4 Must-Have Tattoo Aftercare Products to Avoid Scarring

4 Must-Have Tattoo Aftercare Products to Avoid Scarring

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. But we say a tattoo tells a thousand stories. 

Tattoos are more than artistic expressions. They’re used as a status symbol, for religious purposes, to celebrate life events, and as a symbol of identity. 

Whether we’re getting inked for the first time or going in for our tenth tattoo, we all want the same thing: a perfectly healed tattoo with a radiant, glowing look. 

What we don’t want is ...scarring. 

Tattoo scars are thick scars with raised lines that distort the skin and sometimes cause discoloration on the tattooed area (because scar tissues tend to be paler than normal skin tissues). 

Tattoo scarring usually happens if our tattoo isn’t healing properly, as in the following instances: 

  • If the healing process, which often takes about two weeks, takes several months 
  • When bacteria encounter your fresh tattoo as it heals, resulting in an infection 
  • If you pull off the scabs formed by the tattoo before it completely heals 

To avoid these, it’s crucial you have a proper  tattoo aftercare routine. This begins with using the best aftercare products that are gentle on your skin, deeply moisturizing, and easy on your wallet. 

Below are our top recommended anti-scarring aftercare essentials to keep your tatts looking awesome during and after the healing process. 

But if in doubt, always follow the advice of your tattoo artist as they know what works best for your skin (specifically with the ink/products they’ve used).

Table of Contents

1 - A Mild, Fragrance-Free Soap

tattooed back

Remember, hygiene is the first and simplest step to keeping tattoo scars away. 

New tattoos are fresh wounds which require utmost care to heal. Some soaps contain chemicals and harsh ingredients like parabens and sulfates that are abrasive, irritative, and may cause an allergic reaction. 

So, take no chances and pay close attention to the soap’s ingredients, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

Generally, the best tattoo soaps: 

  • Lack artificial fragrances 
  • Are antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antibacterial 
  • Have a consistent lather from first use 
  • Use skin-safe ingredients like vitamin E 
  • Are easy to rinse off 

Also, ensure that you “listen to your body.” If you’re allergic to certain ingredients, you’re better off using mild, unscented soap from a skincare product you’re familiar with. 

Sometimes, the best tattoo aftercare cleansers are the regular fragrance-free, antibacterial soaps you’ll find in any bathroom.

2 - Hydrating Daily Moisturizing Lotion

KOYA Tattoo lotion

Moisturizing your tattooed skin is a crucial step to prevent scarring because tattoo lotions lubricate the skin, making it less prone to picking and rubbing your tattoo which often cause scarring. 

However, not just any lotion will work for your tattoo. 

Inked skin has different moisturizing needs than non-inked skin. Tattoos need extra hydration to combat the excessive dryness and injury caused to your skin. This calls for a lotion curated specifically for tattoos.

This calls for a lotion created specifically for tattoos

KOYA Tattoo lotion was made with tattoo enthusiasts in mind. This super gentle, fragrance-free, and vegan-friendly lotion is uniquely formulated to be light for quick absorption into your skin, relieving you of the uncomfortable sticky feeling that often comes with clogged skin pores.

"...Tried KOYA and it really gives a silky feeling without any of the sticky/greasy feeling. HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it."
— Bobby Brown 

KOYA Tattoo lotion is packed with antioxidants such as vitamin E and the best ingredients for tattooed skin, such as horsetail and ginkgo. These ingredients tone and improve your skin’s appearance, making your tattoo shine even brighter.


3 - A Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

The sun isn’t your best friend during your tattoo healing journey. You want to stay away from direct sunlight and wear sunscreen anytime you’re out in the sun. 

When your tattoo gets exposed to the sun’s UV rays without sunscreen, the sun activates multiple reactions (depending on your tattoo’s healing stage). 

Remember, a fresh wound is essentially an open wound without protection. If exposed to the sun’s photons—which are the sun’s little packets of light—your tattooed skin burns faster than healed skin, causing severe blisters, scars, or cracks. 

