation. Famous brands print tattoo aftercare instructions in the inserts of each product.

Also, professional cosmetics aim to retain dye in the skin. They don't absorb as quickly, increasing the interval between treatments, and are much more economic. After all, the conditions and speed of healing affects whether or not the tattoo retains its clear contours and brightness of shades.

The best tattoo aftercare includes:

  • antibacterial soaps;
  • creams, ointments, gels;
  • lotions;
  • butters.

You can learn about the soap by following this link. The rest of the remedies are briefly described below.

What aftercare to choose for a new tattoo

Ointment, gel, cream for tattoo aftercare contain a balanced complex of active ingredients, among which:

  • Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic that kills most known bacteria. Unlike alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, it does not distort the color of dyes.
  • Shea butter is extracted from the seeds of the shea tree and has anti-inflammatory properties. Shea butter tattoo aftercare accelerates the healing of skin punctures, reduces itching and irritation, softens peeling.
  • Vitamin B5 is an active ingredient that enhances cell metabolism. It quickly eliminates irritation, accelerates metabolism, stimulates the replacement of old and dead cells of the epidermis.
  • Cosmetic emollients are softening, moisturizing, regenerating, antioxidant components. They make the moisturizer for tattoo aftercare as effective and comfortable as possible.
  • Extracts of medicinal plants are rosemary, arnica, succession, chamomile, mint, sage. All of them are used to treat and improve the condition of the skin and provide natural care for the tattoo.

The lotions are designed to gently clean and moisturize tattooed areas. With menthol, thymol and witch hazel extract they have a refreshing and cooling effect, relieve irritation and inflammation. Lotus extract with vitamins A, D, E and C restores skin turgor. Tattoo care lotion protects the pigment color, and after the skin heals, maintains and restores it.

Butters are solid plant oils. They become fluid when they are applied to the skin and can be easily spread on the surface. It is one of the best modern products. Hard and brittle at +18°C cocoa butter melts at +32°C. This property makes cocoa butter tattoo aftercare convenient and effective.

Coconut, mango, shea, cocoa and aloe oils are used to produce butters. Extracts and essential oils of rosemary, mint, green tea, papaya, vitamin complexes are added. Glycerin gives the compositions a solid consistency.

This product softens, moisturizes and nourishes the injured cells of the epidermis. It enhances collagen synthesis, stimulates faster healing and restoration of tissue elasticity. Solid oils protect the skin from UV radiation. Their effect makes the ink always look fresh and bright.

Butters are natural organic cosmetics from the vegan-friendly category. They do not require emulsifiers or synthetic substances for thickening. For example coconut oil for tattoo care takes on a thick white consistency at +20-23°C and turns back into a golden liquid at +27°C. This property makes the consumption of the butters extremely cost-effective.

Bottom Line

Drugstore ointments are not designed to take care of tattoos. Their purpose is to remove foreign microorganisms and substances from the body. They act aggressively, do not allow the ink to take root in the skin, and disturb the newly made tattoo. Each component of tattoo cosmetics, on the contrary, is aimed at healing the epidermis, minimizing unpleasant feelings while preserving the brightness of the ink.