Choosing the Best Tattoo Lotion

Good on you for thinking long-term about how to protect your tattoo. If you want your body art to look like a new tattoo for as long as possible, you’ll have to start thinking about how you can protect it every day. We’re sure you know the first answer, sunscreen with a high SPF (you know your dermatology office agrees).

Here’s the second secret to forever-vibrant tattoos: lotion.

Tattoos stay looking good when the skin stays looking good (read: stays healthy). Protect your skin and you’ll protect your tattoo.

Look for a lotion that keeps your skin moisturized, soothes any irritated skin, and chooses clean ingredients over heavyweight chemicals.

(Spoiler: it’s our tattoo lotion — we couldn’t be the best for tattoo aftercare without a thoughtful lotion, now could we?)

Is Lotion Good for Tattoos?

Yes, lotion works for tattoos, but not until your fresh tattoo is completely healed. Follow your tattoo aftercare instructions until the scabbing is finished and the healing process has completed, and then you can switch over from your fragrance-free healing cream or tattoo soothing gel to a tattoo lotion.

If you are looking for a good lotion (and who isn’t), then opt for a body lotion that works on tattoos as well. Look for a lightweight, fragrance-free, non-greasy moisturizer to help that new ink stay bright.

You need to put your energy into finding a lotion that is actually good for your body and skin! There are a lot of crappy lotions out there but don’t worry, Mad Rabbit makes the best body lotion, and it’s actually good for tattoos.

What Are the Best Ingredients in Lotion for Tattoos?

An amazing daily moisture lotion should be well-rounded. While you could lather yourself in coconut oil and call it a day, you could miss out on the perks of using a body moisturizer that’s a bit more well-rounded with other powerful botanicals.

Nature is amazing, and modern-day science has allowed us to mix and match some of nature’s most gifted plants into our skincare routine.

If you are going to invest some money and energy into a good lotion for your body, you want something that’s giving you the most bang for your buck, right? We’re going to help you identify some ingredients you definitely want in your next body lotion.

Here are some of our top picks for clean ingredients that can help support skin. All of these ingredients are included in our Daily Lotion for a powerful hydrating experience that can help to maintain tattoo vibrance while giving all your skin the ingredients it needs to feel silky smooth and nourished.

Shea Butter

Shea butter has an abundance of triterpenes which help support skin health in a range of ways, particularly in the way it can deeply hydrate and moisturize skin. Shea butter’s main draw is that it’s a fat derivative and highly hydrating. Just a thin layer moisturizes dry skin and helps lock in hydration for a long-lasting, buttery feel.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera, also known as nature’s silent healer, works to soothe irritated skin, so it’s no wonder that it’s included in aftercare ointment. Aloe vera even helps to support firmer-looking skin. Aloe vera can also help with skin hydration.

Cetyl Alcohol

Cetyl alcohol is one of the oldest known fatty alcohols. Fatty alcohols are used in skincare to thicken a formula and keep it properly mixed. While you might see “alcohol” and think it would be a drying agent, cetyl alcohol can help keep skin hydrated due to its water-binding properties.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil has antioxidative properties and is incredibly hydrophobic, which means it will form a barrier on the skin to help trap hydration inside. Sesame oil can also help to naturally soothe skin. Sesame oil is also rich in rich in vitamins A, B, and E. Vitamin E can help protect skin from UV radiation and is resistant to 30% of UV rays. It also contains several fatty acids which aid in its hydrating ability.


Chamomile may be a popular tea flavor, but it brings plenty of potential health benefits when included in skincare products. Chamomile contains antioxidants and terpenoids that can help soothe irritated, red skin and calm itching.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is part of the retinoid family. Vitamin A and its derivatives can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is the first vitamin approved by the Food and Drug Administration for its ability to help reduce the appearance of many of the signs of aging.


Here’s a new one. More than a spicy accompaniment to sushi, Wasabi is the latest up-and-comer in skincare products. Wasabi extract can help support firmer skin and provide a brighter, more youthful complexion.

Ingredients To Avoid in Body Lotion

First things first, know your skin. You know your body better than anyone, so if there’s something that irritates your skin or just doesn’t feel right – avoid it. We also have a few other ideas on other ingredients you might want to skip.

Artificial Fragrance

Unless something specifically lists a clean, naturally-derived scent like orange flower oil or lavender oil, your best bet to avoid potential skin irritation is to look for a fragrance-free lotion. Companies aren’t required to list fragrance ingredients and there's a chance it could be irritating to your skin.


Petroleum jelly is a combination of waxes and natural mineral oils. It’s found in a variety of ointments, but it may not be the best product to use on your skin (even if some old-school tattoo artists slather it on your skin after your session). Unlike the natural light-weight hydration found in Mad Rabbit’s lotion, petroleum jelly can suffocate your pores and cause infection if bad bacteria becomes trapped inside.


Parabens are found in many popular lotions. They protect the formula from going bad but studies show parabens are linked to breast cancer and disrupt hormones.

In Summary

How your tattoo ages depends on how your skin ages. If you want your tats to age well, then focus on your skin health. After your tattoo healing is done, look for the right tattoo balm to maintain your coloring.

Begin a skincare routine that promotes good skin health. Spread on a generous helping of a tattoo goo that’s good for your skin. Look for the ingredients we spotlighted, or better yet, just go with out cruelty-free, sustainably crafted Daily Lotion to help in your tattoo care quest — and skip the dreaded search for the perfect lotion because we already made it for you.

Mad Rabbit’s Daily Lotion works for all skin types (even sensitive skin). Best of all, it is fragrance-free, lightweight, and naturally hydrating. Nourishing botanicals moisturize, soothe, and promote anti-aging in your skin, tattooed or not.

Give it a try and see why tattoo artists find it irresistible and use it on their own tattooed skin.


Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils | PMC

The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review | PMC

Aloe Vera: Natures Silent Healer | Alasdair Barcroft & Audun Myskja

Moisturizing Effect of cosmetic Formulations Containing Aloe Vera Extract in Different Concentrations Assessed by Skin Bioengineering Techniques | PubMed

1-Hexadecanol | C16H34O | PubChem

Potential of Herbs in Skin Protection from Ultraviolet Radiation | PMC

Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine of the Past With Bright Future | PMC

Retinoids: Active Molecules Influencing Skin Structure Formation in Cosmetic and Dermatological Treatments | PMC

Flavonoid and Phenolic Acids Content and In Vitro Study of the Potential Anti-Aging Properties of Eutrema japonicum (Miq.) Koidz Cultivated in Wasabi Farm Poland | PMC

Parabens in Cosmetics | FDA

Join the discussion

[Headline Placeholder]