11 Best Lotions for Tattoo Aftercare: [First Hand Guide]

Aftercare’s an eloquent way of saying that your skin is very, very compromised. During this time, you’re in charge of keeping your skin germ-free, protected from friction of any kind, and moisturized. If you fail at any of these, your tattoo can become infected, scarred, warped, or worse.

One of the best defenses at your disposal in aftercare is a lotion. It’ll help keep your skin protected from germs, dust, and grime and keep your skin hydrated. And the best lotions for tattoo aftercare will speed up your recovery, help restore your skin barrier, and ensure your tattoo comes out looking pristine.

So, here are the 11 best lotions for tattoos that you should check out.

Best Lotions for Tattoo Aftercare
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Best Lotions for Tattoo Aftercare Review

To make the list of the 11 best lotions for tattoo aftercare, I’ve evaluated my picks based on these categories.

  • Featured Ingredients.
  • Effect on Tattoos.
  • Residue or Stickiness.
  • Price.
  • Value.

At the end of each review, I’ve made final comments on the lotion in the verdict section. You can check these out to get a brief idea of who it’s made for, the key advantages, and the issues.

1. Aquaphor Healing Ointment

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Aquaphor Healing Ointment is the gold standard when it comes to tattoo aftercare. It’s highly recommended by many tattoo artists to clients who struggle with cracked, dry, and sensitive skin in aftercare.

Featured Ingredients

Aquaphor Healing Ointment contains the following ingredients.

  • 41% petrolatum.
  • Mineral Oil.
  • Lanolin Alcohol.
  • Bisabolol.
  • Glycerin.
  • Panthenol.

Petrolatum is essentially petroleum jelly. It creates a barrier on the skin that prevents moisture loss and protects from bacteria and allergens. Tattooing breaches and leaves the skin barrier ruptured, so petrolatum creates an artificial layer that performs the same duties.

Mineral Oil is a derivative of petroleum, and it performs similarly to petrolatum. It helps seal in the skin’s moisture and smoothens and softens the skin. Like petrolatum, it creates a barrier, preventing allergens and bacteria from affecting your skin. One of its great features is that it doesn’t clog your pores.

Lanolin Alcohol is a waxy substance that can help your skin stay moisturized and recover faster. It helps heal minor rashes, burns, and itches and gets rid of flakiness and dryness. However, it can trigger a wool allergy in very rare cases.

Bisabolol is a plant-based ingredient that helps other nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and hydrating elements penetrate deeper into your skin. It also helps reduce inflammation and irritation. Finally, it protects your tattooed skin from UV rays.

Glycerin is a naturally found compound that helps keep your tattooed skin hydrated. It helps restore the skin barrier, speeds up your healing, and relieves dryness and itchiness.

Panthenol is a derivative of Vitamin B-5. It helps with soothing irritation, hydrating, elasticity, and smoothens your skin. It reduces inflammation and rashes in aftercare.

There are a few more ingredients that this lotion contains. But they are considered proprietary and not revealed.

Effect On Tattoos

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is the premier healing and protection solution for tattoo aftercare. The lotion creates a barrier on your skin that protects it from germs and seals in moisture. It also helps oxygen and the healing properties of the lotion reach deep into your skin with ease. It effectively takes over the functions of your skin barrier and accelerates healing till you have made a full recovery.

Residue Or Stickiness

Aquaphor Healing Ointment will create a barrier over your skin, so you should expect the lotion to leave a moist layer. But it does not dry up and leave a nasty, crusty residue or cause your skin to feel overly sticky.

Price

A 198-gram tube of Aquaphor Healing Ointment will cost approximately $9. The cost per gram comes to $0.05.

Value

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a lotion that performs all functions for your ruptured skin in aftercare. It does not contain any common allergens or other chemicals to cause any issues. And it isn’t uncomfortable to use at all.

Product cost and per gram cost are very low, and you get a decent amount per tube. The low cost and performance make this lotion the best in terms of value.

