Home » When Can I Start Using Lotion On My Tattoo?(+ How Often to Use It)

When Can I Start Using Lotion On My Tattoo?(+ How Often to Use It)

When to start using lotion on tattoos? That’s the big question everyone with a fresh new tattoo wants to know about. While many people like to know when to put cream on their tattoos, other questions also need answering, such as what type of lotion should you use on your tattoo?

Below we’ll talk about when you can start applying lotion and what type to use. It will help keep your tattoo fresh and healthy while preventing it from drying out and peeling prematurely.

But first, let’s understand the importance of applying a lotion to a tattoo.

Why Do You Need a Lotion?

Why Do You Need a Lotion
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Tattoo aftercare is a process that folks often take lightly, which is not wise. Taking care of your tattoo is essential to ensure it lasts a lifetime. And one of the most beneficial steps you can take for your tattoo is to use lotion. It will help keep the tattoo hydrated and prevent it from drying.

The above should ensure that one uses lotion on their tattoo, especially as part of their aftercare routine. Now, onto the question, which is the centerpiece of this article.

When Should One Start Using a Lotion for Their Tattoo?

When Should one Start Using a Lotion for Their Tattoo
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The answer – as soon as the tattoo starts to dry. Yes, that is right; as soon as you see your newly-inked tattoo beginning to dry, it is time to apply the lotion on the tattooed area regularly. Hence, you will need to monitor your tattoo’s healing until this process begins.

Depending on the tattoo, it could take even a week to dry off; in most cases, it takes only a couple of days. You should consult with your tattoo artist regularly during this period to get accurate information about the healing process; after that, start applying the lotion regularly.

Choosing a lotion specifically designed for tattoos is essential, as regular creams can cause damage. Tattoo lotions usually contain ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E, which hugely benefit the skin.

Also Read:- Best Tanning Lotion for Tattoos Protection Reviews

How Many Times Should one Use Lotion in a Day?

How Many Times Should one Use Lotion in a Day
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After understanding the need for using the lotion on a new tattoo, at least during the first couple of weeks of the aftercare, the next step is answering the question – how often should one use lotion on their tattoo? The answer is multiple times a day.

Professional tattoo artists recommend that the individual moisturize their new tattoo at least twice daily in the first couple of weeks. Once in the morning and then at night before going to sleep is an optimal schedule that one can follow.

However, it should be noted that the schedule and frequency of the lotion application heavily depend on the type of tattoo the individual has opted for and their geographical location. Yes, the climate condition and the weather also play a role in how often one needs to lotion their tattoo.

You must also be careful regarding how you apply the lotion to the tattoo, especially after a bath. Using it on a wet tattoo is not recommended.

You should wait around 15 minutes for the tattoo to dry off before applying the lotion/ ointment. Doing so ensures that the moisturizer soaks into the skin nicely.

Also Read:- 6 Best Tattoo Aftercare Products

The Most Recommended Strategy for Moisturizing a Tattoo

The Most Recommended Strategy for Moisturizing a Tattoo
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While the two times a day moisturizing strategy is known to provide effective results, most professional tattoo artists recommend applying lotion/ ointment three times a day.

Here is the best tattoo care schedule for one to follow:


The best possible start for your day is applying a lotion on your tattoo first thing in the morning. But keep in mind that you should only do it after adequately cleaning the tattoo.

A morning moisturizing is critical to ensure that your tattoo remains healthy. It is because, during sleep, the body loses hydration, resulting in the tattoo being dry and tight first thing in the morning. By applying the tattoo lotion, you combat that.


After the morning, the next time you should apply the lotion on the tattooed area is during the day. It is an essential part of the process, which is why the 3-times-a-day strategy is more effective than any other aftercare method.

As you go through the day, whether at work or anything else, your tattoo will start to dry off. Also, there would be dirt trapped in the bandaged area. Therefore you must apply lotion in the middle of the day.

However, before you do so, remember that you will need to clean the tattoo first. It is not something you can brush over, as applying a new layer of the lotion over the old would only ensure that the dirt is trapped there forever. It would significantly increase the risk of one getting infected – something you certainly would not want.


Finally, you must also moisturize your tattoo at the end of the day. The best time to do this is before you go to sleep.

As we have alluded to in the previous point, the body loses a lot of moisture during the night. So, to combat that, you must moisturize the tattoo before and after waking up.

It should also be noted that hard tap water would negatively impact the tattoo’s healing and result in it drying off too quickly. This is why it is advised that you moisturize the tattoo after a bath.

If you follow the above-listed three-times-a-day lotion strategy, you will get the best result from your tattoo aftercare.

Is It Possible for One to Put too Much Lotion on Their Tattoo?

Is It Possible for One to Put too Much Lotion on Their Tattoo
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Have you been asking yourself, what is the correct amount of lotion that one should put on a tattoo, and can one put too much lotion on a new tattoo? The answer is, sadly, yes. However, it is not something that we would recommend to anyone.

