Best Cream For Tattoo Care [Review] in 2021

Last Updated on March 21, 2022

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Have you just got a tattoo or are planning on getting one and need a good ointment for tattoo care?

Well, you’re not alone. Aftercare is so important in the tattoo process and so it’s essential we get the right skin products because if not you run the risk of harming your skin and affecting your tattoo.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. After spending the last 5 hours researching the best tattoo creams we have compiled a list that’s sure to find you a solution.

And that’s not even the best part.

Every product on this list is backed by positive feedback from hundreds, if not thousands of customer reviews and has been quality checked to make sure you don’t end up with a dodgy lotion that harms your skin.

If you’re looking for something that’s cheap and that does the job then be sure to check out our top pick. Now, let’s get started!

How we came to the conclusion of our top 3:




hours spent





The Best Cream For Tattoo Care


Hustle Butter Deluxe


Here’s our top pick and trust me, you’re going to love it!

Hustle Butter Deluxe is an original luxury tattoo care product for every stage of the tattoo process. It helps prepare the skin to make it softer, more supple, offers superior glide when being tattooed, can help moisturize, and best of all heals your skin afterward. This is the way to go when it comes to tattoo care.

Where this tattoo lotion stands out compared to the competition is that it doesn’t remove stencils and won’t lead to clogged tubes or petroleum buildup. It keeps skin workable, drastically reduces redness, swelling, bleeding, and promotes healing upon contact. This makes the color going in easy.

Better yet.

The Hustle Butter is certified cruelty-free and 100% vegan approved, its all-natural butter is also petroleum, paraben-free. Made from the finest ingredients, this one is easily one of the best tattoo lotions on the market.

If you’re unsure then we recommend looking at the reviews. With over 1,500 reviews and a 4.5-star rating, it’s clear that this is a popular product and we’re inclined to agree with the other customers. One reviewer said “The ink is holding well and I’ve been asked if it’s fake. Smells amazing too btw, and have been using it on my hands.” This isn’t all either, there are hundreds of reviews all singing the praises of Hustle.

So, what are you waiting for? Go and get it before you miss out!


  • Made with natural, vegan-friendly ingredients
  • Easy application
  • Heals your skin quickly


  • Some reports of it feeling too oily

Latest deal: Hustle Butter Deluxe


Tattoo Care Classic

Next up is a tattoo aftercare body lotion that’s going to help you and your new tat heal.

This body lotion is made from the finest natural ingredients that are proven to accelerate the regrowth of healthy cells. This helps your tattoos heal faster as well as aids the colors in looking more vibrant and healthier.

Best of all with this moisturizer and aftercare lotion is that it’s rich in texture and fast-absorbing. On top of this, it leaves no visible marks on everyday clothes. Due to the quality ingredients, it can also be used for other purposes of skin treatment including light burns, scratches, soothing the skin, and hydrating dry skin so you’ll get plenty of use out of it and for different reasons which isn’t something that can be said for all tattoo aftercare products.

Now, that’s not all.

Tattoo care has other products such as the Black Rose and Tattoo Care Sun protection. While these are also fantastic products we think this is the go-to in our opinion. It’s cheap, does its job, and has other perks such as water resistance among other things.

One reviewer had this to say: “Great moisturizer and it does speed up the healing process. It does have a funky smell but it’s not a bad thing. Smells kinda like a medicine.” Now, every product has its drawbacks but we think an odd smell is an ok sacrifice for such great benefits. But only you can be the judge on that when it comes to you and your tattoo aftercare.

Go and have a look, who knows? This may be the tattoo healing ointment for you.


  • Protects your tattoo against drying
  • Highlights tattoo colors
  • Made from natural ingredients


  • Has a medicinal smell

Latest deal: Tattoo Care Classic


INK Tattoo Brightener Balm

Here’s one you’ll really love, this tattoo balm is going to help color tattoos and maintain soft, healthy skin.

The INK skin healing balm will make your tattoos look vibrant and new again. The balm is not greasy, however, much like the Tattoo Care Classic, there are comments about the unpleasant odor so you may want to avoid this one if that’s a deal-breaker for you.

If you’re like me and love to go to the reviews before you make a purchase then you’ll feel reassured with the INK tattoo aftercare cream.

One customer said it “Works great and definitely brightens up your tattoos. It does go on greasy but after a while, it goes away. If this product was around when I first got my tattoos this would be my go-to instead of regular moisturizer. If you have a lot of expensive ink I would suggest using this.”

Now you can’t argue with that. But that’s not all.

The INK tattoo lotions have both the PETA and Leaping Bunny Seal of approval. Plus their INK Brightener is reef-safe to protect our oceans.

The ultra-moisturizing balm enhances the vibrancy and detail of tattoos and most importantly, all INK products are Cruelty-Free, Toxin Free, Fragrance-Free, and Residue Free.

