Home » Aquaphor For Tattoos: All You Need to Know

Aquaphor For Tattoos: All You Need to Know

Got yourself a brand new tattoo lately? If that’s a yay, you need to immediately take the right steps during the healing process. That’s because this is the time when you can prevent damage and infection to your new tattoo. To aid proper healing, Aquaphor is one incredible tattoo aftercare product you shouldn’t give a miss. Aquaphor for tattoos is a professional tattoo artist-recommended ointment. It leads to effective moisturization and protection of freshly-inked skin. After all, the secret to adequate tattoo aftercare is keeping your new tattoo moisturized and well-protected.

The initial few weeks after getting inked are the healing stage. During this stage, the tattoo area should be kept hydrated and soothed. Read on and discover why Aquaphor is popularly known for yielding faster, more comfortable tattoo healing results.

What is Aquaphor Meant For?

What is Aquaphor for tattoos? That question may prop up in your mind if you’ve never heard of the brand’s association with effective tattoo aftercare. It’s more known for being a skincare brand for babies and adults. Nevertheless, Aquaphor also holds prominence as a skin-healing and repairing solution for tattoo enthusiasts. The ‘Aquaphor Healing Ointment‘ for tattoos is loved globally due to its proven track record for success.

So what does this acclaimed ointment treat? It offers immense value for money by performing an array of fixes. It’s a multi-purpose ointment that fixes minor cuts and burns; moisturizes cracked and dry skin; and protects against many skin irritations, including taking care of chapped lips.

Aquaphor has been around for decades. It contains petrolatum (petroleum jelly), known to have incredible hydrophobic properties conducive to tattoo healing.

In a nutshell, your tattoo gets protection through the prevention of evaporation from the skin. Further, the layer of ointment acts as a barrier, offering protection from bacteria and potential infections. The formula leaves the skin moisturized, as you’re left with a soothing skin surface rich with oxygen and fluid.

Why Aquaphor Over Traditional Petroleum Jelly?

The above is a pertinent question. The answer to this lies in the fact that ‘Aquaphor for tattoos’ implies it’s got several other ingredients that make it special. These added ingredients add amazing moisturizing properties to the basic capability of traditional, 100% petroleum jelly products. Standalone, pure petroleum jelly products like Vaseline are flawed in that they don’t allow the skin to breathe at all. Aquaphor, on the other hand, has only 41% petroleum jelly.

The main active ingredients in Aquaphor that ensure greater skin and tattoo protection are mineral oil and cerasin. Additionally, the ointment has the natural ingredient bisabolol (sourced from the chamomile plant) that grants soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.

Aquaphor healing ointment also consists of the ingredients lanolin alcohol, glycerine, and panthenol. These less active, stabilizing ingredients work with the main, active ingredients in moisturizing and protecting the skin. Overall, the unique formula offers versatility in protection against different skin irritations and dry skin. The skin gets protection from both inside and outside in the safest possible way.

When To Apply Aquaphor On A Tattoo?

From the moment you get your tattoo shop-issued bandage removed to the subsequent initial few days, those are the early healing stage days of your tattoo wound. During those crucial days, you need to apply Aquaphor. But first, you need to clean the wound thoroughly with mild antibacterial soap.

The soap should be used at least thrice a day until the tattoo is fully healed. Aquaphor should be applied after each of the three washing sessions daily, on the first few days. However, during the middle to late stages of the tattoo healing process, you may switch over from Aquaphor to a thinner, water-based lotion for aftercare.

During the first few days after the bandage of the fresh tattoo is removed, the wound is most susceptible to damage and bacterial contamination. Washing the wound and then applying Aquaphor makes the healing process faster and more comfortable. 

How To Apply Aquaphor On Tattoos – The Simple Steps

  1. Gently wash your tattoo wound with unscented, antibacterial soap and mild water.
  2. Pat dry your tattoo gently using a soft paper towel.
  3. Apply a thin layer of Aquaphor.
  4. Remove any excess ointment applied using a clean paper towel.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 thrice a day for three days.

For How Long Should Aquaphor Be Applied?

Suppose your tattoo seems to be healing well after following all the other tattoo aftercare instructions. In that case, Aquaphor should be used thrice a day for the first three days only. After three days of applying Aquaphor, it is anticipated your wound would’ve stopped oozing plasma. From the fourth day onwards, you may switch to a thinner, water-based moisturizer.  

During the middle to late stages of the healing process, the lotion works much better at moisturizing the skin since water-based lotions allow the skin to breathe in comparison to the heavy-duty, oil-based Aquaphor cream.

The switchover from ointment to lotion is in line with the requirement to keep your tattoo moisturized for several weeks until it’s completely healed. It’s wise to make sure you don’t end up using tattoo aftercare products consisting of heavy fragrances, colorants, or irritating ingredients. 

The Pros & Cons Of Using Aquaphor For Tattoos

Aquaphor helps the wounded skin heal by keeping it moisturized and hydrated. Its special formula is safe to use and minimizes the occurrence of irritating the skin. It is paraben-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic. 

