Tattoo Aftercare: How Often You Should Put Lotion On Your New Tattoo

Everyone is obviously very excited about the prospect of getting a new tattoo. While some get tattoos as a symbol of something emotional or meaningful, some might get one on the spur of the moment. However, if one thing remains uniform in both cases is that you have to care for your tattoo once you get it done and be very diligent about it.

The initial weeks after you get a tattoo are very crucial as the skin is extremely fragile due to the trauma caused by the tattoo needle. This is also quite obvious considering that within a span of just 60 seconds, the needle penetrates your skin thousands of times. Yes, it is that intense.

Your main purpose here should be to make sure that your tattooed skin remains soft, nourished, and supple. If the area becomes too dry, not only can your tattoo crack, but it might get irritated and itchy as well. Read on as we discuss a few ways in which you can care for your tattoo effectively.

How Often Should You Apply Lotion on Your New Tattoo?

Before we talk about application, let us focus on the type of lotion that you should apply. We will personally advise you to buy a lotion for tattoos as they contain emollient ingredients to keep the skin hydrated while reducing any itchiness or irritation. Use this lotion at least three times a day to expedite the healing process.

While it is true that you can apply any drugstore moisturizer on the tattoo, it’s best to stick to using specialized products.

You can apply the lotion for the first time after the initial wash. But, just to be on the safer side, it will be better to leave your tattoo for about a day and then apply any product to it. If your tattoo artist advises you to apply the lotion as soon as you remove the wrap, then you should follow their advice. In addition to this, you need to make sure that there is no chance of any dirt or bacteria accumulating on your tattoo. Your tattoo is already sensitive, you must protect it from any debris to prevent any infections.

Here’s a rundown of the times of the day that you should apply lotion on your new tattoo.


As soon as you get up, you should clean your tattoo. After you clean it, let it dry completely then proceed to apply lotion to it.

You see, it is important that you do this first thing in the morning because when you sleep your body tends to become dehydrated. This is because we lose moisture when we sweat or breathe which is, of course, a common occurrence while we’re asleep. This, in turn, can make the tattooed area become tighter and dry. As a result, you need to rehydrate it with the help of a lotion.


Again, your tattoo will start to feel dry due to which you need to apply lotion to the area. However, make it a point that you clean the area first before you apply anything to it. If you apply a new layer of lotion over the old layer, you can clog the skin pores by putting a seal over the dirt that might have been trapped. The accumulation of dirt can also increase the risk of infection.


A lot of people tend to not put lotion on during the afternoon but we will suggest that you do. Having said this, if the tattooed area feels moist, don’t put anything on it. Over-application of lotion can again clog the skin pores by suffocating the tattoo and your skin.


You can do this process either in the evening or late at night. After you have cleaned your tattoo, apply the lotion on the tattoo again. Before you put on lotion, make sure that the tattoo has fully dried.

Take care to ascertain that the lotion is actually rehydrating the area because, as mentioned above, our body tends to become dehydrated when we are asleep. As a result of this dehydration, it needs to be properly moisturized from time to time.

The Lotion Application Process for Emergency Situations

There might be times when your tattoo will start peeling or scabbing. In such situations, the lotion application process will instantly change. We have discussed some instances below.

1. Applying Lotion on a Peeling Tattoo

In addition to making quite an unpleasant picture, a peeling tattoo can make you go crazy with the itching. As soon as you feel that your skin is itchy or dry, you should apply the lotion pronto. This is also great because it will help to soothe the area while reducing the risk of peeling skin to be completely ripped off.

2. Applying Lotion on a Scabbing Tattoo

The reason why your tattoo is scabbing is that it has become way too dry. In this case, you have to apply a bit more lotion to compensate for the loss of hydration.

Remember to thoroughly clean your tattoo and only apply the lotion after the area dries. Failing to do so might leave you with sticky scabs that look gooey.

How Often Should You Put Lotion on Your Old Tattoo?

Tattoos—new or old—require your hydration and moisturization. It is only the frequency that changes with time.

You can apply a drugstore moisturizer to your old tattoos to keep them hydrated and healthy. This will also help to preserve the colors of your tattoo making them look bright and deep for a longer period of time. So, don’t forget to care for your old tattoo as well.

These were a few ways in which you can care for your tattoo. Not only will this make your entire tattoo care routine effective, but it will also increase its longevity. Then, of course, is the fact that your skin won’t be rough or dry as well.

Resources— Authority Tattoo, Majestic Tattoo NYC