Pros

  • Mimics epidermal barrier functions.
  • Allows oxygen to penetrate deeper.
  • Retains moisture.
  • Reduces burns, itchiness, and inflammation.
  • Accelerates healing.
  • No crusty or sticky residue.
  • Works on all skin types.
  • No common allergens or harsh chemicals.
  • Low product and per gram cost.
  • Good amount per tube.

Cons

  • Lanolin Alcohol can trigger wool allergy.

Verdict

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is the best lotion for tattoo aftercare. It’s capable of working on most types of skins without issue. It takes over and performs all functions while your skin cannot and accelerates the healing process. To top it all off, you get all these benefits at an affordable cost and you get enough to last you for a decent while.

2. Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Salve

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Tattoo Goo is a well-known brand in the body art industry. When you cannot use Aquaphor Healing Ointment due to some issues, this is the alternative that you reach for. It’s Petroleum, Lanolin Alcohol, and Mineral Oil free, which are key ingredients in Aquaphor Healing Ointment.

Featured Ingredients

Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Salve contains these ingredients.

  • Beeswax.
  • Wheat Germ Oil.
  • Cocoa Butter.
  • Olive Oil.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate.
  • Sunflower Oil.
  • Rosemary Extract.
  • Lavender Oil.
  • D&C Green 6.

Beeswax is a natural ingredient that helps your tattooed skin stay clean and heal faster. It cleanses your skin, kills bacteria, removes toxins, improves blood circulation, protects skin from the environment, and soothes itching. It also contains Vitamin A, which mainly helps with inflammation and swelling in aftercare.

Wheat Germ Oil contains Vitamin E, which stops free radicals from affecting your tattooed skin. It also works as a moisturizer and can help mildly with healing the skin. Unfortunately, it can contain traces of gluten, which causes issues for people with gluten allergies.

Cocoa Butter can help with dryness by using fatty acids to repair your epidermal skin barrier. It removes toxins from your skin and supplies antioxidants that can prevent free radicals from damaging your skin. It can also help with scarring reduction, although if it works preventively on your tattooed skin is debatable.

Olive oil will cleanse and moisturize your skin in aftercare. It will reduce inflammation and promote healing. Additionally, it’s a source of antioxidants that prevent free radicals from affecting your skin.

Tocopheryl Acetate is a specific form of Vitamin E that produces antioxidants on your skin. Free radicals can exchange electrons with your skin cells and break down the epidermal layer. Antioxidants exchange electrons instead and keep your skin cells protected.

Sunflower Oil, Rosemary Extract, and Lavender Oil are sources of Vitamin E or antioxidants. They maintain the epidermic barrier, speed up healing, reduce inflammation, and do not clog your pores.

D&C Green 6 is a color that’s used in medical products.

Effect On Tattoos

Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Salve can help with both retaining and adding sources of moisturization to your skin. It repairs the skin barrier, heals and soothes inflammation and itches. Your tattooed skin will be protected from the sun or environmental damage and germs.

Residue Or Stickiness

Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Salve does not leave a prominent layer on your skin. But it dries a little crusty. It’s not sticky on the skin, leaving a slippery feel instead.

Price

For a 21-gram container of Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Salve, you have to pay around $7. The price per gram comes to $0.33.

Value

Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Salve performs quite well in aftercare. It heals, moisturizes, and soothes your skin in aftercare. It truly shines in protecting your skin from sun damage, thanks to having multiple sources of antioxidants.

The price and amount feel a bit too much and little. It’s the opposite of what should be ideal, which makes the balm a bit hard to consider affordable.

Pros

  • Repairs the epidermal barrier.
  • Retains and provides moisture.
  • Soothes burns, itches, and swelling.
  • Accelerates healing.
  • Rich in antioxidants.

Cons

  • High cost and low amount.
  • Wheat Germ Oil can trigger gluten allergy.

Verdict

Tattoo Goo Original Aftercare Salve helps with healing and protection during aftercare excellently. But it towers over other brands thanks to its attention to protecting your skin from sun damage. Unfortunately, it has a common allergen in it that can trigger your gluten allergy. It’s far too common for the balm to be universally usable.

3. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion

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Aveeno is a very loved brand in the tattoo industry. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion is fragrance-free, light, and gentle on sensitive skin. It measures up to the standards that the brand has set in the market.

Featured Ingredients

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion contains these ingredients.

  • Glycerin.
  • Sodium Chloride.
  • Cetyl Alcohol.
  • Petrolatum.
  • Isopropyl Palmitate.
  • Dimethicone.
  • Kernel Flour.
  • Distearyldimonium Chloride.
  • Avena Sativa (Oat).
  • Benzyl Alcohol.

Glycerin’s primary function is to help moisturize your skin and hold on to said moisture. It also protects from irritants found in the environment. Like Petrolatum, it helps with beneficial ingredients penetrate deeper into your skin. Petrolatum, Dimethicone, and Cetyl Alcohol additionally help keep your epidermal barrier functions working.

Sodium Chloride is a controversial choice for ingredients in a tattoo aftercare lotion. It helps with absorbing water and binding ingredients in the lotion more effectively. But it’s a mild exfoliant, which can help many, but cause issues for those with pre-existing skin conditions.

Isopropyl Palmitate is an antistatic solvent that helps moisturize your skin, and the other ingredients spread evenly.

Kernel Flour can calm down irritations and inflammations and nourish the skin.

Distearyldimonium Chloride reacts with the negatively charged proteins in your skin and gets absorbed, leaving silky, moisturized skin. It can irritate sensitive skin, but very rarely.

Avena Sativa is a powerhouse that helps moisturize your skin and provides antioxidants for sun protection. It’s antifungal and prevents inflammation on your tattooed skin.

Benzyl Alcohol is mostly a source of antioxidants.

Effect On Tattoos

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion helps your tattooed skin by creating a layer that functions as the epidermal barrier. It provides sources for moisturizing your skin and provides mild sun protection. It does not have as many antibacterial properties as it should, but it has antifungal properties instead.

Residue Or Stickiness

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion is a non-greasy, non-sticky lotion. Upon application, it leaves a little slippery but silky layer behind. It doesn’t dry crusty, leaving any trace of it as it dries out.

Price

A 532 ml bottle of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion can cost approximately $10. The price per ml comes to $0.02.

Value

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion is good for sensitive skin, but in most cases. The ingredients are hand-picked to be gentle on sensitive skin and still provide good support for your healing tattoo in aftercare. The inclusion of Sodium Chloride, Distearyldimonium, and lack of antibacterial properties are big downsides. However, in rare cases of fungal infections, this may be the only lotion that can be effective.

The cost for the bottle and per ml is very low, and you get a heap of it per bottle. Overall, you get good value from this lotion for your aftercare needs.

Pros

  • Heals the epidermal barrier.
  • Retains moisture and moisturizes.
  • Soothes irritation and inflammation.
  • Stops free radicals.
  • Antifungal.
  • Low product and per ml cost.
  • Good amount per bottle.

Cons

  • Contains mildly reactive chemicals and exfoliants.
  • Lacks antibacterial properties.

Verdict

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion can seem lacking, especially because of its lower antibacterial properties. However, it is good for sensitive skin types that flare up, burn, or itch after getting tattooed and are rare cases of fungal issues. It isn’t recommended for skin types that don’t do well with exfoliants during aftercare. But it’s one of the only exfoliants your tattooed skin will tolerate afterward.

4. Billy Jealousy Marked IV Life Complete Tattoo Care Kit

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This can feel like a bit of a dodgy option because it’s a complete care kit. But hey, if you can’t hack your aftercare, then you’re not doing it right. Billy Jealousy Marked IV Life Complete Tattoo Care Kit follows that motto, promising to make your life easier and your tattoos more vibrant.

Featured Ingredients

Billy Jealousy Marked IV Life Complete Tattoo Care Kit has a tattoo wash, a lotion, and a salve. I’ll focus on the unique ingredients that these products use and highlight their attributes.

The tattoo wash contains these unique ingredients.

