Home » Buying Guide » Best Lotion for Tattoo Aftercare in 2023

Best Lotion for Tattoo Aftercare in 2023

Disclosure: We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

There are some general rules for choosing the best lotion for tattoo aftercare. We covered several formulas and types that help tattoos heal perfectly.

To get a nice tattoo we have to get it done by a professional artist with excellent expertise. But, there is another thing that is crucial for the final result and how your tattoo will look – the lotion for tattoo aftercare! This is perhaps almost as important as the tattoo expert, because without proper aftercare, the tattoo will heal badly, and it could look flaky or faded – this is something nobody wants!

That’s why today we will discuss the proper tattoo healing with the help of the best lotion for tattoo aftercare. Our selection of products is good enough to help you choose and take care of the aftercare! Whether you are the tattooed person, or the artist, it is crucial to have this around at all times.

Best overall

After Inked

Lotion for Tattoo Aftercare
  • Good for old and new tattoos
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Vegan

Premium Pick

Hustle Butter Deluxe

Tattoo Butter
  • Extra-nourishing
  • Removes inflammation
  • Vegan

Budget Pick

Tattoo Goo

cheap Lotion for Tattoo
  • Contains balm for healing
  • Contains lotion for moisture
  • Contains soap for cleansing

What lotion is best for tattoos? These are our top 3 lotions as a selection of the most suitable lotion for tattoo aftercare. We offer you a variety; from lotion, to balm, butter the choice is yours! Let’s explore their detailed features below, and narrow it down.

Read also: Best Sunscreen for Tattoo Protection

Why do you need a lotion for tattoo aftercare?

Everyone that is in the tattoo industry in one way or another can benefit majorly from good quality aftercare. This is important for both tattoo artists, as well as customers. A properly healed tattoo is safe from germs, pollutants, scarring, and infections. Good ink healing is not just healthy, but it keeps the tattoo visually intact.

This type of product should be used by tattoo artists, by their customers, and also by people without tattoos (some of the lotions listed are excellent as regular skincare). The lotion for tattoo aftercare is a must-have product for ink enthusiasts who want to heal tattoos fast and nurture the skin the best way possible.

Read also: Best Tattoo Cover Up Makeup

The Best Lotions for Tattoo Aftercare in 2022

1. After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer and Aftercare Lotion

Best overall

After Inked Lotion

This is a good choice for both categories; customers, and tattoo artists. It is a nourishing lotion that keeps the tattoo gorgeous, and the skin supple, and it is also easy to use.

This brand, After Inked is our best overall pick now. The moisturizer works for older and newer tattoos and nourishes the skin with its natural ingredients at the same time. It’s a light formula that won’t grease up your clothes, or cause allergies.

Product packaging dimensions are 6 x 6 x 6 inches, with a lightweight of 2.5 ounces.


  • Moisturizes skin
  • Non-greasy
  • Good for old and new tattoos
  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Grape seed extract (good for skin)


  • Reapplying is needed for optimal effect
  • The formula is a bit thick

2. Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter

Premium Pick

Hustle Butter Deluxe

If you want your skin to get an extra boost of nourishment and good hydration, this is a good pick for you. And, if you like your skin to smell extremely pleasant (as we all), this is another reason to choose it.

Our runner-up product is a nurturing butter from Hustle Butter Deluxe, by Firemall LLC. This lotion for tattoo aftercare is a thicker formula, like a ‘butter’ or greasier skin product. It’s a highly hydrating and lubricating formula, and you can use it prior, after, and during the tattooing. It reduces skin discomfort and is fully vegan too.

The package arrives with the following dimensions: 2.1 x 2.3 x 2.4 inches, and a weight of only 5 ounces.


  • Usable before, after, and during a session
  • Extra-nourishing
  • Removes inflammation and redness
  • Vegan
  • Pleasant scent
  • Simple usage


  • Applying a thicker layer for better effect
  • High-density formula (needs mashing before usage)

3. Tattoo Goo Aftercare Kit

Budget Pick

Tattoo Goo Aftercare Kit

If you want a lotion for tattoo aftercare that comes with a few extra perks (and products in the package), this is perfect for you. You not only get more items in one order, but you will protect the tattoo from sun damage as well.

As our best aftercare kit, we chose the Tattoo Goo by Pirate Face Tattoo, with a few packed products combined here. With this, you can moisturize the skin, cleanse it well, heal it, and even protect it from the sun! This is not just a lotion for tattoo aftercare; there is a balm, soap, sunscreen lotion, and regular lotion too.

Dimensions of the package are 6 x 4 x 3 inches, with a weight of flat 8 ounces.


  • Contains balm for healing, lotion for moisture, soap for cleansing, and sunscreen
  • Sunscreen SPF 30
  • Vegan
  • Essential oils as ingredients
  • Colors stay vibrant
  • Antibacterial
  • Doesn’t dry out the skin
  • Rejuvenates old tattoos


  • Soaks fast (on very dry skin)
  • Packaging has to be tightened better before shipping

4. Viking Revolution Tattoo Care Balm

Viking Revolution Tattoo Care Balm

Maybe you are a customer/artist who likes products with a nice smell, but at the same time to revive dull colors while you nourish the skin – in that case, this is the pick fit for you.

