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Coconut Oil for Tattoos: Is It Safe to Use as Aftercare?

Yes, it is possible to use coconut oil for tattoos at every stage after getting inked. And, it can even help with the healing process. Curious about why it is such a good home remedy?

Find out below!

Natural Tattoo Aftercare – Why Use Coconut Oil on New Tattoo?

Now that we have established that coconut oil is a great option for tattoo aftercare, let’s take a closer look at why this is. Here are all the reasons that it is one of the best natural tattoo aftercare remedies recommended:

Man With Tattooed Arm

Contains Antibacterial Properties

What many people don’t realize is that there is quite a bit of risk of bacterial infections with tattoos. This can be due to a few different reasons. For one thing, tattooing involves puncturing the skin which compromises the barrier, making it easier for bacteria to make its way in.

There is also the fact that bacteria can be found in tattoo ink as well as the instruments used. As such, there is a chance of contracting an infection from these too.

The good news is that coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can prevent bacteria from growing on the tattoo site. Needless to say, this can help in preventing infections. Therefore, using coconut oil on a healing tattoo may make all the difference.

Can Reduce Inflammation

It doesn’t matter how many tattoos you get, redness and inflammation is common around the site. After all, the skin has been disturbed with needless and the swelling may take hours or days to go down. If you want to speed up the process, you should reach for some coconut oil.

It was discovered that coconut oil can have moderate to significant improvements on inflammation and help to reduce the swelling at the site. As an added bonus, it also has some analgesic properties which means that it could help to soothe any discomfort you feel as well. 

Works to Lock Moisture In

Moisturizing your new tattoo can help to speed up the healing process. Not to mention, there is less chance of the skin drying out and cracking.

Now, there is a misconception that coconut oil moisturizes your skin, but this isn’t exactly the case. Instead, the oil works to lock moisture in. It improves the state of the skin barrier preventing moisture loss. Therefore, your tattoo is less likely to dry out.

However, you are still going to need to use another kind of moisturizer on your inked skin and apply the coconut oil over it. You can use a lotion or ointment that has been recommended by your tattoo artist or dermatologist.

In some cases, you may develop scabs on top of your tattoo and this is completely normal, all a part off the healing process. However, the last thing you should do is to pick off these scabs as doing so can end up ruining the tattoo. The same goes for if the tattoos are accidentally rubbed off due to friction.

To reduce the chance of this happening, use coconut oil on scabs. This works to soften them so that they can be removed more gently, even if it is by accident. Thus, the oil is great for preserving the integrity of the ink.

Works for Various Skin Types

The great thing about coconut oil is that it is an all-natural, food grade substance. Due to this, it is less likely to irritate the skin, even if you do have sensitive skin. Not to mention, coconut oil allergies are rare which reduces the risk of irritation.

Unrefined, organic coconut oil doesn’t have any irritants either. This means that you don’t have to worry about any harmful contaminants or toxins getting into the open wound.

Woman Applying coconut oil on tattooed skin

Coconut Oil on Old Tattoos

Coconut oil isn’t just good for new tattoos – it is a good option for older tattoos as well. What many people don’t get is that all tattoos require maintenance, particularly if you want them to look as good as possible many years from now.

Applying coconut oil to your tattoo on a regular basis works to keep it moisturized. In turn, this prevents the skin and the tattoo from looking faded. It can also improve the appearance of the skin so that it doesn’t look old or wrinkled.

Therefore, you may want to use coconut oil on your older tattoos as well, particularly if you noticed that they appear dry and faded.

Coconut Oil After Tattoo Removal

Tattoo removal may utilize a different process than tattooing skin, but your skin can react in the same way. As such, you may find the treated area to be inflamed and irritated. And, because the skin has been disturbed, there is a chance of infection as well.

This is why applying coconut oil to the area can help quite a bit. However, it is a good idea to always speak to the individual in charge of your treatment. They will be better equipped to provide the best after care routine for you.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Tattoo Aftercare

There are a few tips and tricks that you should know when using coconut oil for your tattoo:

Use Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil has more nutrients than unrefined oil. As such, it contains all the components to aid with wound healing and protection. There is also the fact that this type of oil traditionally has fewer irritants as well. Therefore, there is nothing in it that can harm your skin. This can work to reduce the risk of side effects.

The best option here is the Viva Naturals organic coconut oil. It has been carefully sourced and processed, making it a healthy option that is also unlikely to contain any irritants or harmful compounds.

Keep It Clean

Although coconut oil is a natural antimicrobial agent, it is important to make sure that you aren’t introducing bacteria to your tattoo when applying the oil. To do this, have a new and separate jar of coconut oil for tattoo care.

Make it a point to wash your hands with soap and water before dipping your fingers into the oil. Also, make sure that the lid is secure before you put it away. This will prevent any kind of microbes from entering the oil.

Gently Heat the Oil

Virgin coconut oil is solid at room temperature so you will need to melt it before using it on your tattoo. However, you should avoid using anything too warm against the tattoo. If you have a smaller tattoo simply warm up the oil between your palms before applying.

If the tattoo covers a larger portion of your body, then you can heat up a larger amount in a microwave. Make sure that the oil has properly cooled, though, before you apply it to your skin. Otherwise you may experience severe discomfort.

Woman applying oil to her body

Run a Patch Test

As mentioned, coconut oil allergies are pretty rare, but there is always the chance that you could have an allergic reaction to the oil. It is due to this that you shouldn’t use the oil on your tattoo before running a patch test first.

Go ahead and apply coconut oil to a small patch of your skin. Watch this site for about 24 to 48 hours. If there is no redness, hives, itching, or any other issues, then you aren’t allergic to coconut oil. In case you do notice such symptoms, though, you should give the oil a miss.

Even if you aren’t allergic to coconut oil, you should be aware that the skin of a fresh tattoo can be ultra-sensitive. Due to this, there is a chance that it could have a negative reaction to even the mildest ingredients.

So, when you do apply the coconut oil to your new tattoo, make sure to monitor the site. If you notice any discomfort, unusual swelling, or other issues, wash off the oil immediately. You may want to contact a medical professional for further advice.

Apply a Thin Layer

Although the tattoo should be hydrated, it also needs to be breathe. Due to this, you should avoid smothering your ink. Instead, apply a thin layer each and every time that you use it. You will find that it will heal much faster than if you slather too much oil on it.

Beware of Over Moisturizing

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can actually over moisturize their tattoo. Doing so can hinder the healing process and cause just as many issues as a dried out tattoo. So, make sure to limit how often you moisturize your tattoo.

A good rule of thumb is to only apply the oil to the tattoo after you have showered or cleaned the area. Therefore, applying the oil twice a day should do the trick.

Of course, each person’s skin is different and your skin may dry out more easily than others. It could also be that your clothes rub the oil off the skin as well. In these instances, you can try using the oil a bit more regularly. However, you still shouldn’t be applying the oil more than three to four times a day.

This is why coconut oil is good for tattoos as well as how you can use it for your own aftercare. As you can see, coconut oil works well for older tattoos and even on skin where tattoo removal has taken place!

If you enjoyed this post, you should check out our Pinterest page. We have lots of other posts on how you can use coconut oil for skincare and so much more!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Riya Borah
Nutritionist Educator | Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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