  • Papaya Extract.
  • Pineapple Extract.
  • Hydrolyzed Quinoa.

Papaya Extract is a gentle exfoliant for sensitive skin. It repairs mild cuts and burns and works to undo the damage on aging skin.

Pineapple Extract is a more aggressive exfoliant. It combines with Papaya to produce better exfoliating results. It’s not recommended during aftercare.

Hydrolyzed Quinoa is an exfoliant too, but it mainly prevents free radicals from damaging your skin.

The tattoo lotion contains these unique ingredients.

  • Green Tea Extract.
  • Comfrey Extract.
  • Sea Buckthorn Oil.

Green Tea Extract is full of antioxidants, protecting your skin from free radicals.

Comfrey Extract improves skin elasticity, softens, and rejuvenates your tattooed skin.

Sea Buckthorn Oil contains antioxidants. But it also contains palmitoleic acid, which speeds up healing and maintains the epidermal barrier.

The tattoo salve also features a couple of unique ingredients.

  • Hydrogenated Castor Oil.
  • Soybean Oil.

Hydrogenated Castor Oil is a surfactant that removes dirt, oil, and grime from the skin. It also forms a layer on top of your tattooed skin, which functions similarly to the epidermal barrier.

Soybean Oil provides antioxidants, helps retains moisture, and prevents UVB rays from harming your skin. It repairs the moisture barrier and helps your skin with inflammation during aftercare.

Effect On Tattoos

For tattooed skin, the tattoo wash from the set helps exfoliate it gently but thoroughly. It exposes the new skin cells and reinforces your tattoo pigments, retaining and bringing back the tattoo’s pristine color and shine. It’s not a product you want to use during aftercare for the same reason, as your skin is already compromised.

The tattoo lotion works wonders for both aftercare and maintenance. The lotion contains natural restoratives that repair the epidermal barrier, keep your tattooed skin germ-free, and are sun protected. It makes your skin more supple and moist, which is important in keeping your tattoo vibrant.

The salve is specifically meant to repair tattoos that are either in aftercare or have been compromised in some way. You get a rich supply of elements that protect and heal your skin from all forms of environmental hazards, germs, and sun damage. In aftercare, the salve moisturizes and retains the humidity of your skin.

Residue or Stickiness

The tattoo wash isn’t sticky, nor is the salve. However, the lotion does leave a slightly sticky layer behind when it dries out.

Price

Billy Jealousy Marked IV Life Complete Tattoo Care Kit comes at around $30. You get 88 ml of tattoo wash, 88 ml of tattoo lotion, and 57 grams of tattoo salve. For per unit, you pay $0.13.

Value

Billy Jealousy Marked IV Life Complete Tattoo Care Kit has an unfair advantage as a kit. It contains a tattoo wash and a salve, which are great for aftercare. The salve, specifically, works wonders on a tattoo that’s having issues, whether in aftercare or later stages. The tattoo wash is harmful to aftercare, but you can always use it for later.

The kit comes in as a very expensive one. But you do get a good amount of all 3 products in each kit, and the cost per unit comes in as reasonable. It’s a splurge, but one you can make knowing you’ll get value back.

Pros

  • A unique blend of natural ingredients.
  • Repairs compromised tattooed skin.
  • Rich in restoratives and antioxidants.
  • Protects extensively from sun damage.
  • Moisturizes skin.
  • Repairs epidermal barrier.
  • Decent amount per kit.
  • Moderate cost per unit.

Cons

  • Very high product cost.
  • Tattoo wash is not meant for aftercare.

Verdict

Billy Jealousy Marked IV Life Complete Tattoo Care Kit is on this list for the tattoo salve. It’s a game changer for tattoos that have become infected or compromised in some way. The tattoo lotion provides extensive protection during aftercare. If you’re willing to spend on it, then keep the tattoo wash for later, as it’s just as good but not meant for aftercare.

5. Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion

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Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion isn’t as potent as the balm. But it’s made from a different set of ingredients and doesn’t trigger the same issues that the balm could. It’s a safer but less impactful product.