The Viking Revolution brand made this amazing lotion for tattoo aftercare but as a balm formula. This product is good for all stages – before, after, and during the session. It is specific because it can even brighten skin (needed for irritated skin foremost), and refreshes old tattoos too. It has a pleasant scent and is made of natural ingredients.

The package order is sized 2.9 x 2.9 x 0.9 inches, with a weight of 3.21 ounces.


  • Fast healing of skin
  • Soothes reddened skin
  • Refreshes pigment of old tattoos
  • Fit for all usages (before, after, during)
  • Affordable price
  • Nice scent
  • Reliable customer support


  • Ingredients are not 100% vegan (if that factor concerns you)

5. Lubriderm Daily Moisture Body Lotion

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Body Lotion

For all those that want a skin product without tacky or strong scents, this is a suitable choice. And it will fit you if you also want to rest assured you get full day and night skin hydration until the next application.

From the Lubriderm brand, we single out the multipurpose product fit as a lotion for tattoo aftercare exceptionally well! This product is enriched with vitamin B5 that hydrates the skin without oily residue. It’s a mild, unscented formula fit for normal and dry skin (and tattooed skin is quite dry).

The package is light, 7.04 ounces, and with dimensions 5.3 x 2.8 x 1.4 inches.


  • Contains B5 vitamin
  • Non-oily
  • Unscented
  • For dry and normal skin
  • Absorbs fast
  • Dermatologist-approved
  • 24 hours moisture


  • Some scent (despite the odor-free label)
  • Labels could be misinterpreted (ounces, with the number of bottles, per order)

6. Redemption Tattoo Care Aftercare

Redemption Tattoo Care Aftercare

This product is for those fans of skincare that resembles petroleum but is less greasy. You can get the same effect without all that oily residue, plus, a soothed skin from the chamomile extract too.

Our next lotion for tattoo aftercare is by the manufacturer Tattoo Afterlife, with their line Redemption. This product is simple to use, and quite favored among the tattoo community. It can act as a moisturizer, lubricant, barrier ointment, and aftercare too. It is made from natural ingredients, but it ‘feels’ like a greasier product, without the grease.

The package has dimensions 2.4 x 2.1 x 2.1, and very lightweight at 0.96 oz.


  • Petroleum replacement (certified)
  • Acts as lubricant and aftercare
  • Natural ingredients
  • Contains chamomile extract (soothes skin)


  • There are no returns
  • The scent could be strong for some

7. Malibu Tan Hemp Tattoo Moisturizer

Malibu Tan Hemp Tattoo Moisturizer

This product is a good choice for you, especially if you need something hydrating, immediately absorbing, and non-oily. If you also have tattoos that faded from too much tanning, this product will revive those pigments.

This lotion for tattoo aftercare is incredibly unique for several reasons. One of them is the smoothness it provides for the skin with its light formula. This is not a product that will leave an oily residue on the skin; it’s fast-absorbing and feels “light”. One thing you will like about this lotion is the scent; a very nice unisex fragrance.

The package is sized 7.9 x 4.1 x 3.3 inches, with a weight of 2.55 pounds.


  • Nourishes very dry skin
  • Refreshes colors of sun-damaged tattoos
  • Mild, pleasant scent
  • Non-greasy
  • Absorbs fast
  • Good for all skin types


  • Fit for already healed tattoos (older than a few months)
  • Before shipping, the package could be tightened more

8. H2Ocean Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare

H2Ocean Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare

For those that prefer clean and simple products and usages, this lotion for tattoo aftercare offers exactly that. With its odorless watery formula, you can get refreshing hydration without stickiness or grease.

Next on our list is an affordable lotion for tattoo aftercare by the brand H2Ocean. This product is made from vegan and natural ingredients, and it’s not oily – but based on water. The manufacturer thought ahead about people sensitive to strong smells in skincare, so it lacks scent.

The package dimensions are 2.13 x 1.38 x 5.38 inches, with 2.4 ounces weight.


  • No fragrance
  • Natural and vegan
  • Not thick texture
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Light formula (non-greasy)
  • Easy to use and fast to absorb
  • Makes colors ‘pop’
  • Affordable price


  • Needs reapplying for extremely dry skin

9. Barker Goods Organic Tattoo Balm

Barker Goods Organic Tattoo Balm

This balm is a perfect choice if you need a replacement for petroleum skincare that is less greasy but has the same thick and dense texture. Also, it is a good choice if you have older tattoos that need to be beautified a bit more.

From the Barker Goods brand, we chose a stronger formula as their organic balm. This lotion for tattoo aftercare is not a lotion per se, but a more potent texture for healing inked skin. The manufacturer made it with natural ingredients that help in fast tattoo healing. It’s good for new ink, but for older tattoos as well. And if you are not satisfied with the effect, there is a full month guarantee.

This product has dimensions 2.5 x 2.5 x 0.75 inches, with a lightweight of 2.08 ounces.