So why not check it out? This could reinvent your tattoo aftercare regime.


  • Vitamin C gently exfoliates to improve vibrancy
  • Organic moisturizers hydrate and smooth skin
  • Powerful antioxidant protects skin from damage


  • Doesn’t smell great

Latest deal: INK Tattoo Brightener Balm


Viking Revolution Tattoo Care Balm

Coming in hot at number four is the Viking Revolution Tattoo Balm.

This is the highest-rated tattoo body lotion on the list with over 5,000 positive reviews on Amazon. If your skin sore or red from your new tattoo then Viking’s soothing, moisturizing lotion can help speed up the skin’s recovery process post-treatment.

A great feature of this is that it also works on old tattoos. The cream works on any area that you’ve had a tattoo so it not only moisturizes to make the skin on your new tat clean and healthy but it also works on older tattooed areas which in our opinion is what helps this tattoo aftercare product help keep up with the competition.

But of course, you know there’s more.

Don’t wait until your tattoo is done to start using this skin ointment. Apply the cream before you get your tattoo for the smoothest application process you can find and if you aren’t satisfied then Viking has a 100% satisfaction guarantee to sweeten the deal.

This moisturizer and aftercare lotion is a great option and is sure to be approved by tattoo artists. So if you’re looking for tattoo lotions for your skin, you can’t go wrong with the Viking Care Balm.


  • Works on old and new tattoos
  • 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
  • Natural balm Keeps skin and color healthy.


  • Can be greasy

Latest deal: Viking Revolution Tattoo Care Balm

Best Cream For Tattoo Aftercare - A Buyer's Guide

Tattoo aftercare is so crucial, and keeping your tattoo area moisturized can really help speed up the healing process. First off, it prevents you from itching, scratching, and picking off peeling skin (as it nourishes the skin and allows you to resist the urge).

While your body is healing, the tattoo area may become very dry and itchy; using the right tattoo cream will help ease the irritation and allow your body to shed the peeling naturally. It also provides a barrier against bacteria and infection.

Maintaining a good aftercare routine and regular cleaning and moisturizing your tattoos will actually speed up the healing process; resist the urge of picking at the healing skin, too, as some parts may still be healing, and it could open the wound. 

Getting the right aftercare cream is so crucial for a tattoo. After all, a tattoo is an open wound; getting a cream that has aggravating ingredients may cause the tattoo to get infected or cause irritation. 

Let’s talk about everything you need to know.

How Important is Tattoo Aftercare Cream?

Appling tattoo cream after getting freshly-inked is actually more important than many of us may think. Using tattoo aftercare cream allows your body to heal properly and provides a barrier against bacteria and infections.

It is arguably one of the most important steps, and cleaning the tattoo; ensures that your tattoo is not irritated during the healing process, which could cause discoloration or distortion of the new tattoo.

It also helps ease irritation, such as itchiness, and helps the body gently shed the peeling scabs in its own time. Picking at your tattoo’s scabs may actually damage the outcome of the tattoo.

Antibiotic cream or ointment is also used on tattoos by your artist before being wrapped in a plastic bandage or wrap; this prevents bacteria from getting into your skin and protects your tattoo from rubbing against your clothes.

After cleaning your tattoo with sterile water and fragrance-free soap make sure you dry the area fully and then apply the tattoo cream. You should reapply this cream 3-5 times a day for the first month or so until your tattoo has fully healed. 

Things To Consider When Buying Tattoo Aftercare Cream:

Before purchasing any old cream for your tattoo, there are some key things to consider and avoid to get the best product available for you and to prevent the chance of irritation:

Go for a cream free of colorants: 

Whenever you have an open wound or get a new tattoo, you have to be sure that the cream, ointment, soap, cream (basically whatever you apply to the area) is free of colorants. 

Colorants can aggravate and irritate the fresh tattoo wound but can actually detriment the vibrancy of the colors after the tattoo has healed. The best aftercare creams to add vibrancy to your tattoo are clear. 

Don’t always be fooled by white creams; most of the time, they are fine but check the ingredients to ensure no colorants have been added to make that particular cream white. 

Colorants are made with chemicals, which can be detrimental to your body’s healing process and may cause you a lot of pain and, in some cases, infections– no one wants that, now do they?  

Go for a moisturizing cream:

As our body heals, it needs as many vitamins as possible; this helps to promote and speed up the healing process. Moisturizers allow our body to breathe also and leave our skin feeling clean and fresh. 

For the first month or so (as I suggested above), you should frequently moisturize the area regularly using a cream that contains natural oils that retain the skin’s moisture and allows the body to peel naturally. 