Featured Ingredients

Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion features these as the main ingredients.

  • 95% Olive Oil.
  • Healix Gold.
  • Panthenol.

Olive oil provides antioxidants, cleanses, moisturizes, and heals your skin. It can also improve elasticity and provide proteoglycans and glycoproteins at higher concentrations.

Healix Gold moisturizes your skin in aftercare and stimulates collagen production. Collagen helps with skin repair on cellular levels.

Panthenol moisturizes your skin in aftercare and mimics the epidermal barrier to prevent water loss. It is exceptionally effective for sensitive skin.

Effect On Tattoos

Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion has a more muted effect than its salve variant. But while the salve variant can cause allergies or reactions, this one is perfectly fine on any skin type. It doesn’t trigger any issues, even the most sensitive of skins but it heals slowly. Your skin will be moisturized and protected, but it’ll take longer to recover.

Residue Or Stickiness

Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion leaves a slightly oily residue that becomes lightly sticky after drying up.

Price

You get a bit more than 59 ml of Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion in each tube for around $6. The price per ml comes to $0.10.

Value

Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion is meant for sensitive skin types that aren’t capable of handling more aggressive lotions. It’s a slow, less effective tattoo lotion otherwise.

You also don’t get much per tube, even though the price is low. The price per ml is also a bit high, making it a niche solution.

Pros

  • Works on all sensitive skin.
  • Doesn’t trigger any allergies or reactions.
  • Moisturizes and repairs epidermal barrier.
  • Very low product cost.
  • Protects from sun damage.

Cons

  • Works very slowly.
  • High per ml cost with little amount per tube.

Verdict

Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion is only for skin types that can’t handle anything else in aftercare. You’ll take time to heal up, but you won’t have any issues with it. You don’t get enough per tube, and the real cost is quite high. So, only get this for the cited use case.

6. After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion

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After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion is geared toward moisturization more than anything else. It attempts to finely control your skin’s humidity and moisture. 

Featured Ingredients

These are the key ingredients in After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion.

  • Grape Seed Oil.
  • Glycerin.
  • Shea Butter.
  • Synthetic Beeswax.
  • Jojoba Oil.
  • Orange Oil.

Although the formula is claimed to be petroleum-free, this uses glycerin. Combined with Jojoba Oil, these two are the core reason why the lotion provides extreme hydration for your skin.

Shea Butter, Synthetic Beeswax, Grape Seed Oil, and Orange Oil all have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Orange Oil and Synthetic Beeswax improve blood circulation and clear dirt and grim from the skin to help to heal. Grape Seed Oil provides antioxidants to fight sun damage. And all of them provide moisturization.

Effect On Tattoos

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion takes the route of providing your skin with enough moisture to sustain and heal than focusing on the epidermal barrier. This helps with extra dry skin where other lotions cannot keep up.

Residue Or Stickiness

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion leaves a sticky and slippery layer when you blend it into your skin. After drying, it leaves no effects. To their credit, it’s not sticky enough to stick to clothes.

Price

For a tube of 90 ml After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion, you have to pay around $22. Per ml of this lotion costs around $0.01.

Value

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion is another specialized lotion. It’s effective on super dry skin for aftercare and almost equally effective on other skin types. But it is sticky and slippery, though not enough to cause inconvenience.

The cost for each tube is high, even if the per ml cost is acceptable. The tube holds barely enough for daily use, so it doesn’t really win here.

Pros

  • Hydrates your skin.
  • Cleanses and disinfects the skin.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Improves blood circulation.
  • Protects from sun damage.
  • Acceptable per ml cost.

Cons

  • High cost and low amount per tube.
  • Sticky and slippery.

Verdict

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion is marketed as good for all types of skin. But other than extremely dry skin, it falls a little behind other brands in performance. The cost and amount really don’t justify the compromise, making it a niche tattoo aftercare lotion.

7. Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body And Hand Lotion

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Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body and Hand Lotion is a household name. It’s loved by all users with sensitive skin, not just by the body art community. It’s a long-lasting hydration solution for dry and sensitive skin.

