Can You a Put Lotion on a New Tattoo?

Can You a Put Lotion on a New Tattoo?

The human body differs in how it reacts to the tattoo healing process, making it hard to choose the right aftercare product. Even recommendations from different artists can vary. Though there are some steps that most artists agree on: leaving the bandage on for a specific time frame, gently washing the tattoo, patting it dry completely, and then moisturizing it with a special cream or ointment.

The most difficult aspect for tattoo artists to agree on when it comes to aftercare is tattoo moisturizer. You’ll get a different viewpoint from every artist you meet regarding when a client should begin moisturizing and how often a tattoo should be massaged.

You just got a new tattoo and you’re anxious to start taking care of it! The first thing you want to do is put lotion on it, but is that a good idea? In this blog post, we will discuss the best way to take care of your new tattoo. We’ll cover everything from how often to wash it to when you can start using lotion. Keep reading for the answers you need!

How to Clean Your New Tattoo:

1) Soaps

There are varieties of different soaps that may be used in tattoo aftercare, and it is entirely up to you whether you use a solution or a combination.

Some are tailored to tattoos, while others can be used for general purposes. It is better to skip:

  • Soaps with fragrances or dyes. These can irritate your skin and may cause an allergic reaction.
  • Soaps that are too harsh. This includes deodorant soaps, dishwashing liquids, and laundry detergents. They will strip away the top layer of your skin, along with your tattoo’s color.
  • Antibacterial soaps. While it is important to keep your tattoo clean, using an antibacterial soap can do more harm than good. These soaps strip away the natural oils in your skin, leaving it dry and irritated;

How to Clean Your New Tattoo?

Instead, look for a mild, fragrance-free soap that will clean your tattoo without irritating it. If you opt for a general-purpose soap, make sure it is unscented and does not contain any irritants such as fragrances, dyes, or chemicals [1].

The best way to clean your tattoo is to use lukewarm water and a small amount of mild soap. Gently massage the area for 20 seconds before rinsing it off with clean water. Pat dry with a clean towel and apply a thin layer of tattoo lotion. Repeat this process twice a day for the first week or until your tattoo is healed.

Whether it’s liquid, lotion, spray foam, bar, or ointment, it’s in your new tattoo’s best interests for you to use the products provided and maintain your healing tattoo in the top form possible.

2) Moisturizers

Your skin is going to be extra dry and sensitive after getting a tattoo, so it’s important to keep it moisturized. This will help your tattoo heal properly and prevent it from fading or peeling.

When choosing a moisturizer, look for one that is unscented and hypoallergenic. You should also avoid lotions that contain alcohol, fragrances, dyes, or other irritants. Apply a thin layer of lotion to your tattoo several times a day for the first week of healing. After that, you can reduce the frequency to once or twice a day as needed.

3) Baby Lotions

You may have seen people using baby lotion on their new tattoos, but is this a good idea? Baby lotions are generally safe to use on new tattoos, but they can cause some problems.

For one, baby lotions tend to be very fragrant. This can cause irritation and even allergic reactions in some people. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid using any kind of scented product on your tattoo [2].

Another problem with using baby lotion on a new tattoo is that it can make the area around the tattoo more susceptible to infection. The reason for this is that baby lotions often contain ingredients that can weaken the skin’s barrier function. This means that bacteria and other microorganisms are more likely to get into the tattooed area and cause an infection.

So, while you can use baby lotion on a new tattoo, it’s probably not the best idea. If you want to keep your tattoo healthy and free from infection, it’s best to stick with unscented products that won’t irritate your skin.

Effects of Using A Tattoo Lotion

There are many benefits to using tattoo lotion on a new tattoo:

  • For one, it can help to keep the area hydrated and moist, which is important for healing;
  • It can also help to reduce itchiness and inflammation;
  • Also, it can keep the tattoo from drying out and cracking;
  • Additionally, tattoo lotion can provide a barrier between your new tattoo and clothing or other irritants;

However, it’s important to choose the right kind of tattoo lotion. You should avoid lotions that contain petroleum or mineral oil, as these can trap bacteria and dirt in your wound and delay healing. Instead, opt for a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free lotion that won’t clog your pores.

How to Moisturize Your Tattoo With A Special Lotion:

1) Unwrap and Wash

Gently remove the bandage after 24 hours using warm water and mild soap. Avoid using harsh soap, as it can irritate your skin. Gently pat the tattoo dry with a clean towel [3].

2) Dry The Tattoo

Then carefully pat your tattoo dry with a clean towel.  You don’t want to rub it, as that can irritate the skin. If your tattoo is still weeping (oozing clear fluid), leave the bandage off and let it air dry for a few hours before applying lotion.

