Every tattoo artist gives different advice on tattoo aftercare, which can be very confusing. Tattoo aftercare is an incredibly important element of getting a tattoo and is vital to the longevity and appearance of the healed tattoo.
Tattoo artists commonly recommended their studio’s own aftercare balm, Vitamin E creams, or Bepanthen (a diaper rash ointment).
In recent years, more and more people have begun to use coconut oil on healing tattoos, and we are here to explain to you why and how it works.
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Coconut oil has been used medicinally for many years as part of Ayurvedic medical practices in India. Here it was applied to the skin to treat dry skin, burns, and other injuries.
It has only recently begun to spread to the Western world as a topical skin treatment, but it is taking the world by storm.
Coconut oil is a form of solidified (or liquid) fat. It is extracted from the white flesh found inside coconuts and consists primarily of medium-chain fatty acids.
These are highly moisturizing and help to lock in the natural oils found in your skin.
Coconut oil can be used as a regular moisturizer to keep your skin soft and supple. When used on new tattoos, it prevents them from drying out and retains the natural balance of oils within your skin.
There are a number of proteins found inside coconut oil. Protein is necessary for cell healing and growth, absolutely vital elements for tattoo recovery.
These proteins support the regeneration of your skin cells from the damage inflicted by the tattooing process.
There are also a number of anti-inflammatory compounds found within coconut oil.
These help to increase the antioxidant levels in your skin, reducing oxidative stress on the skin cells and maintaining a better overall skin appearance. Some of these include Vitamins E and C, lauric acid, and L-arginine.
Coconut oil contains a number of antimicrobial compounds. These are great to fight off harmful bacteria which can lead to a number of different infections.
The most useful compounds in coconut oil for this purpose are lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acids. These are all different kinds of fatty acids and are believed to act in a similar manner to disinfectants.
Prevents Against Free Radical Damage
We are all aware that our cells need oxygen to survive. When oxygen is used in the body it can oxidize your skin, creating harmful compounds known as free radicals.
These are believed to lead to cancers developing and so it is wise to protect yourself as far as possible.
Free radicals are also known to inhibit the production of healthy cells and to speed up the aging process. Coconut oil contains Vitamin E, which creates a protective layer on the surface of your skin. This acts as a barrier preventing free radicals from forming in your skin.
Coconut oil contains a lot of collagen. This is a vital compound to skin healing and wound recovery. The high quantities of collagen in coconut oil help your skin cells to regenerate, making the recovery time much shorter.
Collagen is also known to boost the growth of skin tissues, further speeding up the recovery process.
Coconut oil is a great choice for tattoo aftercare if you have allergies to chemicals commonly found in aftercare creams.
Coconut oil is a natural, healthy alternative to the chemical-packed commercially available creams and is much less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
We would always recommend conducting a patch test when applying a new substance to your skin.
To do this, rub a small amount of coconut oil into an inconspicuous area of your skin, such as in the crease of your elbow or behind your ear.
Allow it to soak in and check the area in 48 for signs of an adverse reaction. If there is nothing, you are safe to use coconut oil as a moisturizer all over your body.
As well as this, coconut oil is a cruelty-free aftercare option. Many commercial creams contain animal products or are tested on animals.
This makes them unsuitable for vegans to use, whereas you will not have that issue with coconut oil.
Affordability And Accessibility
Many commercially produced tattoo aftercare ointments are very expensive and only available in tattoo studios or online. In contrast, coconut oil can be purchased in a variety of shops and is often very easy to source.
Coconut oil can be purchased in much higher quantities for a much cheaper price.
The bulk purchasing means that you do not have to keep buying aftercare creams each time you get a tattoo as the pot will last you a long time. Coconut oil does not expire quickly, meaning that a single pot can last you up to a year!
Coconut oil is also an incredibly versatile product. It can be used to treat a number of skin conditions as well as protecting your new tattoos.
Coconut oil is also great to use on old tattoos to keep them moisturized or after a touch-up. Many people also use coconut oil as a hair mask or to treat injuries.
How To Use Coconut Oil On Tattoos
Using coconut oil on tattoos is a great way to assist with the healing process. You should use a fragrance-free antibacterial soap and water to wash off the tattoo’s surface 1-3 times a day.
Once you have dried this region, apply a thin layer of coconut oil all over the surface using your finger. Allow it to absorb into your skin.
We recommend using a fractionated or virgin form of coconut oil for your tattoo. The other type of coconut oil is refined, which is nowhere near as effective in healing and moisturizing.
Fractionated coconut oil will not clog up the pores of your skin and will allow your skin to breathe.
There are no dangers associated with the overuse of coconut oil. Provided you are not allergic to coconut, it can be applied as and when desired.