If your tattoo is already in its healing process, the sun exposure may bleach it out or cause the ink to fade faster. 

Once your tattoo has healed and you’re planning on adventuring outdoors again, ensure you wear sunscreen with UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection so as to protect your tatt and avoid scarring. 

For existing tattoos, put on sunscreen at least every two hours to further protect your ink. 

While any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen, we recommend using an unscented, all-natural sunscreen with SPF 30 or SPF 50 for maximum sun protection. 

The table below shows the effectiveness of the sunscreens according to their SPF levels:

Sunscreen Type Level Of Protection No. Of Photons Entering The Skin
No sunscreen No protection 100
SPF 15 93% 7
SPF 25 96% 4
SPF 30 97% 3
SPF 50 98% 2

4 - Aloe Vera Gel

woman drawing on her tattooed arm

You’re probably wondering why we chose the aloe vera gel over the commonly used tattoo balm and petroleum jelly as our final must-have aftercare product. 

We don’t recommend tattoo balms and petroleum jelly. 

A balm is made of fats, oils, and wax, which gives it its solid consistency. However, the thick consistency may clog your pores and seal your skin, depriving the tattooed area of oxygen. 

Since tattoos need air to properly heal, the lack of breathability may lead to scarring or other skin infections like cellulitis. 

On the other hand, gels are water-based and lightweight in consistency. This makes the skin breathable since they don’t clog pores like balms. 

However, you have to take caution when using aloe vera gel for your tattoo aftercare. Most aloe vera products aren’t specifically made for tattoos. Some formulations use alcohol or preservatives like parabens that aren’t tattoo-safe and may upset sensitive skin. 

So, before you go rummaging through your bathroom cupboard for the aloe gel, please check with your doctor or pharmacist about the ingredients of your aloe-based product prior to use. 

Our KOYA Tattoo lotion’s key ingredients—horsetail, vitamin E, and ginkgo biloba—are all tattoo-safe and ideal for all skin types. They also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties which keep your tattoo fresh and hydrated.

"Absolutely loving this product so far. Really hydrating and smells amazing… It gives a fresh look back to old tattoos." 
Georgia Allen

Bonus Tip - Get Inked by a Trained and Licensed Tattoo Artist

artist tattooing a client’s arm

Even though scarring often occurs during the healing process, it sometimes stems from the tattooing process. 

During the tattooing process, the needles your tattoo artist use penetrate into your skin multiple times a minute. While these needles are thin and delicate, they begin to form a large wound on your skin with time. 

When a skilled and experienced artist tattoos you, they’ll do so delicately so that the needles only penetrate the outer layer of your skin. This results in minimal damage, letting the tattoo heal faster. 

However, if an inexperienced or unskilled artist “overworks” your skin by pressing the needles into the deeper skin layers with more delicate tissues, the damage becomes more severe. This causes a scar to develop in the wounded area as the tattoo heals. 

That’s why it’s important to get inked by a trained and licensed professional tattoo artist. If someone offers you a free tattoo so that they can “practice” or “improve their tattooing skills” on your skin, think carefully before accepting.

Keep Your Tattoos Scar-Free With KOYA Tattoo Lotion

Having a consistent aftercare routine keeps your tattoo clean, moisturized, and breathable to avoid scarring and distortion. 

The  KOYA Tattoo lotion uses all-natural tattoo-friendly ingredients for silky smooth skin for all skin types, including those with dry or super sensitive skin. 

Even better, the lotion’s light consistency and quick absorption rate ensures your skin remains hydrated at all times without leaving a greasy or sticky feeling, as experienced with tattoo balms and petroleum jellies. 

Finally, our KOYA Tattoo lotion is also suitable for active tattoo lovers. It’s created with toned skin and optimal performance in mind to provide maximum moisture absorption. That way, you won’t have to worry about your skin getting sticky or greasy during intense workouts.

"...I can not get enough. No oily residue. No hidden nasties. All while enhancing your natural skin tone..." 
Zoe Winters

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