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Written by Kieran Proctor

Do I Need A Tattoo Aftercare Product?



tattoo aftercare product

Professional tattoo aftercare products are a necessary part of getting a tattoo. You should always use a proper tattoo aftercare cream for the first couple of weeks following your tattoo session.

Here’s why you need to use professional tattoo aftercare products on your new tattoo.

What Does A Tattoo Aftercare Cream Do?

Professional tattoo aftercare creams and salves act as a protective barrier coat for your new tattoo as it heals. Tattoo aftercare creams lock in moisture and prevent dirt and germs from entering your new tattoo.

Properly designed and tattoo specific aftercare creams prevent the scabbing and cracking that would otherwise occur if your new tattoo was allowed to dry out. And they stop your new tattoo from sticking to your clothing.

Acting as a barrier coat tattoo aftercare creams and salves protect your new ink as the upper layer of skin above the ink heals. As a barrier coat tattoo aftercare creams and salves act to prevent costly damage to your new ink that would otherwise require a tattoo touch up session to fix.

Mad Rabbit - New Tattoo Repair Soothing Gel
Tattoo healing gel

Should A Tattoo Aftercare Cream Absorb Into The Skin?

A professional tattoo aftercare cream or salve is not designed to absorb into the skin. Tattoo aftercare creams sit on top of the skin that was damaged during the tattoo process. They prevent the new tattoo from drying out and scabbing.

Use of non tattoo specific moisturizers and Vitamin E creams should be avoided while your tattoo heals. You should not use creams that are not designed specifically for tattoo aftercare. At least until the outer layer of skin is healed.

Any cream that absorbs into the skin and ‘moisturizes’ may damage your new tattoo while it’s in its initial healing stage. It’s also worth noting that regular moisturizers will likely incorporate ingredients that will aggravate your new tattoo during it’s healing cycle. Making your new tattoo far more itchy or inflamed as it heals.

What Tattoo Aftercare Cream Do I Personally Use?

I personally used Mad Rabbit on my full negative space blackout tattoo sleeve. And I used it on the recommendation of my own tattooist.

Mad Rabbit is the best tattoo aftercare cream that I’ve used to date. It prevented ink drop on my new blackout sleeve. Even on my elbow and armpit crease which are often difficult spots to tattoo.

Solid color tattoos like mine will often experience ink drop if not well cared for during the initial two to three week healing cycle. Yet using Hustle Butter Deluxe I was able to prevent ink drop.

Unlike tattoo numbing creams which claim to be vegan but are not, Mad Rabbit is an all vegan tattoo tattoo aftercare product.

Numbing creams include pharmaceutical ingredients by design and aren’t vegan. Aftercare products have no added pharmaceuticals and can be 100% vegan. Mad Rabbit is independently certified as a 100% vegan product.

While I’m not vegan myself, the features that I found most appealing were it’s applicability and scent. Mad Rabbit is easily applied and not sticky like some other tattoo aftercare creams. It’s also lightly scented with peppermint.

Some tattoo aftercare creams and salves can be incredibly sticky and smell horrible. Mad Rabbit has a very thin texture and a mild peppermint smell. It’s quite pleasant to apply.

Kieran - author - tattoovagabond and inlovelyblue
My tattoo sleeves – photo taken in Buenos Aires, Argentina

What Is Ink Drop?

Ink drop is when the ink injected into the skin during the tattoo process falls out. Ink drop often occurs during the tattoo healing process when the new tattoo is allowed to dry out, scab and crack.

If you experience ink drop you will find lighter patches in your new tattoo. Or in a worse case scenario there will be blank spots where there should be ink in your new tattoo.

Should you experience ink drop due to an ineffective tattoo aftercare regiment you will need to pay for a tattoo touch up session. When ink drop occurs because you haven’t properly taken care of your new tattoo while it heals your tattooist will not touch up your new tattoo for free.

Avoid supermarket moisturizers and use a proper tattoo aftercare product to prevent ink drop. And to keep your new tattoo looking it’s best for years to come.

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