Featured Ingredients

The key ingredients in Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body and Hand Lotion are listed here.

  • Panthenol.
  • Dimethicone.
  • Mineral Oil.
  • Glycerin.

Panthenol is a source of Vitamin B-5. Together with Dimethicone, it helps with soothing irritation, hydrating, increasing elasticity, and reducing inflammation.

Mineral Oil helps in sealing moisture and creating a similar condition to your skin’s epidermal barrier. It doesn’t let bacteria and irritants enter your skin.

Glycerin serves a similar purpose, but it focuses more on hydration and preventing irritations.

Effect On Tattoos

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body and Hand Lotion performs moderately across the board. It provides hydration and helps with repairing the epidermal barrier. It has long-lasting effects even on tattooed skin, continuing to work very close to 24 hours. Unfortunately, it doesn’t focus on tattoos, as evidenced by the inclusion of fragrances.

Residue Or Stickiness

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body and Hand Lotion are non-greasy and non-sticky. It leaves no residue when applied and no stickiness after drying up.

Price

For a bottle of 709 ml of Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body and Hand Lotion, you have to pay around $15. Per ml of this lotion will cost you $0.02.

Value

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body and Hand Lotion show its worth in dealing with dry skin that needs long-lasting hydration. This will provide nourishment and moisture for your skin better than most tattoo-oriented brands.

In terms of amount and cost, you don’t get a better deal. Each bottle is going to last through your entire aftercare and possibly more. And the cost is not just affordable, and it’s also quite low.

Pros

  • Great for dry skin.
  • Hydrates the skin.
  • Repairs the moisture barrier.
  • Long-lasting effect.
  • Very low cost.
  • Each bottle lasts a long time.

Cons

  • Contains fragrance.
  • Not geared for aftercare protection.

Verdict

If you have dry skin that needs a powerful hydrating lotion, then Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body and Hand Lotion is it. You will need another lotion or salve with stronger antibacterial properties for your aftercare to supplement it. Not accounting for the fragrance, this is the best deal you can get.

8. Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

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Cetaphil is a brand that is considered the market standard. Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion is designed for sensitive, oily skin and repairing skin damage, and it’s a moderate choice in every way.

Featured Ingredients

The key ingredients in the lotion are listed here.

  • Glycerin.
  • Dimethicone.
  • Panthenol.
  • Macadamia Nut Oil.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate.

Glycerin, Dimethicone, and Panthenol all create ideal conditions that help with moisture retention and prevent germs from entering your ruptured skin. Glycerin also cleans and allows nutrients to reach deeper into your skin.

Macadamia Nut Oil helps with restoring the epidermal barrier by providing lipids. It is anti-inflammatory and helps balance oily skin.

Tocopheryl Acetate provides a source of Vitamin E, which helps provide antioxidants for your skin. It protects your tattooed skin from sun damage.

Effect On Tattoos

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion is very effective on oily skin. It helps with the usual issues of aftercare but also helps control the production of sebum. Typically, sebum is part of the moisture barrier, and more of it is welcome. However, overproduction can build gunk from the accumulated dead skin and grime, which this lotion helps tone down.

Residue Or Stickiness

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion doesn’t leave any grease when blended into the skin. You can feel a slight sensation of tugging on your skin as it dries.

Price

For a bottle of 591 ml of Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, you’ll have to pay around $19. The cost per ml comes to $0.03.

Value

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion gains value from how effectively it deals with oily skin. It does work for dry skin as it claims, but few works on oily skin as it does. In aftercare, there are very few options for oily skin, and this lotion provides the best output.

The cost for the lotion is moderate, though the per ml cost is low. You can get a bottle and expect it to last for your entire aftercare.

Pros

  • Excellent for oily and dry skin.
  • Moisturizes your skin.
  • Repairs the moisture barrier.
  • Provides antioxidants.
  • Anti-inflammatory.

Cons

  • High product cost.