How to Moisturize Your Tattoo With A Special Lotion

3) Apply Lotion To Your Tattoo

Once your tattoo is dry, apply a thin layer of unscented lotion. Be sure to use a lotion that is intended for tattoos or sensitive skin to avoid irritation. Apply the lotion in small circles and massage it into the skin. Avoid getting the area wet for at least two hours after applying the lotion. Repeat this process three to four times per day until your tattoo has healed completely.

4) Do Not Pick Or Scratch Your Tattoo 

As tempting as it may be, do not pick or scratch at your tattoo during the healing process. This can cause the tattoo to become infected or damage the skin. If you see any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus, see a doctor immediately.

When Should You Apply Lotion To Your New Tattoo:


You should usually apply lotion to your tattoo in the morning after you wake up and clean your tattoo. When you sleep, your body becomes dehydrated as it loses water through sweat and vapor while breathing. Additionally, since you are not drinking any fluids during sleep, your tattooed skin will normally be dry and tight when you start the day. Applying lotion first thing should help loosen the area and make it more relaxed [4].


If you work a desk job or are otherwise sedentary during the day, it’s important to keep your tattoo hydrated as well. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends applying lotion to your tattoo several times a day, especially if it starts to itch. Itching can indicate that your skin is dry and needs more moisture.

You should also avoid excessive sun exposure while your tattoo heals. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 before going outside, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. If possible, cover up your tattoo with clothing when you’re in the sun.

When Should You Apply Lotion To Your New Tattoo


Be sure to clean your tattoo before bed each night, and once it has dried, apply lotion. You will often lose a significant amount of moisture during sleep, so you want to make sure your tattoo is hydrated beforehand.

In addition, hard tap water can make skin dry out quickly, so applying moisturizer to the area afterward helps mitigate this issue.

When Should I Start Moisturizing My New Tattoo With Lotion?

Lotion can be applied to a new tattoo as soon as the bandage is off and the tattoo is cleaned. It is important to keep the tattoo moisturized so it doesn’t dry out, which can lead to cracking and scabbing. Use a light lotion or ointment until the tattoo heals, then switch to a heavier cream or ointment.

Some tattoo artists recommend using a specific type of lotion or ointment, while others say any type will do as long as it’s light. If you have sensitive skin, ask your artist for a recommendation. Apply the lotion or ointment with clean hands, and rub it in until it’s completely absorbed. Don’t put on too much – you should just barely be able to see the tattoo after you’ve applied the lotion.

You should moisturize your tattoo several times a day for the first week or two, then reduce it to once or twice a day as it starts to heal. Once it’s fully healed, you can switch to a regular body lotion or cream.

How Often Should I Put Lotion On A Scabbing Tattoo?

You should put lotion on a scabbing tattoo as often as you need to keep the area moisturized. Depending on how dry your skin gets, this could be several times a day. Be sure to use a light lotion or ointment so you don’t irritate the healing skin.

If your tattoo is starting to peel, you can also exfoliate gently with a washcloth to remove dead skin cells. Just be careful not to scrub too hard and damage the new tattoo underneath. After exfoliating, apply more lotion to keep the area hydrated. 

How Often Should I Put Lotion On A Scabbing Tattoo?

How Often Should I Put Lotion On A Peeling Tattoo?

Itchy, unsightly tattoos are no fun, but you can help soothe them by applying lotion regularly. Not only does the moisture from the lotion improve the appearance of your tattoo, but it also prevents any loose pieces of skin from being ripped off accidentally.

When a tattoo is peeling, this is part of the skin’s natural healing process. However, it’s best to minimize premature and excess peeling as much as possible to prevent pigment loss and scarring.

Continue applying lotion as often as you did with a scabbing tattoo, but if the region becomes extremely dry or itchy, clean the tattoo thoroughly, allow it to dry, and then apply another layer of lotion.

How Often Should I Put Lotion On My Healed/Older Tattoo?

  You should moisturize your tattoo every day for the first week, and then as needed after that. A good rule of thumb is to put lotion on your tattoo whenever it feels dry or tight. Be sure to use a fragrance-free, non-irritating lotion like Lubriderm, Eucerin, or Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Apply a small amount of lotion to your tattoo and rub it in until it’s fully absorbed. Don’t overdo it – you don’t want to leave your tattoo feeling greasy or oily.


  1. When can I start putting lotion on my tattoo?

Roughly 1-3 days after you receive a tattoo, it will start to dry out. At this point, you should begin moisturizing your tattoo; not before. Make sure to wash and dry your tattoo with antibacterial soap beforehand and select the right type of moisturizer for optimal results [5].

  1. Is it ok to put lotion on a fresh tattoo?

The answer is yes, but with a few caveats:

  • First, you should wait until the tattoo has healed before applying lotion;
  • Second, when you do apply lotion, make sure to use a light touch and avoid rubbing the area too vigorously;
  • And third, avoid using lotions with fragrances or other harsh chemicals, as these can irritate the skin and cause problems with healing;

Lotion can help keep your tattoo hydrated and free from infection, but it’s important to be careful not to overdo it. If you notice any redness, swelling, or excessive discharge from your tattoo, contact your doctor or tattoo artist immediately. Better safe than sorry!