  • Potent balm formula
  • No petroleum
  • Revives old/faded ink
  • Fast tattoo healing
  • No allergens or chemicals
  • 30-day guarantee


  • It contains beeswax (so it is not fully vegan for those concerned with this)

10. Tattoo Butter Better Beauty Products

Tattoo Butter Better Beauty Products

This product would be a good choice for those that prefer skincare without certain ingredients like parabens and lanolin with greasy residue. If you need a lotion for tattoo aftercare that’s also used as regular skincare – this is your pick.

As last, but not least on our list is the butter of the line Better Beauty Products by manufacturer Dem Holdings. This lotion for tattoo aftercare is another more-than-lotion kind of formula; thicker, and harder, butter-consistency. It is a good quality product that heals irritated skin and helps tattoos heal while it hydrates them. It absorbs in easily and contains skin-nurturing ingredients like vitamin E. Besides all of this, it will amaze you with its gorgeous scent.

This product has dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches, with a total weight of 5.61 ounces.


  • Good price for a great quality
  • Good hydration
  • Light skin feeling (no lanolin or parabens)
  • Fast absorbing
  • Has vitamin E
  • Nice scent
  • Can be used as a regular body skincare


  • The texture is more similar to an ointment; a bit chunkier than regular balm (feels clumpy for fresh ink)

How we picked and tested lotions for tattoo aftercare

For our detailed research we paid attention to several vital aspects in tattoo aftercare, and benefits from several aspects:

  • Hydration
  • The residue (oily or not)
  • Type of ingredients (all-natural or mixed)
  • Hypoallergenic properties
  • Anti Inflammatory
  • Intensity of scent
  • Absorbance
  • Enhancing ink pigment
  • Price

Lotion for Tattoo Aftercare Buyer’s Guide

Lotion for Tattoo Aftercare

Do I have to use a lotion for tattoo aftercare

Dedicating time and effort to good skincare is essential as always, but especially if you got a new tattoo. Tattooing is like injuring the skin, in order to let ink get inside and beneath it, so it would make sense to pay extra attention to that skin area. The aftercare is crucial, and this is your part to fulfill. Choosing and purchasing a lotion for tattoo aftercare will prevent any skin complications and infections, and will keep the colors bold and fresh for much longer in the future.

What are the best ingredients to look for in a lotion for tattoo aftercare

Most products for tattoos contain all good ingredients for the skin, but some combine them all at once. Regardless of this, you can focus on the following ingredients (it’s good if you choose a lotion for tattoo aftercare containing at least one of these):

Grape seed extract

The grape seed extract is always used in cosmetics in the form of an oil that’s added to enrich the formula and enhance effects for the skin. For cosmetic purposes, it is amazing because it removes skin inflammation and redness, kills microbes and germs on the skin, and also keeps it safe from toxin damage (it is antioxidant).

Vitamin E

You surely read in most cosmetic products about Vitamin E on the label. This is another ingredient that’s good to have in the lotion for tattoo aftercare because it promotes supple and nourished skin. This vitamin is also an antioxidant (keeps skin safe from toxin damage), and it keeps the basic cell functioning on an optimal level. Additionally, it acts as a UV barrier shield, and even heals some skin issues.

But, of course, even if you don’t see these exact ingredients on the label, there are others that are good for the skin as well, as presented in our reviews of section IV. above.

What happens if I put nothing on the tattoo and skip the lotion for tattoo aftercare

tattoo lotion

In general, this is not the type of proper aftercare most artists advocate. Surely there are some who have special ways of letting a tattoo heal on its own, but this so-called ‘dry healing’ is putting you at risk for bad healing (visually), and bad skin healing (health-wise).

In this case, the skin after tattooing is extremely sensitive to pain, air, heat, cold – everything. It is like a superficial top skin layer wound that forms a scab crust, and most things enhance its sensitivity. If there is no lotion for tattoo aftercare over that area, the skin will be even drier than it already is, and could get flaky, itchy, or even sunburnt! Whenever this happens, there is a risk of ink partially ‘peeling off’ leaving the tattoo visually unpleasing.

What lotion is best for tattoos? The balm, cream, butter or lotion

In general, light formulas like lotions and creams are good for greasier skin, whereas greasier formulas, like balms or butter, are better for very dry skin.

By now it is almost obligatory to have some sort of moisturizer for the skin, whether you have a tattoo or not. A (tattooed) hydrated skin is healthy and beautiful only as a result of proper and regular moisturizing.


After our reviews and descriptions, we can conclude the best choices and finally help you pick a lotion for tattoo aftercare. Our best overall pick is the winner brand After Inked with their lotion – it has grape seed extract and is hypoallergenic!

Also, other good ones were the runner up choice Hustle Butter Deluxe that you can use in all stages (before, after, and during). As the third choice was the aftercare kit Tattoo Goo – a few different products stunningly packed together!

Whatever you choose from our list, just make sure to do in fact choose, because hydration is the one thing keeping your skin smooth, healthy, and nourished. Tattoos look gorgeous on healthy and hydrated skin!