Moisturizer allows the skin to breathe and provides a protective barrier– such as a moisturizer with jojoba oil; this will protect the skin during the scabbing and healing process. 

Make sure the cream is fragrance-free:

Whenever you’re caring for a fresh tattoo, you should NEVER use fragranced products in the area. Fragranced creams tend to have chemicals and alcohol that could really aggravate the skin (especially a healing wound.) 

But fragranced soaps, creams, and lotions will not only irritate your tattoo, but it may even cause the color to fade faster and may alternate the finished look of your tattoo once it has healed.  To be on the safe side, I would recommend avoiding fragrance for the first 2 months. 

What happens if you don’t moisturize a tattoo?

Applying cream to your tattoo is crucial, and without it can cause problems with the healing process and the outcome of the tattoo.

Here are common things that will happen if you don’t moisturize your tattoo regularly:

  • Your skin will become very dry, flaky, and cracked over the tattoo area
  • Your fresh ink will become more and more faded
  • Your skin will be itchy, red, and irritated
  • Your tattoo may become infected
  • Your tattoo will take longer to heal, and it will be an uncomfortable and painful process.
  • Your tattoo will become itchy, and scratching may damage the tattoo or cause infection.
  • The outcome of the tattoo won’t be as good as you first anticipated

Now I know what you’re thinking; this may be a shock but using tattoo aftercare cream for the first month has a massive role in the healing process; using the recommendations above and using this guide and regularly washing and cleaning your tattoo will help promote healthy healing. 

General Aftercare

Since aftercare rules and guidelines are pretty vague in the US in the eyes of the law, it’s always useful to have a rough idea on what to do at the very least otherwise you’ll end up wasting your money on a tattoo that wears away before it’s even settled properly.


  1. Be sure your artist covers your new tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage.
  2. Remove your bandage after 24 hours and gently wash the tattoo with antimicrobial soap and water, then be sure to pat it dry.
  3. Apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day but don’t put on another bandage.
  4. Wash your tattoo area twice a day with soap and water and gently pat dry before reapplying the antibacterial/Vaseline ointment.
  5. Keep applying a moisturizer or ointment, for example, one of the products above, after you clean it to keep it moist.

Currently, in the USA:

  • Seven states have no regulations at all on tattoos.
  • Six states license tattooists but don’t have any aftercare rules.
  • Thirty states license tattoo artists and require written or verbal instructions on aftercare.
  • Only seven states — Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Dakota — require tattooists to provide their customers with aftercare instructions mandated by the public health department.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best lotion to put on a new tattoo?

This one is down to personal preference. many have a product that works for them and not others. We can safely say the products above are generally accepted as being effective and would most likely be approved by your tattoo artist.

If you want an all-around, well-rated product, then a good pick is the Hustle Butter Deluxe.

Can I put baby lotion on my new tattoo?

As for what kind of lotion to use on an old tattoo, any kind will do. So, it can be your favorite special tattoo lotion, or your regular moisturizing lotion, or of course, even baby lotion.

It’s not advisable, however, to put scented lotion on a new tattoo, but once it’s healed, you can essentially use any lotion you like!

How often should I moisturize my new tattoo?

As a general rule, it is recommended that you moisturize your tattoo 2-3 times a day, which is every 8 – 12 hours a day. For the first few weeks, you will be cleaning your tattoo 2-3 times a day, so once you have fully dried your tattoo, then that is when you should apply your aftercare cream.

For the first month or two, make sure you keep up with moisturizing your tattoo to help with the healing process.

How long should I moisturize a new tattoo?

Your tattoo artist would recommend that you regularly moisturize your tattoo for a minimum of 2 weeks, but doing it for the first month is advised. This will help your body gently shed the skin and aid the healing process.

Resist the urge to pick and peel at your tattoo while it is healing, as it can cause scarring and may detriment your design.


So now you know what the best tattoo lotions are. Eeach body lotion works in different ways with different people and it may take some experimentation to find the perfect fit for your skin.

Our top pick was the Hustle Butter Deluxe which is made with natural, vegan-friendly ingredients, is easy to apply, and heals your skin quickly. This is the best tattoo lotion in our opinion and will more than likely give your tattoo the care it needs.

Whichever healing ointment you decide on be sure to take care of your tattoo as there are health problems that can arise if you don’t as well as the risk of your tattoo getting ruined which would just be a waste of money.

Stay inked!

Steven Martin Headshot

Steven Martin

Pro tattoo artist


Steven loved art since his early adulthood especially tattoo art. Therefore, he picked up tattooing when he was researching it on the internet. Having experience of around 3 years in the tattoo industry, Steven has a great command over bold, bright, classic, grayscale, and tribal pieces. His passion for tattoo products drove him to do tons of research, etc. so that Tattoo Inksider can offer you the best tattoo products reviews.