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How Often Should You Apply Lotion On A New Tattoo

Aftercare for tattoos is perhaps the most crucial factor to contribute to an amazing-looking final result.

Yes, the tattoo artist will surely take most of the credit, and that is as it should be, but your role as the customer is to simply take care of your skin afterward, to heal that gorgeous permanent art well.

We all know that aftercare means cleanliness and applying products of various kinds (each artist recommends differently), but you also need to know how often to apply lotion?

Let’s find out the answer to this, and similar other questions.

How Often Should You Put Lotion on a New Tattoo

How Often Should You Put Lotion on a New Tattoo

The general rule of tattoo aftercare is to moisturize the new tattoo with a lotion 2-3 times a day, or every 6-8 hours on approximate.

Because we sleep every day for several hours, these applications are divided equally throughout the day hours, and it would be acceptable to apply aftercare products even every 6 hours approximately.

Can I pick at the tattoo scab crust if I moisturize it immediately after with lotion?

No, do not even think of doing this! Aftercare or not, picking at the skin for whatever reason is never, ever a good idea – it damages the skin, it poses a risk for bacteria or germs, and it is highly unhygienic above all.

Especially for a new tattoo, you surely don’t want to risk a badly healed tattoo! Many times people pick at the initial scab and risk getting an ugly ink damage spot. Aftercare will not magically make the ink underneath appear gorgeous – picking at this will damage the final tattoo look!

Can I put a thick layer of lotion on a new tattoo and go swimming?

new tattoo and go swimming

No, the lotion will not prevent you from getting germs or bacteria on the new tattoos pores and scab layer when swimming. You can even use up the whole tube of the product, but if you enter pools, lakes, seas, or similar, your freshly traumatized skin will be at risk of opening its pores and getting contaminated and bubbled up.

Will a thick layer of lotion enable me to go tanning with a new tattoo?

lotion tanning with a new tattoo

Do not even think about tanning with a fresh tattoo, these are the few do-not-even factors. It could even be worse because, with the aftercare, the UV light/rays will seep into the skin even more. After all, cosmetic products are known to attract heat and UV light. No swimming, and no tanning while healing.

Read also: Best Sunscreen for Tattoo Protection

What if I apply aftercare lotion on a new tattoo more often than recommended?

It will not be an ultimate disaster to apply aftercare more often than you should, but it is not perfect either, so don’t fool yourself into thinking that this is preventive or good in some way.

The skin needs to breathe, not be suffocated with creams over and over. Too much of this, and the new tattoo will not form a nice scab, it will be moist all the time and complicate the peeling later on.

What if I forget to apply for aftercare someday?

It is a nice idea to set some alarm or reminder for applying this, but if you forget for some reason, apply some immediately after remembering. If it happened truly out of forgetfulness, it is still ok, just continue as recommended.

Should I wash/cleanse the tattoo before every aftercare application?

Yes and no. More precisely, in the first 2-3 days, it is nice to cleanse the tattoo gently with antibacterial soap (or another tattoo cleanser that the artist recommended), pat dry, and apply the aftercare.

These first few days are most crucial because the tattoo releases lymph and ink before it starts to ‘settle down’ and slowly form a healing scab. Keeping it nice, hygienic, and ‘oozings-free’ is a good first step one.

What is the aftercare amount I should apply to a new tattoo?

The rule of thumb is to apply a moderate amount, not skimping on it to the point of hardly spreading it, nor using too much to the point of making the tattoo fully greasy and white from the product.

Think of it as your regular skincare regime – the same amount of body lotion you would normally apply to a certain skin area. A moderately thin layer, simple as that.

What happens to the tattoo during sleep then we cannot apply lotion?

Of course, everyone has in mind the sleeping factor, and unless we sleepwalk and do the aftercare without knowing, yes, during sleep the tattoo remains ‘unattended’ – this is ok, and normal, of course!

That is why when you’re awake most of the day you should remember to apply regularly.

How to ensure I do proper aftercare application procedure every time?

It is not complex at all, and all you need is hand soap, water, a clean towel or paper towels, and your aftercare product.

Always, always wash your hands thoroughly and nicely, pat them dry, cleanse the tattoo and also pat dry, and apply the aftercare with clean hands.

Wait a few seconds until the tattoo receives the product well, but the piece of clothing back on, and that is it!

What if I am constantly on the move during the day?

An amazing question, and very important too!

Many people lead very busy lifestyles, with sadly not coming home until it is sleeping time. So, it goes without saying that in this case, you must always have the aftercare lotion for your tattoo with you, also it is recommended to bring a compact package of soap/cleanser with you as well because you never know to be honest.

And antibacterial wet wipes as well, these wipes are a must! They can save you the trouble if you need to at least clean your hands and quickly dab the aftercare on the very dry tattooed skin before you’re even home.


In conclusion to all that you have read, remember, the new tattoo has to be moisturized with the aftercare every 6-8 hours. And, not just this, but always do this with clean and washed hands and a moderately thin layer of the product.

Do not go overboard with doing this too often, and don’t forget about it either! Carry antibacterial wipes (and maybe a cleanser/soap too) with you, set an alarm reminder for when you’re awake, and that is all.

Good luck and take care of the tattooed skin!

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