Verdict

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion isn’t a niche product, but it’s great for oily skin. Not many tattoo aftercare lotions care for oily skin, and this works excellently. If you feel that you need a solution for oily or even dry skin, you can confidently pick this option.

9. Curél Fragrance-Free Comforting Body Lotion

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Curél Fragrance-Free Comforting Body Lotion is a product that’s not much known in the tattoo industry. But it contains ceramides, which help repair the moisture barrier rapidly.

Featured Ingredients

Curél Fragrance-Free Comforting Body Lotion only states Ceramides as its active ingredient. It also contains these key ingredients.

  • Glycerin.
  • Dimethicone.

It contains Ceramide NP, AP, and EOP. Ceramides are the biggest of the lipid layer, which is part of the moisture barrier. By directly injecting these into your skin, the lotion can rapidly repair your epidermal barrier in aftercare.

Glycerin and Dimethicone help by creating conditions similar to the epidermal barrier. These protect your skin from germs and retain moisture.

Effect On Tattoos

Curél Fragrance-Free Comforting Body Lotion can repair the breached skin faster than most brands in aftercare. The Ceramides provide vital assistance in repairing the moisture barrier, which is somewhat unique to this lotion. It’s also hypoallergenic and anti-clog, so you can expect similar performance for every skin type.

Residue Or Stickiness

Curél Fragrance-Free Comforting Body Lotion absorbs fast into the skin, leaving no residue. However, you can feel a bit of stiffness in the area when it’s drying up.

Price

You can get a 384 ml bottle of Curél Fragrance-Free Comforting Body Lotion for approximately $7. The per ml cost for this lotion comes to $0.02.

Value

The value of Curél Fragrance-Free Comforting Body Lotion comes from its infusion of Ceramides. The healing process is a lot smoother and faster than most brands. However, it still cannot compete in performance with the leading brands, as it doesn’t contain the natural healing booster that these brands do.

The cost is very low overall, and you get a good amount to last for your aftercare. It’s a winning point for this lotion.

Pros

  • Contains ceramides.
  • Actively repairs the moisture barrier.
  • Moistures the skin barrier.
  • Very low product and per ml cost.
  • Each bottle can last through aftercare.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Anti-clog.

Cons

  • Not as high-performing as top brands.
  • Lacks in natural ingredients.

Verdict

Curél Fragrance-Free Comforting Body Lotion is a solid choice. It takes a different approach to healing dry skin, and it can work very effectively during aftercare. If the mix of ingredients of the top brands is problematic, then you can use this without losing out on much.

10. Gold Bond Healing Skin Therapy Lotion

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Gold Bond Healing Skin Therapy Lotion provides multiple sources of vitamins E and C. It’s a generic, middle-of-the-pack option that you can’t go wrong with.

Featured Ingredients

Gold Bond Healing Skin Therapy Lotion features these ingredients.

  • Glycerin.
  • Petroleum.
  • Jojoba Esters.
  • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice.

Glycerin, Petroleum, and Jojoba Esters hydrate your skin. Glycerin and Petroleum create a barrier over your tattoo skin that helps retain moisture and fend off germs.

Aloe Vera Leaf Juice is rich in vitamins C and E. Both offer antioxidants to defend your skin from free radicals. Vitamin C also works as an anti-inflammatory element that repairs damaged skin.

Effect On Tattoos

Gold Bond Healing Skin Therapy Lotion has an average performance on normal skin types. It will keep your skin hydrated and heal it, but it takes longer than the leading brands. It doesn’t do much for sensitive, dry or infected skin.

Residue Or Stickiness

The lotion leaves a little stickiness when you apply it, but it fades with time. There’s no residue when it dries up.

Price

You get around 568 ml per bottle of Gold Bond Healing Skin Therapy Lotion for around $10. You have to pay $0.02 per ml.

Value

Gold Bond Healing Skin Therapy Lotion is a decent option for normal skin aftercare. It’ll do its job, but it’s not a game-changer with any special features.

You get the lotion at a low price, and you get a decent amount. However, other brands give your better performance and more volume at this price point.

