We know that not everything that is advertised as natural, such as aloe vera or olive oil, is good for a new or existing tattoo. But with all the health benefits being thrown around for coconut oil, along with the ingredient being added into skincare products worldwide, you’ve got to wonder how coconut fairs in this all-natural moisturizer game.
It’s hard not to buy into the hype, especially when everything looks good on paper, but are there any dangers to using coconut oil on your tattoo? Let’s have a look.
Coconut Oil and Tattoos
Benefits of Using Coconut Oil on a Tattoo
It’s been said that coconut oil is the best natural tattoo aftercare option when it comes to both healing and moisturization, but what exactly are those beneficial factors?
- It’s extremely moisturizing. In fact, coconut oil doesn’t just sit on the surface of your skin but works to lock moisture in, as well. This ensures your new tattoo doesn’t experience moisture loss when it needs hydration the very most. It’s so powerful that it even works to minimize the scabbing process by softening them, while simultaneously not compromising the ink.
Coconut oil also helps reduce irritation through this moisturization process, which means you’re less likely to experience the desire to scratch the itch on your new ink. In addition, coconut oil doesn’t clog your pores, which is essential for reducing breakouts that could ruin your tattoo.
Proper moisturization not only brings out the color in your tattoo, but it promotes proper aging of your tattoo down the line.
- It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and a natural antiseptic. We all know that a new tattoo leaves us open and vulnerable to potential microbial infections, since it’s technically an open wound on your skin. It’s natural to want to reach for something that combats that. Coconut oil has natural antimicrobial properties which help reduce the risk of infection.
During the healing of your new tattoo, your artist may advise you to use an ointment as part of your aftercare routine. Coconut oil contains nutrients that act in the same manner as many of these ointments, and it doesn’t leave a thick layer on your tattoo in the process.
In addition, coconut oil has proteins that have anti-inflammatory properties which increase the anti-oxidants in the healing skin and reduce the stress and swelling caused from the tattoo process. It also contains natural analgesic properties which are known to help reduce discomfort.
- It’s packed full of vitamins. Vitamins are powerful nutrients that your tattoo needs to stay healthy. Coconut oil contains vitamins E and K and are known to promote healthy skin, the restoration of skin, and even a smoother healing process, and vitamin K is known to kickstart the natural blood clotting process in wounds. These vitamins also work in regenerating cells and preventing wrinkles - nobody wants a wrinkled tattoo!
- It’s known to be hypoallergenic and generally risk-free. Unless you have a very severe nut allergy and have narrowed down that coconut also falls into that category, you will find that coconut oil could be the perfect hypoallergenic alternative for your tattoo aftercare needs. Since pure coconut oil contains no additives, such as fragrance or solvents, you don’t need to worry about what you’re going to get. The same cannot be said about many ointments or antibiotic creams.
- It’s cheap and cruelty-free. Coconut oil is vegan, and many of the brands which sell this product will also advertise that it was produced in a plant that is also cruelty-free. Not many tattoo aftercare products can advertise the same. Also, the collection and production of coconut oil doesn’t compromise the environment in the same manner that some other natural products might.
It also is an inexpensive alternative to regular moisturizers and tattoos and can be purchased in bulk in order to save on cost. You will get far more product for your money than you would with traditional tattoo aftercare items. Not to mention it’s a widely available item, so you don’t need to search in specialty stores to get your moisturizer.
How to Use Coconut Oil on A Tattoo Safely
So by now, you must be asking: can I use this on my brand new tattoo?
Tattoo artist and shop owner Rosa Perr says, "Coconut oil is what I recommend my clients use on their tattoos during the healing process. It has high levels of lauric acid in it which is found to be an effective protector against bacterial growth, so it can help to protect the tattoo against infection. It also reduces redness and inflammation and is rich in collagen, which helps to heal the tattoo well and quickly.”
Putting moisturizer on your new tattoo isn’t recommended until it stops weeping. The weeping stage is when your wound is pushing out excess plasma, blood, and ink, and it requires around two to four days to be thoroughly washed and have time to breathe, and then move through this stage prior to adding hydration. At which point, coconut oil might be a good option for you.
Although it may seem harmless enough, it’s always important to ensure that any product you are using for the aftercare of your tattoo is done safely so as to not compromise the art you’ve invested in.