  1. What lotion is safe for tattoos?

White cream lotions, which are preferably unscented, should be used. Most tattoo artists recommend Aveeno, Curel, and Eucerin as fragrance-free white cream lotions [6].  Be sure to read the ingredients list on any lotion before using it on your tattoo. You should also avoid lotions that contain petroleum or mineral oil, which can clog pores and cause infection.

  1. What happens if you moisturize your tattoo too soon?

If you moisturize your tattoo too soon, it can hinder the healing process. This is because when your skin is healing, it needs to form a crust or scab to protect the new tattoo beneath. If you apply lotion too early, it can make the scabs soft and cause them to fall off prematurely. This can lead to infection and even scarring. So, while it may be tempting to put lotion on your new tattoo as soon as you get home from the shop, it’s best to wait until your artist says it’s okay.

What happens if you moisturize your tattoo too soon?

  1. What do you do the first 24 hours after a tattoo?

Your artist should cover your new tattoo in a light layer of petroleum jelly and then wrap it with a bandage. After 24 hours have passed, you can remove the wrap. Gently wash the tattoo area with antimicrobial soap and water, making sure to pat it dry afterward. Apply a thin layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day. However, there is no need for another bandage [7].

  1. Should I let my new tattoo dry out?

Aftercare should include tattoo dry healing, as long as you follow all other aftercare instructions precisely. Not taking proper care of your tattoo might result in scabbing or scarring [8].

Keeping your tattoo moist is key to proper healing. Allowing your tattoo to dry out will result in a longer healing time, increased scabbing, and could cause your ink to fade. If you have any questions about how to properly care for your new tattoo, don’t hesitate to reach out to your artist or a medical professional. And always remember – never pick at your new tattoo!

  1. What happens if you don’t moisturize a tattoo?

If you don’t moisturize a tattoo, it will dry out. This can cause the tattoo to crack, peel, or flake off. In some cases, it can also lead to scabbing or scarring. Moisturizing your tattoo is essential to keeping it healthy and preventing damage.

  1. What should you not put on a new tattoo?

You should avoid putting anything on your new tattoo that you wouldn’t put on an open wound. This means no lotions, perfumes, or other products that could irritate the area. You also want to avoid sun exposure and hot tubs until your tattoo has healed.

  1. How long do tattoos take to heal?

Most tattoos take about two to four weeks to heal, though some may heal more quickly or take longer.

  1. How do you tell if your tattoo is too dry?

If your tattoo is too dry, it will start to peel and flake. This can happen as early as a few days after you get your tattoo, or it may not happen for weeks or even months. If your tattoo starts to peel and flake, it’s important to resist the urge to pick at it. Picking at your tattoo can cause it to bleed, which can lead to infection.

If you’re not sure whether your tattoo is too dry, ask your artist or another trusted individual for their opinion. Peeling and flaking are normal parts of the healing process for tattoos, but if you think your tattoo is excessively dry, you may need to moisturize it more frequently.

How do you tell if your tattoo is too dry?

  1. Can I shower the same day I get a tattoo?

Depending on your artist’s instructions, you’ll have to wait anywhere from two to 12 hours after receiving a classic bandage or cling wrap. You may shower at any time once the dressing is removed. However, when you shower or wash your new tattoo, use a mild, fragrance-free soap [9].

  1. How should a tattoo feel after 2 days?

For the first 48 to 72 hours after you get a tattoo, it is normal for the area to be red, swollen, and tender. There may also be some oozing of blood and/or ink during this period.  The area will likely be itchy and uncomfortable, and you may see some scabbing. You should avoid picking at the tattoo or letting anything touch it during this time, as doing so can cause infection or other complications [10].

After a few days, the tattoo will start to peel and flake off as it heals. At this point, you can begin applying lotion to keep the tattoo moisturized. Just be sure to use a light, unscented lotion that won’t irritate the skin. Apply the lotion several times a day for the best results.

  1. Is Vaseline good for tattoos?

Vaseline is often recommended as a way to speed up the healing process of a new tattoo. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Vaseline can cause more harm than good when used on a new tattoo.

When applied to a fresh tattoo, Vaseline creates a barrier that prevents oxygen from reaching the skin. This can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of infection. Additionally, Vaseline can trap bacteria against the skin, increasing the risk of an infection developing.

  1. Will my tattoo dry out overnight?

Cleaning your tattoo immediately after waking is a smart idea. Your tattoo, like normal skin, may become dry at night. To keep your ink healthy and well-hydrated, clean it and moisturize it as soon as you awake.

Useful Video: Can You Put Too Much Lotion On Your Tattoo?