While it might seem like a bright idea at first to keep your tattoo moist, too much lotion can lead to problems.

When you put lotion on a new tattoo, you are trapping moisture in the area, which can lead to irritation and even infection.

It can also cause the tattoo to bleed. And even cause the tattoo to fade. So, if you use lotion on your tattoo, be sure to use a small amount and apply it sparingly. You should wait until the tattoo is fully healed before using cream, or at least starting to dry off so that any irritation or infection can be avoided.

So if you’re wondering whether you should exceed the amount of lotion on a new tattoo, the answer is no. Only a small amount of cream should be applied.

How to Know When the Tattoo is Drying Off?

How to know When the Tattoo is Drying Off
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Knowing how to tell if a tattoo is drying off is vital. It is crucial not only for the aftercare process but also for the period where you are at risk of infecting the tattooed area and, ultimately yourself. So, you need to know the signs that your tattoo is healing.

  • The first thing you will observe is that the tattoo will start to peel. It is perfectly normal as the top layer of skin is shedding.
  • The tattoo will also become itchy as it heals. This is normal, so you should worry about this. If you scratch or pick at the tattoo, you could damage it. So you must resist the urge!
  • The tattoo will also become more sensitive to touch. So if you accidentally brush up against it, you may feel some pain at that moment.
  • The tattoo will also start to fade as it dries off. It is also normal and is simply the ink lightening as it settles into the skin.
  • Finally, you can also look for scabbing. If the tattoo starts to form scabs, it is definitely drying out.

The tattoo will take about two weeks to dry off and heal fully; however, that is dependent on multiple factors. Be patient and take care of it during this time.

Which Type of Lotion Should I Use?

Which Type of Lotion Should I Use
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Lotions are generally used during the healing process, which takes around two to six weeks. During this time, you should avoid using ointments, as they can slow the healing process by trapping bacteria in your skin.

Tattoo-specific lotions are designed to moisturize the skin, promote healing and prevent scarring. They are also applied more frequently than ointments, making them ideal for healing. You should search the market for one or connect with your tattoo artist for a recommendation.

While lotions are primarily designed for healing, you can use them throughout your entire tattooing process. Some people prefer to use them over ointments, as they are easier to wash off when you are done.

Difference Between Tattoo Lotion and Tattoo Ointment

Lotions and ointments are two types of moisturizers commonly used by people with tattoos. They differ, however, in a number of important ways, including their consistency, ingredients, and overall purpose.

Lotions are typically thinner and waterier than ointments. They are also somewhat more likely to sting during the application process than balms are.

Ointments, on the other hand, are thicker than lotions and therefore last longer on the skin. Their thicker consistency also makes them more effective at preventing scarring.

Tips for Using Tattoo Lotions & Ointments Correctly

Tips for Using Tattoo Lotions & Ointments Correctly
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With the right products and techniques, you can ensure that your tattoos look great while also protecting your skin.

One of the best ways to do this is by using high-quality tattoo lotions and ointments. Before you do, however, you should keep a few things in mind.

  • First, you should only use tattoo lotions and ointments during the healing process. Using them on fresh tattoos can slow down the healing process and cause infections.
  • Second, make sure that the products you buy are designed for use on tattoos. Some lotions and ointments are designed for use on sensitive skin and won’t provide the support that your tattoos need.
  • Finally, select a product that is labeled as ‘hypoallergenic’; however, this point is only useful for folks that have sensitive skin. Hypoallergenic products are designed to be safe for people with sensitive skin.

Applying the Tattoo Lotion & Ointment Correctly

Applying the Tattoo Lotion & Ointment Correctly
Image Source: beautymag
  • First, make sure your tattooed area is clean and dry. A properly cleaned tattoo is critical for the moisturizing process, as you would not want any dirt or germs to get inside the open wound. It is vital that you do this well.
  • Then, apply a thin layer to the area which has the tattoo (also put some lotion on the surrounding areas)
  • Gently massage the lotion into the tattooed area while ensuring that the whole tattoo is covered. Rub your tattoo gently instead of rubbing it too hard, which may cause it to fade.

And that’s it! You can do this several times a day or as needed. Follow the instructions on the tattoo lotion to the letter to tattoo, and you will be good to go. The tattoo you get now will last a lifetime if you take proper care of it.

When You Can’t Use Tattoo Lotions and Ointments

Not everyone can use tattoo lotions and ointments. Some people are allergic to certain ingredients in these products, leading to severe skin infections. In case you have a compromised immune system, you may also be advised against using certain types of lotions and ointments.

If you have any concerns about using tattoo lotions or ointments, you should consult your doctor. Skin care products that are safe for you can be recommended by these doctors. It would help if you didn’t take this lightly, as it can have a massive impact on your health.


Tattoo aftercare is something you need to take seriously. Doing so will not only ensure that you get a fantastic tattoo to show off, but it will also ensure that your tattoo will not be infected.

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!