Pros

  • Hydrates your skin.
  • Repairs the moisture barrier.
  • Full of Vitamin C and E.
  • Low overall cost.
  • Decent amount per bottle.

Cons

  • Not as impressive as leading brands.

Verdict

Gold Bond Healing Skin Therapy Lotion is a safe choice but not a great choice. It’s a standard you can only look up from. It is better than most of the market offerings and good enough to get when you don’t have other options. Its winning point is that it doesn’t have any outstanding issues or tradeoffs.

11. Eucerin Intensive Repair Body Lotion

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Eucerin Intensive Repair Body Lotion is targeted for repairing dry, flaky skin. The lotion is effective, but it may not be ideal for everyone with a tattoo. 

Featured Ingredients

Eucerin Intensive Repair Body Lotion cites these as the key ingredients.

  • Glycerin.
  • Dimethicone.
  • Hydrogenated Castor Oil.
  • Mineral Oil.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid.

Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, and Dimethicone create similar conditions to your skin’s epidermal barrier, retaining moisture. Glycerin and Hydrogenated Castor Oil help in removing dirt and grime from your skin. Glycerin also contributes to helping nutrients reach deeper into your skin.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid is the ingredient that causes issues in aftercare and maintenance. It is an exfoliant that’s meant to remove dry, dead skin, which can cause problems in aftercare. It also increases sensitivity to the sun, which is far from ideal for tattooed skin.

Effect On Tattoos

For tattoos in aftercare, this can help with scabbed-over and cracked skin. But this can backfire and cause your tattoo to become further damaged. Increased sensitivity to the sun means more harm from sunlight, and that’s not good for any tattoo.

Residue Or Stickiness

It’s a rich formula that leaves behind a very sticky residue that becomes slightly crusty as it dries.

Price

For around $11, you get 500 ml of Eucerin Intensive Repair Body Lotion, which makes the per ml cost a low $0.02.

Value

Eucerin Intensive Repair Body Lotion is a choice that you have to make with good knowledge. It can help in removing cracked and dry skin from your tattoo, but it can very easily adversely affect your skin. Medical advice would be necessary to understand whether your skin can handle it.

For the low overall cost, you get a good amount of lotion to work with. It’s enough to last you through aftercare and more. 

Pros

  • Removes flaky, dry skin.
  • Hydrating.
  • Repairs epidermal barrier.
  • Cleans dirt and grime.

Cons

  • Can cause skin damage.
  • Increases sun’s effect on the skin.

Verdict

Use Eucerin Intensive Repair Body Lotion with medical or expert advice. It’s a solution you should consider only when your tattoo is at the risk of becoming warped or mishappen, and other options aren’t working. Also, use a strong sunblock to counter the effects of Alpha Hydroxy Acid in the formula.

How To Pick The Best Lotion For Tattoo Aftercare?

When you want to find the best, you need lots of research. But you don’t have that time as a consumer. So, here are some guidelines you can follow.

Find What Doesn’t Work

Find the ingredient that can trigger allergies or other reactions for you. See if the lotion contains paraben, gluten-based ingredients, or common chemical allergens. When you spot anything problematic, avoid it.

Find What You Need

Don’t just grab a lotion that is made for sensitive skin when you don’t need it. It can have less effective ingredients. The opposite also applies. Don’t go for more aggressive solutions when you have sensitive skin. Choose a lotion that caters to your type of skin.

Look For Specifics

Look for a good mix of moisturizers, restoratives, antioxidants, and natural protectives. Lotions will typically lean towards maximizing one effect. If you need more sun protection, grab one with higher antioxidants.

Conclusion

In most cases, what you pick will help you through aftercare. But being a bit careful and picking your personal best lotion for tattoo aftercare can help you recover faster with a better-looking tattoo. Don’t spare the effort because you’ve already done so much.

If you really need a pre-picked solution, then go for Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Unless you are allergic to wool, this is the perfect tattoo aftercare and maintenance lotion. It has a low cost, and it can easily become a daily-use lotion.

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