Aftercare for your tattoo is just as important as getting the tattoo itself. These products help to ensure that your skin is being nurtured with the most useful ingredients available for you tattoo and skin at the time of healing. These ingredients when applied to your tattoo can help to keep it in a supple and well-moisturized condition, which in-turn should help the tattoo heal at the quickest rate possible.
Just like inks and prep tools, tattoo-care lotions can also, unfortunately, be decidedly un-vegan. But just like any other product that you use on your skin, the more natural, the better. Natural oils and plant-based ingredients will keep your skin soft without slathering sensitive areas in harsh chemicals and unwanted by-products.
Tattoo ointments are generally only used for the first few days of healing. They usually contain a more concentrated dosage of vitamins used to help the skin heal and to help close the wound up as quickly as possible during the initial healing stages. The main components of most tattoo ointments are vitamins A and D. These specific vitamins are used by the skin/body for a large number of different biological reasons - the most important reason in this case being the efficient healing of traumatized skin. It's very important to ensure that you apply any tattoo aftercare product correctly and carefully - failure to do this can result in poorer healing or even loss of ink from your tattoo. Even on lighter applications, the thick oily texture can smother a tattoo and prevent it from 'breathing' optimally. Tattoos need to extract elements (like oxygen) from the air in order for healing to continue naturally.
Tattoo Lotions, Creams and Moisturizers can either be used after you've finished using ointments, or can be used instead of ointments as soon as you've gotten your new tattoo. Unlike ointments, tattoo lotions and tattoo creams can be used throughout the whole aftercare process, until the tattoo has healed completely. While they do still contain helpful vitamins and minerals, lotions and creams are more aimed towards keeping the skin well-moisturized and hydrated. It may be more beneficial to use these products from the very start of your tattoo healing process if your skin is naturally very prone to drying out and getting irritated. These tattoo lotions should hopefully lightly soak into the outer layers of your skin, helping it to retain water and heal more optimally. The combination of vitamins, minerals and moisturizing elements can definitely help to improve the quality and speed of your tattoo's healing when compared to using nothing at all (known as dry healing).
Moisturizing your tattoo regularly is extremely important. You should moisturize your clean tattoo 3 – 6 times per day, for roughly two weeks (though proper skincare is always important, and most tattoo enthusiasts moisturize their tattoos daily for life!).
You know well that finding cruelty-free alternatives to your most trusted products isn’t easy, especially when it comes to tattoo aftercare. Luckily, there are vegan aftercare brands out there that guarantee to aid in the healing process of a tattoo with the same quality as their non-vegan competitors while being 100% cruelty-free and harmless.
As for aftercare, brands like Lush and Superdrug have suitable products, such as the Lush Ultrabalm and Superdrug’s Vitamin E Range. Other recommended vegan aftercare options are coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter. In terms of razors and soaps, ensure yours are free from animal-derived glycerine strips and your soaps don’t contain lanolin or animal fats, with Castile soap being a good alternative. The Merry Hempsters makes a Vegan Tattoo Soft Salve that uses organic herbs and hemp butter to keep your skin moisturized and soft. Ohana Organics also makes a shea-based tattoo butter with aloe, calendula, and lavender to soothe and heal.
Here is the list of top vegan creams, soap and lotions:
- Hustle Butter Deluxe – Tattoo Butter
- After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer & Aftercare Lotion
- Phat Tat
- Rose Tattoo Care
- The Merry Hempster
- Punk Medics
- Lush Ultrabalm
- H2Ocean Tattoo Aftercare
- Ohana Organics
- Tribal Tattoocare