Furthermore, it gets its anti-inflammatory properties through the special, natural ingredient bisabolol, which is sourced from chamomile extract. 

Every product has its limitations, especially when used for prolonged periods or in large quantities. In the next section, we’ve outlined the main advantages and disadvantages (the pros and cons) of using Aquaphor for tattoo healing. 


  • It prevents chances of skin infections and irritations by sealing the skin from bacteria and potential irritants.
  • Faster healing time without causing skin damage. 
  • Proper hydration, moisturization, and all-rounded protection of tattoo wounds.
  • Reduction in immediate stage hard cruising and longer-term scabbing.
  • Minimal damage beneath the tattoo scab during the healing.
  • Value-for-money.
  • Widely available for over-the-counter purchase.


  • Overuse may cause clogging of skin pores, leading to possible breakouts of the skin.
  • A rash, though not likely, may result in case you’re allergic or have hypersensitivity to petroleum products or any of the other ingredients. Just like with any product, the doctor’s advice should be sought before buying the product. 
  • If the Aquaphor base product is not suitable for your sensitive skin, you may be better off applying the gentler version — the Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
  • A Petroleum based product can clog skin pores if applied in thick layers or too often.
  • Aquaphor is not marketed as a range of products designed specifically for tattoos. Though, it is commonly accepted as an effective solution for the same.

Some Additional Aftercare Tips For Your New Tattoo

Once you’ve applied Aquaphor for the initial three straight days or so and progressed to the thinner, water-based lotion for the next few weeks, there’s a bit more you can do to speed up the healing.  

Here are a few tips:

  • Eliminate the chance of requiring a touch-up or frequently applying the ointment or lotion beyond the recommended number of applications. For this, ensure you don’t over-apply the aftercare product by avoiding immersing your tattoo in bodies of water. This precautionary step should be ensured for the first two to three weeks post getting the new ink.
  • Avoid exposing your new tattoo under direct and prolonged sun exposure. This precautionary step should be ensured for a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks. For protection from the damaging effects of UV rays on your tattoo, you may keep your tattoo covered with protective clothing or apply high SPF sunscreen.
  • Avoid cleaning your tattoo in a scrubbing motion. During the healing process, only pat drying with a soft paper towel should be the way to go after you’ve gently washed it with antibacterial soap and lukewarm water.
  • Do not pick the tattoo at any of its scabbed areas. That would adversely affect the final healed look. 

FAQs On Aquaphor For Tattoos

Which Aquaphor healing ointment is right for me?

There are two main Aquaphor ointments that are popular. One is the regular one, and the other is the baby-friendly version. The ingredients in both these products are the same. However, the baby version is specially formulated to go gentle on the sensitive nature of baby skin and include treating baby diaper rashes.

Aquaphor BABY

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant, Dry Skin and Diaper Rash Ointment, 14 Oz Jar

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Aquaphor REGULAR

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant, Body Moisturizer for Dry Skin, Minor Cuts and Burns, Dry Cuticles, Cracked Heels, Hands and Lips, 14 Oz Jar

Check Latest Price on Amazon

Both the ointments aren’t specifically for tattoos, yet these versatile ointments are widely used for tattoos as well and are highly effective at that. Which one you choose depends on how sensitive your skin is. If your skin is sensitive, you’re better off opting for the Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment, which is gentler on the skin. For all others, the regular one would suffice.

Can Aquaphor sting or burn my tattoo skin?

Generally, it shouldn’t. Yet, in some situations, applying it on a fresh tattoo may cause a stinging or burning feeling for a few minutes. Suppose the stinging or burning goes on for a longer period. In that case, you should immediately wash off the ointment with antibacterial soap and mild water. As a next step, you may want to check with your medical practitioner to see whether there’s an existing skin infection or if you’re allergic to the ointment.

What are some common side effects of ‘Aquaphor for tattoos’?

There are no common side effects of either version of Aquaphor. Both the baby healing ointment and the regular ointment are safe to use products. The former is pediatrician approved, while the latter is dermatologist recommended. Hence, all ages are covered when it comes to repairing minor cuts and scrapes, treating dry and cracked skin, and safeguarding from other skin irritations.

In the event one does experience side effects like burning, stinging, irritation, or even redness, it requires professional medical attention. This is a time to consult your doctor without fail.


If you’ve recently gotten inked with a brand new tattoo whose bandage is about to be removed by your tattoo artist, the next few days are crucial. For this reason, thousands have preferred Aquaphor for tattoo aftercare the world over. Aquaphor is becoming the cult status for immediate, new tattoo aftercare as one of the most widely publicized and accepted tattoo aftercare regimens. Its hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties speed up the healing process and make it comfortable and painless. If you have sensitive skin, the baby version will be perfect to use. For others, there’s the regular version. The ointment comes in an appealing 14-ounce jar. If there’s a lot left in the packing after use, don’t worry. Aquaphor has many uses, so the leftover ointment should always come in handy.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!